Mendelssohn, the European-based winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, will make his first start of 2018 Friday in Ireland's Patton Stakes, a race that awards points on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The Aidan O'Brien trainee is one of eight starters in the race at Dundalk, which gives 20 points to the victor. The winner will be tied in the standings with Saxon Warrior, who is not expected to compete in the Derby, and Gronkowski, a colt planning to ship to the U.S. for either the Wood Memorial or the Blue Grass Stakes. This is the first year of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby — the top points earner is guaranteed one of the 20 spots in the Derby starting gates. Last year, the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby was introduced but no Japanese horse came over for the Derby.
The Patton Stakes is the second-to-last race in the European series.
Mendelssohn, owned by Coolmore partners and a $3 million purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale, is one of three Patton starters trained by O'Brien. The Scat Daddy colt has two wins from five starts, and this race over Dundalk's all-weather will be his first over a surface other than turf.
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