John Oxley’s Star Contender, winner of the Cup and Saucer Stakes on turf at Woodbine last October, will carry top weight of 123 pounds against 10 rivals entered Tuesday for Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 Transylvania to be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on the opening day of Keeneland’s 16-day Spring Meet.
The Transylvania serves as the first of 16 stakes, 15 of them graded, for the meet that runs through April 26. The Transylvania will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. post time. First post time daily throughout the meet is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Mark Casse, Star Contender has not raced since finishing sixth in the Gulfstream Park Derby on January 1 in his lone start on dirt. Patrick Husbands, who has been aboard Star Contender in four of his five starts, has the call Friday and will break from post position nine.
Transylvania favoritism could go to Sam-Son Farm’s Up With the Birds, a winner of his past three starts who capped off 2012 with a victory in the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine over Star Contender. Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode Up With the Birds to victory in the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds on March 2, has the mount Friday and will break from post position three.
The field for the Transylvania, from the inside out, is as follows: Amen Kitten (Alex Solis, 118 pounds), Brown Almighty (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Up With the Birds (Bridgmohan, 118), Bambazonki (Jose Lezcano, 118), Pyrite Mountain (Julien Leparoux, 118), Jack Milton (John Velazquez, 118), Fire Guard (Joel Rosario, 118), Redwood Kitten(Elvis Trujillo, 118), Star Contender (Husbands, 123), Bethel (Antonio Castanon, 118) and Holiday Star (Joe Rocco Jr., 118).