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While Stars Shine In Preakness, Churchill-based 3-Year-Olds Await Their Chance/Brass Hat sharp in work
The current stars of the 3-year-old crop – headed by Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird, Kentucky Oaks (GI) filly Rachel Alexandra and Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile – are among 13 three-year-olds doing battle in the 134th running of the Preakness (GI) at Pimlico.
Distinctive Dixie, ridden by Jesus Castanon, didn’t disappoint as the odds-on 3-5 favorite in Friday’s $51,840 allowance feature at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old filly trained by Wally Dollase led every step of the way and turned back a late charge from Ms. Margaret H. to win the one-mile test for fillies and mares by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:35.75.
Amoss Cherishes 300th Win at Churchill Downs/Macho Again to Foster/Spice Route Top Weight in Louisville
As trainer Tom Amoss stood in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs following his 300th victory under the historic Twin Spires of the home of the Kentucky Derby, he recalled his first journey to the Louisville track.
The 47-year-old New Orleans native picked a good day for that first visit.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel became only the fourth rider to win 900 races in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs when Patton’s Creek Farm’s War Eagle Lady romped to a 14 ¾-length victory in Wednesday’s sixth race.
Louisville-based owners and breeders Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein have raced some very talented horses at Churchill Downs through the years, but few have attracted the early attention generated by their 3-year-old gelding Cash Refund.
Three-time graded stakes winner Capt Candyman Can looms as the betting favorite in Saturday’s 8th running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, but that proven veteran could face a major challenge from unbeaten newcomer Cash Refund.
Jockey Julien Leparoux won the 1,000th race of his brief career on Wednesday when he guided My Little Connor ($6.20) to a 1 ¾-length victory for trainer Dave Vance in the third race at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (5.13.09) - 'Rachel', 'Pioneer' Depart for Baltimore/'Candyman' Ready for Matt Winn/Silverfoot nears return
PREAKNESS CONTENDERS RACHEL ALEXANDRA, PIONEEROF THE NILE DEPART CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR BALTIMORE – The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for Saturday’s 134th running of the $1 million Preakness (Grade I) was completed on Wednesday when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m.
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD HEADS TO PIMLICO – A few minutes after 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
Due to a reduced number of entries and a decline in purse money earned from all wagering sources during its ongoing 2009 Spring Meet, Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill”) will request permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to eliminate seven race days from its 2009 Spring Meet, which had been scheduled for 52 racing days between Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, July 5.
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD WORKS SURPRISE FOUR FURLONGS WITH BOREL IN SADDLE – Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. waited until after the renovation break to send Kentucky Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird to the track Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start took command on the far turn and then held off a late charge by Vicarian to take Sunday’s $58,080 feature race at Churchill Downs by two lengths.
KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER RACHEL ALEXANDRA WORKS FOR NEW BARN – Possible Preakness candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 ¼-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) tuned up for a possible bid for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) with an easy four-furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Mark Stanley’s Trusty Temper made a successful return to the races Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs, scoring a wire-to-wire, four-length victory in the featured 505 Dayton Girls Dash for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
The “$64,000 question” for trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley is who will ride Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird in next Saturday’s Preakness (GI) at Pimlico.
“Calvin Borel will be on the (entry) card,” Woolley said Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. “I do have a backup, but I am not ready to release it.”
In the interest of human and equine safety, Churchill Downs called off its final five races late Friday afternoon following a heavy wave of showers and thunderstorms. It was just the third cancellation of its kind in the last 19 years at the historic Louisville racetrack.
Jockey Calvin Borel has reached an agreement with the new owners of Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winner Rachel Alexandra to ride the 3-year-old filly through the “current racing season.”
Silverton Hill’s Oculuna outgamed Northern Belle through a stretch-long duel to win Thursday’s $51,785 featured allowance at Churchill Downs by a nose.
BARN NOTES (May 7, 2009) - Rachel Alexandra Gallops for New Connections/Mine That Bird Gallops/Leparoux Grabs Riding Lead
RACHEL ALEXANDRA MOVES TO NEW BARN – Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick’s new purchase Rachel Alexandra began her new life in the care of trainer Steve Asmussen on Thursday morning by galloping once around a sloppy Churchill Downs main track under exercise rider Dominic Terry.
Elizabeth Alexander’s Tap Dancing held off a late bid from Silver Mountain by a length to win the featured $43,760 Hobert Summers Memorial over a “sloppy” track at Churchill Downs in a field reduced to four on Wednesday afternoon.