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Churchill-based Breeders' Cup Horses Return Home ... Get Stormy Gets Back to Kentucky

| Churchill Downs Communications | 11/11/2009 #
  • Pure Clan, Julien Leparoux up, wins the 2008 Regret (Grade III), at Churchill Downs.

BREEDERS’ CUP PARTICIPANTS RETURN HOME – Lewis Lakin’s Pure Clan was back in her stall in Barn 32 on Sunday afternoon after her runner-up finish in Friday’s Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade I) at Santa Anita.

She will be here a week or so and then go to the farm,” trainer Bob Holthus said. “We will pick her up the first of the year and take her to Oaklawn Park.”

Pure Clan had run 10th in a field of 10 last year in the same race over the same course at Santa Anita.

“I think she was more mature this year,” Holthus said of the improved showing. “I never have figured it out why she ran the way she did last year. It is the only bad race she has ever run.”

Trainer Ian Wilkes said that Capt. Candyman Can, eighth in Saturday’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI), was back at the Skylight Training Center.

“He is done for the year and I have no plans for him at the moment,” Wilkes said. “He just wasn’t good enough that day. Maybe the Polytrack had something to do with it. I thought he ran well (beaten only 3 ½ lengths), but he just didn’t finish with his usual kick.”

Trainer Steve Hobby said that Telling was headed to the farm and was done for the year after running last in the field of seven, beaten 10 ¼ lengths, in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI). “He came back OK, but he bled in the race,” Hobby said.

Returning from California on Tuesday was King Ledley, who finished 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in his first U.S. start and first outing for trainer Darrin Miller.

“He will probably go to Florida this winter and we will look at the series of 3-year-old grass races,” Miller said of King Ledley, who raced close to the pace before fading late to lose by six lengths. “I thought he ran a good race. I was not disappointed in the effort, just the result.”

Also returning Tuesday afternoon was Stronach Stable’s Einstein (Brz), who finished 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI). The result was the worst in the 29-race career for the 7-year-old Einstein that covers five years.

“I wish I had an answer for how he ran, but I don’t,” trainer Helen Pitts-Blasi said. “He came out of the race fine.”

GET STORMY STORMS BACK TO KENTUCKY – Kentucky money was so appealing to trainer Tom Bush that he did not wait long to try for a second chuck of change when he sent Get Stormy to Churchill Downs for Sunday’s sixth running of the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (GIII).

“We are getting the frequent flier miles,” said Bush, whose first trip to run a horse at Keeneland resulted in a $75,000 payday when Get Stormy won the Bryan Station (GIII) on Oct. 18. “We were able to ship out the morning after the Bryan Station and he has been doing fabulous since that race.”

Owned by Sullimar Stables, Get Stormy has won his past three starts, all at a mile. The Commonwealth Turf is 1 1/16 miles, a distance at which Get Stormy has had no success. Get Stormy’s career record is 11-4-2-1 with the off-the-board finishes coming at 1 1/16 miles with the most recent being June 6.

“He is a little more mature now and I am not worried about the distance,” Bush said. “It is well within his scope. He has recovered nicely from his last race and had one work before coming here.”

That work by Get Stormy was a “bullet” five-furlong move in 1:00.10 on Nov.6 over the main track at Belmont Park.    

NOMINATIONS CLOSE TODAY FOR CLOSING WEEKEND’S GRADED STAKES – Today is the deadline for nominations for the final five graded stakes of the Fall Meet to be run Thanksgiving Weekend.

The 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track kicks off the holiday weekend on Thanksgiving Day, the first of three 12-race programs to conclude the meet. Miss Isella won the 2008 Falls City.

Scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27 is the 135th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) and the 32nd running of the $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII).

The Clark, won last year by Einstein (Brz), is 1 1/8 miles on the main track, while the River City is at the same distance on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Karelian and Demarcation dead-heated in last year’s River City.

Two-year-olds will take center stage on closing day, Saturday, Nov. 28, with the Stars of Tomorrow II card filled with races exclusively for the juveniles. Headlining the day will be the 83rd running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and that 66th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for fillies.

Four winners of the Kentucky Jockey Club have returned to Churchill Downs the following spring to win the Kentucky Derby with the most recent being Cannonade in 1973-74. Beethoven won last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club.

Rachel Alexandra began her current nine-race win streak in last year’s Golden Rod, a streak that includes a 20 ¼-length triumph in this year’s Kentucky Oaks (GI).

WORK TAB – Denis of Cork, unraced because of injuries since finishing second in the 2008 Belmont Stakes, made his return to the work tab Monday breezing three furlongs in :38 for trainer David Carroll. Also working Monday for Carroll was possible Cardinal Handicap (GIII) entrant Acoma, who covered a half-mile in :48.80. … Giant Oak, runner-up in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club to Beethoven, worked five furlongs in 1:02 in preparation for the Clark Handicap for trainer Chris Block. … Putting in half-mile grass works on Tuesday for Saturday’s Mrs. Revere (GII) were C.S. Silk (:48.20) for trainer Dale Romans and Keertana (:50) for trainer Tom Proctor.