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Dust off the flared trousers, wide collars and platform shoes.
When the wildly popular “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing programs return to Churchill Downs in earnest on Friday, June 11, there’ll be a new twist in 2010: each of the six evening extravaganzas will have a primary theme, beginning with “Disco at the Downs.”
RACHEL ALEXANDRA STRONG IN FIVE-FURLONG WORK -- Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick’s reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra picked up the pace of her training on Monday with a sharp five-furlong workout at Churchill Downs.
FREE FIGHTER HEADS HOME AFTER LOUISVILLE HANDICAP VICTORY – Louisville Handicap (GIII) winner Free Fighter headed back to his home base at Arlington Park Sunday morning after his upset two-length triumph over Bearpath in the 1 ½-mile marathon.
Thomas Fedro Sr. and Team Block’s Free Fighter, ridden by Francisco Torres, surged past dueling leaders Eagle Poise and Telling on the far turn and went on to win the 73rd running of the $113,800 Louisville Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs by two lengths over Bearpath.
STEPHEN FOSTER BID POSSIBLE FOR GENERAL QUARTERS – Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy wanted to keep Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) winner General Quarters on the grass after that big Derby Day victory, but there is a tempting target in three weeks that could put the 4-year-old Sky Mesa colt back on dirt.
MINE THAT BIRD BACK ON THE TRACK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – It had been nearly 10 months, but on Friday morning 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird stepped back on the track where he became a household name in taking the Run for the Roses.
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), returned to the scene of the greatest accomplishment early Thursday evening when he arrived at Churchill Downs and took up residence in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who will now guide the Derby winner’s career.
BACK INJURY SIDELINES LEPAROUX; EYE INFECTION DERAILS BOREL – It appears the spill that jockey Julien Leparoux took last Friday in Pimlico’s Black-Eyed Susan (GII) was more serious than initially believed.
Fred Bradley’s veteran Brass Hat will face 10 rivals Saturday as he attempts to become the seventh horse to score multiple victories in the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII).
PREAKNESS RUNNER-UP FIRST DUDE BACK AT CHURCHILL, SET FOR NEXT STOP IN BELMONT STAKES – Donald Dizney’s First Dude did not win the second jewel of the Triple Crown, but trainer Dale Romans could not have been much happier had he managed to hold off Lookin At Lucky in Saturday’s $1 million Preakness (Grade I) at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course.
Thiskyhasnolimit, returning from six months on the sidelines because of injury, rallied in the stretch under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan to wear down favored Cool Bullet to win the ninth running of the $108,000 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.
Derby 136 Players Dean's Kitten, Belmont-Bound Stately Victor Work, While Brass Hat Tunes Up for Louisville 'Cap Defense
DERBY 136 PLAYERS STATELY VICTOR, DEAN’S KITTEN WORK AT TRACKSIDE LOUISVILLE – With the experience of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum!
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf Heroine Tapitsfly Back In Romans' Barn; Foster Hopes Macho Again, Arson Squad Work
BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER TAPITSFLY BACK IN ROMANS BARN – Trainer Dale Romans’ attention has been focused in recent days on his pair of contenders for Saturday’s Preakness (Grade I) – Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum!
BOREL HAPPY WITH SUPER SAVER, PREAKNESS POST – A winner of three of last four runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), jockey Calvin Borel will bid Saturday for his second consecutive victory in the $1 million Preakness, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, aboard WinStar Farm’s Derby winner Super Saver.
The stables that have been the hottest of the opening two of weeks of Churchill Downs’ 42-day Spring Meet clash head-on Saturday when 2009 Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) winner Thiskyhasnolimit and Hansel Stakes winner Cool Bullet meet in Saturday’s ninth running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Romans-Trained Preakness Duo Completes Local Preps ... Baffert Tabs Garcia ... Mission Impazible to skip Preakness
ROMANS DUO COMPLETES CHURCHILL PREPARATIONS FOR PREAKNESS – Routine gallops were the order of the day on Tuesday for a pair of Preakness contenders trained by Louisville native Dale Romans, who is looking forward to saddling his double-barreled bid for a first victory in a Triple Crown classic.
Derby Winner Super Saver Works Under Borel; Gomez Gets Acquainted with Dublin; Rachel Returns to Work Tab
DERBY WINNER SUPER SAVER WORKS THREE FURLONGS IN :36.60 – WinStar Farm’s Super Saver worked three furlongs in :36.60 under jockey Calvin Borel after renovation break over a track rated as “fast.”
Working on his own, Super Saver notched fractions of :12.40, :36.60, out a half in :49.20 and five-eighths in 1:02. The move was fifth fastest of 29 at the distance.
DOGWOOD’S PREAKNESS HOPE AIKENITE WORKS FIVE FURLONGS FOR PLETCHER; SUPER SAVER SET TO WORK MONDAY – Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite tuned up for an anticipated run in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (Grade I) by working five furlongs in company in 1:01.40.
Barbara Hunter’s Keertana collared pacesetter C.S. Silk at the head of the stretch and cruised to an easy 4 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s $55,854 feature race for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
One week after his long-awaited victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) with WinStar Farm’s Super Saver and seven days before the colt’s bid for the Preakness, trainer Todd Pletcher met with reporters Saturday in the paddock at Churchill Downs to discuss the colt and his bid for the elusive Triple Crown.