Thursday, June 28 2012
CHURCHILL DOWNS ADJUSTS POST TIMES FOR FINAL THREE DAYS OF MEET
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, June 27, 2012) – Churchill Downs officials will adjust their post times and race exclusively in the evening for the final three days of its 138th Spring Meet due to looming near-record triple-digit heat in the forecast for Louisville. The first race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). On Tuesday evening it was decided that Thursday’s nine-race program would be cancelled because National Weather Service forecasters were calling for a high of 103 with a southwest wind of 5-15 mph and gusts up to 26 mph.
Thursday, June 21 2012
Blueeyesintherein Bids for Second Consecutive Debutante Victory for Veteran Trainer Simms
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 20, 2012) – Veteran trainer Garry Simms will bid for rare back-to-back wins in the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) when he saddles Dorothy Sell and Barry L. King’s Blueeyesintherein to five nine rivals in Saturday’s 112th running of the historic six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
The Debutante, which was first run at Churchill Downs in 1895, is the featured 10th event on an 11-race program on the next-to-last Saturday of racing in the historic track’s 2012 Spring Meet. Other highlights of the Saturday program include the $73,600 Kelly’s Landing, a seven-furlong overnight stakes race the for 3-year-olds and up, and an allowance race for older fillies and mares on turf that has attracted Karlovy Vary, winner of this year’s renewal of Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
Monday, June 18 2012
Mandurah Goes Gate to Wire in Feature; McGee Gets 300th Churchill Downs Win
LOUISVILLE, KY (Sunday, June 17, 2012) – Kip Colvin’s Mandurah went all the way on the lead in the $60,342 feature on the Matt Winn Turf Course and earlier on the card Paul McGee became just the 14th trainer in Churchill Downs history to reach the 300-win milestone at the historic Louisville track when Jay Em Ess Stable’s Storm Cloud Coming crossed the line first in Sunday’s fifth race.
Ten of McGee’s 300 Churchill Downs wins came in stakes events, including the 1988 Clark Handicap (GIII) with Balthazar B. and the 2003 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) with Honor in War. Overall, the 49-year-old Louisville native has saddled 925 winners. His first career win came at Churchill Downs nearly 25 years ago on June 23, 1987.
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Sunday, June 17, 2012
HUMANA DISTAFF WINNER GROUPIE DOLL BACK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Groupie Doll has resumed training at Churchill Downs following a brief vacation at trainer Buff Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort after her record-breaking performance in the Humana Distaff (Grade I) beneath the Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby Day.
“She put on a few pounds and she looks great,” Bradley said. “We’re pointing to the Ballerina (GI at Saratoga on Aug. 24).”
Ron the Greek Rallies for Grade I Stephen Foster Upset, Caps Huge Night for Mott Before 25,417
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, June 16, 2012) – Ron the Greek, sixth in the early going, rallied along the rail in the stretch under jockey Jose Lezcano to grab the lead from heavily favored Wise Dan in the final strides to win the 31st running of the $437,200, Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap by a head before 25,417 ‘Downs After Dark’ night racing fans on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Brous Stable, Wachtel Stable and Jack T. Hammer, the 5-year-old son of Clear Mandate earned an automatic berth in the $5 million, Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita with his victory. For the first time, the Stephen Foster Handicap was part of the Breeders’ Cup’s “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.
CHAMPION ROYAL DELTA SCORES JAW-DROPPING FLEUR DE LIS WIN
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, June 16, 2012) – Besilu Stable’s Royal Delta, North America’s champion 3-year-old filly of 2011, returned to the scene of her greatest victory with a jaw-dropping, eight-length victory over Afleeting Lady in the $161,700 Fleur de Lis Handicap Presented by Finlandia Vodka on Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
The Fleur de Lis, which means “flower of the lily” and honors the symbol in the city of Louisville’s flag, was the third of four graded stakes races run under the lights as part of Churchill Downs’ special “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing program.
Thursday, June 14 2012
Champion Royal Delta, Hilltop Winner Coup and Peter Pan Runner-Up Right to Vote Top Trio
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 13, 2012) – Royal Delta, champion 3-year-old filly of 2011; Right to Vote, runner-up to Mark Valeski in the Peter Pan (Grade II); and Hilltop winner Coup headline the entries for the trio of graded stakes to be run under the lights Saturday at Churchill Downs as part “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program.
The $150,000-added Fleur de Lis (GII), $100,000-added Matt Winn (GIII) and $100,000-added Regret (GIII) highlight the undercard of the 31st running of the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI), which is a part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) for the first time.
Wise Dan, Alternation Head Accomplished Field of Nine for Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 13, 2012) – Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, winner of the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I) at Churchill Downs last fall, and Pin Oak Stable’s homebred Alternation, the top-rated horse in the latest NTRA poll off his narrow victory in the Pimlico Special (GIII), head a stellar field of nine entered for Saturday’s 31st running of the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs.
The 2012 Stephen Foster for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track will make history as the first renewal of the race run under the lights. It is the main event among four stakes races scheduled that evening as part of the “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program. The Stephen Foster is scheduled as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m. (ET).
Tuesday, June 12 2012
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Monday, June 11, 2012
NEHRO, ASTROLOGY LIKELY STRONG DUO FOR ASMUSSEN IN GRADE I FOSTER – Trainer Steve Asmussen said Monday that he has “mixed emotions” about running the “two best horses” in his stable against an imposing field in the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I), but he expects to have a double-barreled threat in the starting gate for Saturday night’s race at Churchill Downs.
Asmussen said Monday Zayat Stables LLC’s Nehro, runner-up to Animal Kingdom in both the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the recent Pimlico Special (GIII) to Foster contender Alternation, and Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s Astrology, winner of the 2010 Iroquois (GIII) at Churchill Downs and third to Shackleford in the 2011 Preakness (GI), are expected to be entered when the field for the 31st running of the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up is drawn on Wednesday.
Sunday, June 10 2012
Guys Reward Rallies to Win Opening Verse
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, June 9, 2012) – Michael Bruder’s Guys Reward, a horse that has run some of his finest races over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course, collected his first stakes victory over that course at the historic track when he rallied from last in a field of six to win the $73,392 Opening Verse Overnight Stakes by a half-length over favored Seruni.
Guys Reward circled the field on the far turn under Shaun Bridgmohan and wore down Seruni in the final yards to pay $6.40, $3 and $2.60 as the second betting choice. Seruni, owned by G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and St. George Farm Racing LLC, held on to finish a clear second under Corey Lanerie and returned $2.40 and $2.20. Peter J. Callahan’s Scotus, ridden by Victor Lebron, was three lengths back of the top pair in third and returned $2.80.
Saturday, June 09 2012
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Friday, June 8, 2012
SCOTUS TO TRY TURF FOR FIRST TIME IN SATURDAY’S OPENING VERSE – Peter Callahan’s Scotus will make his fifth career start beneath the Twin Spires in Saturday’s $73,600 Opening Verse at Churchill Downs, but it will be his first visit to the Matt Winn Turf Course. In fact, it will be his first race on the turf anywhere.
In his 11 career starts, Scotus has recorded seven starts on the dirt and four on a synthetic surface. A 4-year-old dark bay or brown son of Successful Appeal, Scotus has wins on both surfaces, but his biggest victory came on the main track at Churchill Downs in the Matt Winn (Grade III) last spring.
Friday, June 08 2012
UPTOWN BERTIE WINS THURSDAY FEATURE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, June 7, 2012) – Bert, Elaine and Richard Klein’s heavily favored Uptown Bertie outdueled Tapit Dancer in the Churchill Downs stretch and won the $58,749 Thursday afternoon allowance feature for fillies and mares by one length.
Uptown Bertie broke cleanly from the gate at odds of 3-5 and was rated in fourth through fractions of :24.65, :49.40 and 1:15.13 set by Time Counts. Jockey Corey Lanerie began to improve his position aboard Uptown Bertie with three furlongs remaining and was within a length of Tapit Dancer, who had just taken the lead from Time Counts, at the top of the stretch. A 3-year-old dark bay or brown daughter of More Than Ready, Uptown Bertie gained a narrow advantage over Tapit Dancer inside the eighth pole and gradually edged clear.