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BARN NOTES (5.13.09) - 'Rachel', 'Pioneer' Depart for Baltimore/'Candyman' Ready for Matt Winn/Silverfoot nears return
PREAKNESS CONTENDERS RACHEL ALEXANDRA, PIONEEROF THE NILE DEPART CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR BALTIMORE – The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for Saturday’s 134th running of the $1 million Preakness (Grade I) was completed on Wednesday when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m.
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD HEADS TO PIMLICO – A few minutes after 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
Due to a reduced number of entries and a decline in purse money earned from all wagering sources during its ongoing 2009 Spring Meet, Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill”) will request permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to eliminate seven race days from its 2009 Spring Meet, which had been scheduled for 52 racing days between Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, July 5.
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD WORKS SURPRISE FOUR FURLONGS WITH BOREL IN SADDLE – Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. waited until after the renovation break to send Kentucky Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird to the track Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start took command on the far turn and then held off a late charge by Vicarian to take Sunday’s $58,080 feature race at Churchill Downs by two lengths.
KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER RACHEL ALEXANDRA WORKS FOR NEW BARN – Possible Preakness candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 ¼-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) tuned up for a possible bid for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) with an easy four-furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Mark Stanley’s Trusty Temper made a successful return to the races Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs, scoring a wire-to-wire, four-length victory in the featured 505 Dayton Girls Dash for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
The “$64,000 question” for trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley is who will ride Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird in next Saturday’s Preakness (GI) at Pimlico.
“Calvin Borel will be on the (entry) card,” Woolley said Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. “I do have a backup, but I am not ready to release it.”
In the interest of human and equine safety, Churchill Downs called off its final five races late Friday afternoon following a heavy wave of showers and thunderstorms. It was just the third cancellation of its kind in the last 19 years at the historic Louisville racetrack.
Jockey Calvin Borel has reached an agreement with the new owners of Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winner Rachel Alexandra to ride the 3-year-old filly through the “current racing season.”