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(June 15, 2008) – Mrs SK Johnston Jr’s Rock Gold rallied past pacesetter Crack the Cognac in the final strides to win Sunday’s Father’s Day Classic, a $41,040 allowance sprint for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs, by a neck.
With a dominant 4 ¼-length victory by reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin in the $1 million Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) behind him, trainer Steve Asmussen was looking toward the future for his champion on Sunday morning. And the immediate future could have a distinctive green tint, as in the color of grass.
Reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin made a spectacular return to competition in the United States when he cruised to an easy 4 1/4-length victory over nine rivals in the 27th running of Saturday’s $1 million-guaranteed Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs.
Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Anna lived up to her 1-2 favoritism by cruising to a front-running 2 ½-length victory over Ballymore Lady in the 32nd running of the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Tizdejavu swept Churchill Downs’ spring graded stakes races for 3-year-olds on turf with a convincing gate-to-wire romp in Saturday’s $222,600 Jefferson Cup (Grade II).
Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC’s Pyro rebounded from an eighth-place finish in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) to draw off to a 1 3/4-length victory over My Pal Charlie in the seventh running of the $190,925 Northern Dancer Stakes (GIII) on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Pure Clan rolled to her third stakes win at Churchill Downs with a 2 3/4-length victory over C J’s Leelee in Saturday’s $217,000 Regret Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Pure Clan, who returned to turf racing after a third place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (GI), covered 1 1/8 miles over the Matt Winn Turf Course rated “good” in 1:49.86.
Eclipse Award winning-jockey Garrett Gomez hand-rode Hystericalady to a 7 ½-length triumph over Initforthekandy in Saturday’s $321,900 Fleur de Lis Handicap (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.
The 5-year-old mare, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, ran 1 1/8 miles on a “fast” main track in 1:50.88 en route to the fifth graded stakes victory of her 19-race career.
Rob O’Connor has been training horses at Churchill Downs for more than two decades, but he never has had a meet such as the current one.
When Sneak a Drink scored a 5-1 odds in Friday’s second race, she gave O’Connor his seventh victory from just 17 starters. That is a 41 percent win rate with an average payoff of $16.50.
(June 13, 2008) – Country Ridge Racing’s Natalicat wore down favored Pure Star in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the Friday afternoon headliner for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Churchill Downs by a half-length and give apprentice jockey Diego Rodriguez his second win of the day.
(June 13, 2008) – Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.’s Ocean Colors, a 2-year-old homebred daughter of 1988 Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors, made her racing debut one to remember Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs by scoring a front-running 5 1/4-length victory over Jehan in the fourth race.
It’s 900 wins under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs and counting for jockey Larry Melancon, who reached the mark Thursday when he guided A.P. Xcellent to a front-running victory in the eighth race.
(June 12, 2008) – Veteran jockey Larry Melancon secured his 900th riding victory at Churchill Downs when he guided A.P. Xcellent to a front-running two-length score over Wise River in Thursday afternoon’s $47,400 D.D. Williamson’s Leadership Challenge purse for 3-year-olds and up.
The countdown to the opening of the second half of the 2008 campaign by Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin is now down to hours, and trainer Steve Asmussen is ready to see the imposing chestnut colt run in Saturday’s $1 million Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I).
Hystericalady Heads Grade II Fleur De Lis; Champion Dreaming of Anna Heads Early Mint Julep on Foster Undercard
Rancho San Miguel, George Todaro and Jerry Hollendorfer’s Hystericalady, runner-up in last fall’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade I), makes her second appearance of the spring at Churchill Downs on Saturday when she heads a field of six fillies and mares ages 3 and up for the 34th running of the $300,000-added
(June 11, 2008) – John Oxley’s I’m So Lucky overwhelmed eight rivals to win Wednesday afternoon’s $43,100 Pride of the Virginias’ allowance for 3-year-olds by 4 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs.
'Horse of the Year' Curlin Draws Rail, Odds-On Favorite Faces Nine In $1 Million Stephen Foster Handicap
Stonestreet Stables and Midnight Cry Stable’s reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin is scheduled to make his first start since his emphatic Dubai World Cup (Grade I) victory on March 29 when he faces nine rivals in the 27th running of the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
(June 11, 2008) – Bernie Flint became the fourth trainer in Churchill Downs history to accumulate 400 victories under the historic Twin Spires when Saltgrass Trail won the second race on Wednesday’s card.
DELIGHTFUL KISS RETURNS TO HIS OLD KENTUCKY HOME – A year ago, trainer Pete Anderson was hopeful of getting a matchup against Curlin on the main track at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby with Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss.