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Veteran Melancon To Ride Final Churchill Downs Race On Sunday

MELANCON TO CLOSE OUT LONG CAREER SUNDAY – Larry Melancon began riding quarter horses when he was nine years old and got his jockey’s license to ride Thoroughbreds at age 16 in 1971.

On Sunday, five weeks shy of his 55th birthday, Melancon will saddle up one last time riding War Clan for longtime client Bill Mott.

Boots, Brew & BBQ on Friday Night; Free Admission, $1 Beer & Hot Dogs on Closing Day Sunday

Churchill Downs will kick-start an action-packed Fourth of July holiday weekend in style as the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby winds down its 42-day spring meet with the final “Downs After Dark Presented by Budweiser Select” on Friday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).

Asmussen,Borel, Moss Lead 'Human Races' As Churchill Downs Heads Into Final Days of Spring Meet

BOREL, ASMUSSEN MAINTAIN SOLID LEADS IN RACE FOR MEET HONORS – With four days to go in the 2010 Spring Meet, Calvin Borel is on track for his first leading rider title for a Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.

Mine That Bird Returns, Makes Turf Debut In Sunday's Closing Day Firecracker Handicap

Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), will race for the first time in 2010 and make his career debut on the grass in Sunday’s 20th running of the $175,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) Presented by Thorntons.

Churchill Downs Greets Operation Homefront, Military Families To Friday's 'Downs After Dark' Finale

Churchill Downs will greet representatives of Operation Homefront and area military families served by that organization during the final “Downs After Dark” night racing session of the track’s Spring Meet on Friday, July 2.

Stakes Winners Acoma, Keertana Duel Again on Grass in Saturday's $100,000 Locust Grove

A rematch of top grass performers Acoma and Keertana, who finished a head apart in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) on June 5, looms in Saturday's 29th running of the $100,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (GIII) at a mile on Chuchill Downs'  Matt Winn Turf Course, the co-featured event on the next-to-last day of racing in the historic track's 42-day Spring Meet.

Unbeaten Lou Brissie Faces Five Rivals in 109th Running of Churchill Downs' Bashford Manor Stakes

Dogwood Stable’s Lou Brissie will attempt to become the fifth horse complete a Kentucky Juvenile-Bashford Manor double Saturday when he faces five 2-year-old rivals in the 109th running of the $100,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

Mine That Bird Near Return After Sharp Five Furlongs; Rachel Alexandra Has Easy Move, Now Prepares to Move

MINE THAT BIRD ZIPS IN WORKOUT, COULD RACE THIS WEEKEND – Mine That Bird, upset winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), turned in a sharp five-furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a possible return to racing at the historic track this weekend.

Just Louise Well After Gritty Debutante Victory; Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird Set for Monday Works at Churchill Downs

DEBUTANTE WINNER JUST LOUISE FINE AFTER VICTORY – Eldon Farm Equine’s Just Louise was reported to be doing well Sunday morning, the day after her neck victory over Tristanme in the Debutante Stakes (GII)."She is doing good,” said Baldemar Bahena, assistant to trainer Dale Romans.

Just Louise Survives Dramatic Three-Horse Battle to Win 110th Debutante

Eldon Farm Equine’s Just Louise put away 3-5 favorite Salty Strike in deep stretch and then held off a late surge from Tristanme to win the 110th running of the $108,800 Debutante Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies by a neck on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Howard Hopes Rising Star Lou Brissie Mirrors Summer Squall

HOWARD HOPES LOU BRISSIE FOLLOWS IN SUMMER SQUALL’S HOOFPRINTS – Trainer Neil Howard has traveled this road before, and he hopes the journey with Dogwood Stable’s Lou Brissie is every bit as good as the trip he had with Summer Squall from 1989-91.

Here Comes Ben, Solis Rally in Final Yards to Wear Down Hamazing Destiny in "Downs After Dark's" Kelly's Landing

Marianne and Brandon Chase’s Here Comes Ben wore down Hamazing Destiny in deep stretch to win the $65,386 Kelly’s Landing for sprinters by a neck before a “Downs After Dark” crowd of 26,330 on Friday night.

Kuntzweiler Revels In Return to Racing

KUNTZWEILER REVELS IN RETURN TO RACES – It was a walk she had not made in more than 4 ½ years … heading into the paddock to ride at Churchill Downs.

"I was nervous. It felt like the first time,” Greta Kuntzweiler said of her emotions before climbing aboard 70-1 shot Clear Conscience in Thursday’s fifth race.

Veteran Trainer Holthus Celebrates 76th Birthday, Hopes Biggest Present Will Arrive Next Week

HOLTHUS TURNS 76 TODAY; BEST PRESENT COMES NEXT WEEK – Bob Holthus has been a trainer for more than 75 percent of his life and today he turns 76, some 58 years after he got his trainer’s license in 1952.

Did he have an idea starting out he would still be training horses all these many years later?

“No,” Holthus said quickly and with a laugh.

Churchill Downs Presents Donations Of More Than $223,000 to Komen For the Cure, Horses & Hope, Dare to Care, UN Food Programme

Churchill Downs officials will present donation checks totaling $223,346 on Thursday, June 24, to four charitable organizations that benefited from fundraising partnerships with the Kentucky Oaks and the new Taste of Derby Presented by Yum Brands™, a new event introduced during Kentucky Derby Week.

Unbeatens Salty Strike, Just Louise Bid for Stakes Success in 110th Debutante Stakes

Eldon Farm Equine’s Just Louise and Craig Singer’s Salty Strike, impressive debut maiden winners in May at Churchill Downs, head a field of seven 2-year-old fillies entered for Saturday’s 110th running of the $100,000 Debutante (GIII) at six furlongs.

Mine That Bird Moves Closer To Return To Racing With Strong Six Furlong Work

MINE THAT BIRD WORKS SIX FURLONGS IN 1:13 – Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird continued to work toward his first start of 2010 by breezing six furlongs in company in 1:13 over a fast Churchill Downs track on Tuesday morning.

Rachel Alexandra Plays It Cool With Easy Work on Muggy Monday

CHAMPION RACHEL ALEXANDRA TAKES IT EASY ON MUGGY MORNING AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra returned to serious training after her 10 ½-length romp in the $200,000-added Fleur de Lis (Grade II) on June 12 with an easy half-mile work on a muggy Monday at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs Winner Atta Boy Roy Zips In Prep for Friday Journey to Iowa Sprint

ATTA BOY ROY WORKS BULLET FOR IOWA EXCURSION –Atta Boy Roy, winner of the Churchill Downs (GII) on Kentucky Derby Day, worked a half-mile in :47.40 over a fast track after the renovation break Sunday morning with jockey Calvin Borel aboard.

Mykindacandy Provides Fast Boost for Trainer Bobby Barnett

MYKINDACANDY GIVES BARNETT BIG BOOST – The most electric performance Friday night under the lights of “Downs After Dark” came from Phyllis Newcomb’s Mykindacandy, who broke his maiden in the sixth race with the fastest 5 ½-furlong time of the meet in winning by 9 ¼ lengths.