Monday, May 14, 2012


Churchill Downs Barn Notes (Sunday, May 13, 2012)


SLOPPY CONDITIONS POSTPONE WORK FOR COZZETTI – With more than an inch of rain in the Louisville area and more coming down Sunday morning, trainer Dale Romans opted to postpone a work for Preakness (Grade I) contender Cozzetti and instead sent the colt out for a 1 ½-mile gallop after the renovation break under exercise rider Romero Cordache.

“We will see how the track is in the morning and he may work,” said Romans, who won last year’s Preakness with Shackleford.


Cozzetti, a Kentucky-bred gray/roan son of Cozzene, broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last November and has made his next four starts in stakes company. In his final start at age 2, Cozzetti finished eighth in the CashCall Futurity (GI) at Hollywood Park. He began his 3-year-old campaign with fourth-place finish in the Kitten’s Joy on the turf at Gulfstream prior to running third in the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (GI).
Cozzetti will be ridden by Jose Lezcano in the Preakness.
Gallops were the order of the day for other horses at Churchill Downs and the nearby Trackside Training Center under consideration for the Preakness.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister, winner of the Arkansas Derby and runner-up to I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), galloped a little more than a mile after the renovation break while stablemate Liaison, sixth in the Kentucky Derby, had a similar activity before the break. Exercise rider George Alvarez was aboard both colts.

Before the renovation break, Hierro, winner of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) on April 28 at Churchill Downs, and Isn’t He Clever, runner-up to Daddy Nose Best in the Sunland Derby (GIII) and most recently eighth in the Arkansas Derby, both galloped with regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas partnering both of the Steve Asmussen trainees.

Both 3-year-olds may work Monday.

Optimizer, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, galloped before the break under exercise rider Joel Cano. The bay son of English Channel finished 11th in the Derby under Jon Court. Corey Nakatani will have the mount in the Preakness.

At the Trackside Training Center, champion 2-year-old of 2011 Hansen galloped 1 ¼ miles under Joel Barrientos for trainer Mike Maker. Hansen finished ninth in the Derby.

HEART OF DESTINY TO PREP FOR REGRET IN THURSDAY ALLOWANCE – Hurstland Farm Inc. and James Green’s Heart of Destiny, second to Stephanie’s Kitten in last October’s Darley Alcibiades (GI) and most recently fourth behind Karlovy Vary, Hard Not to Like and Stephanie’s Kitten in the Central Bank Ashland (GI), heads a field of 14 fillies entered in Thursday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs and trainer Jimmy Baker is hopeful the race will set her up for the $100,000-added Regret (GIII) on June 16.

“She came out of the Ashland fine and is doing well,” Baker said. “She always seems to hook a tough group of horses, so we’re putting her in an easier spot to try to get back on the winning track. As long as things go OK on Thursday, we will point her to the Regret.”

The chestnut daughter of Lion Heart broke her maiden on the turf at Saratoga prior to her run in the Alcibiades. In her final start at age 2, Heart of Destiny finished ninth as the favorite in the Pocahontas (GII) on the main track at Churchill Downs. Following that disappointing effort, Baker decided to keep Heart of Destiny on turf and synthetic surfaces.

“After her race at Churchill (Pocahontas), we want to keep her on the turf and Polytrack,” Baker said. “Even if she would have won the Ashland we wouldn’t have considered running her back in the (Kentucky) Oaks.”

While Heart of Destiny will prep for the Regret in Thursday’s allowance, she prepped for the allowance with a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. She recorded the fastest of six five-furlong works Sunday by covering the distance on the sloppy main track in 1:02.

Corey Lanerie was in the irons for the work and he also will be aboard Thursday afternoon. Heart of Destiny was ridden by Edgar Prado in all six of her career starts.

Bred in Kentucky by Hurstland Farm and James Green Jr., Heart of Destiny has a career record of 1-2-1 from six starts and earnings of $150,659.

BOREL NEARING CHURCHILL, CAREER MILESTONES – Calvin Borel, who won the Kentucky Derby aboard Street Sense, Mine That Bird and Super Saver, inched closer to a couple of milestones with his win aboard School’s Out in the first race at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

The victory put Borel just 10 wins from 1,100 victories beneath the Twin Spires and 50 wins from 5,000 career triumphs. Only 25 jockeys have reached the 5,000-win mark.

With 30 days of racing left in the 2012 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, agent Jerry Hissam is hopeful Borel can achieve both milestones at his home track before the meet concludes on July 1.

“I’d love to get it (5,000 wins) done this meet,” Hissam said. “It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be really close. We’re shooting for two wins a day.”

Borel is ranked second in victories at Churchill Downs behind Pat Day, who rode 2,482 winners at the Louisville track.

“When he won 1,000 at Churchill, I told Calvin congratulations for winning number 1,000 and you’ll have to ride till you’re 84-years-old if you want to catch Pat Day,” Hissam joked.

Borel rides in Races 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on Sunday at Churchill Downs. His mounts were scratched in Races 2 and 9. He has seven scheduled mounts for Thursday.

WORKTAB – Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s Astrology, winner of the 2010 Iroquois (GIII) and third in last year’s Preakness (GI), breezed five furlongs in 1:02.80 on a sloppy Churchill Downs track Sunday morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. The work tied for the second fastest of six at the distance.


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