Matt Winn

Banned Leads 3-Year-Old Parade on Foster Undercard

While some of America’s most talented older horses prepare to compete in the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (Grade I) later in the day, a trio of stakes for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds will share the spotlight with the first race in Churchill Downs history for Arabian horses during the 12-race Stephen Foster Day Presented by Abu Dhabi racing program on Saturday, June 18.

The 30th running of the Stephen Foster Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles attracted a deep field of 11 horses heads by the Virginia H. Tarra Trust’s two-time Grade I stakes winner Giant Oak and Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Crown of Thorns.  Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed Giant Oak, winner of Churchill Downs’ $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI), as the 7-2 morning line favorite for the Foster, which is scheduled to be the last of the day’s dozen races.  Post time for the Saturday’s first race is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).

But before the Foster is run, 3-year-olds take the spotlight in a trio of graded stakes races on dirt and turf that include:

  • The $125,000-added Matt Winn Presented by Emirates Equestrian Federation (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the main track (scheduled as the 10th race with a post time of 5:25 p.m.),
  • The $125,000-added Regret Presented by Etihad Airways (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies on turf at 1 1/8 miles (scheduled as the 11th race at 5:55 p.m.),                                             
  • The $100,000 Jefferson Cup Presented by Abu Dhabi (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf (schedule as the 9th race at 4:55 p.m).  

Saturday’s sixth race will make history at the famed Louisville track as it will be the first Churchill Downs race to feature horses of the Arabian breed.  The President of the United Arab Emirates Cup, a $50,000-added, Grade I race for purebred Arabian horses at the Kentucky Derby distance of a mile and a quarter.

The President of the UAE Cup Series was established 20 years ago to promote and celebrate the Arabian breed internationally.  It was the first international racing series for Arabian horses and continues to be considered as the world’s premier racing series for the breed.

A field of eight Arabian horses ages 4 and up was entered Wednesday for Saturday’s race on the main track, and Churchill Downs jockeys will ride six of the entrants.

The Arabian star perhaps best known to local fans is Bill Waldron’s Grilla, who won an installment of The President of the UAE Cup Series last fall at Keeneland.  The 5-year-old is coming off a victory in the Arabian Cup at Sam Houston on April 11 and will be ridden by William Hollick.

Sam Vasquez’ T M Fred Texas was runner-up to Grilla at Sam Houston, only his second loss in seven career starts, and will be ridden by Santos Chavez.  Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel will ride Guy NeivensDixies Valentine, a winner of nine of 11 career races.

Churchill Downs jockeys with mounts include Spring Meet win leader Corey Lanerie, Brian Hernandez Jr., Aldo Cachano and apprentices Constantino Roman and Marcelino Pedroza Jr.

The field for The President of the UAE Cup, from the rail out (with jockey, weight) includes: T M Fred Texas (Chavez, 118), Dixies Valentine (Borel, 118), Another Color (Roman, 123), Ovour the Top (Lanerie, 118), Crownn Royal (Hernandez, 123), Vip (Cachano, 118), Wodkka (Pedroza, 123) and Grilla (Hollick, 123).

The brightest star competing in the day’s trio of stakes races for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds could be Glen Hill Farm’s Banned, who heads a field of eight in the 36th running of the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup Presented by Abu Dhabi (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Trained by Tom Proctor, Banned rolled to his third win in six races in an emphatic 4 ½-length victory in the $200,000-added American Turf (GII) on Kentucky Oaks Day.  It was the first race of the year for the son of Kitten’s Joy who ran a solid fifth last fall to Pluck in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GII) and started his season with a close third-place finish in an allowance race at Keeneland.

Jose Lezcano will ride Banned in the Jefferson Cup has he faces rivals that include a surprise entrant in Millennium FarmsGreat Mills, the speedy winner of the Grindstone at Fair Grounds and the only other stakes winner in the field.  The Steve Asmussen-trained son of War Front was defeated in the final jump by Air Support in the Transylvania (GIII) at Keeneland and finished fourth in the American Turf.  He was ridden in both races by Julien Leparoux, who has the mount on Saturday.

The field for the Jefferson Cup from the hedge out (with jockey, weight) includes: Live In Joy (Manoel Cruz, 117), Redboard (Leandro Goncalves, 117), Dream Warrior (Lanerie, 117), Banned (Lezcano, 121), Swagger Jack (James Graham, 117), Perregaux (Robby Albarado, 117), Benergy (Javier Castellano, 117) and Great Mills (Leparoux, 117).

Zayat Stables LLC’s Illinois Derby (GIII) winner Joe Vann and Charles Cella’s Uncle Brent, winner of the Northern Spur at Oaklawn Park, head a field eight 3-year-olds entered to compete in the 14th running of the $125,000-added Matt Winn Presented by Emirates Equestrian Federation (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The race was formerly known as the Northern Dancer, but was renamed to honor the legendary president and general manager of Churchill Downs who is credited with building both the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs into their status as international sports icons.  Col. Matt Winn arrived at Churchill Downs in 1902 when the track and its premier race were struggling, but the Derby had risen to become America’s greatest race and one of the world’s great sports events when he died in 1949.

The Todd Pletcher-trained Joe Vann romped to a 4 ¼-length victory in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne, and followed that with a fourth-place run behind Alternation in the Peter Pan (GII) at Belmont Park.  Javier Castellano will ride the son of Silver Deputy, who has won three of six races.

Uncle Brent turned in a poor ninth-place run in the Peter Pan, but has trained beautifully in preparation for the Matt Winn.  The 3-year-old gelded son of Pioneering has won two of four races for trainer Lynn Whiting, who won the 1992 Kentucky Derby with Lil E. Tee.  Manoel Cruz will ride.

The Matt Winn’s stakes veterans face a promising group of stakes newcomers that include Stonestreet Stable’s Wilburn and Z Thoroughbreds LLC’s Infrattini, the 1-2 finishers in a May 15 allowance race at Churchill Downs, and Peter J. Callahan’s Scotus, a troubled runner-up in an allowance race on June 5.

The Matt Winn field, from the rail out (with jockey, weight), includes: Alstom (Borel, 116), Infrattini (Lanerie, 116), Wilburn (Mike Smith, 116), Supreme Ruler (Jon Court, 116), Uncle Brent (Cruz, 120), Chalice (Leparoux, 116), Scotus (Alan Garcia, 116) and Joe Vann (Castellano, 120).

The 42nd running of the $125,000-added Regret Presented by Etihad Airways (GIII) provides the setting for a return turf by Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ accomplished Kathmanblu, a multiple stakes winner on grass and dirt who failed to threaten Plum Pretty in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) on the main track at Churchill Downs last time out.

Julien Leparoux will ride the daughter Bluegrass Cat who is one of two Regret contenders trained by the sizzling Ken McPeek, who brings a streak of three consecutive Churchill Downs stakes victories into Stephen Foster Day.  McPeek will also saddle Catesby Clay’s homebred Bizzy Caroline, a daughter of Afleet Alex who rides a pair of impressive allowance victories at Keeneland and Churchill Downs into the Regret.  Manoel Cruz will ride Bizzy Caroline from the inside post.

A major threat to the McPeek pair is Zayat Stable’s Diva Ash, the rapidly improving winner of the $100,000-added Edgewood on the Matt Winn Turf Course on Kentucky Oaks Day.  The Dale Romans-trained daughter of Tapit, a winner of two of three starts, will be ridden by Robby Albarado.

Another filly turning to the grass after a run in the Kentucky Oaks is Right Time Racing LLC’s Bouquet Booth, a solid fifth in the Oaks and winner on dirt of the Delta Princess (GIII) at Delta Downs and Fair Grounds’ Silverbulletday.  The Steve Margolis-trained daughter of Flower Alley will make her turf debut in the Regret and Shaun Bridgmohan will be in the saddle.

Other Regret contenders among the eight fillies entered in the Regret include Michael Tabor’s Excited, an easy winner of the $50,000 Hilltop at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard for Pletcher, and Sovereign Stable’s Blushandbashful, third in the same race for trainer John Terranova II.

Trainer Tom Proctor will saddle Glen Hill Farm’s Holidaysatthefarm, who failed to fire when she finished fifth to Regret rivals Kathmanblu and Excited in the Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park, but fared much better in a runner-up finish to Dynamic Holiday in the Feb. 12 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs.  Her most recent race was troubled eighth-place finish behind Dynamic Holiday in the Herecomesthebride (GIII) at Gulfstream Park on March 13.

Harris ThoroughbredsGaya completes the Regret field.  Trainer Tom Amoss’ daughter of Quest brings a three-race winning streak that includes a pair of turf wins at Fair Grounds and a recent victory on the grass at Indiana Downs.

The field for the Regret, from the hedge out (with jockey, weight), includes: Bizzy Caroline (Cruz, 116), Diva Ash (Albarado, 116), Bouquet Booth (Bridgmohan, 118), Holidaysatthefarm (Lezcano, 116), Kathmanblu (Leparoux, 122), Excited (Castellano, 116), Gaya (Graham, 118) and Blushandbashful (Freddie Lenclud, 116).

Injury Knocks Bind Out of Saturday's Matt Winn

HIGHLY REGARDED BIND OUT OF MATT WINN WITH FRACTURE, PROBABLY OUT FOR YEAR – An injury suffered during a Monday workout has taken Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s highly regarded Bind out of consideration for Saturday’s $125,000-added Matt Winn Presented by Emirates Equestrian Federation (GIII) at Churchill Downs and has probably knocked him out of racing for the year.

Trainer Al Stall Jr. said Bind suffered a condylar fracture in his right front leg during a four-furlong work over Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface that was to have been his final major work prior to his stakes debut in the Matt Winn.  Bind covered the distance in :49.60 under exercise rider Jerry O’Dwyer.

"He worked like a champ,” Stall said.  “He worked like his normal self.  He looked like a gazelle running down the lane, but he didn’t cool out properly and there it was.”

Stall said the injury would require surgery and Bind was transported later in the morning to the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital for the procedure.  He said the prognosis for Bind’s fracture is “very good” at this point.

“It’s non-displaced, clean, there’s no trash,” Stall said.  “It’s a kick in the teeth right off the bat on a Monday morning, but that’s just how it goes.”

Stall said that the best case scenario for Bind would probably see him return to competition late this year or early 2012 when his stable returns to New Orleans’ Fair Grounds.  Even if the surgery is as successful as he anticipates, Stall said the colt would probably be out of training for 120 days.

Meanwhile, another major contender for the Matt Winn – George Bolton, Stonestreet Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Dominus – is dealing with a foot issue, but remains “possible” for the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

The son of Smart Strike was nipped at the finish by Machen in a runner-up finish in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) on April 30 and trainer Steve Asmussen said he hopes the issue will clear up in time for the colt to be entered for the Matt Winn on Wednesday.

Another Matt Winn contender, Iron Horse Racing LLC’s Alstom, worked a sharp five furlongs on Monday in :47.40 for Hall of Fame trainer and four-time Kentucky Derby-winner D. Wayne Lukas.

The move over a fast track by the son of Silver Train was the fastest of 54 at the distance.  Alstom finished third to Meistersinger in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs in his most recent outing.

Another Asmussen nominee for the Matt Winn – George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables’ Astrology – worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs on Monday.  The third-place finisher in the Preakness (GI) and winner of Churchill Downs’ Iroqouis (GIII) breezed in company with 3-year-old stablemate Brock and covered the distance in 1:13.20.

The list of 3-year-olds considered for the Matt Winn (formerly the Northern Dancer) includes (with trainer): Alstom (Lukas); Dominus (Asmussen); Infrattini (Paul McGee); Joe Vann (Todd Pletcher); and Uncle Brent (Lynn Whiting).

APART SHARP IN KEENELAND WORK FOR STEPHEN FOSTER – While trainer Al Stall Jr.’s Monday was darkened by news of the season-ending injury to his promising 3-year-old Bind, a glimmer of light was provided by a sharp workout by Adele Dilschneider’s Apart in his final prep for a run in Saturday’s $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI).

The 4-year-old son of Flatter breezed four furlongs in :48.40 over the synthetic Polytrack course at Keeneland.  The move under exercise rider Jerry O’Dwyer was the second fastest of eight at the distance.

“Apart is on target,” Stall said.  “I think he’s an improving horse.  That’s what he’s got going for him.  He’s a Grade II, Grade III type of winner and we just feel like he’s going to get better with time.  It’s nothing we’re doing.  It’s just something Mother Nature will take care of, hopefully.”

Julien Leparoux is scheduled to ride Apart in the Stephen Foster, a 1 1/8-mile race won last year by stablemate Blame.

While Stall likes the way Apart is coming up to the race, he is a bit concerned about the prospect of a full starting gate for the race.

"This race is getting to be such a big field that the (post) draw will be important, so we’re going to have to sweat that out,” he said.  “It’ll be about set-ups and trips and that kind of thing this weekend, I think.”

Apart is coming off a neck victory over Colizeo in the William Donald Schaefer Jr. Memorial (GIII) at Pimlico, a Preakness Day race that Blame won a year earlier and used successfully as a Foster prep.  His career record stands at 5-3-1 in 12 races with career earnings of $640,018.  His Churchill Downs record is 2-1-0 in five races, with the 2010 Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) accounting for one of those victories.

Meanwhile, Godolphin’s Regal Ransom, a narrow runner-up for First Dude in the recent Alysheba (GIII) at Churchill Downs, arrived at the Louisville track on Monday to complete his preparation for the Foster.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Distorted Humor stepped off a van at the track around 10:30 a.m. (all times EDT) following a flight from New York to Louisville International Airport.  He is stabled in Barn 41.

The winner of the 2009 runnings of the UAE Derby (GII) and Super Derby (GII) has made three career starts at Churchill Downs, with an eighth-place finish behind Mine That Bird in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and a ninth-place finish behind Stephen Foster contender Giant Oak in last fall’s $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) on his on his resumé along with his near miss in the Alysheba.

Southern California-based Stephen Foster contenders Crown of Thorns and Gladding are scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Tuesday following a flight from the West Coast.

The Stephen Foster appears to have lost a starter in Donald Dizney’s First Dude, who had been scheduled to be on the same plane.  Trainer Bob Baffert told Daily Racing Form he would keep the 4-year-old winner of the Alysheba in Southern California to run in the Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) on July 9.

Horses considered likely for the Stephen Foster (with trainer, weight) include: Apart (Stall, 118); Crown of Thorns (Richard Mandella, 121); Duke of Mischief (David Fawkes, 118); Equestrio (Nick Zito, 116); Flat Out (Scooter Dickey, 114); Gladding (John Sadler, 117); Giant Oak (Chris Block, 122); Mission Impazible (Todd Pletcher, 118); Pool Play (Mark Casse, 116) and Regal Ransom (bin Suroor, 117).

PERREGAUX WORKS FOR POSSIBLE JEFFERSON CUP BIDCourtlandt FarmsPerregaux, a recent allowance winner on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course, tuned up for a possible run the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup Presented by Abu Dhabi (GIII) on Saturday’s Stephen Foster Day program.

The son of Distorted Humor breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 over a fast main track for trainer Neil Howard, who is also considering a Jefferson Cup run by William S. Farish and Skara Glen Stable’s Close Ally, runner-up in the American Turf (GII) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.

The Jefferson Cup, a race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf, is one of four graded stakes races for Thoroughbreds on the Stephen Foster Day program.

Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course is scheduled to be open for training on Tuesday, June 14.  That will provide a final chance for contenders for the Jefferson Cup and the $125,000-added Regret Presented by Etihad Airways (GIII), a Foster Day race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf, to train over the grass surface before Saturday’s races.

Three-year-olds under consideration for Saturday’s Jefferson Cup (with trainer) include: Banned (Tom Proctor), Chalice (Kellyn Gorder), Chinglish (Mark Hennig), Close Ally (Howard), Derby Kitten (Mike Maker), Dream Warrior (Eddie Kenneally), Perregaux (Howard); Redboard (Garry Simms); and Swagger Jack (Darrin Miller).

Likely starters for the Regret (with trainer) include: Bizzy Caroline (Ken McPeek), Blushandbashful (John Terranova II), Bouquet Booth (Steve Margolis), Diva Ash (Dale Romans), Excited (Todd Pletcher); Gaya (Tom Amoss), Holidaysatthefarm (Tom Proctor). Kathmanblu (McPeek). My Phi Temper (Ronny Werner) and Sassy’s Dream (McPeek).

BARN TALK – Preakness (GI) winner Shackleford and Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro returned to Kentucky on Monday on board a flight from New York to Louisville.

            Shackleford, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Dale Romans, ran fifth in the Belmont after leading to the top of the stretch and has settled back into Romans’ barn at Churchill Downs.

Nehro finished fourth for trainer Steve Asmussen, but came out of the race with an ankle chip.  Nehro is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday in Lexington, according to owner Ahmed Zayat.

The flight also carried Belmont also-rans Santiva (eighth in the Belmont and sixth in the Kentucky Derby) and Prime Cut (11th in the Belmont) back to their Churchill Downs barns.   Santiva is trained by Eddie Kenneally, while Prime Cut is conditioned by Neil Howard.

WORK TAB (Track: FAST)Riley Tucker, winner of the 2010 Aristides (GIII), breezed four furlongs in :52.20 … Texas Mile (GIII) winner Thisskyhasnolimit breezed five furlongs in 1:03.

Thiskyhasnolimit Returns to Win Matt Winn

Thiskyhasnolimit, returning from six months on the sidelines because of injury, rallied in the stretch under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan to wear down favored Cool Bullet to win the ninth running of the $108,000 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.

    Cathy and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s son of Sky Mesa had not raced since Nov. 28, when he finished sixth as the favorite to eventual Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in the Grade II, $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.  Thiskyhasnolimit won by three-quarters of a length and paid $5.80, $3 and $2.40 as the second betting choice in a field of six horses.  Cool Bullet, the favorite ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., was well clear of the rest of the field for the runner-up spot and paid $2.80 and $2.20.  Privilaged, the pacesetter ridden by Jon Court, paid $2.80 to show.

    Trained by Steve Asmussen, who won the Matt Winn for the third time in its nine runnings, Thiskyhasnolimit, covered the seven-furlong distance over a fast track in 1:22.29.  The victory improved the winner’s career record to 3-1-1 in seven races and increased his career earnings to $204,439.

    Thisskyhasnolimit broke sharply and momentarily grabbed the early lead before he surrendered the lead to Privilaged and settled into fourth under Bridgmohan.  Privilaged held the advantage into the far turn, leading the field through fractions of :22.40 for the first quarter and :45 to the half-mile, when he drew off from longshot Southern Danger and Cool Bullet started to move on the leader.  Cool Bullet moved three-wide to grab the lead in the stretch, but was quickly challenged to his outside by Thiskyhasnolimit , who surged past that rival with an eighth of a mile to run and slowly edged clear in the run to the finish.
    
    Vow to Wager rallied from last to finish fourth, and was followed by Silver Craft and Southern Danger.

    The race is named for Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs legend Col. Matt Winn, who served as president and general manager of the historic track from 1902-49.  Known by the media as “Mr. Derby,” Winn is credited with building the Kentucky Derby into America’s greatest race and one of the world’s great sports events.

MATT WINN QUOTES

SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN (jockey, THISKYHASNOLIMIT, winner): “I had a wonderful trip. My horse ran good. He’s a real nice horse and he’s been training really well. I did expect that type of effort.”

SCOTT BLASI (assistant trainer, THISKYHASNOLIMIT, winner): “He has been training well and thought he would run well today. He is definitely moving in the right direction after the layoff from his last race. We will see how he cools out before deciding on a race for him, but we would like to keep him between seven-eighths to a mile.”

BRIAN HERNANDEZ JR. (jockey, COOL BULLET, second): “We had a perfect trip. We had the two horses get hooked up in front of us and we sat outside behind them and got by both of them pretty easy. (In the stretch) we didn’t bump (with Thiskyhasnolimit); they just came together and didn’t even brush. Neither horse got off stride.”

STEVE MARGOLIS (trainer, COOL BULLET, second): “He (Cool Bullet) ran a good race, [Thiskyhasnolimit] had a little more today. Brian [Hernandez Jr.] rode a great race, no complaints. I’ll talk it over with the owners to see where he runs next, but we will take a look at the Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park.”

NOTES: Trainer Steve Asmussen collected his third Matt Winn victory. He also won the race in 2003 with Posse and in 2005 with Razor. . .Thiskyhasnolimit was clocked in a stakes record 1:22.29. It was only the second year the race has been run at the seven furlong distance and his time eclipsed Capt. Candyman Can’s 1:22.89 in 2009. . .Jockey Corey Lanerie won four races at Churchill Downs for the first time on Saturday: “It was great, it always feel good when you win, especially when you win four. This is my first time winning four at Churchill Downs. I’ve done it before in Texas several times.”

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, 2011 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6, 2011. The track’s 2010 Spring Meet continues through Sunday, July 4. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at Tickets.ChurchillDowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at ChurchillDowns.com.

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Borel Happy With Super Saver, Post Position for Preakness 135

BOREL HAPPY WITH SUPER SAVER, PREAKNESS POST – A winner of three of last four runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), jockey Calvin Borel will bid Saturday for his second consecutive victory in the $1 million Preakness, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, aboard WinStar Farm’s Derby winner Super Saver.

Borel is scheduled to ride in eight of Thursday’s nine races at Churchill Downs, then boards a flight to Baltimore and Pimlico Race Course, where hopes to help keep the Triple Crown hopes of owner/breeder WinStar and trainer Todd Pletcher alive.  Super Saver was installed as the 5-2 favorite for the Preakness and the son of Maria’s Mon drew post eight in a field of 12 3-year-olds.

“I’m very happy,” Borel said Thursday at Churchill Downs.  “I worked him the other morning and Todd was very pleased.  “He galloped out good, switched leads perfect right at the eighth pole.  You can’t ask for a better place.”

Last year, Borel abandoned longshot Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to ride Kentucky Oaks (GI)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra in the 1 3/16-mile second jewel of the Triple Crown.  Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormack’s future Horse of the Year and Borel held off the late-running Mine That Bird to take the 2009 Preakness.  His 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, James Tafel’s Street Sense, was nipped at the Preakness finish by future two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

Four of the horses that faced Super Saver at Churchill Downs – third-place Derby finisher Paddy O’Prado, beaten favorite Lookin At Lucky, Dublin and Jackson Bend – are back for another try at Borel’s Derby winner in the Preakness, with seven horses stepping into Triple Crown competition for the first time.

“We’ve got a couple of new shooters, but I don’t think they’ve got the class this horse has,” Borel said.  “What I like about this colt is he’s peaking.  He’s lightly-raced coming into here, but I think that’s a big plus.  It might not be, but in my opinion I think it is.”

Borel and agent Jerry Hissam continue to limit media opportunities for the popular rider in the days leading up to the Preakness.  Those limits are to allow Borel to maintain focus on Saturday’s goal: to win the Preakness and take dead aim three weeks later on the Belmont Stakes (GI) with a chance to become the first 3-year-old to sweep the elusive Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

“We’re going to go out there and try our damndest to win it,” Borel said.  “If we can get away with this one, we’ll worry about the next one.  But we’re just going to worry about this one now.”

Borel will ride at Pimlico on Friday and Saturday in a light schedule that includes the mount on favored Tidal Pool for trainer D. Wayne Lukas in Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan (GII) for 3-year-old fillies. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             HOT MARGOLIS HAS HIGH HOPES FOR COOL BULLET – One of the hottest trainers thus far at Churchill Downs hopes that playing it cool will pay off in Saturday’s featured ninth running of the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes.

Steve Margolis started Thursday’s race with five victories – one win back of current leading trainer and two-time Eclipse Award-winner Steve Asmussen – and will look to improve that total Saturday when he saddles Robert and Lawana Low and Winmore LLC’s Cool Bullet in the seven-furlong Winn.

The gelded son of Preakness winner Red Bullet returns to competition six weeks after a 4 ½-length romp in the $50,000 Hansel at six furlongs on Polytrack at Turfway Park.  The victory was the third in seven races for Cool Bullet, who had tried the Kentucky Derby trail over the winter, but returned to one-turn distances following an eighth-place finish to Conveyance in Oaklawn’s Southwest (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles.

“We thought the Hansel would be a good race to get him back on course, as opposed to the [one-mile The Cliff’s Edge] Derby Trial (GIII) and it worked out really well,” Margolis said.  “He couldn’t be training any better.  We’ve had four really nice moves over the track.”

Calvin Borel rode Cool Bullet in the Hansel, but will be at Pimlico on Saturday to ride Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in the Preakness.  Brian Hernandez Jr., who was aboard Cool Bullet in his first five starts, will be back in the saddle for the Matt Winn.  Cool Bullet’s five foes include Iroquois (GIII) winner Thiskyhasnolimit, winner of last fall’s Iroquois (GIII) at Churchill Downs and the beaten favorite in the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) won by Super Saver, and the John Sadler-trained Privilaged, a good third to D’Funnybone in Gulfstream Park’s Swale (GII) at the Winn distance of seven furlongs last out.
That’s a lot of quality in a six-horse field, but Margolis likes the chances of Cool Bullet in the Winn, a race Margolis just missed winning a year ago when he saddled Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein’s Cash Refund to a runner-up finish behind Capt. Candyman Can.

“He’s a nice little gelding,” Margolis said of Cool Bullet.  “He trains very good, he’s a very handy little horse and does everything right.”

Cash Refund, last year’s Winn runner-up, continues to train toward a run in the $100,000-added Aristides (GIII) at six furlongs.

Margolis is also looking at plans for the Kleins’ 3-year-old Stay Put, an allowance winner on Kentucky Derby Day that is being considered for a run in the Belmont Stakes (GI), the third jewel of the Triple Crown on June 5.  He said the Broken Vow colt is nominated to the $125,000 Northern Dancer (GIII) on June 12 at Churchill Downs, but a bid by the Kleins for the 1 ½-mile Belmont is very possible.

The horse is improving,” Margolis said.  “You only get so many chances to run in the Belmont.  We’re just going to wait and see what happens out of the Preakness.  We’ve got the Northern Dancer in our backyard, too, so we don’t really have to make any decisions now.”

VETERANS TOP LOUISVILLE HANDICAP NOMINATIONS - Former victors Brass Hat and Silverfoot top the 33 nominees for the 73rd edition of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) to be run Saturday, May 22 at 1 ½ miles over the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Fred F. Bradley’s Brass Hat will be looking for his first victory since taking the 2009 Louisville Handicap for trainer William “Buff” Bradley. Brass Hat recorded a second place finish in his last start, the Elkhorn Stakes (GII) at Keeneland on April 23.

Chrysalis Stables LLC’s Silverfoot, at age 10, looks to regain his winning form as a previous winner of this race in 2005 and ‘06. One of two three-time winners of the Louisville, the salty veteran is just $52,000 shy of hitting the $1 million mark with $948,365 in earnings for trainer Dallas Stewart.

Other notable nominees include Lothenbach Stables Inc.’s Bearpath, who two starts back took the Pan American (GIII) at Gulfstream Park, and Johanna L. Glen-Teven’s Musketier (GER), the winner of the Elkhorn Stakes.

PREAKNESS STAKES FESTIVITIES AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Advanced wagering on the Preakness Stakes will be offered all day Friday at Churchill Downs, plus the Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness Double – similar to the Oaks/Derby Double – will connect Friday’s Grade II, $175,000 Black Eyed Susan and Saturday’s $1 million Preakness.

The pageantry of the Preakness Stakes will be featured prominently at Churchill Downs on Saturday with the simulcast of the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown from Pimlico.

The first 5,000 fans attending Churchill Downs will receive a free Super Saver/Calvin Borel commemorative button in the paddock area while supplies last. Also, Black-Eyed Susan specialty drinks will be on tap at Churchill Downs at select locations, plus Dixieland and Big Band music will be performed in the paddock area and Millionaires Row 4 and 6.

Additionally, the Crab Derby returns as select customers will be in crab costumes competing in races throughout the day, with the final being held on the Matt Winn Turf Course immediately after Race 7.
Post time for the Preakness Stakes simulcast is 6:15 p.m. ET, which immediately follows the 11th and final live race at 5:58 p.m. ET.

SATURDAY’S SEVENTH RACE TO HONOR OLMSTEAD – For the second consecutive year, Churchill Downs will run the Chuck Olmstead Memorial on Preakness Stakes Day to honor the memory of the popular Louisville telvision newsman who passed away in March 2009 after an aneurysm ruptured in his brain.

The second annual Chuck Olmstead Memorial will be run as Race 7 on Saturday at approximately 3:57 p.m. ET.

Olmstead, who was a 34-year veteran at WHAS-11, was a longtime fan of Thoroughbred racing. Both he and his signature hat were broadcast fixtures in the Churchill Downs paddock on Kentucky Derby.
With tremendous encouragement from the community, Chuck’s widow, Candy Olmstead, has established a special fund in her husband’s memory through Norton Healthcare Foundation to support screenings and education provided by Norton Neuroscience Institute. These screenings will help detect aneurysms before they rupture, increase awareness of symptoms of ruptured brain aneurysms and, perhaps, save lives in the process.

More information can be found and pledges can be made online at ChuckOlmsteadFund.com.

TURN 3 TO PERFORM DURING FRIDAY HAPPY HOURS – This week’s “Dress to Impress” Friday Happy Hours from 4-7 p.m. in Churchill Downs’ paddock area will showcase live music by Turn 3, $2 Budweiser Select, $2 mojitos and $2 hot dogs. Also, one male and one female deemed “most stylish” will a $100 wagering voucher and $250 gift certificate to a local Louisville area boutique, respectively.

ASHER WILL BE SPECIAL ‘GET IN THE GAME WITH JILL BYRNE’ GUEST – Churchill Downs vice president of racing communications John Asher will be Saturday’s “Get in the Game with Jill Byrne” special guest. Byrne and Asher will provide insight and analysis of the Preakness Stakes plus select races at Pimlico Race Course and Churchill Downs. The half-hour program will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the paddock area and will be televised on television monitors throughout Churchill Downs.

WEEKLY HANDICAPPING CONTEST WILL OFFER PRIZE MONEY, TRIP TO HORSEPLAYER WORLD SERIES – This spring’s “Who’s the Champ?” Handicapping Contest at Churchill Downs will offer $4,000 in prize money each week and five prize packages to compete in the Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas.

First prize each week will be $1,500 and a five-day, four-night trip to Las Vegas to compete in the Horseplayer World Series, which is scheduled for Feb. 16-19, 2011 at the Orleans Resort and Casino.
The popular handicapping contest will begin this Sunday and continue every Sunday through June 13.

The “Who’s the Champ?” Handicapping Contest is a game of skill that tests the player’s ability to handicap Thoroughbred racing. Each contestant will start the day with a $24 imaginary bankroll and may only wager exactly $2 to win and $2 to place on six designated races from Churchill Downs.

The contest costs $30 per entry ($25 for Twin Spires Club members) and is limited to 400 entries with a limit of three entries per person. Registration will be open Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Champions Club Lounge on the second floor of the clubhouse. 

BARN TALK – Churchill Downs based jockeys Robby Albarado (four mounts), Calvin Borel (three mounts including Super Saver in the Preakness), Garrett Gomez (eight mounts, including Dublin in the Preakness) and Julien Leparoux (eight mounts, including Pleasant Prince in the Preakness) will be riding at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.

WORK TAB (Main: FAST … Turf: FIRM, dogs up) – Louisville Stakes (GII) winner Atta Boy Roy zipped four furlongs under jockey Calvin Borel in :47.20, the fastest work of 26 at the distance … Three-time Louisville Handicap (GIII) winner Silverfoot breezed five furlongs on turf in 1:03.20 … Lost Aptitude breezed four furlongs on turf in :49.40 for trainer Dale Romans … You Go West Girl breezed three furlongs on turf in :37.60 for trainer Tom Proctor.

Thiskyhasnolimit, Cool Bullet Duel For Hot Stables In Churchill Downs' $100,000-added Matt Winn

The stables that have been the hottest of the opening two of weeks of Churchill Downs’ 42-day Spring Meet clash head-on Saturday when 2009 Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) winner Thiskyhasnolimit and Hansel Stakes winner Cool Bullet meet in Saturday’s ninth running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.

Cathy and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Thiskyhasnolimit represents trainer Steve Asmussen, who swept the 2009 Spring and Fall Meet training titles at Churchill Downs and has collected six wins during the opening 10 days of racing to top the “leading trainer” standings.  Owned by Robert and Lawanna Lowe and Winmore LLC, Cool Bullet will be saddled by Steve Margolis, who is just one back of Asmussen in search of his first training title beneath the venerable Twin Spires.  Thiskyhasnolimit and Cool Bullet are the 2-1 and 5-2 top choices, respectively, in oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds in the Matt Winn, which attracted a field of six.

The Matt Winn, named in honor of the legendary Churchill Downs general manager and president who built both the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) and Churchill Downs into international sports icons during his 1902-1949 tenure, is scheduled as the 10th of 11 live races on a Saturday racing program that also includes the simulcast of the Preakness (GI), the second jewel of the Triple Crown.  Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver heads a field of 12 in the 1 3/16-mile classic at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Post time for the day’s first race is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).

Thiskyhasnolimit has not raced since Nov. 28, when the son of Sky Mesa finished sixth as the favorite to Super Saver in the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs.  He has a record of 2-1-1 in six races – including a 2-1-0 slate in three Churchill Downs starts – with earnings of $138,149.  Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.

Cool Bullet is coming off an impressive 4 ½-length victory in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes over the Polytrack surface at Turfway Park on March 27.  Prior to that, the gelded son of 2000 Preakness winner Red Bullet had won the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds and finished a solid fourth to Ron the Greek in the $100,000 Lecomte at one mile and 40 yards at the New Orleans track.  Brian Hernandez Jr. will be in the saddle.

Others in the field include C R K Stable’s Privilaged, third to D’Funnybone in the Swale (GII) at Gulfstream Park and the 3-1 third choice for trainer John Sadler.  Donegal Racing’s Vow to Wager, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial via disqualification, is the 7-2 fourth choice for trainer Dale Romans.

The field for Saturday’s Matt Winn, from the rail out (with jockey, weight and morning line odds), includes: Silver Craft (Freddie Lenclud, 117, 8-1); Privilaged (Jon Court, 117, 3-1), Cool Bullet (Hernandez, 119, 5-2), Vow to Wager (Miguel Mena, 119, 7-2), Southern Danger (Corey Nakatani, 117, 15-1), and Thiskyhasnolimit (Bridgmohan, 119, 2-1).

Instrumentalist Rallies to Take Lazer Show Purse at Churchill Downs

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.

    A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of  Bernstein, Instrumentalist surged past pacesetter Koka Kola Kitty in midstretch and held on to turn back Swans Nest by a half-length. Aronia finished another half-length back in third in the field of eight. The victory, the third in five starts for Instrumentalist, was worth $32,105 and increased her earnings to $71,045.

    Instrumentalist paid $10.80, $6 and $4.20. Swans Nest, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $7.80 and $5.60 with Aronia, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., paying $4.80 to show.

    Earlier on the card, Greg Foley became the 12th trainer to record 300 victories at Churchill Downs when Izzy Ali won the fifth race. Foley, 51, saddled his first winner at Churchill Downs in 1981.

Racing resumes Friday with the second “Downs After Dark” program featuring 11 races with a first post time at 6 p.m. EDT. There is a six-day Pick 6 carryover of $33,608.78 going into tonight’s card that will encompass races six through 11.

IEAH Stables' Inner Light Faces Eaton's Gift in $100,000 Matt Winn

An hour before Kentucky Derby champ Big Brown tries to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive in Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes, another IEAH Stables’ 3-year-old will attempt to land the $100,000-added Matt Winn at Churchill Downs.

Inner Light
, an impressive first-level allowance winner at Gulfstream Park in March for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, is one of seven 3-year-olds scheduled to compete in the six-furlong sprint – the first post-Derby stakes event under the historic Twin Spires. Zayat Stables’ Swale Stakes (Grade II) winner Eaton’s Gift, conditioned by eight-time Churchill Downs training champ Dale Romans, heads the field as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The seventh running of the Matt Winn highlights a 10-race live program that will precede a simulcast of the 133rd Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course. Churchill Downs’ first race Saturday is 1:15 p.m. (all times Eastern), while the finale is set for 5:51 p.m. The Preakness, headed by dominant Kentucky Derby 134 winner Big Brown, will run as Pimlico’s 12th race and has an approximate post time of 6:15 p.m.

Inner Light, listed at 5-1 on the morning line with jockey Larry Melancon in the saddle, returns to a sprint after a last place effort in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial in April. Prior to that effort, the Songandaprayer colt scored his second career win with a two-length tally over Jockey Ridge and Samba Rooster in a March 7 one-turn mile allowance at Gulfstream.

Meanwhile, Eaton’s Gift, who garnered headlines in February with a 3 ½-length romp in the 6 ½-furlong Swale in South Florida, will attempt to rebound from a seventh place finish in the $100,000 Derby Trial on April 26. He’ll break from post 3 under Elvis Trujillo.

Here’s the complete Matt Winn field from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): St. Joe (Tracy Hebert, 8-1), Georgetown (Calvin Borel, 4-1), Eaton’s Gift (Elvis Trujillo, 5-2), Saratoga Seven (Miguel Mena, 10-1), Inner Light (Larry Melancon, 5-1), Devereux (Shaun Bridgmohan, 9-2), and Ling Ling Qi (Jesus Castanon, 3-1).

Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m. General admission is $3 ($1 for senior citizens and Twin Spires Club members), but will be free to all UPS employees with proof of identification in honor of Big Brown.

In addition to the 10-race live program and simulcast of the Preakness Stakes, Churchill Downs will host the inaugural “Brassapalooza.” Track bugler Steve Buttleman and Dr. Michael Tunnel, the University of Louisville trumpet professor, have organized what would be the world’s largest “Call to the Post” for Race 8 at 4:49 p.m. Approximately 50 buglers are expected to perform.

Also, the Derby City Brass Band, the University of Louisville Trumpet Ensemble and registered participants will entertain patrons with a free concert after the Preakness simulcast near Gate 17.

Brassapalooza is being staged as a fundraising effort to benefit a trip to Europe for the U of L Trumpet Ensemble. Each bugler will donate $20 to participate in “The World’s Largest ‘Call to the Post’”.

'Sloppy' Track Keeps Kentucky Derby Winner Big Brown in Jogging Mode; Macho Again to Ohio Derby

TODAY'S TOP STORIES:

  • ‘SLOPPY’ GOING KEEPS BIG BROWN IN JOGGING MODE
  • DERBY TRIAL WINNER MACHO AGAIN BOUND FOR OHIO DERBY
  • KODIAK KOWBOY TOPS NOMINATIONS FOR MATT WINN

BIG BROWN JOGS AGAIN OVER “OFF” GOING – For the third consecutive morning, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown jogged a mile at Churchill Downs with Michelle Nevin up.

“You guys sure get a lot of rain here,” trainer Rick Dutrow said as he followed Big Brown to the track at 6:45. “When it stops, we’ll be ready.”

Outfitted with new hind shoes, Big Brown jogged alongside a pony over a track labeled sloppy by more overnight rain. A major deluge on Wednesday night had left the track muddy on Thursday.

“I would have galloped these last two days, but I won’t gallop him with the track like that,” Dutrow said.

Following his trip around the track, Big Brown, owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., was full of energy as he negotiated his way through the stable area back to Barn 22 ahead of the pony.

MACHO AGAIN TO SKIP PREAKNESS – Trainer Dallas Stewart said Friday morning that West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again would bypass the Preakness and instead point to the $300,000 Ohio Derby (Grade II) on May 31 at Thistledown.

Stewart also said that Overbrook Farm’s Honest Pursuit, an allowance winner at Churchill Downs on May 2, would bypass next Friday’s $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan (GII) at Pimlico and instead point to the $100,000 Dogwood (GIII) at a mile to be run at Churchill Downs on May 31.

PREAKNESS HOPEFULS GALLOP UNDER TWIN SPIRES -- Jerry Carroll, Stan Kaplan, Ronald Plattner and Mark Guilfoyle’s Racecar Rhapsody galloped a mile and half before the renovation break under Jose Castanon. The Ken McPeek trainee is scheduled to work five furlongs Saturday morning with Castanon expected to handle the work.

Robert LaPenta’s Stevil galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break. Trained by Nick Zito, the son of Maria’s Mon is scheduled to have his final pre-Preakness work on Monday at Churchill Downs.

Illinois Derby (Grade II) winner Recapturetheglory jogged around the main track to the starting gate at the head of the stretch and then galloped a little bit more than a mile and a quarter while well off the rail under assistant trainer Lara Van Deren. Owned by Ronald Lamarque and trainer Louie Roussel III, Recapturetheglory is scheduled to leave Churchill Downs, where he finished fifth behind Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby, on Saturday evening by van for Pimlico.

Trainer Beau Greely, John Greely IV and Phil Houchens’ Tres Borrachos jogged a mile before the renovation break under Andy Durnin on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.

Tres Borrachos is scheduled to have his final Preakness drill on Tuesday and ship to Pimlico the next day.

KODIAK KOWBOY TOPS MATT WINN NOMINATIONS – Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms’ Kodiak Kowboy, second in the April 26 Derby Trial in his most recent start, heads a list of 18 nominations for the seventh running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn to be run May 17.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Kodiak Kowboy broke his maiden here last spring and also won the Bashford Manor (GIII). Kodiak Kowboy also won the Saratoga Special (GII), ran second in the Futurity (GII) at Belmont Park and third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Monmouth Park.

Other stakes winners nominated to the six-furlong Matt Winn are Zayat Stables’ Eaton’s Gift and Massive Drama. Both are trained by Dale Romans. Eaton’s Gift won the Grade II Swale at Gulfstream Park in February and Massive Drama won last fall’s Hollywood Prevue (GIII) under the care of Bob Baffert.

A HIGH-FIVE FOR MENA – Miguel Mena had a day to remember Thursday at Churchill Downs, riding five winners with two runner-up finishes in his seven mounts.

Mena, a 21-year-old native of Lima, Peru, swept the early Pick 3 with victories aboard Treasure Hunter ($8.20), Tiz My Dream ($6.20) and Speak of Kings ($6). After second-place finishes in the fifth and sixth races, Mena took the late double with Tiz Now Tiz Then ($6.40) and Unbridled Spring ($5.60).

“I told him going in that he could win four or five,” said Steve Elzey, Mena’s agent. “The cool thing about it was it was his dad’s birthday in Peru and Miguel called him and told him to be sure to watch.”

Pat Day holds the all-time single-day record for wins at Churchill Downs with seven, accomplished on June 20, 1984. Day rode six winners on a card four times as did five other riders, including Julien Leparoux and Calvin Borel at last year’s Spring Meet. Five victories in a day have now been accomplished 49 times.

Mena doubled his win total for the meet to 10 and moved into a tie for second in the riders’ standings with Robby Albarado, three victories behind Leparoux.

2003 WOODFORD RESERVE WINNER HONOR IN WAR RETIRED – Honor In War, now age nine, has been retired from racing after spending two years in Australia. Prior to going Down Under, Honor In War had raced out of the barn of Paul McGee.

“We bought him as a yearling for I think $130,000 out of the Mill Ridge consignment,” McGee said. “I had him until the end of his six-year-old year.”

A son of Lord At War, Honor In War’s biggest victory came in the 2003 Woodford Reserve (GI) at Churchill Downs.

“It was 2003, the year Funny Cide won the Derby,” McGee said with a widening smile. “Honor In War paid $50 ($50.60) and I had the Woodford Reserve-Derby Double, which paid, I think, $200 and something, maybe more.”

Lots more … $425.90 for a $1 ticket.

Honor In War retired with 11 victories in 47 starts and earnings of $1,993,541.

McGee offered another footnote to Honor In War’s career.

“He ran that year (2003) in the Arlington Million and he was the horse that stepped on Gary Stevens after he fell from Storming Home,” McGee said.

BARN TALK – Trainer David Carroll has had third-place Kentucky Derby finisher Denis of Cork back on the track the past two mornings to jog. “I gave him four days off (after the Derby),” Carroll said. “He’s doing great, feeling good and eating everything.” The June 7 Belmont Stakes (GI) is the next target for Denis of Cork, who is owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr. …

IEAH Stables, Lewis Lakin and Pegasus Holding Group Stables’ Pure Clan is scheduled to return to the track to jog a mile Saturday morning for trainer Bob Holthus. It will be Pure Clan’s first day back to the track since finishing third in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (GI). Pure Clan is expected to run next in the $200,000 Regret (GIII) to be run at a mile and an eighth on the turf here on June 14. Pure Clan, who won her first two career starts on grass, will use the Regret as a prep for the July 19 Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) at Belmont Park.

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Thursday, May 8  

Jockeys Starts 1-2-3

Julien Leparoux 66 13-8-11

Miguel Mena 49 10-5-10

Robby Albarado 48 10-5-4

Calvin Borel 65 7-4-14

Jesus Castanon 37 6-5-1

Kent Desormeaux 31 5-8-6

Shaun Bridgmohan 37 5-4-3

Jamie Theriot 42 4-4-4

Edgar Prado 17 3-5-3

John Velazquez 15 3-3-0

Trainers

Eddie Kenneally 15 5-3-4

Tom Amoss 14 5-2-3

Ken McPeek 12 5-2-1

Greg Foley 17 4-2-1

Ian Wilkes 10 4-1-2

Bill Mott 19 3-3-3

Steve Asmussen 22 3-3-2

Nick Zito 12 3-2-1

Mike Maker 10 3-2-0

Bobby Frankel 10 3-1-1

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey 13 5-2-1

Zayat Stables, LLC 16 3-4-2

Maggi Moss 4 3-0-1

Stronach Stable 8 2-2-0

Arthur B. Hancock, III 4 2-0-1

Bloch, Milner, Basso & Seiler 3 2-0-0

Montesano Racing, LLC 3 2-0-0

Zabeel Racing International 2 2-0-0