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Medal Count to Work Saturday Before Shipping to Belmont Stakes

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/29/2014 #
  • Belmont Stakes candidate Medal Count, shown prior to his Kentucky Derby run (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

  • Dale Romans, trainer of Medal Count. (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

  • 2013 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) winner Will Take Charge in a November 2013 photo (Reed Palmer, CD

  • Scatman (outside) scored a narrow win in the 2013 Aristides (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count, eighth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), will work Saturday under the Twin Spires before shipping to Belmont Park next Thursday where he will try to spoil the Triple Crown hopes of California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes (GI) on June 7.

The son of Dynaformer galloped at Churchill Downs on Thursday morning after the renovation break under exercise rider Faustino Aguilar for trainer Dale Romans.

“He’s doing great,” Romans said. “He’s a Triple Crown-caliber horse, needs to run a Triple Crown race and should improve going a mile-and-a-half. As we know it, it’s been close to 40 years, 11 chances; no one has been able to do it (sweep the Triple Crown) yet so California Chrome has a tough thing to do.”

When asked what type of trip Medal Count would need to be able to win the Belmont Stakes, Romans said, “He should be laying fairly close going a mile-and-a-half because you can’t let them get away from you in that race.”

Romans has saddled four Belmont runners, with his best finishes coming as third-place efforts in 2005 with Nolan’s Cat and 2010 with First Dude.

Jockey Robby Albarado has been confirmed to ride Medal Count in the Belmont, where he has finished second twice, once in 2007 with Curlin and again in 2008 with Denis of Cork. This will be Albarado’s fourth Belmont mount.

WILL TAKE CHARGE WORKS FOR STEPHEN FOSTER, STEVENS TO RIDE

Willis Horton and Three Chimneys Farm’s Will Take Charge, Champion 3-Year-Old Male of 2013, posted a 1:12.20, six-furlong work Thursday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI) on June 14.

The 4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt recorded fractions of :12.20, :24.20, :36.20 and :47.80 before galloping out a seventh furlong in 1:27.40 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas said that jockey Gary Stevens would be back to ride Will Take Charge in the Foster.

“He worked really well,” Lukas said. When asked about the horse’s last start, a sixth-place effort in the Alysheba (GII) on May 2, Lukas responded said, “He got down inside and not only that but when he wanted to make a run he wasn’t able to make a run. I think it was, like so many of these horses, they’re not going to be sensational every time. But he’s better than most. I think he has the ability to make his own trip in the Foster, we just have to make sure that he gets there.”

Lukas is shooting for his second Foster win after taking the 1987 edition with Red Attack.

SCATMAN SEEKING ARISTIDES REPEAT, THIS TIME FOR KENNEALLY

Joseph Bucci’s Scatman, winner of last year’s Aristides (GIII) for trainer Bill Mott, is seeking to repeat in the 2014 edition, this time for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

Scatman has drawn post position seven for Saturday’s Aristides as the 4-1 second-choice behind morning line favorite Delaunay (2-1) in post position five for trainer Tom Amoss.

Since being moved to Kenneally’s barn, Scatman has made one start, a fourth-place finish in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) on May 2.

“He’s been doing really well,” Kenneally said. “He won this race last year and he likes the track, but I think we’ve drawn a little tougher field this time around, especially with Tom Amoss’ horse in there. On his best day he’s really good horse. He’ll be the favorite and deservedly so, but I’ve been happy with the way our horse has trained too.

“We prepped him on the grass here on Derby weekend because we couldn’t find a dirt race for him. We wanted to get a race under his belt and we were happy with it. He’s been working really well and I think he’s ready to go.”

Kenneally is seeking his second victory in the Aristides. He won aboard Kelly’s Landing in 2005. Jockey Julien Leparoux gets the mount for the race named for the 1875 inaugural Kentucky Derby winner.

HAPPY HOUR RETURNS FRIDAY

May 30 marks another edition of Friday Happy Hour at Churchill Downs, featuring live music and drink specials in the Plaza. Live music this Friday will be performed by From Paris and $2 Bud Lights and $3 Stella Artois will be available in the Plaza from 3-7 p.m. Guests also can register for box seats for the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Oaks.

SUMMER N’SPIRES FESTIVAL THIS SATURDAY

This Saturday, Churchill Downs will host the first-ever Summer N’Spires Festival featuring live music performaces, five local food trucks, an Anheiser-Busch craft beer truck and a “Basics of Betting” seminar hosted by Jennie Rees of the Courier-Journal and Churchill Downs experts Jill Byrne, John Asher and Gary Palmisano.

The live music in the Plaza from 12-6 p.m. will be performed by Thumper and the Plaid Rabbits, a classic rock cover band, and Mike Short and Outlaw Revival, a country-rock cover band.

The list of local food trucks in the Plaza features Grind, Holy Mole, Lil Cheezers, Busta Grill and the Louisville Desert Truck.

The “Basics of Betting” seminar will be held in the Parlay from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is free for the first 245 guests that register online at http://courier-journal.com/cjjennieevents.

DOWN THE STRETCH

Martin Racing LLC’s Marchman, victorious in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) last out, worked a half-mile in :46.80, the fastest of 47 other workers at the distance for trainer Bret Calhoun

Goldmark Farm LLC and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute, who finished fourth in the Alysheba (GII) in her last start, breezed four furlongs in :48.40 for trainer Tom Amoss

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s stakes winner Amen Kitten, last seen finishing eighth in the Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland, posted a five-furlong work in 1:02.80 for trainer Wesley Ward

Lally Stable’s Dame Marie, second in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) last out, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 for trainer Eddie Kenneally. Kenneally said he has her pointed to the $750,000 Just A Game (GI) at Belmont Park on June 7…

Janis Whitham’s Lent, half-brother to 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, worked five eighths of a mile in 1:00, which was the fastest of 15 workers at the distance. Conditioned by Fort Larned’s trainer Ian Wilkes, the 4-year-old son of Pulpit took an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 8 by 4 ½ lengths…

Richard Klein and Bertram Klein’s Miz Ida, seventh in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) last out, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 for trainer Steve Margolis. Miz Ida captured the 2013 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) and Margolis said she will bid for a repeat in the 2014 edition which is set for June 7 at Churchill Downs...

Churchill Downs-based jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will not be riding at his home track this Saturday in Louisville, as he will travel to Santa Anita to ride Room Service in the Grade I American Oaks for trainer Wayne Catalano.

THIS WEEK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

Friday, May 30 – Happy Hour

  • 10 races from 2:45-7:24 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
  • Feature (Race 7 at 5:52 p.m.): $56,000 alw opt clm, 3 & up, f & m, 1 M (T)
  • Happy Hour in The Plaza from 3-7 p.m. Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois), live music (From Paris) & register to win box seats to the 2015 Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks.
  • Box Office hours: 12-4 p.m.

Saturday, May 31 – Summer N’Spires

  • 10 races from 12:45-5:20 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature: $100,000-added Aristides (GIII), 3 & up, 6 F
  • Co-Feature: $65,000-added Opening Verse, 3 & up, 1 1/16 M (T)
  • Live music on Plaza Stage by Mike Short and Outlaw Revival (country rock) & Thumper and the Plaid Rabbits (classic rock) from 12-6 p.m.
  • Food Trucks in the Plaza: Grind, Holy Mole, Lil Cheezers, Busta Grill, Louisville Dessert Truck & an Anheuser-Busch craft beer truck
  • Free “Basics of Betting” seminar hosted by the Courier-Journal’s Jennie Rees and Churchill Downs’ Jill Byrne, John Asher and Gary Palmisano in the Parlay from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s free for the first 170 guest who register in advance at Courier-Journal.com/cjjennieevents. Between 1:30-6 p.m. the experts will be available in Section 117 to help guests apply what they’ve learned.
  • Box Office hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, June 1

  • 10 races from 12:45-5:20 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Who’s the Champ? Betting Challenge in the ITW area on the second floor of the Grandstand. $35 to enter ($30 for TSC Elite members). Registration from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Churchill Downs Lounge. $2 Win/Place mythical wagers on Races 3-8. First prize: 1,000,000 TSC Elite Points ($1,000) plus $500 entry fee for Churchill Challenge. Second prize: 500,000 TSC Elite Points ($500). Third prize: 250,000 TSC Elite Points ($250).
  • Box Office hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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