Monday, June 01 2009

Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.31.09)

OWNERS DROP IN TO CHECK OUT MINE THAT BIRD – Mine That Bird’s entourage grew a bit Sunday morning as Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Blach, the New Mexico-based co-owners of the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner, made a quick stop in Louisville en route to New York for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (GI).

“We’re leaving later today for New York so we can get settled in and ready for everything,” said Allen, who never has been to Belmont Park where Mine That Bird will try to take down the 1 ½-mile final jewel of the Triple Crown.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 31, 2009) – Silverton Hill, LLC’s St. Joe, who spotted the field several lengths after breaking last in a five-furlong turf sprint, rocketed past five rivals in the final eighth of a mile to win Sunday’s featured $43,875 Long Suit Purse at Churchill Downs for 3-year-olds and up by a length over Lord Robyn.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, St. Joe had only one horse beat at the top of the stretch as he swung seven-wide for clear sailing. At the sixteenth pole, Lord Robyn had opened a daylight advantage only to be rapidly overtaken by St. Joe, who covered the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.84.

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Sunday, May 31 2009

Big Day for Albarado As He Earns 4,000th Career Win, Then Guides Bold Start to Aristides Victory

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 30, 2009) – A landmark day for jockey Robby Albarado got even better when he guided Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start to a 2 ¾-length victory over Semaphore Man in Saturday’s 21st running of the $112,600 Aristides (Grade III) for sprinters at Churchill Downs.

One race earlier, Albarado became the 56th North American jockey to reach the 4,000-victory milestone when he rode Barbara Hunter’s Keertana ($5.20) to victory in the ninth race at Churchill Downs.

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Hightap Turns Back Heavily Favored Luster to Win 35th Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 30, 2009) – Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC and Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Ltd.’s Hightap ran down heavily favored Luster in mid-stretch and drew away to an impressive 3 ¼-length win in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade III $111,500 Dogwood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Hightap followed Luster around the far turn as the two moved in tandem after Lady’s Laughter, who had assumed command leaving the backstretch.

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Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.30.09)

WIN BY ACTION SEEKER PUTS WHITING IN SELECT COMPANY – Veteran trainer Lynn Whiting was all smiles Saturday as he accepted congratulations for his 300th Churchill Downs win, a milestone achieved by JoAnn and Alex Lieblong’s Action Seeker in the eighth race.

“I thought he had a chance once he got clear,” Whiting said of Action Seeker, who rallied to collar Duke of Pearl in deep stretch to win by a head.

The victory made Whiting only the 10th trainer to post 300 career victories in 135 years of racing at Churchill Downs.

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Friday, May 29 2009

Borel, Woolley Look Ahead To Belmont After Rachel Alexandra Bows Out of Race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 29, 2009) – With firm knowledge that the Preakness (Grade I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the Belmont Stakes and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby (GI) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.

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Trainer Lynn Whiting Gets 300th Churchill Downs Victory

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 29, 2009) – Lynn Whiting, who saddled Lil E. Tee to victory in the 1992 Kentucky Derby, on Friday became the 10th trainer to win 300 races at Churchill Downs when Action Seeker rallied to win the eighth race.

Whiting, a native of Great Falls, Mont., has won 13 stakes at Churchill Downs in a training career that began in 1969. Whiting joins Tom Amoss as the second trainer this meet to reach the 300-win milestone at the track.

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Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.28.09)

BUSY MORNING FOR CLASSIC WINNERS: RACHEL ALEXANDRA POSES FOR VOGUE; MINE THAT BIRD GALLOPS – The whole morning Friday was decidedly not business as usual for Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Preakness (Grade I) winner Rachel Alexandra at Churchill Downs.

The first part of the morning was routine: a trip to the track at 6:20 for one time around the main track under exercise rider Dominic Terry.

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Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.28.09)

FROM FINAL DESTROYER TO OLD MAN BUCK, McPEEK HAS ENJOYED FUN RIDE – Trainer Ken McPeek was all smiles Tuesday morning as he accepted congratulations on getting his 1,000th victory during the Memorial Day holiday card at Churchill Downs.

“That’s a nice milestone; I’ve had a lot of fun,” said McPeek, who hit the mark in the eighth race with a win by Lawrence E. Carroll’s Old Man Buck. “I’ve been training 24 years now.”

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Thursday, May 28 2009

Semaphore Man Tops Aristides, Slides Choice Heads Dogwood As Churchill Offers Two Saturday Stakes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 27, 2009) – Veteran sprint star Semaphore Man heads the 21st running of the Aristides (GIII) and Ohio invader Slides Choice could emerge as the favorite in the 35th running of the Dogwood (GIII) as Churchill Downs offers a pair of major stakes events on its racing menu for Saturday, May 30. .

The $100,000-added Dogwood, which drew a field of nine 3-year-old fillies, will go as the eighth race on the 11-race card. The $100,000-added Artistides, which drew a field of 11 older sprinters, is scheduled as the as the day’s 10th event. First post time for the Saturday card is 12:45 p.m. EDT."

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Tuesday, May 26 2009

Former Claimer Dubai Majesty Takes First Graded Stakes Victory in Churchill Downs’ Winning Colors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, May 25, 2009) – Martin Racing Stable, LLC and Dan Morgan’s Dubai Majesty, who ran for a $25,000 claiming tag just over a year ago, re-rallied in deep stretch after being passed by Lady Chace to collect her first graded stakes victory in Monday’s sixth running of the $108,900 Winning Colors (Grade III) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Jamie Theriot and trained by Bret Calhoun, Dubai Majesty and Lady Chace dueled through early fractions of :21.78 and :45.11 in the six-furlong stake. The two raced as a team to the eighth pole where Lady Chace, ridden by Miguel Mena, gained a brief advantage.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, May 25, 2009) – Trainer Ken McPeek posted his 1,000th career victory on Monday when Lawrence Carroll’s Old Man Buck won the eighth race at Churchill Downs under Calvin Borel.

McPeek, a 46-year-old native of Fort Chaffee, Ark., got his first win on Oct. 27, 1985 at River Downs with Final Destroyer.

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