Saturday, April 25 2009
135th Derby,Oaks Launch Historic Churchill Downs Spring Meet That Introduces Night Racing
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2009) – Historic Churchill Downs will raise the curtain on Saturday, April 25 on its historic 52-day Spring Meet that begins with the 135th renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), but will also be marked by first sessions of night racing in the legendary track’s history and the introduction of Mark Johnson as track announcer and the first international voice to provide the on-track call of the “Run for the Roses.”
Johnson, the British commentator who succeeds the late Luke Kruytbosch as announcer, will welcome racing fans who gather beneath the track’s historic Twin Spires on Saturday for an 11-race program opening day program that get underway with its first race at 12:45 p.m. (all times EDT). The racing program is topped by the 85th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (Grade III), a 7 ½-furlong race for 3-year-olds that is the final significant prep race for the May 2 Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.24.09)
KENTUCKY DERBY 135 NOTES
Friday, April 24, 2009
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE – Two of the three Todd Pletcher Kentucky Derby hopefuls galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Tampa Bay Derby (Grade III) runner-up Join in the Dance galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Kevin Willey. With $90,000 in graded earnings, Join in the Dance would need one defection for the list of possible Kentucky Derby starters to gain a spot in the starting gate.
Public Unveiling of Barbaro Memorial Set for Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m.
What: The public unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue to celebrate the career of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will take place at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
When: Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET (Churchill Downs’ grandstand gates open at 11 a.m. and the first live race is 12:45 p.m.)
Friday, April 24 2009
Churchill Downs to Unveil New High-Definition Graphics Package for 2009 Spring Meet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2009) – Churchill Downs, which became the first racetrack in the United States to offer simulcasting in high definition (“HD”) last year, will unveil a new graphics package designed specifically for the HD experience when racing returns on Saturday, April 25.
“We were very pleased with the reception that our high-definition signal received last fall, and the positive feedback from customers both on-track and at simulcasting outlets across the country convinced us to move forward with this redesign,” said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Our customers were instrumental in helping to create this new look for the Churchill Downs signal through their recommendations and suggestions. Our ambition is to provide them with the best possible experience when wagering with Churchill Downs, and we believe the new design of and added information within this new HD graphics package will move us closer to that goal.”
FULL FIELD APPEARS LIKELY FOR WIDE–OPEN KENTUCKY DERBY
In a remarkable seven-year span, newly minted Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won three Kentucky Derbys and missed by the tiniest nose in another. And now it’s been seven years since he’s been to the winner’s circle on the first Saturday in May.
That could change this year for the silver-haired quipster as he heads into the 135th “Run for the Roses.” His Pioneerof the Nile will be one of the favorites for the Grade I, $2-million classic at Churchill Downs on May 2. A fourth victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands would tie Baffert with H.J. “Dick” Thompson and Baffert contemporary D. Wayne Lukas for second-place among Derby-winning trainers.
Thursday, April 23 2009
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.23.09)
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE
– WinStar Farm’s Advice, winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) last Saturday, had his first trip over the Churchill Downs track Thursday morning, galloping under exercise rider Kevin Willey.
Advice had arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday, along with Join in the Dance, owned by Jake Ballis, Rashard Lewis, et al. Join in the Dance, fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), galloped with Willey up.
Wednesday, April 22 2009
Silver City Heads Field of Eight for Churchill Downs’ Openint Day Grade III Derby Trial
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 22, 2009) – Saturday’s 85th running of the Grade III $100,000-added Derby Trial, the featured race on the opening day of the April 25-July 5 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, will have a distinct Kentucky Derby flavor as several of the eight 3-year-olds entered in the race hail from barns that will seek success in 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) a week later.
The Derby Trial will go as the 10th race with a 5:17 p.m. post time (all times EDT). First post time for the 11-race program is 12:45 p.m. and admission gates open at 11 a..m.
Kentucky Derb and Oaks 135 Notes (4.22.09)
ADVICE/JOIN IN THE DANCE/DUNKIRK – Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said that Advice, winner of last Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Grade II) and Join in the Dance, fifth-place finisher in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I), would ship to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday and would be on the track to train Thursday morning.
Advice is owned by WinStar Farm and tentatively scheduled to work on April 27. Join in the Dance, stands 21st on the list of graded-stakes money won and would need a defection from the prospective field to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Tuesday, April 21 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (4.21.09)
CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy tuned up for his engagement in Kentucky Derby 135 by working a mile over a track rated as “fast” in 1:42 with jockey Mike Smith up.
Churchill Downs clockers caught the Candy Ride colt in fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :37.20, :49.80, 1:02.20, seven-eighths in 1:28.60 and galloping out the mile and one-eighth in 1:57.
Churchill Downs Offers Purse Incentives Designed to Boost Derby Week, Spring Meet Field Size
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs has reconfigured its purse distribution for stakes events and overnight races during Kentucky Derby Week and the track’s April 25-July 5 Spring Meet to encourage participation by as many horses as possible during the meet’s races.
In addition, horsemen whose stables are located at training centers or other tracks that bring their horses to Churchill Downs to compete will find significant capital improvements and refurbishments in the track’s two receiving barns, along with the availability of concierge services during their day at the historic track.
Monday, April 20 2009
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes
– The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy visited the paddock and then galloped a mile and a half over a muddy Churchill Downs track Monday morning with exercise rider Lindsey Molina up.
Galen May, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said Chocolate Candy would work Tuesday morning, most likely after the break.
Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure ‘Pink Out’ Kentucky Oaks 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs Racetrack, host of the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks®, wants you to help support the fight against breast cancer by purchasing tickets to Kentucky Oaks 135 at http://www.KentuckyOaks.com/Komen!
The Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2009, one day before the famed “Run for the Roses.”
To help raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Churchill Downs has planned an exciting day of events for race-goers. There will be a “First Lady of Fashion” contest, Survivors Parade and even the first-ever Kentucky Oaks winner’s circle formed by breast cancer survivors. Churchill Downs will also create special areas in the infield where Komen for the Cure supporters can gather and enjoy Oaks Day. Komen survivors and supporters will also have a chance to meet Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, who will be honored as the inaugural First Lady of Oaks.