Wilmington, DE – July 5 - Brereton Jones’ Yankee Passion will seek to return to his winning ways when he meets eleven 3-year-old rivals in the mile-and-70 yard $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park this Saturday. The race is named in honor of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who broke his maiden at Delaware Park in 2005.

After breaking his maiden in his career debut and following up with a sharp second against allowance company, both at Delaware Park last year, Yankee Passion has not yet had the opportunity to reach his full potential in 2011. On January 27, the son of Yankee Gentleman started his 3-year-old campaign with a solid 2¼-length victory against allowance company at Oaklawn Park. The Kentucky-bred conditioned by J. Larry Jones followed by running fifth in the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on February 21. In his most recent outing, he finished fifth in the $400,000 Red Legend at Charles Town on June 18.

“He got hurt in the Oaklawn stakes race,” said Jones. “We were pretty satisfied with how the race was unfolding, how he was doing and where he was laying. Gabriel (Saez) kind of quit riding coming out of the turn because he knew something was wrong. I am actually kind of surprised that he finished as well up as he did because he basically had no help from Gabriel because he knew something had happened. It ended up that he pulled a muscle on the inside of his thigh and it took us a little while to get him back. Then we kind of pitched him in the fire down at Charles Town. He never had a race in a bull ring, and it was a tough race to comeback in a $400,000 race off of a layoff. It may have been a little ambitious. But the winner won by six lengths, and he did not get beat bad for second. He made a big run, and it was impressive if you look how he handled everyone in the race but the winner. He was running well, and he galloped out well so it kind of makes you think the extra distance in the Barbaro should suit him fine. He made a nice late run at them, so that should have served as a pretty good prep for the Barbaro. We think he is worthy of a try, and you know two years ago we ran second in the Barbaro with It Happened Again, and last year Cindy (Jones) won the race with Trickmeister, so I figure we gotta at least try and defend our title so we gotta have something in the race.”

Another who may be peaking at the right time is Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s Meistersinger, who will be trying stakes company for the first time in the Barbaro. In his most recent, the son of Yes It’s True notched a head victory in a Churchill Downs allowance on June 5. Previously, the Kentucky-bred trained by H. Graham Motion posted a ¾-length score against maiden company at Gulfstream Park on April 3. He has a career record of two wins and a third from five starts with earnings of $66,435

“He worked last Tuesday at Delaware, and he is going to work again on Tuesday (July 5),” said trainer H. Graham Motion. “I was anxious to work him a couple of times at the track. We shipped to him to Delaware from Chruchill on purpose so he could train on the track. We kind of have to find out what we got with him, so the Barbaro is a good spot for that. He won the ‘other than,’ and the horse he beat came back and won a stake at Churchill. His form has held fairly well, but he is a little bit of a puzzling horse. He is not an exceptional work horse, but he is doing well and I think this a good spot for him.”