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Rob O’Connor has been training horses at Churchill Downs for more than two decades, but he never has had a meet such as the current one.
When Sneak a Drink scored a 5-1 odds in Friday’s second race, she gave O’Connor his seventh victory from just 17 starters. That is a 41 percent win rate with an average payoff of $16.50.
It’s 900 wins under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs and counting for jockey Larry Melancon, who reached the mark Thursday when he guided A.P. Xcellent to a front-running victory in the eighth race.
The countdown to the opening of the second half of the 2008 campaign by Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin is now down to hours, and trainer Steve Asmussen is ready to see the imposing chestnut colt run in Saturday’s $1 million Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I).
DELIGHTFUL KISS RETURNS TO HIS OLD KENTUCKY HOME – A year ago, trainer Pete Anderson was hopeful of getting a matchup against Curlin on the main track at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby with Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss.
Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin completed his serious training for Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) with an easy half-mile work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin could be asked to concede between 10 and 15 pounds to horses under consideration for Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.
CURLIN ASSIGNED 128 POUNDS FOR GRADE I STEPHEN FOSTER HANDICAP – Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin was assigned 128 pounds for next Saturday’s mile and one-eighth Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) at Churchill Downs by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman.
LEPAROUX’S AGENT IN SPOILER ROLE IN THIS TRIPLE CROWN PURSUIT – In 1987, Steve Bass was right in the middle of the Triple Crown storm as the exercise rider for Alysheba. On Saturday, he hopes to be part of a spoiler to history as the agent of jockey Julien Leparoux, who will ride Anak Nakal for trainer Nick Zito.
PURE CLAN WORKS FIVE FURLONGS FOR REGRET – With part owner Lewis Lakin looking on, Pure Clan put in her final work for next weekend’s $200,000-added Regret (Grade III) by working five furlongs in 1:02.20 over “firm” turf Thursday morning under Julien Leparoux.