Saturday, May 23 2009
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.23.09)
WESTROCK BABIES PUT LUKAS ON A ROLL – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas suffered through a miserable fall here last year, failing to win a race from 34 starters.
What a difference six months and a barn full of precocious 2-year-olds can make.
“We are coming around,” Lukas said Saturday morning, a day after Westrock Stables, LLC’s Soundman ran the fastest 4 ½ furlongs of the meet (:51.40) in breaking his maiden by 7 ¾ lengths. “That’s three in a row I have won for them.”
Friday, May 22 2009
Speedy Dubai Majesty Heads Winning Colors On Memorial Day Holiday Card at Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 22, 2009) – Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Dubai Majesty, the pacesetter in the Humana Distaff (Grade I) on Kentucky Derby Day, headlines a field of seven fillies and mares ages 3-years-old and up entered for sixth running of the $100,000-added Winning Colors (Grade III), the featured event on a special Memorial Day holiday program at Churchill Downs.
The six-furlong Winning Colors will go as the 10th race on the 11-race Memorial Day card that kicks off with a 12:45 p.m. (EDT) post time.
Leparoux Rides Five Churchill Downs Winners, Takes Feature on Complicity
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 22, 2009) – Jockey Julien Leparoux rode five winners from eight mounts on Friday and capped his day at Churchill Downs by guiding Complicity to a 1 ¾-length victory over Hungry Tigress in the featured $52,270 Ever After Purse for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Leparoux, who has won four riding titles at Churchill Downs in his brief career, ran his victory total to 32 after 19 days of racing and owns a 12-win lead over Miguel Mena in the race for leading rider.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.22.09)
BOREL BANDWAGON KEEPS ON ROLLING – Jockey Calvin Borel is not assured of having a mount in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (Grade I), but the leadup to the third jewel of the Triple Crown will have his fingerprints all over it.
Borel’s agent, Jerry Hissam, has a lot more on his plate these days than just lining up mounts for the popular rider.
GGF DROPPING THREE CARDS TO COINCIDE WITH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RACING SCHEDULE
ALBANY -- In order to coincide with the racing schedule in Southern California, Golden Gate Fields announced Friday that it is dropping the racing programs scheduled for Thursday, May 28; Wednesday, June 3; and Wednesday, June 10.
Hollywood Park, citing a lack of horses, received permission from the California Horse Racing Board on May 15 to adopt a four-day racing week that eliminated Wednesday racing programs as well as the card scheduled for Thursday, May 28.
NAMASTE’S WISH WINS THE PACKET PURSE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, May 21, 2009) – Live Oak Plantation’s Namaste’s Wish pulled away from Leamington in the final yards to win Thursday afternoon’s featured $52,700 The Packet Purse for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up by three-quarters of a length at Churchill Downs.
In giving jockey Julien Leparoux his third winner of the afternoon, Namaste’s Wish covered the 1 1/16 miles over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:41.88. Bill Mott trains Namaste’s Wish.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.21.09)
BRASS HAT SEEKS ELUSIVE FIRST TURF WIN IN LOUISVILLE HANDICAP – When Fred Bradley’s homebred Brass Hat made his turf debut in 2004, four of his rivals in Saturday’s Louisville Handicap (Grade III) had not been foaled.
“Four of them? That’s pretty neat, I’ve got to tell my dad,” said trainer William “Buff” Bradley of the popular 8-year-old gelding who has yet to win in seven career turf tries.
Thursday, May 21 2009
Top-Weighted Spice Route Faces Eight Rivals in 72nd Running of Louisville Handicap
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 20, 2009) – Spice Route (GB), stylish winner of the Elkhorn (Grade II) in his most recent start at Keeneland on April 24, headlines a field of nine entered for Saturday’s 72nd running of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (Grade III) to be run at a mile and a half over the Matt Winn Turf Course.
The Louisville Handicap goes as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race card that has a first post time of 12:45 p.m. ET.
Rachel Alexandra Back on Track for a Gallop; Mine That Bird Gallop’s
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 20, 2009) – It was a day for racing royalty at Churchill Downs on Wednesday as Preakness (Grade I) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Rachel Alexandra returned to track for a gallop and Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and a fast-closing runner-up in the Preakness, continued to show his spirit during his first gallop since Saturday’s race.
Rachel Alexandra, the first filly in 84 years to win the Preakness and the second Kentucky Oaks winner in three years to defeat males in a Triple Crown race in her next start, galloped a mile over a “fast” track for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was her first trip from the track since her dazzling victory in Saturday’s Preakness at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course and her return to Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Wednesday, May 20 2009
Kentucky Derby Winner Mine That Bird Playful in Jog; Rachel Alexandra Set for Return To Track
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 19, 2009) – After two days off and a 9 ½-hour van ride from Baltimore, Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the track at Churchill Downs for a light jog on Tuesday.
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s gelded son of Birdstone had regular exercise rider Charlie Figueroa in the saddle as he headed to the track around 7:15 a.m. (all times EDT). It was Mine That Bird’s first trip to the track since his runner-up finish to the Kentucky Oaks-winning filly Rachel Alexandra in Saturday’s Preakness.
Churchill Downs Offers Simulcast Wagering, Free Admission on Wednesday, May 20 and Other Reduced Day
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 19, 2009) – Although there will be no live racing on Wednesday, May 20 at Churchill Downs, the historic track will offer wagering on tracks from around North America at its Trackside at Churchill simulcast center.. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. (all times EDT) and patrons will enjoy free admission throughout the day.
Post time for the first of the day’s simulcast signals is 12:30 p.m. for Freehold Raceway’s harness program and 12:40 p.m. for Thoroughbreds at Calder Race Course. Others on the simulcast menu include Belmont Park, Delaware Park and evening racing at Evangeline Downs. Evening simulcast wagering will continue through 9 p.m.
Tuesday, May 19 2009
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD RETURNS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS TO PREPARE FOR BELMONT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2009) – Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird, a gallant runner-up to the brilliant filly Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness (GI), is off of the road and back in his stall at Barn 42 at Churchill Downs following a road trip from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s son of Birdstone will return to the track on Tuesday to begin his preparation for a run in the Belmont Stakes (GI), the third jewel of racing’s Triple Crown that will be run on June 6 at New York’s Belmont Park.
Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. rolled his truck and the trailer that carried the Derby winner to halt in front of the barn at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). The gelded son of Birdstone stepped off the van following the nine and a half hour and into the barn, where he took a few rounds to stretch his legs. Mine That Bird then relaxed by grazing in the lush grass behind the barn.