Saturday, June 30 2012
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Friday, June 29, 2012
SIMMS SEEKS RARE DEBUTANTE – BASHFORD MANOR DOUBLE – Veteran trainer Garry Simms, in the midst of one of the greatest racing meets of his career with six wins from nine Spring Meet starters, will try to continue he refers to as a “miraculous” meet with Travis Morgeson V LLC’s Circle Unbroken in Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashford Manor (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Simms, who has battled multiple myeloma for more than two years, saddled Blueeyesintherein to win last Saturday’s Debutante (GIII) and a win by Circle Unbroken would make him just the fifth trainer to sweep the Spring Meet’s graded stakes races for 2-year-olds.
Thursday, June 28 2012
Churchill Downs All-Night Racing Closing Weekend Topped by Saturday’s ‘Downs After Dark’ White Paty
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, June 28, 2012) – The complexion of the three racing sessions that comprise the final racing days of Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet changed drastically in recent days as record heat pushed into the Ohio Valley, but the centerpiece of the meet’s farewell weekend – the return of the popular “White Party” for the final Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka night racing program on Saturday, June 30 – remains intact with only one minor change in schedule.
A forecast of a rare streak of several days of triple-digit temperatures and concerns about possible heat-related issues for horses and humans prompted Churchill Downs officials to cancel the nine-race program on Thursday, June 28 and to move the racing programs of Friday, June 29 and Sunday, July 1 to a nighttime schedule. The result is the first stretch of three consecutive night racing programs since Churchill Downs first introduced racing under temporary lights in 2009 and conducted night racing sessions under a state-of-the-art system of permanent lights beginning the following year.
Turallure Heads Field for Closing Day Firecracker
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, June 28, 2012) – Four D Stables’ homebred Turallure, who was narrowly defeated by Court Vision in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade I) beneath the Twin Spires, will carry the top weight of 122 pounds when he faces five rivals in the 22nd running of the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
The Firecracker for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course is the featured event on the 10-race closing night program for the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs. Sunday was originally scheduled as a daytime program, but with near-record heat looming in the forecast, Churchill Downs officials moved the first post on Friday, Saturday and Sunday back to 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Firecracker is scheduled as Race 7 at 9:30 p.m.
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Thursday, June 28, 2012
ROMANS BIDS FOR CLOSING WEEKEND STAKES SWEEP TO CAP SPRING MEET – Trainer Dale Romans has enjoyed a strong Spring Meet at Churchill Downs and he has the opportunity to end the meet in style by sweeping the three stakes races carded for this weekend.
The Louisville native hopes for a strong start with Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image in the $73,600-added Roxelana, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on the main track. A 5-year-old chestnut daughter of Broken Vow, Sassy Image is a five-time winner at Churchill Downs with four graded-stakes wins. The most prominent of those was the 2011 Humana Distaff (GI), with her other local stakes victories being the Pocahontas (Grade III) – Golden Rod (GII) double during her 2-year-old season and last spring’s Winning Colors (GIII).
Circle Unbroken Leads Competitive field of Eight in Saturday’s Bashford Manor
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 27, 2012) – Veteran trainer Garry Simms, who saddled Blueeyesintherein to win last Saturday’s Debutante (Grade III), will try to become just the fifth trainer to sweep the Spring Meet’s pair of graded stakes races for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs when he sends Travis Morgeson V LLC’s Circle Unbroken into Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII).
The 111th running of the Bashford Manor will be run at six furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs as part of the “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program. It is scheduled as Race 6 with a post time of 9 p.m. (all times Eastern). Post time for the first of 11 races is 6:30 p.m.
CHURCHILL DOWNS ADJUSTS POST TIMES FOR FINAL THREE DAYS OF MEET
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, June 27, 2012) – Churchill Downs officials will adjust their post times and race exclusively in the evening for the final three days of its 138th Spring Meet due to looming near-record triple-digit heat in the forecast for Louisville. The first race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). On Tuesday evening it was decided that Thursday’s nine-race program would be cancelled because National Weather Service forecasters were calling for a high of 103 with a southwest wind of 5-15 mph and gusts up to 26 mph.
Thursday, June 21 2012
Blueeyesintherein Bids for Second Consecutive Debutante Victory for Veteran Trainer Simms
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 20, 2012) – Veteran trainer Garry Simms will bid for rare back-to-back wins in the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) when he saddles Dorothy Sell and Barry L. King’s Blueeyesintherein to five nine rivals in Saturday’s 112th running of the historic six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
The Debutante, which was first run at Churchill Downs in 1895, is the featured 10th event on an 11-race program on the next-to-last Saturday of racing in the historic track’s 2012 Spring Meet. Other highlights of the Saturday program include the $73,600 Kelly’s Landing, a seven-furlong overnight stakes race the for 3-year-olds and up, and an allowance race for older fillies and mares on turf that has attracted Karlovy Vary, winner of this year’s renewal of Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
Monday, June 18 2012
Mandurah Goes Gate to Wire in Feature; McGee Gets 300th Churchill Downs Win
LOUISVILLE, KY (Sunday, June 17, 2012) – Kip Colvin’s Mandurah went all the way on the lead in the $60,342 feature on the Matt Winn Turf Course and earlier on the card Paul McGee became just the 14th trainer in Churchill Downs history to reach the 300-win milestone at the historic Louisville track when Jay Em Ess Stable’s Storm Cloud Coming crossed the line first in Sunday’s fifth race.
Ten of McGee’s 300 Churchill Downs wins came in stakes events, including the 1988 Clark Handicap (GIII) with Balthazar B. and the 2003 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) with Honor in War. Overall, the 49-year-old Louisville native has saddled 925 winners. His first career win came at Churchill Downs nearly 25 years ago on June 23, 1987.
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Sunday, June 17, 2012
HUMANA DISTAFF WINNER GROUPIE DOLL BACK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Groupie Doll has resumed training at Churchill Downs following a brief vacation at trainer Buff Bradley’s Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort after her record-breaking performance in the Humana Distaff (Grade I) beneath the Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby Day.
“She put on a few pounds and she looks great,” Bradley said. “We’re pointing to the Ballerina (GI at Saratoga on Aug. 24).”
Ron the Greek Rallies for Grade I Stephen Foster Upset, Caps Huge Night for Mott Before 25,417
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, June 16, 2012) – Ron the Greek, sixth in the early going, rallied along the rail in the stretch under jockey Jose Lezcano to grab the lead from heavily favored Wise Dan in the final strides to win the 31st running of the $437,200, Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap by a head before 25,417 ‘Downs After Dark’ night racing fans on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Brous Stable, Wachtel Stable and Jack T. Hammer, the 5-year-old son of Clear Mandate earned an automatic berth in the $5 million, Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita with his victory. For the first time, the Stephen Foster Handicap was part of the Breeders’ Cup’s “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.
CHAMPION ROYAL DELTA SCORES JAW-DROPPING FLEUR DE LIS WIN
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, June 16, 2012) – Besilu Stable’s Royal Delta, North America’s champion 3-year-old filly of 2011, returned to the scene of her greatest victory with a jaw-dropping, eight-length victory over Afleeting Lady in the $161,700 Fleur de Lis Handicap Presented by Finlandia Vodka on Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
The Fleur de Lis, which means “flower of the lily” and honors the symbol in the city of Louisville’s flag, was the third of four graded stakes races run under the lights as part of Churchill Downs’ special “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing program.
Thursday, June 14 2012
Champion Royal Delta, Hilltop Winner Coup and Peter Pan Runner-Up Right to Vote Top Trio
LOUISVILLE, KY (Wednesday, June 13, 2012) – Royal Delta, champion 3-year-old filly of 2011; Right to Vote, runner-up to Mark Valeski in the Peter Pan (Grade II); and Hilltop winner Coup headline the entries for the trio of graded stakes to be run under the lights Saturday at Churchill Downs as part “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program.
The $150,000-added Fleur de Lis (GII), $100,000-added Matt Winn (GIII) and $100,000-added Regret (GIII) highlight the undercard of the 31st running of the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI), which is a part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) for the first time.