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Stall Hopeful of Sign's Chances in Sunday's Pocahontas

| Churchill Downs Communications | 10/27/2012 #
  • Trainer Al Stall Jr. will saddle Sign for Sunday's Pocahontas on Opening Day. Credit: Churchill Downs / Reed Palmer Photography

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Sign was nothing short of dominant in her 11 ¾-length victory at Saratoga in her career debut and trainer Al Stall Jr. is hoping for a similar performance from the bay daughter of Pulpit in Sunday’s $150,000-added Pocahontas (Grade II).

“She was training really well and we thought she had a chance, but didn’t expect her to win like that,” Stall said. “Her win was exciting and certainly gives us hope coming into the (Pocahontas).”

Sign, the 5-2 favorite on Mike Battaglia’s morning line, will be coming off a two-month layoff in the Pocahontas.

“She was at Keeneland before going to Saratoga and we thought she trained better on the dirt (at Saratoga) than on the Polytrack (at Keeneland),” Stall said. “We decided to keep her on the dirt, so we skipped Turfway and Keeneland and pointed to Churchill.

 “She came to Churchill right after her race at Saratoga, so she’s comfortable in her surroundings. She’s doing well and training nicely.”

Sign was guided in her maiden score by Rosie Napravnik, who will be back in the irons for the Pocahontas.

CASSE HOPES IROQUOIS IS FIRST STEP TOWARD DERBY 139 FOR UNCAPTUREDJohn Oxley’s Uncaptured will seek to bounce back from a fifth-place finish in the Grey (GIII) in Sunday’s Iroquois (GIII) and trainer Mark Casse is hopeful it will be a step in the right direction on the Road to Kentucky Derby 139.

“If he takes to the dirt, and I don’t know why he wouldn’t, then he’ll be tough,” Casse said. “If he runs well then we’ll probably run him in the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24) and if he doesn’t run well we’ll probably give him a break. We’re still hoping he’s a Derby horse and Sunday is the first step.”

Casse also hopes Uncaptured will have a less-eventful trip than he had in the Grey.

“(Jockey) Patrick (Husbands) said he was starting to fight, but when the winner (River Seven) came out (in the stretch) he had to snatch him up. He was beaten four lengths and if he wasn’t checked, worst case scenario, he’s probably second by a neck.”

Uncaptured, 3-1 co-second choice on the morning line, will break from post eight under Miguel Mena.

PEDIGREE NOTES FOR ‘STARS OF TOMORROW I’ PROGRAM

RACE 1

Bermuda Lane – out of multiple stakes winner Packet; full sister to multiple stakes winner Sea Road and ½ to multiple Grade II winner Great Intentions.

Rossweisse – ½ to GIII winner Scoop

Melody Lady –out of multiple GI winner Lady Tak

RACE 2

Undo – full sister to multiple graded stakes winner Apart

Sanaaya – out of multiple GI winner Spun Sugar

Psychadelacized – ½ to multiple graded stakes winner Classic Elegance

Liberated – out of multiple stakes winner Lady Melesi; ½ to stakes winners Roman Emperor and Seruni

Shoe Queen – out of stakes winner Ornate; full sister to GII winner High Heels; ½ to multiple graded stakes winner On Fire Baby

RACE 3

Exploring – out of Group III winner Ing Ing-FR

RACE 4

Neith – out of stakes winner Squall City; ½ to stakes winners Lady Chace and Vindy City

Miss Squeal – ½ to stakes winners Katerbug and Raconteur

Sandsarita – out of GIII winner War Thief; ½ to GIII winner Boss Lafitte

RACE 5

Favorite Uncle – ½ to multiple GI winner Lady of Shamrock, GII winner Smooth Jazz and multiple stakes winner She’s Sensational

Central Banker – out of multiple stakes winner Rhum; ½ to GII winner Gantry

Tap and Trade – ½ to GIII winner Pleasant Hill and stakes winner Walloon

Arbiter – ½ to multiple stakes winner Pickapocket and stakes winner Northern Belle

RACE 7 

Vinegar Hill – ½ to multiple GIII winner Mr. Nightlinger and stakes winner Diferentkindagreat

Red Wings – out of GIII winner Heavenly Ransom

Dr. Howard – out of GIII winner Moonlight Sonata; full brother to GII winner Beethoven and ½ to GII winner Wilburn

Squall King – full brother to G1 placed Finnegans Wake 

RACE 8 – Pocahontas (GII)

Seasoned Warrior – out of GIII winner Saoirse; ½ to multiple GIII winner Hide and Chic and stakes winner Autobahn Girl

RACE 9

Franks Officer Gal – out of stakes winner Franks Rocket Girl; ½ to stakes winner Kathy’s Rocket

Silver Strike – out of stakes winner Adam’s Time; ½ to multiple stakes winner Striking Miss

RACE 10 – Iroquois (GIII)

Overanalyze – ½ to GI winner Meadow Breeze

Positively – out of Group I winner Macoumba; ½ to Malibu Moon

RACE 11

Titletown Five – out of Puerto Rican champion and GII winner in North America D’Wildcat Speed

Granderson – ½ to GI winner and champion Hansen

Proud Strike – full to GIII winner Pleasant Strike

Cairo Six – ½ to stakes winners Princess Arabella and Dyna’s Lassie

Take it Like a Man – out of stakes winner Backatem; ½ to five-time stakes winner Running Bobcats

Sidekick – out of GII winner Softly

Golden Soul – ½ to GII winner Quintons Gold Rush

DOWN THE STRETCH Bluegrass Hall LLC’s Broken Spell, runner-up to Spring in the Air in the Darley Alcibiades (GI), breezed four furlongs over a muddy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning in :50.40 for trainer Wayne Lukas. Broken Spell is being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and is scheduled to ship to California on Sunday … Repole Stable’s Overanalyze, the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Sunday’s Iroquois (GIII), and Sheldon Nitenson’s Danalake, the 3-1 co-second choice for the Pocahontas (GII), trained on the Churchill Downs track for the first time Saturday morning since arriving from trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn at Belmont Park on Friday. Assistant trainer Michael Dilger said both horses are doing well… The Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Pool Play, Spring in the Air, Spring Venture, Dynamic Sky and Delegation breezed at Churchill Downs for trainer Mark Casse on Friday and assistant trainer Norman Casse reported everyone was in good order Saturday morning and the horses are scheduled to fly to California on Sunday afternoon … Weights for the 20th running of the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on the main track at Churchill Downs were announced Friday. The co-top weights are Indiana Derby (GII) winner Neck ’n Neck and Florida Derby (GI) winner Take Charge Indy. Both 3-year-old colts were assigned 120 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben HuffmanCraig Singer’s multiple Grade III winner Salty Strike breezed four furlongs in :49.40 for trainer Ken McPeek on Saturday … Nominations for the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (GIII) and the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (GII) close Wednesday, Oct. 31. The Commonwealth Turf, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, and the Mrs. Revere for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, will be run under the lights at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17 during the Fall Meet’s lone Downs After Dark racing program … Churchill Downs will host Family Fun Days Presented by Kroger on Sunday (Oct. 28). Activities, which will take place on the Horsemen’s Balcony overlooking the Paddock, include a Trick or Treat Parade with Churchill Charlie The first 5,000 fans through the gates on Opening Day at Churchill Downs on Oct. 28 will receive a free 2013 Churchill Downs calendar compliments of Humana.

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