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Cooler temperatures and the leaves changing colors signify the return of live horse racing to the Louisville area as Churchill Downs, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby, readies to open its 125th Fall Meet on Sunday, Oct. 26.
$500,000 Grade I Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare Heads Roster of Churchill Downs' Fall Meet Stakes Races
The 140th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I) is the main event on a schedule of 13 stakes races that carry total purses of $2.032 million set for the 25-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) which will be run Sunday, Oct.
Churchill Downs' September Meet Concludes 12-Day Run With Encouraging Results,Strong On-Track Performances
The second-consecutive September Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) concluded its 12-date run on Sunday, September 28 with encouraging results and a string of strong performances by the equine and human stars who competed during the brief racing session.
After an impressive 1 ¾-length victory in Saturday’s $135,500 Homecoming Classic, Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott was not ready to rule out the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) on Nov. 1 as the next start for Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis’ Cigar Street.
Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart went straight to the front of the pack and never looked back, widening his lead in the stretch to win the 39th running of the $110,000 Jefferson Cup (Grade III) at Churchill Downs by four lengths over Captain Dixie.
Cigar Street, owned by Jake Ballis and NBA star Rashard Lewis, was eager to run early but waited until midway around the far turn before taking command and turning back a late charge by 6-5 favorite Departing to impressively win Saturday’s second running of the $135,500 Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths.
Trainer Dale Romans is hoping for a big Saturday at Churchill Downs as he will saddle Crossed Sabres Farm’s Pick of the Litter in the $125,000-added Homecoming Classic and 44 Racing’s Sportscaster and Frank L.
Coming off an eighth-place finish in the $1.5 million Whitney (Grade I) at Saratoga on Aug. 2, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing is seeking a return to top form in Saturday’s $125,000-added Homecoming Classic under the Twin Spires for trainer Al Stall Jr.
Canadian Shippers Heart to Heart, Speightsland; French-Raced Battlefront Seek Grade III Jefferson Cup
A trio of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds whose primary racing experience has occurred beyond the borders of the United States is set to descend upon Churchill Downs in search of a signature victory when they compete in the 38th running of the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup (Grade III) over the Matt Winn Turf Course on Saturday (Sept. 27).
Michael Langdon’s improving Carve has won four races and nearly $500,000 in a “career year” in 2014, and is the early favorite to add another significant win to his finest racing season when he takes on five rivals in the second running of the $125,000-added Homecoming Classic on Saturday (Sept. 27) at Churchill Downs.
Will Take Charge, who clinched Champion 3-Year-Old Male honors last year with a win at Churchill Downs in the $550,700 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I), was retired to Three Chimneys Farm on Sunday due to a mild strain to a branch of his suspensory apparatus.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Thank You Marylou commenced a winning move on the turn for home, grabbed the lead at the quarter pole and widened her advantage down the stretch to easily win Saturday’s 39th running of the $112,000 Dogwood (Grade III) at Churchill Downs by 6 ½ lengths over Henny Jenny.
Michael Langford’s graded stakes winner Carve posted a half-mile workout in :48.60 Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $125,000-added Homecoming Classic on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Entered in Friday night’s featured $43,000 allowance optional claiming event at Churchill Downs is Brereton C. Jones’ Myositis Dan, who was named to specifically build awareness for a disease called Myositis that affects thousands of Americans each year.
Downs After Dark Returns Friday Night as Churchill Downs Celebrates Oktoberfest with Beer Garden, German Fare
Churchill Downs will transform its spacious 30,000-square-foot Plaza into Louisville’s largest beer garden on Friday night (Sept. 19) to celebrate Oktoberfest in true Bavarian style as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester” returns to the historic Louisville racetrack with a 10-race program that begins at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Churchill Downs will host “Pigskins and Ponies” on Saturday! Last week’s Football Watch Party was popular with race-goers so track officials will bring it back for the final two Saturdays of the meet (Sept. 20 and Sept. 27).
Fiftyshadesofgold, the winner of the $200,725 Eight Belles Presented by TwinSpires.com (Grade III) on Kentucky Oaks Day, has been made the 2-1 morning line favorite in a field of 10 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday’s $100,000-added Dogwood (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Departing breezed a half-mile in :48 Sunday at Churchill Downs ahead of the Sept. 27 Homecoming Classic.
Aireofdistinction battled for the lead midway around the far turn and kicked clear in the final 100 yards to beat late-running Interest Free by 2 ½ lengths in Saturday’s sixth running of the $111,500 Open Mind, a six-furlong listed stakes race for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Douglas Scharbauer’s Fiftyshadesofgold breezed a half-mile in :47.40 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the $100,000-added Dogwood (Grade III) on Saturday, Sept. 20.