Friday, June 12 2009
SUNDAY SUNRISE TAKES THURSDAY’S FEATURE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, June 11, 2009) – Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Sunday Sunrise rallied five wide in the deep stretch and drew off to defeat even-money favorite Au Moon by 2 ½ lengths to win Thursday’s $49,790 allowance feature for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Sunday Sunrise ran the 1 1/16 miles on a main track rated as “good” in 1:44.86. The victory gave trainer Steve Asmussen his 20th triumph of the Spring Meet, seven more than his closest pursuer, Mike Maker.
Thursday, June 11 2009
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (6.11.09)
MINE THAT BIRD BACK-TRACKS OVER CHURCHILL DOWNS MUD – Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the racetrack for the first time since finishing third in last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) by leisurely back-tracking once around early Thursday morning under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa.
“He is fresh as a daisy this morning,” trainer Chip Woolley said as Mine That Bird pranced off the Churchill Downs track that had been rendered sloppy by overnight and morning rain.
Wednesday, June 10 2009
Miss Isella Headlines Fleur De Lis; Three Other Graded Stakes on Reunion Day Undercard
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, June 10, 2009) – Domino Stud of Lexington’s Miss Isella will go for her third consecutive Grade II stakes victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday when she totes high weight of 122 pounds in the 35th running of the $200,000-added Fleur De Lis Handicap (Grade II).
The Fleur De Lis, for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/8 miles on the main track, is one of four graded stakes Saturday on Reunion Day Featuring the 28th running of the $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I).
Einstein Set to Make Run at History in Saturday’s Grade I, $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, June 10, 2009) – Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein (BRZ) will carry high weight of 124 pounds and concede from 2-11 pounds to seven rivals Saturday as he attempts to become the first horse to win three consecutive Grade I races on three surfaces in the 28th running of the $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
The Stephen Foster, which serves as the centerpiece of an action-packed 11-race program that features four other graded stakes, will be the 10th race on the “Reunion Day” card at approximately 5:29 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post time is 12:45 p.m. and grandstand admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Monday, June 08 2009
RACHEL ALEXANDRA WORKS SIX FURLONGS AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, June 8, 2009) – Preakness Stakes (Grade I) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Rachel Alexandra turned in solid six-furlong workout Monday at Churchill Downs as the team behind the 3-year-daughter of Medaglia d’Oro considers her next start.
Rachel Alexandra covered the distance over a “fast” track in 1:13.80. Regular exercise rider Dominic Terry was in the saddle as Churchill Downs clockers caught her in fractions of :13, :25.60, :37.60, :49.40 and 1:01.20. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28.
MINE THAT BIRD RETURNS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, June 8, 2009) – Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird returned to Churchill Downs on Monday morning after his third-place finish in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I).
Mine That Bird was unloaded in front of Barn 40 at 10:40 a.m. and walked back to Barn 42 by exercise rider Charlie Figueroa. Mine That Bird grazed for 20 minutes before being led back into Stall 22, which has been his home here since he arrived on April 21 for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
EL CABALLO TAKES SUNDAY’S FEATURED CONSERVE PURSE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sunday, June 7, 2009) – James Spence’s El Caballo re-rallied in deep stretch to narrowly defeat Wise River by a nose in Sunday’s featured $59,040 Conserve Purse at Churchill Downs.
El Caballo, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of El Corredor, covered the mile on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:35.55 under jockey Robby Albarado.
Saturday, June 06 2009
Holds Off Pure Clan to Win Early Times Mint Julep at Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 6, 2009) – Helen Alexander and Helen Groves’ Acoma held off a furious late charge from Pure Clan to win the 33rd running of the $109,000 Early Times Mint Julep (Grade III) on Saturday at Churchill Downs by a diminishing neck.
Acoma, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker out of the Danzig mare Aurora, is trained by David Carroll and was ridden by Corey Lanerie.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (6.609)
EINSTEIN ASSIGNED 124 POUNDS FOR FOSTER; MISS ISELLA TOPS FLEUR DE LIS WEIGHTS – Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein (BRZ) was assigned top weight of 124 pounds by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for next Saturday’s 28th running of the $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein ran second in last year’s Stephen Foster behind Horse of the Year Curlin. The 7-year-old son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Spend A Buck is scheduled to work a half-mile Sunday morning. A winner of 11 of 25 races with earnings of $2,609,904, Einstein will be shooting for a third consecutive Grade I victory and his first win at that level on traditional dirt.
Friday, June 05 2009
SIMPLY SEATTLE TAKES CHURCHILL’S FRIDAY FEATURE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 5, 2009) – Tim Standafer and Rick Tipton’s Simply Seattle rallied in deep stretch to win Friday’s featured $51,245 CFW Mane Event Purse at Churchill Downs by three-quarters of a length over Kiawah’s Magic.
Ridden by Corey Lanerie, Simply Seattle broke on top in the five-furlong sprint on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course but was shuffled back to fourth along the hedge leaving the backstretch. Lanerie angled Simply Seattle out three-wide at the head of the stretch for clear sailing which produced the victory in :57.86.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (6.5.09)
WILL MINE THAT BIRD FLY HIGH IN THE BELMONT? OPINIONS VARY – The question of the day Friday morning on the Churchill Downs backstretch centered on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) and Mine That Bird’s quest for two-thirds of the Triple Crown.
A sampling of trainers seemed to indicate that “Bird” would be the word, but there were some reservations from others. The sampling of the responses as to who wins the Belmont:
PLENTY OF BELMONT ACTIVITIES AT CHURCHILL DOWNS THIS WEEKEND
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, June 4, 2009) – Early arrivals to Churchill Downs on Saturday will receive a free button to commemorate Mine That Bird’s victory in Kentucky Derby 135 (while supplies last) as the 3-year-old gelding attempts to land two-thirds of horse racing’s Triple Crown in the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes.
Churchill Downs will open admission gates just before 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern Daylight Time) on Saturday with the first of 11 live races scheduled for 12:45 p.m. The simulcast of Belmont Park’s 13-race card will begin at 11:35 a.m., with the $1 million Belmont (Grade I) scheduled as Race 11 at approximately 6:27 p.m.