Man in the Can to Target Blue Grass

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Man in the Can | Coady

Jrita Young Thoroughbreds' Man in the Can (Can the Man) will be aimed at the July 11 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland following his allowance score as the 5-2 favorite at Churchill Friday (video).

“That sure was an impressive turn of foot,” trainer Ron  Moquett said of his charge's 1 1/2-length victory in the nine-furlong event. “I wasn't expecting him to go off as that big of a favorite, but he ran against some stiff Arky-bred competition in his last couple of starts at Oaklawn. I think the bettors saw that before the race and that's why he ended up going off favorite. He definitely deserves a shot in the Blue Grass. There have been so many top Kentucky Derby contenders that have gone off the trail this week that it's really anyone's game.”

A debut winner at Remington Park last December, Man in the Can defeated fellow Arkasas-breds to win the six-furlong Rainbow S. Apr. 17 and the 1 1/16-mile Arkansas Breeders' Champions S. May 1.

The rescheduled Blue Grass will award the top four finishers 100-40-20-10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Should Man in the Can qualify for the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby, he would become the first Arkansas-bred to run in the race since Barbizon Streak, who finished 16th in 1971.

Bruce Lunsford's Art Collector (Bernardini) was another promising 3-year-old allowance winner at Churchill last week. The colt, an off-the-pace 2 3/4-length winner of a seven-furlong allowance in Louisville May 17, was a front-running 6 1/2-length victor going 1 1/16 miles Saturday (video).

“He's certainly getting better at the right time,” trainer Tommy Drury said. “That is as impressive as it gets to kick clear as he did. I asked Bruce to let us enjoy this one for a couple of days and then we'd get together and talk about our next options.”

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