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Trainer Chip Woolley announced Saturday afternoon that Mike Smith would ride Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (Grade II) on Aug. 1 and the $1 million Shadwell Travers (Grade I) on Aug. 29.
Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk charged past Flatter Than Me inside the sixteenth pole to win the 108th running of the $110,500 Bashford Manor Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-olds by a length at Churchill Downs on Friday.
Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Blame found running room at the eighth pole and drew off to win Thursday’s featured $50,397 Moon Over Prospect Purse for 3-year-olds and up by 1 ¼ lengths over Blackberry Road before a “Downs After Dark” crowd of 33,481 at Churchill Downs.
Darley Stable’s Tizaqueena, winner of the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II) on Kentucky Derby Day, will carry top weight of 118 pounds as she faces seven older fillies and mares in Sunday’s 28th running of the $100,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (Grade III).
Zayat Stables’ Thorn Song will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap when he takes on seven rivals in the Grade II, one-mile turf race on Saturday’s Independence Day program at Churchill Downs.
Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk, an impressive debut winner, and Millsap Stables’ homebred Brassy Boy, unbeaten in two career starts, head a field of nine 2-year-olds entered for Friday’s 108th running of the Bashford Manor (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Silverton Hill’s St Joe took command leaving the backstretch and cruised to a 3 ½-length victory over Garifine in Sunday’s $51,780 feature race at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, St. Joe quickly moved past Eaton’s Gift approaching the far turn and was not pressured the rest of the way in completing the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.83.
Decelerator Gives Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas A Record Seventh Victory in Grade III Debutante Stakes
Westrock Stables’ Decelerator prevailed by a neck over Wild Forest Cat to win Saturday’s 109th running of the $111,300 Debutante Stakes (Grade III) for 2-year-old fillies and give trainer Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his record seventh victory in the race.
Malih Al Basti Racing Stable’s Karama proved best by a head after a stretch-long duel over Taurus the Bull to win Friday’s featured $43,810 Desert Light Purse for 3-year-olds on the second “Downs After Dark” program before 27,623 at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs officials have assured customers of cheap beer and short lines when night racing returns to the Louisville racetrack on Friday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).