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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.
Churchill Downs' Night Racing Finale Set for Thursday at 6 p.m.; Holiday Laser Light Show Added to Entertainment
Last dance. Last chance.
Churchill Downs will kick-start the Fourth of July holiday weekend in style as the world’s most legendary racetrack winds down its 45-date Spring Meet with the final presentation of “Downs After Dark” on Thursday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
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.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird worked a half-mile in :51 over a fast track Monday morning at Churchill Downs in his first serious training move since a third-place finish to Summer Bird in the Belmont Stakes (GI) on June 6.
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.
BARN NOTES (6.28.09) - Debutante Winner Saratoga-Bound as Lukas Eyes Debutante-Bashford Sweep; Mine That Bird Works Monday
LUKAS HALFWAY HOME TO DEBUTANTE-BASHFORD MANOR DOUBLE – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has now won the Debutante Stakes (GIII) a record seven times and also holds the Bashford Manor (GIII) record with five wins, but he has never swept Churchill Downs’ marquee Spring Meet juvenile events in the same year.
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.
BARN NOTES (6.27.09) - Theriot Ready To Return to Racing / Bashford Manor Field Takes Shape / Summer Bird To Visit Churchill
THERIOT EAGER TO RETURN TO THE RACES ON MONDAY – Jockey Jamie Theriot will resume riding on Monday at Indiana Downs following the conclusion of a 30-day suspension stemming from a May 23 incident at Arlington Park.
“The only time I have been idle longer is when I have been hurt,” said Theriot. “I have never been out this long for a suspension.”
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.
BARN NOTES (6.26.09) - Familiar Path for Our Tekela Rose / Gallegos Adds to A.M. Resume / Cash Refund Out
OUR TEKELA ROSE FOLLOWS IN FAMILIAR FOOTSTEPS – A year ago, trainer Hal Wiggins introduced Kentucky Oaks (GI) and Preakness (GI) winner Rachel Alexandra to the racing public with a runner-up effort in the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (Grade III).