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The revamped “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series will be inaugurated this weekend as points will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers in Saturday’s Royal Lodge at Newmarket and FrontRunner at Santa Anita.
The 138th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I), a race as old as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) and one of America’s premier events for older horses, heads a schedule of 12 stakes races with total purses of $1.825 million set for the Oct. 28-Nov. 25 Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
Michael J Bruder’s Guys Reward had clear sailing from the outside and drew clear in deep stretch to win the 22nd running of the Grade II, $165,900 Firecracker Handicap by two lengths over Seruni on Sunday night to close out the 38-day Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 30, 2012) – Travis Morgeson V LLC’s Circle Unbroken edged clear of Special Jo in deep stretch and held off a late run by Positively to win Saturday night’s 111th running of the Grade III, $109,800 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs by one length.
Four D Stables’ homebred Turallure, who was narrowly defeated by Court Vision in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade I) beneath the Twin Spires, will carry the top weight of 122 pounds when he faces five rivals in the 22nd running of the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Veteran trainer Garry Simms, who saddled Blueeyesintherein to win last Saturday’s Debutante (Grade III), will try to become just the fifth trainer to sweep the Spring Meet’s pair of graded stakes races for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs when he sends Travis Morgeson V LLC’s Circle Unbroken into Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashfor
Blueeyesintherein circled around horses on the far turn and powered clear in the stretch to win Saturday’s 112th running of the Grade III, $112,200 Debutante at Churchill Downs by 2 ½ lengths over Quiet Success.
Veteran trainer Garry Simms will bid for rare back-to-back wins in the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) when he saddles Dorothy Sell and Barry L.
Ron the Greek, sixth in the early going, rallied along the rail in the stretch under jockey Jose Lezcano to grab the lead from heavily favored Wise Dan in the final strides to win the 31st running of the $437,200, Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap by a head before 25,417 ‘Downs After Dark’ night racing fans on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Besilu Stable’s Royal Delta, North America’s champion 3-year-old filly of 2011, returned to the scene of her greatest victory with a jaw-dropping, eight-length victory over Afleeting Lady in the $161,700 Fleur de Lis Handicap Presented by Finlandia Vodka on Saturday night at Churchill Downs.