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BARN NOTES (6.21.09) - Three-Win Day Boosts Hernandez / Debutante Field Takes Shape / Foley Has Two Shots at Milestone
THREE-WIN DAY BOLSTERS HERNANDEZ’S SPIRITS – It has been a frustrating meet so far for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., but things started to turn around a bit on Saturday when he enjoyed his first three-day win of the meet.
“You hope to have more days like yesterday,” said Hernandez, a 23-year-old native of Lafayette, La.
Texas Toyco, LLC’s Victory Notion collared Holy Anthem in deep stretch to win Saturday’s featured $49,995 Le Cou Cou Purse for 3-year-olds and up by a head at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (5.20.09) - 'Downs After Dark' Gets Strong Reviews / Miss Diane One To Watch / Ocean Colors Breaks Through
DOWNS AFTER DARK RECEIVES STRONG REVIEWS – The talk of the backstretch Saturday morning was all about the night before … the debut of night racing at Churchill Downs that brought out a crowd of 28,011.
Cosmic Rallies Under Borel To Take Featured Dark Star Purse on First Night Racing Program at Churchill Downs
Mary Grum’s Cosmic, receiving a patented, rail-skimming ride from Calvin Borel, romped to a 4 1/4-length victory over Godolphin Gray before a crowd of 28,011 to win Friday’s $52,270 Dark Star Purse, the featured attraction on the first program of night racing in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.19.09) - Owners Turn Down Bid For Derby Winner Mine That Bird / Lanerie Enjoys Big Spring / Brass Hat Stays Sharp
OWNERS TURN DOWN OFFER FOR MINE THAT BIRD – Trainer Chip Woolley said Friday morning that an offer to purchase Mine That Bird, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), has been turned down by owners Mark Allen of Double Eagle Ranch and Dr. Leonard Blach of Buena Suerte Equine.
Patton’s Creek Farm’s War Eagle Lady remained undefeated on the main track at Churchill Downs as she won Thursday’s featured $52,485 Roxelana Purse for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Flying Pegasus Starts Road Back/Horsemen Prepare for Night Move / Hot Dixie Chick Tops Debutante Noms
FLYING PEGASUS BEGINS THE ROAD BACK FRIDAY NIGHT – The road with Flying Pegasus has been anything but smooth for trainer Ralph Nicks, but he’ll saddle the promising 3-year-old for a return to action following a three-month break when he competes in a seven-furlong allowance test on Friday night at Churchill Downs.
Racing Analyst, Commentator Jill Byrne Joins Churchill Downs Full-Time as On-Air Communications Director
Jill Byrne, whose insights as a television racing analyst for Churchill Downs and cable racing network TVG have earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing, has joined Churchill Downs on a full-time basis as Director of On-Air Racing Communications.
Let there be lights. Following the testing of temporary track lighting fixtures during early morning training hours on Monday and Tuesday, Churchill Downs officials declared the home of the Kentucky Derby ready for the first of three special dates of night racing billed as “Downs After Dark.”
LIGHTS … CAMERAS … ACTION, SORT OF – The temporary lights were aglow and the television cameras were ready to roll when the gates Churchill Downs’ historic one-mile main track were opened for the first-ever session of training under the lights at the home of the Kentucky Derby on Monday at 4:57 a.m. (all times EDT).
Team Kentucky’s Gandolph Finch, ridden by Leandro Goncalves, took the lead leaving the backstretch and cruised to a 1 ¾-length victory in Sunday’s featured $49,280 Morluc Purse at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.14.09) - Macho Again's Foster Leaves Stewart Smiling/Frustration Follows Einstein's Troubled Foster Run
STEWART BEAMING AFTER MACHO AGAIN’S FOSTER TRIUMPH – Trainer Dallas Stewart was all smiles Sunday morning as he accepted congratulations on the victory by West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again in Saturday’s $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I).
Two organizations dedicated to raising funds for the ongoing search for a cure for breast cancer shared the spotlight Saturday at Churchill Downs as the historic home of the Kentucky Derby presented donations totaling $130,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure©, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, and Kentucky-based Horses and Hope.
Barbara Hunter’s Keertana held off a late bid by The Best Day Ever by a neck to win Saturday’s 40th
running of the $174,600 Regret (Grade III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs and top off a five-victory day for jockey Robby Albarado.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, last in the early going, made a strong move on the far turn to reach contention and then drew clear to win Saturday’s 28th running of the $660,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) at Churchill Downs by a length over Asiatic Boy (ARG).
Elaine Jones’ Miss Isella squeezed through a narrow opening on the rail under Calvin Borel in the upper stretch and then fought off a challenge from Swift Temper to win Saturday’s 35th running of the $221,600 Fleur De Lis Handicap (Grade II) by three-quarters of a length at Churchill Downs.
Morton Fink’s Successful Dan outdueled Warrior’s Reward in a stretch-long battle by a head to win the 12th running of the $108,900 Northern Dancer (Grade III) for 3-year-olds on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Darley Stable’s Florentino (JPN) took the lead out of the gate and then held off stretch challenges from favored El Crespo and No Inflation to win Saturday’s 34th running of the $163,500 Jefferson Cup (Grade II) for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.13.09) - Citizen John Provides Milestone Win to Vance/Borel Surpasses Brumfield/Backtalk to Bashford?
CITIZEN JOHN DELIVERS MILESTONE DOWNS VICTORY FOR VANCE – Trainer David Vance and owner Carl Pollard have been a team for more than 15 years, so it was probably fitting that a Pollard-owned horse, Citizen John, presented the veteran trainer with his 300th triumph at Churchill Downs and his 3,012th win overall.
Guam Typhoon Takes Vodika Collins Purse, Vance Saddles 300th CD Winner and Borel Passes Brumfield for 2nd All Time
Elaine Jones’ Guam Typhoon took the lead at the head of the stretch and held off Map of the World by 1 ¼ lengths to win Friday’s featured Vodika Collins Purse, named for the first winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap.