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BARN NOTES (6.5.09) - Bird in Belmont? Some Local Opinions/Tizaqueena Faces Another Test in Mint Julep/Margolis' 'Seconditis'
WILL MINE THAT BIRD FLY HIGH IN THE BELMONT? OPINIONS VARY – The question of the day Friday morning on the Churchill Downs backstretch centered on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) and Mine That Bird’s quest for two-thirds of the Triple Crown.
Early arrivals to Churchill Downs on Saturday will receive a free button to commemorate Mine That Bird’s victory in Kentucky Derby 135 (while supplies last) as the 3-year-old gelding attempts to land two-thirds of horse racing’s Triple Crown in the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes.
Wayne Lyster III, Brent Rice and Helen Laughery’s Blue Lion swept past pacesetter Cross Village in the upper stretch and drew off by 3 ½ lengths to win Thursday’s featured $50,200 Whitey Pryor Classic at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.4.09) - Albarado Takes Aim on 5,000 Win Milestone/Einstein Tops Foster 'Cap Noms/General Quarters Out Until Fall
WITH 4,000 VICTORIES, ALBARADO AIMS FOR NEXT MILESTONE – With one milestone behind him, jockey Robby Albarado took time out the other morning to reflect on some of the magic moments en route to 4,000 career victories, mark he achieved at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Lewis Lakin’s Pure Clan, a model of consistency on both turf and dirt throughout her career, headlines a stellar cast entered for Saturday’s 33rd running of the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep (Grade III) to be run at 1 1/16th miles over the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs.
Cash Prizes, Trip to Vegas in Who's the Champ? Handicapping Tournament Every Thursday and Sunday in June
Horse racing fans will vie for lucrative cash prizes and coveted berths in the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship XI when the popular Who’s the Champ? Handicapping Tournament returns to Churchill Downs every Thursday and Sunday in June.
BARN NOTES (6.1.09) - Mine That Bird Has Final Belmont Prep/Rachel Alexandra Works/Acoma Preps For Mint Julep
MINE THAT BIRD WORKS HALF-MILE IN :50 FOR BELMONT – Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird put in his final major preparation for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) by working a half-mile in :50 under jockey Calvin Borel on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs will conduct the first of three historic “Downs After Dark” night racing sessions on Friday, June 19, as the home of the Kentucky Derby turns up the lights for the first time in its 135-year history.
Silverton Hill, LLC’s St Joe, who spotted the field several lengths after breaking last in a five-furlong turf sprint, rocketed past five rivals in the final eighth of a mile to win Sunday’s featured $43,875 Long Suit Purse at Churchill Downs for 3-year-olds and up by a length over Lord Robyn.
BARN NOTES (5.31.09) - Derby Winner's Owners Stop In For Quick Check/Bold Start Relaxes After Aristides Win/Reyes Still Rolling
OWNERS DROP IN TO CHECK OUT MINE THAT BIRD – Mine That Bird’s entourage grew a bit Sunday morning as Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Blach, the New Mexico-based co-owners of the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner, made a quick stop in Louisville en route to New York for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (GI).
A landmark day for jockey Robby Albarado got even better when he guided Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start to a 2 ¾-length victory over Semaphore Man in Saturday’s 21st running of the $112,600 Aristides (Grade III) for sprinters at Churchill Downs.
Veteran rider Robby Albarado became the 56th North American rider to reach the 4,000-victory milestone Saturday when he rode Barbara Hunter’s Keertana ($5.20) to victory in the ninth race at Churchill Downs.
Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC and Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Ltd.’s Hightap ran down heavily favored Luster in mid-stretch and drew away to an impressive 3 ¼-length win in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade III $111,500 Dogwood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (5.30.09) Whiting Celebrates Milestone Win/Mine That Bird Camp Focuses on Belmont/One Caroline To Miss Fleur De Lis
WIN BY ACTION SEEKER PUTS WHITING IN SELECT COMPANY – Veteran trainer Lynn Whiting was all smiles Saturday as he accepted congratulations for his 300th Churchill Downs win, a milestone achieved by JoAnn and Alex Lieblong’s Action Seeker in the eighth race.
With firm knowledge that the Preakness (Grade I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the Belmont Stakes and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby (GI) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.
Lynn Whiting, who saddled Lil E Tee to victory in the 1992 Kentucky Derby, on Friday became the 10th trainer to win 300 races at Churchill Downs when Action Seeker rallied to win the eighth race.
BUSY MORNING FOR CLASSIC WINNERS: RACHEL ALEXANDRA POSES FOR VOGUE; MINE THAT BIRD GALLOPS – The whole morning Friday was decidedly not business as usual for Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Preakness (Grade I) winner Rachel Alexandra at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (5.28.09) - McPeek Celebrates 1,000th Win/Spinters Lead Way for Sizzling Calhoun/Mint Julep Nominations Out
FROM FINAL DESTROYER TO OLD MAN BUCK, McPEEK HAS ENJOYED FUN RIDE – Trainer Ken McPeek was all smiles Tuesday morning as he accepted congratulations on getting his 1,000th victory during the Memorial Day holiday card at Churchill Downs.
Semaphore Man Tops Aristides, Slides Choice Heads Dogwood As Churchill Downs Offers Pair of Saturday Grade III Stakes
Veteran sprint star Semaphore Man heads the 21st running of the Aristides (GIII) and Ohio invader Slides Choice could emerge as the favorite in the 35th running of the Dogwood (GIII) as Churchill Downs offers a pair of major stakes events on its racing menu for Saturday, May 30. .
Trainer Ken McPeek posted his 1,000th career victory on Monday when Lawrence Carroll’s Old Man Buck won the eighth race at Churchill Downs under Calvin Borel.
McPeek, a 46-year-old native of Fort Chaffee, Ark., got his first win on Oct. 27, 1985 at River Downs with Final Destroyer.