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Ria Antonia, Dynamic Impact Work Toward Possible Preakness Starts

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/11/2014 #
  • Bill Downes will be guest announcer May 15-18.

Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia worked a half-mile on her own in :47.60 over a track labeled as “good” early Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.

With Calvin Borel up for trainer Tom Amoss, Ria Antonia covered the first quarter-mile in :24.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00. The move was the fourth fastest of 52 at the distance for the morning.

“Everything has been extremely positive with her and whatever the plan is, we are excited about it,” said Amoss of Ria Antonia, who was transferred into his barn last Monday following a sixth-place finish in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). “All of her preparation with me has been very good.”

Amoss said a decision regarding the Preakness would come Monday.

“I am going to talk with Ron (Paolucci head of Loooch Racing) this morning and then again Monday morning after she’s had a day,” Amoss said. “I am sure a decision will be made tomorrow (on the Preakness).”

Shortly after Ria Antonia worked, John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (GIII) winner Dynamic Impact worked five furlongs in company in 1:01.60 with jockey Miguel Mena aboard.

Dynamic Impact started a couple of lengths behind his workmate and finished even at the wire with fractions of :13, :37.60 and a six-furlong gallop out time of 1:15.40. The move was the 18th fastest of 41 for five furlongs.

“I am glad we got the work in,” said Norman Casse, assistant to his father, trainer Mark Casse, of the move that had been postponed a day. “He started off a little slow, but finished strong and moved well over the track.”

As Dynamic Impact was finishing his breeze, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner California Chrome appeared at the five-furlong gap with regular morning partner Willie Delgado aboard.

California Chrome backtracked to the eighth pole and then set out on his usual 1 ¾-mile journey.

“He loves it out there,” Delgado said. “Whatever he does, I just let him do. He is a rock star and I am just a groupie. He is the Kentucky Derby winner; he can do whatever he wants.”

Alan Sherman, assistant to his father Art Sherman, said California Chrome would go to the track at 6 Monday morning to jog or gallop.

California Chrome is scheduled to leave Churchill Downs’ Barn 20 about 10 a.m. Monday for a van ride to Lexington and a flight to Baltimore for the May 17 Preakness (GI).

After the morning renovation break, Bayern galloped 1 ½ miles under Jorge Alvarez and Ride On Curlin galloped 1 1/8 miles with Bryan Beccia up.

Bayern is scheduled to work in the morning at a time to be determined. Ride On Curlin will go the track at 6 when it opens for his morning activity and then is scheduled for a 10 a.m. pickup for a van ride to Lexington and a flight to Baltimore for the Preakness.

‘CHROME’ CONNECTIONS REFLECT ON THEIR TIME IN KENTUCKY; READY FOR NEXT STEP

Since his win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), California Chrome has continued to call Churchill Downs home for the past week. Assistant trainer Alan Sherman and exercise rider Willie Delgado have been looking after the Derby winner in Louisville and reflected on their time in the state of Kentucky Sunday morning.

“Kentucky’s been great,” Sherman said. “We’ve met a lot of really nice people and they’ve greeted us with open arms. It’s just been great. I think if I ever leave California, I’m coming to Kentucky.

“There have been a few crazy fans. One lady comes out here every day and takes pictures and gives the horse carrots. But it’s good to be in that kind of position and we appreciate all the support.”

“I can’t say it enough,” Delgado said, “Everybody that gets into this business dreams of coming here, especially for Derby Day. And not only did we come here, we won it. I’ve been on Cloud Nine since.

“In terms of the people and the way we’ve been treated in Kentucky, it’s been awesome. A lot of people have bent over backward just to please us, which is really nice. I wish I could come back here every year, that’d be nice too… but just knowing that in my first time here, we took the big prize home, that’s icing on the cake.

“Now being able to go back to Maryland, where I'm originally from, I get to go home and see a lot of people, lots of friends and my daughter (6-year-old Savannah). So the experience is something I can’t even explain, it’s a feeling you can’t put into words.”

MENA SEEKING TO HAVE A DYNAMIC IMPACT ON PREAKNESS

Jockey Miguel Mena will ride Preakness hopeful Dynamic Impact in the Preakness Stakes for trainer Mark Casse and owner John C. Oxley.

“This will be my first time in Baltimore,” Mena said. “I’m just excited to be in a big race like this and am just hoping to get it done.”

Mena said that in order to beat California Chrome, his horse needed a “clean trip, good pace and outside position turning for home.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Mark (Casse)’s son Norman, and we’re pretty good friends,” Mena said. “We’ve been watching the horse train. He came out of the Illinois Derby in good shape. He’s been training real good, he looks good and he’s pretty fit.”

Dynamic Impact is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.

DOWNES STEPS INTO ANNOUNCER’S BOOTH AS COLLMUS HEADS TO PREAKNESS, BELMONT

When Churchill Downs announcer Larry Collmus heads to Pimlico this week for his duties with NBC Sports during the network’s telecast of the Preakness, veteran Bill Downes will step into the Churchill Downs announcer’s booth to describe the action in the track’s races in his absence.

Collmus will travel to Baltimore on Tuesday, so Downes will call all of Churchill Downs’ races from Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18.

Downes is the track announcer at the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Ind., and also has served as race caller at Kentucky’s Ellis Park, Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs and Ohio’s Beulah Park. His voice was heard at Churchill Downs throughout this spring’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks weekend when he served as a second announcer and donned the headset to call the last two races on Derby Day, along with race-calling duties during that week’s Wednesday program.

Collmus, 47, has called the races for the NBC broadcasts of the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown since 2011. He is in his first year as race caller at Churchill Downs and is only the third Churchill Downs announcer to call the Derby for both its on-track and network television audiences. Chic Anderson and Mike Battaglia also handled both duties.

After his four days of Preakness Week race calls at Churchill Downs, the 42-year-old Indiana native will return to Louisville to call races at the home of the Kentucky Derby from June 5-8, when Collmus travels to New York’s Belmont Park for the NBC telecast of the Belmont Stakes (GI) on Saturday, June 7.

THIS WEEK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

Thursday, May 15

  • 9 races from 12:45-5:29 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature (Race 3 at 1:43 p.m.): $54,000 alw opt clm, f & m, 5 furlongs (turf)
  • Box Office hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Guest Track Announcer: Bill Downes

Friday, May 16 – Happy Hour

  • 10 races from 2:45-7:24 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
  • Happy Hour in The Plaza from 3-7 p.m. Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois), traditional grilled food items (burgers, hot dogs, brats), live music (Field of Kings) & register to win box seats to the 2015 Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks.
  • Advance Preakness Stakes Wagering
  • Pimlico: Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge (Races 2, 4, 6 & 8). $1 Win/Exacta (Pim 2, 12:31 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Lady Legends Race (Pim 3, 1 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: $250,000 Pick 4 (Pim 9-12, 4:16 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Black Eyed Susan (Pim 10, 4:47 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Pimlico Special (Pim 12, 5:52 p.m.)
  • $1 Pimlico Special/Preakness Double (Pim 12 at 5:52 p.m.)
  • 50-cent Preakness Pick 3 (Friday’s Pimlico Special & Saturday’s Dixie/Preakness) (Pim 12, 5:52 p.m.)
  • Box Office hours: 12-4 p.m.
  • Guest Track Announcer: Bill Downes

Saturday, May 17 – Preakness Stakes Simulcast

  • 10 races from 12:45-TBA (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature: $65,000-added Keertana, f & m, 1 3/8 M (T)
  • Box Office hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Pimlico: Early $350,000 Pick 4 (Pim 5-8, 1:10 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Late $1.5 million Pick 4 (Pim 9-12, 4:04 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Dixie (Pim 11, 5:27 p.m.)
  • Pimlico: Preakness Stakes (Pim 12, 6:18 p.m.)
  • Feature (TBA): $65,000-added Keertana, f & m, 1 3/8 M (T)
  • Last call for drinks will be “Call to the Post” for the Preakness.
  • Guest Track Announcer: Bill Downes

Sunday, May 18 – Family Adventure Day

  • 10 races from 12:45-5:29 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Family Adventure Day Presented by Kroger: Bring your family to the track for a fun-filled day of racing, kids’ crafts, visits from mascot Churchill Charlie and more. Our Family Pavilion Ticket, located in the new Grandstand Pavilion, includes family friendly seating, a view of the racetrack and access to all Family Adventure Day activities. Sunday’s kickoff will include face painters, inflatables, nine-hole mini golf, Cookies & Canvas, stick horse races, a hula hoop contest, carnival games, corn hole, a sidewalk chalk artist area, the Kona Ice Truck and kids music on the Plaza Stage by The Breakthrough (1-3 p.m.) and Black Friday (3-5 p.m.). Take advantage of $5 Family Pavilion Tickets by purchasing in advance at ChurchillDowns.com/FamilyAdventureDay. $10 adult and $5 child tickets will be available the day of each event. Partial proceeds from Family Pavilion Ticket sales go to support Kosair Children’s Hospital.
  • 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.
  • Guest Track Announcer: Bill Downes

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