Monday, May 28 2012
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Sunday, May 27, 2012
TAPITSFLY HIGH WEIGHT FOR EARLY TIMES MINT JULEP; SASSY IMAGE TOPS LIST OF PROBABLES FOR JUNE 2 STAKES – Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly, runner-up to Hungry Island in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by American Commercial Lines (Grade II) has been assigned the high weight of 121 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Saturday’s 36th running of the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII).
The Early Times Mint Julep is for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up and will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
Sunday, May 27 2012
CANADIAN-BASED SIMMARD WINS 75th LOUISVILLE HANDICAP
LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 26, 2012) – Canadian-based Simmard took the lead at the head of the stretch and turned back a late charge by Joinem to win the 75th running of the Grade III, $115,200 Louisville Handicap by 1 ¼ lengths on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Simmard’s final time of 2:27.16 for the 1 ½ miles over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course was a stakes record, which eclipsed Drilling for Oil’s mark of 2:28.35 in 2007 – the first year the storied race was carded over the distance and surface.
Saturday, May 26 2012
Jamaican Smoke Goes All the Way on the Lead in Friday Feature
LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 25, 2012) - Glencrest Farm LLC's Jamaican Smoke broke well in the field of seven, took command of the lead a few steps out of the gate and never looked back on her way to a 4 ¼-length victory over Refugio in the $52,790 Friday evening feature at Churchill Downs.
Jamaican Smoke led the field of fillies and mares through opening fractions of :22.94 and :46.27 while maintaining a one-length lead over Royal Start in second. The 3-year-old daughter of Latent Heat began to gradually increase her lead over the field as she entered the stretch, held a commanding lead at the eighth pole and increased her advantage from there under steady hand urging by jockey Corey Lanerie.
CHURCHILL DOWNS TO BOOST OVERNIGHT PURSES 10 PERCENT
LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, May 25, 2012) – Effective Monday, May 28, Churchill Downs Racetrack will raise overnight race purses 10 percent because of higher than expected all-sources wagering levels during Kentucky Derby Week.
Purses for overnight races – which include overnight stakes, allowance, maiden special weight, claiming and maiden claiming events – will rise by an approximate blended average of $3,400 per race.
Friday, May 25 2012
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.24.2012)
STEALCASE WILL SKIP BELMONT; MARK VALESKI HIGHLY DOUBTFUL – John Oxley’s Stealcase, third in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (Grade III) in his most recent start, will skip the June 9 Belmont Stakes (GI), the third jewel of the Triple Crown, according to trainer Mark Casse.y
“He’s not going to run in the Belmont,” Casse said. “We’re going to point for the Matt Winn (GIII at Churchill Downs on June 16).”
Favored Bouquet Booth Dominant in Thursday Feature
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, May 24, 2012) - Right Time Racing LLC's Bouquet Booth, winner of the Delta Downs Princess (Grade III) as a 2-year-old and fifth in last year's $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI), showed her class as she sprinted down the Churchill Downs stretch to win the $56,471 Thursday afternoon feature for fillies and mares by a widening six lengths over Rattlin Gypsy.
Bouquet Booth broke well and settled in second behind early pacesetter Sharp Tongue Lady, who led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :22.07. The 4-year-old daughter of Flower Alley, sire of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner I'll Have Another, took over the lead at the three-eighths pole and only increased her advantage from there as her five rivals proved no match for the graded-stakes winning filly.
Monday, May 21 2012
Rogue Romance An Easy Winner of Sunday Feature
LOUISVILLE, KY (Sunday, May 20, 2012) - Catesby Clay's Rogue Romance took the lead from pacesetter Achaemenes at the eighth pole and increased his advantage from there to win the $59,522 Sunday afternoon allowance feature at Churchill Downs by a widening five lengths.
Rogue Romance, winner of the Bourbon (GIII) on the turf at Keeneland in his juvenile season, rated in third behind Achaemenes and Westshore through opening fractions of :23.66 and :47.92 and then moved into second ahead of Westshore soon after passing the half-mile pole. A 4-year-old chestnut son of Smarty Jones, Rogue Romance drew even with Achaemenes at the top of the stretch and that rival proved no match for the 2-5 favorite as Rogue Romance kicked clear in the final eighth of a mile.
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Sunday, May 20, 2012
OXLEY, CASSE CONSIDERING BELMONT WITH STEALCASE – The morning after Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) winner I’ll Have Another ran down Bodemeister in the Pimlico stretch to capture the Preakness (GI), trainer Mark Casse said he is considering running John Oxley’s Stealcase in the 1 ½-mile Belmont (GI), the final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Stealcase, a chestnut son of Lawyer Ron, was put on the Derby trail after breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park in January. He ran sixth in the Gotham (GIII) at Aqueduct and then was fifth in the Vinery Racing Spiral (GIII) on the Polytrack at Turfway Park. His performances in those races did not earn him a spot in the starting gate in the Run for the Roses, but Oxley and Casse did start Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Prospective, who finished 18th in the field of 20.
Friday, May 18 2012
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.18.2012)
CHURCHILL TRAINERS FAVORING DERBY 1-2 IN PREAKNESS – The day before the 137th running of the Preakness (Grade I), several trainers at Churchill Downs offered their opinions about who will win the second jewel of the Triple Crown and most are picking Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner I’ll Have Another or Derby runner-up Bodemeister.
Trainers in the Derby winner’s corner include Buff Bradley, Steve Margolis, Jimmy Baker, Norman Casse, Dallas Stewart and Mike Tomlinson.
SHE’S PICKY WINS THURSDAY FEATURE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
LOUISVILLE, KY (Thursday, May 17, 2012) – Jay Em Ess Stable’s She’s Picky rallied down the Churchill Downs stretch and edged passed pacesetter and favorite Doilookfatnthese inside the sixteenth pole to win the $57,528 Thursday afternoon feature for fillies and mares by one length.
Ridden by Corey Lanerie and trained by Paul McGee, She’s Picky covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:45.55.
CHURCHILL DOWNS BARN NOTES Thursday, May 17, 2012
BYRNE HOPEFUL DERBY 139 TRAIL BEGINS FRIDAY WITH POSITIVELY – The Kentucky Derby trail for Take Charge Indy ended with 3-year-old dark bay son of A.P. Indy finishing 19th of 20 in the Run for the Roses, but his connections are hoping to get right back on the Derby trail with Positively, a 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor who is scheduled to make his career debut in Friday’s sixth race at Churchill Downs.
Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Positively was bred in Kentucky by Malibu Farm and is a half-brother to Malibu Moon, one of America’s leading sires.
Tuesday, May 15 2012
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.14.2012)
KENTUCKY DERBY RUNNER-UP BODEMEISTER A ‘GO’ FOR PREAKNESS – Trainer Bob Baffert got his first look at Kentucky Derby (Grade I) runner-up Bodemeister since the morning after the “Run for the Roses” Monday at Churchill Downs and liked what he saw from the colt’s 1 ½-mile gallop around a muddy oval.
“He looks good, his coat is good and he is eating well,” Baffert said after the colt completed his activity under exercise rider George Alvarez. “I see no reason not to take him (to Baltimore for Saturday’s Preakness).”