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Saturday could to be a huge day for the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen, who is seeking a graded stakes double with Vinery Stables LLC’s Regally Ready in the $200,000-added Firecracker (GII) and a pair of 2-year-olds entered in the $100,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII) in William and Corrine Heiligbrodt’s Cinco Charlie and Jerry Durant’s Lucky Player.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti will bid for his third win in four years in Saturday’s $200,000-added Firecracker (Grade II) – not with two-time horse of the year and defending champion Wise Dan, but with Gainesway Stable’s Villandry, who is seeking his first stakes win.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Untapable, an emphatic 4 ½-length winner of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) in her most recent start, worked four furlongs on Monday at Churchill Downs in a final prep for her scheduled return to competition in Saturday’s Grade I Mother Goose at New York’s Belmont Park.
After taking the Debutante on Saturday with Robert G. Luttrell’s Promise Me Silver, trainer Bret Calhoun has a 2-year-old gelding shipping to Churchill Downs on Tuesday for next Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashford Manor (Grade III) in Silverhill.
Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max, whose last start was a fourth-place effort in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile, is likely make his 2014 debut in next Saturday’s $200,000-added Firecracker (GII) at Churchill Downs.
After taking the 2013 edition with Texas-bred Fiftyshadesofgold, trainer Bret Calhoun is seeking a repeat in Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante at Churchill Downs with Robert Luttrell’s homebred Promise Me Silver.
Following an exhilarating night of first-class racing Saturday under the Twin Spires, the equine stars of Stephen Foster Handicap Night at Churchill Downs were reported by their connections to be in good order.
Fresh off a most impressive win in the Pimlico Special (Grade III), WinStar Farm LLC’s Revolutionary is seeking his first Grade I victory in Saturday night’s $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI) and has been made the 2-1 favorite in a talented field of nine older horses.
The exhilarating Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka night racing program features four graded stakes for Thoroughbreds, highlighted by the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (Grade I), and Churchill Downs-based trainer Kenny McPeek is shooting for the “All-Stakes Pick 4” with a starter in each graded event