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.
Positively arrived at Churchill Downs on May 1 and has recorded two workouts beneath the Twin Spires. Most recently he breezed five furlongs on May 11.
“(Jockey) Calvin (Borel) worked him in 1:02 last Friday and he really likes him,” Byrne said. “He’s ready to run.”
Byrne said he really likes the way his colt is coming into the race, but the short distance of the event could pose a problem.
“I don’t know if he’s quick enough (to win) going five-eighths, but I think he’ll show some ability,” Byrne said. “I kind of wish the race was at six furlongs, but that would require waiting and the horse has been ready to run for the last six weeks.
“We’re going to get him started and he’ll get some education. If they go fast enough up front then maybe they’ll come back to him. He’s not a plodder, but he’s just going to need more distance. We’re just excited to get him started. I don’t think he has to win first time out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does.”
Positively was offered in the select portion of the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale as hip 84, but the colt did not reach his reserve.
“He RNA’d for $200,000 on the first night of the Keeneland September Sale,” Byrne said. “I went to the barn the next day and looked at him and I really liked him and I liked his pedigree.” I told Chuck and Maribeth that he was a little on the small side, but if he grows he’ll be fine. Sure enough he did grow. He’s now a good looking colt and doesn’t look like a pony anymore.
“We bought him for $200,000 and so far he’s shown me he’s worth every penny of it.”
Byrne’s starter for Derby 138, Take Charge Indy, exited the race with a bone chip in his left front ankle and had surgery last week to correct the problem.
“The surgery went fine,” Byrne said. “We took the little chip out. He’s going to be on (Dr. Bill Baker’s) farm for about 60 days and then we’ll get him back in training. I think we’ll have a nice horse for the fall. We’ve talked about the Breeders’ Cup, but I’m not crazy about bringing him out to California. In the back of my mind I’m thinking about the Clark Handicap (GI at Churchill Downs).”
MUSKETIER HEADS LIST OF NOMINATIONS FOR 75TH LOUISVILLE HANDICAP – Six-time graded stakes winner Musketier-GER heads a list of 22 nominations for the 75th running of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course on May 26 at Churchill Downs.
Last year the Louisville Handicap ended in breathtaking fashion with Barbara Hunter’s homebred mare Keertana winning a three-horse photo over Bearpath and Guys Reward. Musketier finished fifth under Jesus Castanon.
Stella Perdomo’s Musketier raced the first four years of his career in France and recorded five victories, including the Prix de Conde (GIII) at Longchamp in 2004. Following a more than one-year layoff, Musketier made his United States debut at Gulfstream Park in February of 2009 for trainer Roger Attfield and has raced in North America ever since.
The 10-year-old gray/roan son of Acatenango-GER has won 10 races in his career and has earned $1,007,543. His list of victories includes a pair of wins in both the Singspiel (GIII) at Woodbine and the Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland. His most recent win came in the W. L. McKnight Handicap (GII) at Calder last November.
Other graded stakes winners nominated to the Louisville Handicap include 2010 Blue Grass (GI) winner Stately Victor; Big Blue Kitten, winner of the 2011 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (GII) at Saratoga; Mac Diarmida (GII) winner Simmard; John B. Connally Turf Cup (GIII) winner Papaw Bodie and 2011 LeComte (GIII) winner Wilkinson.
Weights for the Louisville Handicap are scheduled to be announced Saturday, May 20.
SPRING MEET LEADERS AT A GLANCE – Through 10 days of the 39-day Spring Meet, jockey Julien Leparoux and trainers Bret Calhoun, Wayne Catalano and Dale Romans are the leaders in their respective categories at Churchill Downs. Below is a look at the leaders entering Thursday’s action:
1. Julien Leparoux (11-for-43, 26% win-percentage, $636,584 in earnings)
2. Calvin Borel (9-for-53, 17%, $175,899)
2. Shaun Bridgmohan (9-for-48, 19%, $384,936)
2. Leandro Goncavles (9-for-38, 24%, $239,444)
5. Corey Lanerie (8-for-61, 13%, $310,402)
5. Miguel Mena (8-for-42, 19%, $231,370)
1. Bret Calhoun (5-for-18, 28%, $189,397)
1. Wayne Catalano (5-for-12, 42%, $204,888)
1. Dale Romans (5-for-31, 16%, $1,085,430)
4. Tom Amoss (4-for-15, 27%, $127,034)
4. Steve Asmussen (4-for-23, 17%, $297,265)
4. Steve Margolis (4-for-21, 19%, $181,808)
1. Donald Adam’s Courtlandt Farms (2-for-5, 40%, $70,762)
1. John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable Inc. (2-for-3, 67%, $46,458)
1. Theodore P. Bulmahn’s Gold Mark Farm LLC (2-for-5, 40%, $52,651)
1. Paula Haughey’s PTK LLC (2-for-3, 67%, $35,805)
1. Brad Kelley’s Bluegrass Hall LLC (2-for-6, 33%, $75,205)
1. Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein (2-for-9, 22%, $98,626)
1. Carl R. Moore Management LLC (2-for-3, 67%, $57,004)
1. Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. (2-for-9, 22%, $42,083)
1. John Oxley (2-for-9, 22%, $117,416)
1. Ken and Sarah Ramsey (2-for-10, 20%, $147,356)
1. Dawn and Ike Thrash (2-for-2, 100%, $65,700)
1. Wesley Ward (2-for-3, 67%, $23,326)
BARN TALK – Friday’s Twilight Racing program concludes with a performance by Citizen Cope in the second installment of the 2012 Paddock Concert Series. Citizen Cope is scheduled to take to the Paddock Stage with his unique blend of hip-hop, rock, blues and soul following the last race at approximately 8 p.m. The first 850 people in attendance for the concert will be allowed free access to the paddock to watch the concert up close in a VIP viewing area. Admission to the concert is free with the $3 general admission to Churchill Downs before 7 p.m. Admission to the concert is $10 after 7 p.m. …
The first 5,000 fans through the admission gate on Saturday, May 19 will receive a voucher that entitles them to a commemorative print of the Derby winner I’ll Have Another. The colorful 18” x 24” print contains an inside-rail view of I’ll Have Another and jockey Mario Gutierrez as they crossed the finish line in their historic victory in America’s greatest race. Vouchers can be exchanged for the commemorative print following Saturday’s fourth race. The giveaway is presented by GE. …
The Churchill Downs racing program on Sunday, May 20 will be accompanied by Family Fun Day activities Presented by Kroger. Family Fun Days promise a very special day for the entire family and take place from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Paddock Pavilion on Sundays throughout the meet. More information is available at http://www.ChurchillDowns.com. …
Nominations for the ninth running of the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs, the 24th running of the $100,000-added Aristides (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the main track and the 36th running of the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) close on Saturday, May 19. …
Spots are still available for the J. L. “Buck” Wheat Memorial Golf Scramble to benefit Horsemen’s Education on Monday, June 4 at Glenmary Country Club. For more information, call (502) 992-5903 or go to http://www.derbymuseum.org/backsidelc.
WORKTAB – Bert, Elaine and Richard Klein’s Good Deed, runner-up to Contested in the Eight Belles Presented by Xerox (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, breezed four furlongs in :48.20 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Thursday for trainer Steve Margolis. It was the third fastest of 46 works at the distance. …
Martin Racing Stable LLC and Morgan Thoroughbred LLC’s Beat the Blues, runner-up to Sassy Image in the Winning Colors (GIII) at Churchill Downs last spring, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on the main track for trainer Bret Calhoun. Beat the Blues won the Carousel at Oaklawn Park in her most recent start. …
Michael Bruder’s Guys Reward, third in the Ben Ali (GIII) at Keeneland in his most recent start, breezed four furlongs around the dogs on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course on Thursday in :51 for trainer Dale Romans.
Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max and Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly also worked on the turf for Romans. Silver Max, winner of the American Turf Presented by RAM (GII), breezed four furlongs in :49. It was the fastest of five works at the distance on the turf. Tapitsfly, runner-up to Hungry Island in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII), breezed four furlongs in :50.40. …
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance, breezed five furlongs in 1:05.60 on the Matt Winn Turf Course for trainer Wayne Catalano. Stephanie’s Kitten is being pointed to the Coronation (GI) at Royal Ascot in England on June 22. …
Wesley Ward’s Judy the Beauty, who has not raced since finishing second to Grace Hall in the Spinaway (GI) at Saratoga last September, breezed five furlongs on the turf in 1:05.20. …
Barbara Hunter’s homebred Snow Top Mountain breezed seven furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:31.80 for trainer Tom Proctor. The 5-year-old gray/roan daughter of Najran is being pointed to the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs on June 2.
WEATHER – Thursday: sunny, 81. Thursday night: mostly clear, low around 55. Friday: sunny, 85. Saturday: mostly sunny, 87. Sunday: mostly sunny, 86. Monday: mostly sunny with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 83. Tuesday: partly sunny with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 79. Wednesday: mostly sunny with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 81.