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Steve Asmussen, this year’s runaway leader in victories and earnings by Thoroughbred trainers in North America, heads the roster of trainers whose horses will compete during the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs that opens on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Veteran Kentucky-based trainer John E Churchman Jr, who saddled Kentucky Derby starters Fighting Fantasy and Wilder Than Ever in 1990 and ’91, respectively, passed away Tuesday night after a lengthy illness. He was 74.
Glen Hill Farm’s Closeout coasted to a three-length victory over Gloria Goodbody to win the 28th running of the $114,900 Locust Grove Handicap (Grade III) to close out the 45-day Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.
Circle E Racing’s Mr Sidney pulled away from Inca King in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the 19th running of the $167,700 Firecracker Handicap (Grade II) by 1 ½ lengths on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
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.