BIG BROWN JOGS AGAIN OVER “OFF” GOING – For the third consecutive morning, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown jogged a mile at Churchill Downs with Michelle Nevin up.
“You guys sure get a lot of rain here,” trainer Rick Dutrow said as he followed Big Brown to the track at 6:45. “When it stops, we’ll be ready.”
Outfitted with new hind shoes, Big Brown jogged alongside a pony over a track labeled sloppy by more overnight rain. A major deluge on Wednesday night had left the track muddy on Thursday.
“I would have galloped these last two days, but I won’t gallop him with the track like that,” Dutrow said.
Following his trip around the track, Big Brown, owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., was full of energy as he negotiated his way through the stable area back to Barn 22 ahead of the pony.
MACHO AGAIN TO SKIP PREAKNESS – Trainer Dallas Stewart said Friday morning that West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again would bypass the Preakness and instead point to the $300,000 Ohio Derby (Grade II) on May 31 at Thistledown.
Stewart also said that Overbrook Farm’s Honest Pursuit, an allowance winner at Churchill Downs on May 2, would bypass next Friday’s $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan (GII) at Pimlico and instead point to the $100,000 Dogwood (GIII) at a mile to be run at Churchill Downs on May 31.
PREAKNESS HOPEFULS GALLOP UNDER TWIN SPIRES -- Jerry Carroll, Stan Kaplan, Ronald Plattner and Mark Guilfoyle’s Racecar Rhapsody galloped a mile and half before the renovation break under Jose Castanon. The Ken McPeek trainee is scheduled to work five furlongs Saturday morning with Castanon expected to handle the work.
Robert LaPenta’s Stevil galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break. Trained by Nick Zito, the son of Maria’s Mon is scheduled to have his final pre-Preakness work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Illinois Derby (Grade II) winner Recapturetheglory jogged around the main track to the starting gate at the head of the stretch and then galloped a little bit more than a mile and a quarter while well off the rail under assistant trainer Lara Van Deren. Owned by Ronald Lamarque and trainer Louie Roussel III, Recapturetheglory is scheduled to leave Churchill Downs, where he finished fifth behind Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby, on Saturday evening by van for Pimlico.
Trainer Beau Greely, John Greely IV and Phil Houchens’ Tres Borrachos jogged a mile before the renovation break under Andy Durnin on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Tres Borrachos is scheduled to have his final Preakness drill on Tuesday and ship to Pimlico the next day.
KODIAK KOWBOY TOPS MATT WINN NOMINATIONS – Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms’ Kodiak Kowboy, second in the April 26 Derby Trial in his most recent start, heads a list of 18 nominations for the seventh running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn to be run May 17.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Kodiak Kowboy broke his maiden here last spring and also won the Bashford Manor (GIII). Kodiak Kowboy also won the Saratoga Special (GII), ran second in the Futurity (GII) at Belmont Park and third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Monmouth Park.
Other stakes winners nominated to the six-furlong Matt Winn are Zayat Stables’ Eaton’s Gift and Massive Drama. Both are trained by Dale Romans. Eaton’s Gift won the Grade II Swale at Gulfstream Park in February and Massive Drama won last fall’s Hollywood Prevue (GIII) under the care of Bob Baffert.
A HIGH-FIVE FOR MENA – Miguel Mena had a day to remember Thursday at Churchill Downs, riding five winners with two runner-up finishes in his seven mounts.
Mena, a 21-year-old native of Lima, Peru, swept the early Pick 3 with victories aboard Treasure Hunter ($8.20), Tiz My Dream ($6.20) and Speak of Kings ($6). After second-place finishes in the fifth and sixth races, Mena took the late double with Tiz Now Tiz Then ($6.40) and Unbridled Spring ($5.60).
“I told him going in that he could win four or five,” said Steve Elzey, Mena’s agent. “The cool thing about it was it was his dad’s birthday in Peru and Miguel called him and told him to be sure to watch.”
Pat Day holds the all-time single-day record for wins at Churchill Downs with seven, accomplished on June 20, 1984. Day rode six winners on a card four times as did five other riders, including Julien Leparoux and Calvin Borel at last year’s Spring Meet. Five victories in a day have now been accomplished 49 times.
Mena doubled his win total for the meet to 10 and moved into a tie for second in the riders’ standings with Robby Albarado, three victories behind Leparoux.
2003 WOODFORD RESERVE WINNER HONOR IN WAR RETIRED – Honor In War, now age nine, has been retired from racing after spending two years in Australia. Prior to going Down Under, Honor In War had raced out of the barn of Paul McGee.
“We bought him as a yearling for I think $130,000 out of the Mill Ridge consignment,” McGee said. “I had him until the end of his six-year-old year.”
A son of Lord At War, Honor In War’s biggest victory came in the 2003 Woodford Reserve (GI) at Churchill Downs.
“It was 2003, the year Funny Cide won the Derby,” McGee said with a widening smile. “Honor In War paid $50 ($50.60) and I had the Woodford Reserve-Derby Double, which paid, I think, $200 and something, maybe more.”
Lots more … $425.90 for a $1 ticket.
Honor In War retired with 11 victories in 47 starts and earnings of $1,993,541.
McGee offered another footnote to Honor In War’s career.
“He ran that year (2003) in the Arlington Million and he was the horse that stepped on Gary Stevens after he fell from Storming Home,” McGee said.
BARN TALK – Trainer David Carroll has had third-place Kentucky Derby finisher Denis of Cork back on the track the past two mornings to jog. “I gave him four days off (after the Derby),” Carroll said. “He’s doing great, feeling good and eating everything.” The June 7 Belmont Stakes (GI) is the next target for Denis of Cork, who is owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr. …
IEAH Stables, Lewis Lakin and Pegasus Holding Group Stables’ Pure Clan is scheduled to return to the track to jog a mile Saturday morning for trainer Bob Holthus. It will be Pure Clan’s first day back to the track since finishing third in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (GI). Pure Clan is expected to run next in the $200,000 Regret (GIII) to be run at a mile and an eighth on the turf here on June 14. Pure Clan, who won her first two career starts on grass, will use the Regret as a prep for the July 19 Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) at Belmont Park.
Jockeys Starts 1-2-3
Julien Leparoux 66 13-8-11
Miguel Mena 49 10-5-10
Robby Albarado 48 10-5-4
Calvin Borel 65 7-4-14
Jesus Castanon 37 6-5-1
Kent Desormeaux 31 5-8-6
Shaun Bridgmohan 37 5-4-3
Jamie Theriot 42 4-4-4
Edgar Prado 17 3-5-3
John Velazquez 15 3-3-0
Eddie Kenneally 15 5-3-4
Tom Amoss 14 5-2-3
Ken McPeek 12 5-2-1
Greg Foley 17 4-2-1
Ian Wilkes 10 4-1-2
Bill Mott 19 3-3-3
Steve Asmussen 22 3-3-2
Nick Zito 12 3-2-1
Mike Maker 10 3-2-0
Bobby Frankel 10 3-1-1
Ken and Sarah Ramsey 13 5-2-1
Zayat Stables, LLC 16 3-4-2
Maggi Moss 4 3-0-1
Stronach Stable 8 2-2-0
Arthur B. Hancock, III 4 2-0-1
Bloch, Milner, Basso & Seiler 3 2-0-0
Montesano Racing, LLC 3 2-0-0
Zabeel Racing International 2 2-0-0