Sunday, May 17 2009
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.16.09)
WHILE STARS OF CROP BATTLE AT PREAKNESS, OTHERS WAIT IN WINGS AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – The current stars of the 3-year-old crop – headed by Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird, Kentucky Oaks (GI) filly Rachel Alexandra and Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile – are among 13 three-year-olds doing battle in the 134th running of the Preakness (GI) at Pimlico.
While several of those horses figure to be major players in the crop of Kentucky Derby-aged horses through the rest of the year, others that could be significant factors in the division are in the wings at Churchill Downs and awaiting their chance.
Friday, May 15 2009
DISTINCTIVE DIXIE WINS FRIDAY’S CHURCHILL DOWNS FEATURE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, May 15, 2009) – Distinctive Dixie, ridden by Jesus Castanon, didn’t disappoint as the odds-on 3-5 favorite in Friday’s $51,840 allowance feature at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old filly trained by Wally Dollase led every step of the way and turned back a late charge from Ms. Margaret H. to win the one-mile test for fillies and mares by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:35.75.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, Distinctive Dixie paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Ms. Margaret H. paid $2.60 and $2.20. Nursery Rhyme finished third, another 4 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up, and returned $2.40. Extra Innings and Wisconsin Girl completed the order of finish. Quick Notice and She’s Due were late scratches.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.15.09)
TRAINER AMOSS CHERISHES 300th VICTORY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS –
As trainer Tom Amoss stood in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs following his 300th victory under the historic Twin Spires of the home of the Kentucky Derby, he recalled his first journey to the Louisville track.
The 47-year-old New Orleans native picked a good day for that first visit.
BACK-TO-BACK CHURCHILL DOWNS MILESTONES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, May 14, 2009) – Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel became only the fourth rider to win 900 races in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs when Patton’s Creek Farm’s War Eagle Lady romped to a 14 ¾-length victory in Wednesday’s sixth race.
One race earlier, Tom Amoss became the ninth trainer in track history to saddle 300 local winners when Maggi Moss’ McGlamery Road prevailed in the fifth.
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.14.09)
KLEIN FAMILY’S CASH REFUND READY TO STEP UP IN SATURDAY’S MATT WINN – Louisville-based owners and breeders Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein have raced some very talented horses at Churchill Downs through the years, but few have attracted the early attention generated by their 3-year-old gelding Cash Refund.
The talk surrounding the unbeaten son of Petionville figures to intensify if he notches a third consecutive victory when he makes his stakes debut in Saturday’s eighth running of the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds. The Steve Margolis-trained Cash Refund won his two prior starts by a combined margin of 13 ¾ lengths, has been so impressive that Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia made him the close 8-5 second choice in the field of five in the Matt Winn.
Thursday, May 14 2009
Stakes Veteran Capt. Candyman Can Faces Unbeaten Newcomer Cash Refund In Matt Winn
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 13, 2009) – Three-time graded stakes winner Capt. Candyman Can looms as the betting favorite in Saturday’s 8th running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, but that proven veteran could face a major challenge from unbeaten newcomer Cash Refund.
Owned by Joseph Rauch and David Zell, Capt. Candyman Can comes into the seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds off an impressive victory in the $200,000 Bay Shore (GIII) at New York’s Aqueduct. But the intriguing Cash Refund, owned by the Louisville-based stable of Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein, has yet to be tested as while winning his two career starts by a combined margin of 13 ¾ lengths.
JOCKEY LEPAROUX WINS HIS 1,000TH CAREER RACE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, May 13, 2009) – Jockey Julien Leparoux won the 1,000th race of his brief career on Wednesday when he guided My Little Connor ($6.20) to a 1 ¾-length victory for trainer Dave Vance in the third race at Churchill Downs.
“It feels good,” Leparoux said. “I’ll feel even better when I get 1,001. Each victory feels a little bit better. There are so many people that have helped me along the way, including [trainer Patrick] Biancone, who helped me from the start to my agent Steve Bass, trainers like Mike Maker and great owners such as Ken and Sarah Ramsey. There are too many good people to mention, but I’d like to thank all of the owners and trainers who gave me the opportunity to ride their horses.”
Churchill Downs Barn Notes 5.13.09
CONTENDERS RACHEL ALEXANDRA, PIONEEROF THE NILE DEPART CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR BALTIMORE – The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for Saturday’s 134th running of the $1 million Preakness (Grade I) was completed on Wednesday when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday for the short trip to Louisville International Airport for their flight to Baltimore.
Those major players figure to be the top two betting choices in Saturday’s second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. Post positions for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness will be drawn this afternoon at Pimlico.
Tuesday, May 12 2009
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.12.09)
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD HEADS TO PIMLICO
– A few minutes after 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
With trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley behind the wheel of the Ford F-450 Lariat and exercise rider Charlie Figueroa riding shotgun, the Kentucky Derby-winning team left Barn 42 with Mine That Bird comfortably ensconced in the trailer behind the truck.
Churchill Downs to Request Reduced Racing Dates, Stakes Purses for 2009 Spring Meet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 11, 2009) – Due to a reduced number of entries and a decline in purse money earned from all wagering sources during its ongoing 2009 Spring Meet, Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill”) will request permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to eliminate seven race days from its 2009 Spring Meet, which had been scheduled for 52 racing days between Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, July 5. The request, which will be made at the KHRC’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 12, comes on the heels of four consecutive race days in which at least one race was canceled due to small field sizes.
“With this announcement, we are now clearly seeing the impact of competing with Thoroughbred racetracks that supplement their purses with revenue from additional gaming options, such as slots and video lottery terminals,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Our analysis shows that tracks with these enhanced purses are attracting more horses to their races. Meanwhile, Kentucky, the cradle of our industry, is seeing a decline in field size. Until we address this inequity, Kentucky’s horse industry will continue to suffer.”
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.11.09)
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD WORKS SURPRISE FOUR FURLONGS WITH BOREL IN SADDLE
– Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. waited until after the renovation break to send Kentucky Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird to the track Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
That signaled the trip was not business as usual – no two-mile gallop under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa.
“Are you working?” Woolley was asked upon arrival at a viewing stand.
Monday, May 11 2009
Churchill Downs Barn Notes 5.10.09
KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER RACHEL ALEXANDRA WORKS FOR NEW BARN – Possible Preakness candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 ¼-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) tuned up for a possible bid for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) with an easy four-furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, working for the first time for new trainer Steve Asmussen, covered the half-mile distance over a “fast” track in :48.40. Exercise rider Dominic Terry was in the saddle as Rachel Alexandra turned out fractional times of :12.40 and :24.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02. The move ranked 13th among 81 works at the distance.