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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.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Horses and Hope To Accept Churchill Downs Donations on Saturday, June 13
While many of America’s top horses will be competing in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap and four other major races at Churchill Downs on Saturday, the search for a cure for breast cancer will also be in the spotlight as the historic track presents a $100,000 check to Susan G. Komen for the Cure©, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.
BARN NOTES (6.12.09) - Mine That Bird Targets West Virginia Derby, Travers/Researcher Settles In/Macho Again a Foster Factor?
WOOLLEY CHARTS COURSE FOR MINE THAT BIRD: WEST VIRGINIA DERBY AND TRAVERS – Trainer Chip Woolley said Friday morning that the West Virginia Derby (Grade II) at Mountaineer Park would be the next start for Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Mine That Bird.
With five sensational graded stakes races cumulatively worth more than $1.2 million and a bevy of entertainment before and during the races, Saturday’s popular Reunion Day program at Churchill Downs promises to be action packed on and off the racetrack.
Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Sunday Sunrise rallied five wide in the deep stretch and drew off to defeat even-money favorite Au Moon by 2 ½ lengths to win Thursday’s $49,790 allowance feature for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.11.09) - Mine That Bird Returns To Track/Warrior's Reward's Time?/Return To Dirt Key For Arson Squad
MINE THAT BIRD BACK-TRACKS OVER CHURCHILL DOWNS MUD – Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the racetrack for the first time since finishing third in last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) by leisurely back-tracking once around early Thursday morning under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa.
Domino Stud of Lexington’s Miss Isella will go for her third consecutive Grade II stakes victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday when she totes high weight of 122 pounds in the 35th running of the $200,000-added Fleur De Lis Handicap (Grade II).
Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein (BRZ) will carry high weight of 124 pounds and concede from 2-11 pounds to seven rivals Saturday as he attempts to become the first horse to win three consecutive Grade I races on three surfaces in the 28th running of the $600,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird returned to Churchill Downs on Monday morning after his third-place finish in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I).