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Zayat Stables’ Thorn Song will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap when he takes on seven rivals in the Grade II, one-mile turf race on Saturday’s Independence Day program at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs' Night Racing Finale Set for Thursday at 6 p.m.; Holiday Laser Light Show Added to Entertainment
Last dance. Last chance.
Churchill Downs will kick-start the Fourth of July holiday weekend in style as the world’s most legendary racetrack winds down its 45-date Spring Meet with the final presentation of “Downs After Dark” on Thursday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk, an impressive debut winner, and Millsap Stables’ homebred Brassy Boy, unbeaten in two career starts, head a field of nine 2-year-olds entered for Friday’s 108th running of the Bashford Manor (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) winner Mine That Bird worked a half-mile in :51 over a fast track Monday morning at Churchill Downs in his first serious training move since a third-place finish to Summer Bird in the Belmont Stakes (GI) on June 6.
Silverton Hill’s St Joe took command leaving the backstretch and cruised to a 3 ½-length victory over Garifine in Sunday’s $51,780 feature race at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, St. Joe quickly moved past Eaton’s Gift approaching the far turn and was not pressured the rest of the way in completing the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.83.
BARN NOTES (6.28.09) - Debutante Winner Saratoga-Bound as Lukas Eyes Debutante-Bashford Sweep; Mine That Bird Works Monday
LUKAS HALFWAY HOME TO DEBUTANTE-BASHFORD MANOR DOUBLE – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has now won the Debutante Stakes (GIII) a record seven times and also holds the Bashford Manor (GIII) record with five wins, but he has never swept Churchill Downs’ marquee Spring Meet juvenile events in the same year.
Decelerator Gives Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas A Record Seventh Victory in Grade III Debutante Stakes
Westrock Stables’ Decelerator prevailed by a neck over Wild Forest Cat to win Saturday’s 109th running of the $111,300 Debutante Stakes (Grade III) for 2-year-old fillies and give trainer Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his record seventh victory in the race.
BARN NOTES (6.27.09) - Theriot Ready To Return to Racing / Bashford Manor Field Takes Shape / Summer Bird To Visit Churchill
THERIOT EAGER TO RETURN TO THE RACES ON MONDAY – Jockey Jamie Theriot will resume riding on Monday at Indiana Downs following the conclusion of a 30-day suspension stemming from a May 23 incident at Arlington Park.
“The only time I have been idle longer is when I have been hurt,” said Theriot. “I have never been out this long for a suspension.”
Malih Al Basti Racing Stable’s Karama proved best by a head after a stretch-long duel over Taurus the Bull to win Friday’s featured $43,810 Desert Light Purse for 3-year-olds on the second “Downs After Dark” program before 27,623 at Churchill Downs.
BARN NOTES (6.26.09) - Familiar Path for Our Tekela Rose / Gallegos Adds to A.M. Resume / Cash Refund Out
OUR TEKELA ROSE FOLLOWS IN FAMILIAR FOOTSTEPS – A year ago, trainer Hal Wiggins introduced Kentucky Oaks (GI) and Preakness (GI) winner Rachel Alexandra to the racing public with a runner-up effort in the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (Grade III).
Churchill Downs officials have assured customers of cheap beer and short lines when night racing returns to the Louisville racetrack on Friday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Castleton Lyons Farm’s Instrumentalist rallied from just off the pace to win Thursday’s featured $52,515 Lazer Show Purse for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Thomas Drury Jr. and ridden by Jon Court, Instrumentalist covered the five furlongs on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.86.
BARN NOTES (6.25.09) - Foley Closing On 300 CD Wins / Defending Winner Thorn Song Tops Firecracker Nominations
LIFELONG RACETRACKER FOLEY ON CUSP OF CHURCHILL MILESTONE – The question brought a chuckle from trainer Greg Foley.
“The first time my dad brought me to the race track? I guess I was 3 or 4,” the 51-year-old Foley said. “When I was 5 or 6, I was walking hots.”
Trainer D Wayne Lukas, who has saddled the Debutante winner a record six times, will have two chances at bringing home No. 7 on Saturday when he sends out Westrock Stables’ Decelerator and Tidal Pool in the 109th running of the $100,000-added Grade III event at Churchill Downs.
Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and the Preakness (GI), worked four furlongs in :49.80 at Churchill Downs on Monday in preparation for her scheduled return to racing in Saturday’s $300,000 Mother Goose (GI) at Belmont Park.
Churchill Downs Lowers 'Happy Hour' Prices, Adds Beverage Stations, Boosts Staff For 'Downs After Dark' II
After a successful launch of night racing with last Friday’s historic “Downs After Dark” debut, Churchill Downs is offering fans who were frustrated by lines at beverage stations during the night racing debut lower drink prices and significant increases in both drink stations and staff for the track’s second night racing program on Friday, June 26.
David Holloway’s Dubious Miss assumed control approaching the top of the stretch and drew clear to post a two-length victory over Spotsgone in the $60,747 feature race on Sunday’s Father’s Day card at Churchill Downs.
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.