• McKEEVER SEEKS CARDINAL VICTORY WITH DAISY DEVINE
• JULIE’S LOVE TAKES ‘UNCONVENTIONAL’ PATH TO CARDINAL HANDICAP
“Pool Play loves Churchill Downs,” Casse said. “It’s coming back a little quick (from the Breeders’ Cup Classic), but I think he just kind of went around the track in California. Also, this race is hard to pass up when we know he likes it here.”
Pool Play, who trained at Churchill Downs prior to finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, won the 2011 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) in his lone start over the Louisville track.
Gary and Cecil Barber’s Delegation could make his Churchill debut in the Clark after running third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
“With the exception of (Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner) Trinniberg, (Delegation) was one of the only 3-year-olds to get close (in the Breeders’ Cup),” Casse said. “I think he’s a really good horse.”
Delegation also is under consideration for the Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
John Oxley’s Stealcase could enter the Clark after running third behind Neck ’n Neck and Fort Loudon in the Ack Ack Handicap (GIII).
“We’ll nominate Stealcase to the Clark and the Cigar Mile, as well,” Casse said. “It’s possible we’ll run two, but we won’t run all three.”
Other stakes horses in the Casse barn at Churchill Downs include Uncaptured, Lockout, Prospective and Dynamic Sky. The four are all owned by Oxley.
Uncaptured is being pointed to the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24 off a powerful 5 ½-length victory in the Iroquois (GIII).
“Number wise, he ran better than horses in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile) and in the Nashua (GII at Aqueduct on Nov. 4),” Casse said. “I think he stacks up against the best 2-year-olds in the country.”
Lockout, winner of the Remington Green in his last start, is scheduled to make his next start in the Nov. 17 Commonwealth Turf (GIII) at Churchill Downs, Prospective, fifth in the Oklahoma Derby, is being pointed to the Delta Mile at Delta Downs on Nov. 17, and Dynamic Sky, sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is under consideration for the Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
McKEEVER SEEKS CARDINAL VICTORY WITH DAISY DEVINE – James Miller’s Daisy Devine finished second to Tapitsfly in the First Lady (GI) at Keeneland in her last start and trainer Andrew McKeever is hopeful a repeat performance will land her in the winner’s circle following Saturday’s $100,000-added Cardinal Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Daisy Devine’s runner-up effort in the First Lady came after a five-month layoff. She was given a break after running fifth behind Hungry Island in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard.
“She tailed off in her last race at Churchill,” McKeever said. “Every year she gets a little break. There were no major problems. I’d be happy if she ran back to the same race (in the First Lady), honestly, but she should improve a little in her second race off the layoff.”
Daisy Devine, who ran seventh in the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (GI) behind Plum Pretty, has won four of her six lifetime turf starts. She will break from post four under Calvin Borel and carry the top weight of 122 pounds.
JULIE’S LOVE TAKES ‘UNCONVENTIONAL’ PATH TO CARDINAL HANDICAP – Andreas Jacobs’ Julie’s Love-GB has taken a rather unusual path to the Cardinal Handicap (GIII). She breezed over the Matt Winn Turf Course on Nov. 1, shipped to Keeneland for the November sale and was available for inspection on Monday, went through the sales ring on Wednesday and, after failing to meet her reserve, shipped back to Louisville for Saturday’s race at Churchill Downs.
“It’s a concern, but she seemed to handle everything well,” trainer Graham Motion said. “One of my assistants was down at the sale with her and she was able to gallop at Keeneland on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s unconventional, but it’s seemed to have worked out well.”
Julie’s Love raced in France and Germany during her 3-year-old campaign and was then transferred to Motion’s barn for her 4-year-old season. Since then, she has compiled a record of 3-1-1 from six starts, with her lone off-the-board finish coming in the Nobel Damsel (GIII) at Belmont Park.
“The (Nobel Damsel) is a complete puzzle to me,” Motion said. “If you throw that race out and she runs back to run of her other races, then she’ll be very competitive (in the Cardinal).”
Julie’s Love, who most recently finished second in the Indian Maid Handicap at Hawthorne, will break from the outside in post nine under Joe Rocco Jr.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Janis Whitham, owner of Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned, is scheduled to be on hand for Sunday’s Parade of Breeders’ Cup Champions, which will take place Sunday at Churchill Downs. The championship horses will begin the walkover at just after Race 7 at 3:32 p.m. … Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association will team up to distribute 10 $1,000 scholarships on College Scholarship Day on Saturday … Trainer Rusty Arnold Jr. confirmed Thursday that G. Watts Humprhey Jr.’s Centre Court, winner of the Regret (GIII) on the Matt Winn Turf Course in the spring, is being pointed to the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (GII) on Nov. 17 … Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will be at Retama Park on Saturday to ride Texas Bling in the El Joven and Every Way in the M2 Technology La Senorita. He will resume riding at Churchill Downs on Sunday.