In his last, Roman Emperor posted a half length triumph in the mile and a sixteenth $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico on May 17. Previously the Kentucky-bred trained by Steve Klesaris ran seventh in the mile and an eighth $750,000 Grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 5.
Trainer Steve Klesaris is expecting another strong performance by the son of Empire Maker.
"He is coming into the race very well," said Klesaris. "All systems are on go and we expect a big effort from him."
Roman Emperor sports a career record of three wins, two seconds and a third from eight starts with earnings of $159,803.
Trainer H. Graham Motion has entered Cherokee Artist, but is still not sure he is going to run the Kentucky-bred son of Cherokee Run. In his last, he ran second in the mile and an eighth $300,000 Grade II Ohio Derby on May 31 after breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs a month before.
"He is just a horse I have always been really high on," said trainer H. Graham Motion. "I was breezing him at Churchill before the Derby with Adriano. Cherokee Artist actually broke his maiden on Derby Day at Churchill in a very competitive maiden field. He won pretty comfortably that day and I have always thought a lot of the horse. It was an ambitious step and it is something I do not normally do, but I was not surprised he was up for it. He is still eligible for his allowance conditions, so I am in a little bit of a dilemma which is should I run in the Barbaro or West Virginia Derby or an allowance. It is just an unusual spot to be in."