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Carroll Beaming After Acoma Wins Mrs. Revere; Leparoux On A Record Pace
CARROLL BEAMING AFTER ACOMA'S MRS. REVERE TRIUMPH - Trainer David Carroll said Sunday morning that Acoma came out of her triumph in Saturday's Mrs. Revere (GII) in good order.
"She is going to the farm and will be let down," Carroll said. "I'll pick her up in February and look for maybe the Doubledogdare in April at Keeneland."
Owned by Helen Alexander and Helen Groves, Acoma made the Mrs. Revere her third graded stakes victory of 2008 with one coming on dirt and two on turf.
"We have a lot of options with her," Carroll said. "She has won Grade IIIs, a Grade II and I'd like to get a Grade I with her.
"I don't think it is just the turf. She ran 1:34 when she won the Dogwood (on the dirt at Churchill Downs). The thing is that she just doesn't ship well and it is just a question of how she is doing. She likes to be settled in one place. Surface does not matter."
The two fillies who chased Acoma home on Saturday, My Baby Baby and Scolara, were both doing well Sunday morning.
"I thought she was gone at the sixteenth pole," Billy Wright, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek, said of Magdalena Racing's My Baby Baby. "She is fine this morning. There is no disgrace in losing to a filly of Acoma's caliber."
Kenny McCarthy, assistant to trainer Bill Mott, said that Scolara, who had finished fourth in the Valley View (GIII) behind Acoma, "came back fine and will live to fight another day. We just have to steer clear of Acoma."
LEPAROUX'S HOT START HAS RIDER ON RECORD PACE - When Pat Day set the riding standard for a Fall Meet with 55 victories in 1985, he averaged 1.8 wins a day over the 30 day-meet.
Through the first 10 days of the current 26-day meet Julien Leparoux has notched 23 victories, an average of 2.3 a day. Leparoux, who rode for the first time at Churchill Downs in the 2005 Fall Meet, is winning at a 30 percent clip (23 of 76). In Day's record Fall Meet, he won at a 28.6 percent rate (55 of 192).
Included in those victories are scores in half of the six stakes run thus far: the Iroquois on Capt. Candyman Can, the Dream Supreme on Elope and Saturday's Mrs. Revere on Acoma.
The bulk of the victories have come riding for trainer Mike Maker, who has saddled 14 winners and is on a record pace of his own to break the Fall Meet record for training wins of 20 set by Dale Romans in 2003. Many of the Maker horses have been for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have 11 wins this meet and well within range of the record of 15 held by T. Alie Grissom in 1965 over a 23-day meet.
"Hopefully everybody will break a record," said Leparoux, who has ridden all of Maker's winners.
Maker is taking his stable to Gulfstream Park in the winter, but Leparoux is not saying if he will go in the same direction.
"I don't know yet where I am going for the winter," Leparoux said. "I have three more weeks here, so there is no hurry to make a decision."
EINSTEIN WORKS HALF-MILE TOWARD COMEBACK - Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) winner Einstein worked a half-mile in :49.40 over a fast track with trainer Helen Pitts up on Sunday morning.
It was Einstein's second work since finishing a troubled fifth in the Arlington Million (GI) on Aug. 9.
"He went beautifully, very nice," Pitts said of the 6-year-old gelding who is owned by Midnight Cry Stable. "He will work five-eighths next week and I will let him tell me (about a next start)."
Pitts said Einstein could make an appearance in the Nov. 28 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII).
"I am just going to wait and see," Pitts said of the 1 1/8-mile race on the main track where Einstein finished second to 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) in June. "If he doesn't go in the Clark, I may look around for something or just wait until Gulfstream."
NOMINATIONS FOR FIVE STAKES CLOSE SATURDAY - Nov. 15 is the closing day for nominations for five stakes, including four Grade II events slated for Thanksgiving Weekend.
The richest of the stakes is the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track on Friday, Nov. 28. On Thanksgiving Day, the fillies and mares will get their chance at the same distance in the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII).
Highlighting the closing-day "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features all 2-year-old races are the Golden Rod (GII) for the fillies and the open Kentucky Jockey Club (GII). Both races are 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Also closing Saturday is the Bet On Sunshine, a $61,000 overnight handicap for sprinters 3-years-old and up going six furlongs on the main track on Saturday, Nov. 22.
BARN TALK - Apprentice rider Brandon Meier posted his first Churchill Downs victory when Kori Kori scored a 5 ½-length triumph in Saturday's second race. "It felt great to get that first one out of the way," Meier said. "I rode her the other day at Keeneland and ran second and yesterday they took the blinkers off her and added distance and it made all the difference." Meier, 20, is the son of journeyman rider Randall Meier. ... A happy 42nd birthday to trainer Darrin Miller.
WORK TAB - Zabeel Racing International's Game Face, winner of this spring's La Troienne (GIII), worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 over a fast track for trainer Todd Pletcher. The move was the third fastest of 35 at the distance. ... Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road, runner-up in last fall's Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 for trainer David Carroll.