Last Gunfighter, perfect in his last five starts, will take on six challengers in Friday's $300,000 Pimlico Special at Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile race is conducted at the same distance as the Preakness Stakes.
Trained by Chad Brown, Last Gunfighter will be ridden by Javier Castellano from the outside post and is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. The 4-year-old colt won his first race in his fifth try and has not lost since.
Owned by John Gunther, Last Gunfighter has posted wins in three straight stakes races, most recently the Excelsior at Aqueduct. The colt has earned $295,405 in nine career starts.
The 9-5 second choice is local runner Eighttofasttocatch. The 7-year-old gelding will start from post 4 with Forest Boyce in the saddle for trainer Tim Keefe.
Owned by Sylvia Heft, Eighttofasttocatch is coming off a victory in the Henry Clark Stakes at Pimlico on April 20.
"He came out of the race in fantastic order and is training phenomenally," said Keefe. "He has put two of his best races together back-to-back. Coley (Pimlico stakes coordinator Coley Blind) told me the race was coming up lighter than they would have liked so I went to Arnold (Heft, husband of owner Sylvia Heft) and he encouraged me to do the best for the horse so I told him I would enter and take a look at it. I see no reason not to give it another shot."
Eighttofasttocatch, ninth in last year's Special, has won 12 of 41 lifetime starts for $645,430.
Coming in from California is two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard's Kid. Trained by Doug O'Neill, the 8-year-old will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik from post 5.
Installed as the 7-2 third pick, Richard's Kid is looking for his first win of the year and first since leaving Bob Baffert's barn last summer.
"I really think he's been a lucky trip or two away," said O'Neill, "He could have had a big Breeders' Cup Classic (finished fifth) and it's been a little bit challenging to find good spots for him."
Richard's Kid is the winner of 11 of 44 career starts for $2,332,259.
Here is the field for the Pimlico Special in post position order: Avenida Paseo, Kristina McManigell, 30-1; Indian Dance, Luis Garcia, 15-1; Brimstone Island, Xavier Perez, 12-1; Eighttofasttocatch, Forest Boyce, 9-5; Richard's Kid, Rosie Napravnik, 7-2; Concealed Identity, Angel Serpa, 15-1 and Last Gunfighter, Javier Castellano, 7-5.
Post-time Friday is scheduled for 5:52 p.m. (ET).