LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, May 25, 2013) – Golden Soul, runner-up to Orb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), was scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning, but trainer Dallas Stewart called an audible and delayed serious training for another few days.
Charles Fipke’s homebred Golden Soul is still on track for the $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI) on June 8.
“I was going to give him two works, but now I’m looking at just one,” Stewart said. “I’ll likely breeze him the middle of this week on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. That will give him about eight or nine days between the work and the race.”
Golden Soul, a chestnut son of Perfect Soul-IRE, has a record of 1-3-0 from six starts with earnings of $517,400. His lone victory came when he broke his maiden by 7 ¼ lengths at Fair Grounds in December.
ON FIRE BABY WORKS TOWARD FLEUR DE LIS
Anita Cauley’s homebred On Fire Baby continued her preparations for the $175,000-added Fleur de Lis Handicap (GII) with a seven-furlong breeze in 1:26.20 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning.
Working under regular rider Joe Johnson, On Fire Baby recorded fractions of :13, :25.20, :37.20 and 1:01.80 and galloped out a mile in 1:40.60.
“She worked great and now she’s back in her stall munching on hay,” Cauley said following the work. “She seems really happy. Knock on wood, everything is good.”
On Fire Baby began her 2013 campaign with a half-length victory in the Apple Blossom (GI) and then finished a head behind Authenticity in the La Troienne (GII) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.
“I was so proud of her,” Cauley said. “Both of those fillies wanted to win so badly and that’s what horse racing is all about.”
A 4-year-old gray or roan daughter of Smoke Glacken, On Fire Baby completed the Pocahontas (GII) – Golden Rod (GII) double at Churchill Downs as a juvenile. She has won half of her 10 starts and has earned $720,308.
CALHOUN HOPING THIRD TIME IS A CHARM FOR BEAT THE BLUES
Beat the Blues has finished second in the last two runnings of the Winning Colors (GIII) and trainer Bret Calhoun is hoping the third time will be a charm for the 6-year-old mare.
“She’s knocked on the door in this race before,” Calhoun said. “It’s obviously a race we’d like to win and she’s never won a graded stakes before. She’s coming into this race very well and likes the Churchill surface. So, I’m looking for a very big effort from her.”
Martin Racing Stable LLC and Morgan Thoroughbred LLC’s Beat the Blues will be making her third start of the year in the Winning Colors. She began her 6-year-old campaign with a second behind Good Deed in the Mardi Gras Handicap at Fair Grounds and then finished a nose behind Vuitton in the Carousel at Oaklawn Park.
“In her first race off the layoff, she missed the break and I thought she was the best horse that day,” Calhoun said. “She had to play catch up the whole way. In her last race, everything went absolutely perfect and I still don’t know how she got beat. She looked like a winner the whole trip and then Steve (Asmussen)’s horse (Vuitton) nailed her late.”
Beat the Blues has not won since taking the 2012 Carousel, but also has been no worse than third in five starts since that triumph.
“She’s been very consistent,” Calhoun said. “She’s trained extremely well since coming off the layoff. She hasn’t won a lot lately, but her races have been pretty good.”
Beat the Blues will be ridden on Monday by Miguel Mena, who was aboard for both of her runner-up efforts in this race.
Frac Daddy, runner-up in the Arkansas Derby (GI) and most recently 16th in the Kentucky Derby, breezed a half-mile in :47.20 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning. It was the fastest half-mile work of 59 at the distance. Trainer Ken McPeek said Frac Daddy is being pointed toward an allowance race. His lone win in seven career starts came when he broke his maiden by 9 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs last November. …
Golden Ticket, who finished in a dead-heat for the win with Alpha in last year’s Travers (GI), breezed four furlongs in :51.60 on Saturday for trainer Ken McPeek. Golden Ticket is a probable starter for the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs on June 15. …
Pool Play, winner of the 2011 Stephen Foster, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 for trainer Mark Casse on Saturday morning. “We were looking for an easy work and that’s what he got,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “I thought he worked great.” Pool Play is under consideration for this year’s edition of the Stephen Foster. …
Uncaptured, who completed the Iroquois (GIII) – Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) double last year, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 on Saturday morning for trainer Mark Casse. Most recently second in the Wando at Woodbine, Uncaptured is being pointed toward the Matt Winn (GIII) on June 15. …
Silver Max, winner of the 2012 Virginia Derby (GII) and most recently fourth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 for trainer Dale Romans. It was the fourth fastest work of 27 at the distance.
STAKES NOMINATIONS CLOSING
Nominations for the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) and Opening Verse close Saturday (today). The $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up is scheduled to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course on June 8. The $65,000-added Opening Verse for 3-year-olds and up will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course on June 1.
FAMILY FUN DAY ON SUNDAY
Churchill Downs will host Family Fun Day Presented by Kroger on the Plaza Balcony every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the 38-day Spring Meet. Kiddos age 12 and younger are invited to enjoy games, crafts and visits from Churchill Downs’ popular mascot Churchill Charlie. This week’s special activity includes a Memorial Day military display, including an interactive High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, Humvee or Hummer). Children also can write letters to members of the armed forces and craft paper U.S. flags. The adults can have fun, too. There’ll be a rock climbing wall for folks age 18 and up. The first of 10 races on Sunday is 12:45 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. Churchill Downs’ Junior Jockey Club, located inside the Gate 10 entrance, also entertains children age 12 and under on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed when Downs After Dark occurs on June 15, June 22 and June 29). The “Kids Zone” is dedicated to providing fun for the youngsters at Churchill Downs, but all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY RACING ON MEMORIAL DAY
Churchill Downs will stage a special 11-race Memorial Day program on Monday. The first of 11 races on the holiday program is 12:45 p.m., and the featured event is the Grade III, $100,000-added Winning Colors, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. All active and retired members of the United States armed forces will be admitted free of charge with proof of identification. Churchill Downs popular track bugler Steve Buttleman is sure to decorate the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle with an abundance of U.S. flags and will perform patriotic melodies following the “Call to the Post” for each race. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and the final race is expected to run at 6 p.m.
THIS WEEK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
Saturday, May 25
• 11 races from 12:45-6 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
• Feature (Race 10 at 5:30 p.m.): $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII), 3 & up, 1 ½ M (T)
Sunday, May 26
• 10 races from 12:45-5:29 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
• Feature (Race 9 at 4:59 p.m.): $54,000 alw/opt clm, 3 & up, 6 ½ F
• Family Fun Days Presented by Kroger on The Plaza Balcony from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games, crafts, entertainment & Churchill Charlie appearance. Special activity includes Memorial Day military display (interactive Humvee), letter writing to armed forces & crafting paper U.S. flags. Rock climbing wall for age 18 & up.
Monday, May 27
• 11 races from 12:45-6 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
• Feature: $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII), f & m, 6 F
• Free general admission for active or retired military
• Track bugler Steve Buttleman to perform patriotic songs following “Call to the Post” for each race.
Tuesday, May 28
• No live racing or simulcast wagering
Wednesday, May 29
• No live racing or simulcast wagering
Thursday, May 30
• No live racing
• Simulcast wagering in ITW area on second floor of the Clubhouse from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Calder (12:50 p.m.), Belmont Park (1:05 p.m.), Delaware Park (1:15 p.m.), Louisiana Downs (2:25 p.m.) & Hollywood Park (4 p.m.)
Friday, May 31
• 11 races from 2:45-7:54 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
• Feature: $61,000 alw, 3 & up, 1 1/16 M
• City’s Best Happy Hour! Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois; $4 14 Hands Blackberry Sangria), food trucks (TBD) & live music (From Paris) in The Plaza from 4-7 p.m.