Churchill Downs

Aristides Winner Indian Chant Pointing Toward Calder's 'Summit'

Maggi Moss’ top sprinter Indian Chant, winner of Churchill Downs’ Grade III Aristides in his most recent start on May 31, is headed for Calder’s “Summit of Speed” according to trainer Tom Amoss.

“He is going to work Tuesday or Wednesday,” Amoss said of Indian Chant, whose Florida objective is the Grade II Smile Sprint Stakes at six furlongs.

In winning the Aristides, Indian Chant covered the six furlongs in 1:08.40, the fastest time of the meet for the distance at which 95 races had been run through Saturday. The Amoss trainee set the record for the distance in an allowance race on the closing day of the 2007 Spring Meet under the Twin Spires.

“Everything has been going smooth since the Aristides,” Amoss said. “The thing about him is that he tips his hand with his training. I thought before his last race with the way he was doing, he was going to be tough to beat. His next work will tell us if he is ready to go.”

The 5-year-old California-bred gelding has compiled a career record of 9-9-2 in 23 starts for earnings of $471,823. At the six-furlong distance, Indian Chant has a record of 5-8-1 in 16 races.

DEBUTANTE WINNER GARDEN DISTRICT EXITS RACE WELL – Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, reported Sunday morning that Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Garden District came out of her hard-fought victory in Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) in good order.

“She is doing real good this morning,” said McCarthy, who oversees Pletcher’s Churchill Downs string. “She did all the dirty work yesterday, was down on the fence and under pressure and still won. She’s a nice filly.”

Pletcher had indicated Saturday that Garden District would head next to Saratoga and point to either the Grade III Schuylerville on July 23 or the Grade II Adirondack on Aug. 13.

Runner-up Rachel Alexandra is going to get some time off after running for the second time in 15 days and third time in five weeks according to trainer Hal Wiggins.

“I don’t know what is next, but I may wait until the Arlington-Washington (GIII on Sept. 6),” Wiggins said. “She came out of the race all right.”

Wiggins had put Rachel Alexandra’s chances of participation in the Debutante at “50-50” early last week before dropping her name in the entry box.

“The 15 days was a little quick, but as long as she was training well we thought we’d try,” Wiggins said. “Plus, it was a chance for the owner (Dolphus Morrison) to come down from Columbia, Mo., to see her run.”

A daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, Rachel Alexandra was bred by Morrison. The mare, Lotta Kim, was trained by Wiggins.

“Lotta Kim won going long. She won the Tiffany Lass at the Fair Grounds,” Wiggins said. “So, we are looking for more ground with Rachel Alexandra.”

Like her daughter, Lotta Kim ran well at Churchill Downs. Her races here included a runner-up finish to Be Gentle in the 2003 Golden Rod (GII) at 1 1/16-miles.

OUT OF RETIREMENT? NOPE, HALL OF FAMER McCARRON WAS JUST HELPING OUT – Onlookers did a double take Sunday morning after the renovation break when retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron galloped past on horseback headed to the starting gate.

McCarron, who now runs the North American Racing Academy (NARA) in Lexington, Ky., worked a 2-year-old out of the gate for Art and Stephanie Preston’s Oxbow Racing.

McCarron ponied one of his NARA graduates, Matthew Straight, to the starting gate in Straight’s first day of racing on Friday, but the break from the gate at Churchill Downs was his first since being on Came Home

in the 2002 Kentucky Derby.

“When I got in the gate, (starter) Scott Jordan said, ‘I guess you have been here a few times’ and I said ‘you ought to know. You were on my head with Tiznow in the (2000) Breeders’ Cup Classic.’ ”

He would win that Classic aboard Tiznow, outlasting European champion Giant’s Causeway in a memorable stretch duel.

McCarron said he was helping out the Prestons with their 2-year-olds.

“They have about 70 2-year-olds at their farm,” McCarron said. “There are a dozen of their horses at the Academy and with all of the students on vacation, exercise riders have been getting on them.”

McCarron won the Kentucky Derby with Alysheba in 1987 and Go for Gin in 1994. Other important wins under the Twin Spires included Kentucky Oaks victories aboard Seaside Attraction (1990) and Farda Amiga (2002) and his Breeders’ Cup Classic wins aboard Alysheba (1988) and Tiznow.

BALLYNOE FINALLY DELIVERS ON “STARS OF TOMORROW” PROMISE – The closing day card of the 2007 Fall Meet at Churchill Downs was the second all 2-year-old program of the meet and dubbed “Stars of Tomorrow II."

There were two first-time starters who broke their maidens that day: Denis of Cork and Ballynoe.

Racing fans are well aware of what became of Denis of Cork, who has accomplished much as the winner of the Grade III Southwest Stakes, third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (GI) for starters. But what happened to Ballynoe?

The question was answered Saturday afternoon when the Blue Nine Stables’ runner scored a 1 ½-length allowance victory on the Matt Winn Turf Course for her first win since breaking her maiden.

Trained by Steve Margolis, Ballynoe spent the winter knocking on the door at Gulfstream Park before coming to Churchill Downs. By Distorted Humor out of a Dynaformer mare, Margolis was eager to try Ballynoe on the grass and that chance finally came on June 7.

“She got beat five lengths that day, but I didn’t think she ran that bad,” Margolis said. “The horse that beat her, Closeout for Tom Proctor, is a nice horse, but she was caught down on the inside and she does not like to be in close.”

On Saturday, Ballynoe was reunited with jockey Larry Sterling Jr., who had ridden her to her maiden win, and she was drawn outside.

“The thing I liked about her race yesterday was that when the fresh horses came at her, she broke again,” Margolis said. “That was a nice bunch of fillies she beat.”

Margolis said Ballynoe could come back in two weeks in the Audubon Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf at Ellis Park on July 12.

“I might gamble and run her there,” Margolis said. “It is a little quick, but I would love to get some black type with her.”

ALBARADO, AMOSS AND RAMSEYS RACE TOWARD MEET TITLES – With six racing days remaining in the 52-day Spring Meet, Robby Albarado holds an eight-win margin (63-55) over Miguel Mena in the battle for leading rider honors.

The 35-year-old Albarado, who never has won a Churchill Downs riding title, is named on eight mounts Sunday, while Mena has mounts in each of the day’s 10 races.

Tom Amoss, who shared the 2002 Spring training title with Dale Romans and who ranks 10th all-time at Churchill Downs with 285 victories, enters Sunday’s card with a two-win lead over Steve Asmussen (29-27) with Ken McPeek next with 26. Asmussen, who claimed both Churchill Downs training titles in 2007, has increased his career victory total under the Twin Spires to 296, good for eighth all-time. Asmussen has six runners entered on Sunday, while Amoss has two and McPeek one.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record combined 12 owner titles at Churchill Downs, have two runners entered Sunday. They enter the day with a 16-12 edge over Maggi Moss, who was the leading owner here last spring.

Moss has no entrants on Sunday’s racing program.

BARN TALK – Unbridled Spring will attempt to become the first four-time winner of the meet Sunday afternoon when he faces five foes in the second race, a $5,000 starter/allowance test at seven furlongs. The 6-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song is owned by Alan Kingsbury and back in the barn of Kevin Aubrey, who claimed him back for $5,000 off Mike Maker after his third win of the meet on June 6. Unbridled Spring had been claimed by Maker for $10,000 at Keeneland on April 4. …A happy 41st birthday today to jockey Joe Johnson, a native of Owensboro, Ky. … Jockey Julien Leparoux posted his meet-leading 14th victory on the turf when he guided the Allen Paulson Living Trust’s Almonsoon to a win in Saturday’s ninth race. Robby Albarado is second in turf wins with 12.

WORK TAB (Track: FAST) – Arindel Farm’s Wait a While posted her third work at Churchill Downs since returning from a minor injury in mid-March, covering a half-mile in :49.80 for trainer Todd Pletcher. A Grade I winner on turf, Wait a While was the 3-year-old filly champion of 2006. … Peter Vegso’s Sunshine Millions Turf winner War Monger worked three furlongs in :39.60 for trainer Bill Mott over a track labeled “fast.” Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s 2006 Pocahontas (GIII) winner Change Up worked a half-mile in :48.60 for trainer Steve Margolis. … Ocean Colors, a daughter of 1988 Kentucky Derby-winning filly Winning Colors who scored a 5 ¼-length victory in her career debut on June 13, breezed four furlongs in :52.20 for trainer Steve Asmussen.


2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Saturday, June 28

Jockeys (Starts 1-2-3)

1. Robby Albarado (243 63-34-29)
2. Miguel Mena (311 55-47-45)
3. Julien Leparoux ( 277 47-54-48)
4. Jamie Theriot ( 247 45-34-33)
5. Calvin Borel (265 43-39-38)
6. Shaun Bridgmohan (192 39-34-25)
7. Jesus Castanon (231 26-23-28)
8. Corey Lanerie (199 18-26-25)
9. Brian Hernandez Jr. (182 15-29-19)
10. John McKee (138 12-21-20)

Trainers

1. Tom Amoss (73 29-13-12)
2. Steve Asmussen (122 27-20-18)
3. Ken McPeek (69 26-12-5)
4. Mike Maker (60 16-13-9)
5. Dale Romans (128 15-26-22)
6. Ian Wilkes (47 13-12-7)
7. Eddie Kenneally (61 12-10-10)
8. Cody Autrey (53 9-9-11)
-. Greg Foley (60 9-9-8)
-. Bret Calhoun (23 9-2-4)
Five (5) trainers tied at eight (8) wins

Owners

1. Ken and Sarah Ramsey (59 16-10-13)
2. Maggi Moss (28 12-6-4)
3. Zayat Stables, LLC (47 8-10-10)
4. Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein (36 7-7-7)
5. Heflin & Driver Racing (27 5-5-6)
-. Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (17 5-1-0)
Seven (7) owners tied at four (4) wins

Einstein Could Face Eight Rivals In July 4 Firecracker

Three-time Grade I turf winner Einstein will be asked to concede between 6-10 pounds to as many as eight rivals in Friday’s 19th running of the $200,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) at a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Einstein, owned by Patricia Cunningham and Melissa Green, Lessee, has scored Grade I victories this year in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3 and the Feb. 23 Gulfstream Park Turf, was assigned 124 pounds for the Firecracker by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman.

In Einstein’s most recent start at the Firecracker distance, he ran second to NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) winner Kip Deville in the Makers Mark Mile (GI) on April 11 at Keeneland.

Five horses are labeled as probable to challenge Einstein, according to Churchill Downs racing officials.

At 118 pounds are Churchill Downs turf stakes winners Inca King, owned by the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, and Zayat Stables’ Thorn Song. Other probables are Terry Raymond, Jana Wagner and Gus Goldsmith’s Faith’s Magic (116), D. Richard Masson’s Karelian (115) and Oxbow Racing’s Steve’s Double (115).

Three horses are considered as possible for the Fourth of July headliner: James Tafel’s Coragil Cat (117), Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr., Marco Bommarito and the Molly Malone Racing Club’s A.P. Xcellent (116) and Snookum Farms’ Baron Von Tap (114).

LOCUST GROVE FIELD TAKING SHAPE, BAYOU’S LASSIE LIKELY – Seven horses are considered as probable by the Churchill Downs racing office for the closing day Locust Grove Handicap (GIII) to be run at a mile over the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Weights for the race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up will be released Sunday, June 29.

Headlining the list of probables is Jacks or Better Farm’s Bayou’s Lassie, winner of the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile (GIII) on May 3. Trained by Dale Romans, Bayou’s Lassie finished fourth in the Grade I Just a Game Handicap on June 7 in her most recent start.

Expected to come from Texas for the Locust Grove is Pin Oak Stable’s Brownie Points, who won the Ouija Board Handicap (GIII) at Lone Star Park in her most recent start on May 26. Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, Brownie Points ran fifth in the 2006 Mrs. Revere (GII) in her lone appearance at Churchill Downs.

Peter Bradley III’s Tears I Cry, runner-up to Brownie Points in the Ouija Board, also is considered a probable for trainer Cody Autrey.

Others probables include Pegasus Horses’ Ballymore Lady, second in the June 14 Early Times Mint Julep (GIII) at Churchill Downs; James Barry’s Genuine Devotion; Briland Farm’s Grace Happens; and, Craig Bernick’s You Go West Girl, runner-up in the 2007 Regret (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

ROMERO’S EXERCISE PROGRAM PAYING OFF FOR STEWART, TOO – Four weeks into his summer exercise program, 50-year-old Randy Romero could not be happier.

Romero, who rode 4,285 winners in a 25-year career, has been galloping horses trainer Dallas Stewart the past four weeks.

“I have been getting on seven horses a day,” said Romero, who rode three Breeders’ Cup winners highlighted by Personal Ensign’s victory over Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in the 1988 Distaff (GI) at Churchill Downs. “I am not getting paid for it. I am just doing for exercise and it is good for my health.”

Romero has battled health issues since being diagnosed with hepatitis in 2002. This February, he lost a kidney.

“My kidney had burst and I was bleeding inside for two weeks,” Romero said.

He attended the Kentucky Derby and a month later he returned to Louisville from New Orleans to begin getting on horses for Stewart, something he had done in the past.

“I started swimming in New Orleans to get myself in shape and lose some weight and I am still swimming every day,” said Romero, who weighs 130 pounds. “I still have dialysis three times a week from 4 to 8 p.m.”

When the Spring Meet ends on July 6, Romero will follow Stewart to Saratoga.

“Dallas has a lot of good 2-year-olds and I think he is going to have an exceptional meet up there,” Romero said. “Horses like that make it easy to get up in the morning.”

BARN TALK – Happy 69th birthday wishes to trainer Lynn Whiting, conditioner of 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee. A native of Great Falls, Mont., Whiting has saddled 278 winners at Churchill Downs, good for 12th all time under the Twin Spires. Whiting saddled two other Kentucky Derby starters in addition to Lil E. Tee: At The Threshold who ran third in 1984 and Phantom on Tour, who ran sixth in 1997. … The smile still had not left jockey Jordan Springer’s face the morning after she won with second mount after coming back from a serious injury last November. “We did a little celebrating last night,” said Springer, who guided Geri’s Kid to a front-running 5 ¼-length score in Friday’s eighth race. “There was no speed in the race, so I just went on with it.” Springer will head to California when the current meet ends next Sunday. “I’m going to Del Mar and gallop horses for Bob Hess, Bobby Frankel, Eoin Harty and John Glenney,” Springer said. “I was out there last summer on vacation and I didn’t want to leave. During the winter when I was sitting at home in New York, I decided I would go back out there.” … Veteran Churchill Downs conditioner Angel Montano picked up his second win in two days when Dominic’s Desire won Friday’s seventh race. A native of Mexico City, Montano saddled his first winner at Miles Park in 1968 and has posted 314 winners all time at Churchill Downs, good for sixth best on the career charts. Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg ranks fifth with 335 winners. Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start ran the fastest 6 ½ furlongs of the meet in 1:14.91 when he won Friday’s third race by 5 ½ lengths. The time in the 30th race at the distance this spring, was .57 of a second off the seven-year-old track record set by Love At Noon. The Ken McPeek-trained runner has a record of 7-2-2-2 on the main track at Churchill Downs that included a third-place finish in the 2007 Derby Trial. … Trainer Tom Amoss recorded his eighth two-win day of the meet on Friday and boosted his lead in the race for leading trainer to two over Steve Asmussen and McPeek (28-26).

WORK TAB – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, in his first work since finishing fifth in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (GI), worked a half-mile over a “good” track after the renovation break in :51 with Kenny Bourque up for trainer Dallas Stewart. … Tom Walters’ Elite Squadron, prepping for next Saturday’s Triple Bend Invitational (GI) at Hollywood Park, worked a half-mile in “good” going in :48.60 with Mick Jenner up. “I got him in 48 flat. It was perfect,” trainer Jim Baker said. “He leaves Monday for California.” … Trainer Ken McPeek worked the bulk of the heavy hitters in his barn highlighted by a bullet move from Magdalena Racing’s My Baby Baby, who covered five furlongs early Saturday morning when the track was labeled “muddy” in :59. My Baby Baby is scheduled to leave Monday for Hollywood Park and next Saturday’s American Oaks Invitational (GI). Other McPeek workers were Koolmen Racing’s graded-stakes placed A to the Croft (:50.60 for a half over a “good” track), Lawrence Carroll’s stakes-winning Old Man Buck (five furlongs in 1:02.40 “good”), fourth-place Preakness finisher Racecar Rhapsody (1:02.40, “muddy), and Samotowka Stables and Magdalena Racing’s Theregoesjojo (1:01.20 “muddy” in a prep for next Saturday’s Bashford Manor).

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Friday, June 27

 

Jockeys Starts 1-2-3

 

Robby Albarado 232 61-30-22

Miguel Mena 303 53-47-43

Julien Leparoux 271 46-53-46

Jamie Theriot 241 44-34-33

Calvin Borel 258 41-38-38

Shaun Bridgmohan 192 39-34-25

Jesus Castanon 226 26-22-27

Corey Lanerie 194 17-26-23

Brian Hernandez Jr. 172 15-26-17

John McKee 136 12-21-20

Tracy Hebert 121 11-7-8

Trainers

Tom Amoss 70 28-12-12

Steve Asmussen 119 26-20-17

Ken McPeek 68 26-12-5

Mike Maker 56 15-13-8

Dale Romans 125 14-25-22

Ian Wilkes 46 13-11-7

Eddie Kenneally 60 12-10-10

Cody Autrey 53 9-9-11

Greg Foley 60 9-9-8

Bret Calhoun 23 9-2-4

Paul J. McGee 42 8-7-4

Nick Zito 20 8-5-1

D. Wayne Lukas 52 8-2-5

Robert O’Connor II 20 8-2-4

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey 55 15-10-12

Maggi Moss 28 12-6-4

Zayat Stables, LLC 47 8-10-10

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein 36 7-7-7

Heflin & Driver Racing 27 5-5-6

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 16 5-1-0

Seven (7) owners tied at four (4) wins

Will Florida Invader Renda Be A "Calder Cannonball" in 108th Debutante?

Florida invader Renda, in town for Saturday’s 108th running of the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies, made her first trip to the Churchill Downs track Friday morning with trainer Juan Arias in the saddle.

Juan Arias? Whoa, that name’s familiar. Wasn’t he the Venezuelan trainer of Canonero II, the “Caracas Cannonball” who won the 1971 Kentucky Derby?

“Different guy. I’m not him,” said Arias, who went out on his own as a trainer in 2003 after riding from 1988-90. “I was here once before as an assistant to Happy Alter. I had five horses here the year Monarchos won the Derby (2001).”

 Renda arrived from Calder on Thursday morning and Arias, who has a string of 30 horses at Calder, had her out early Friday morning on the muddy going.

“I jogged her once around the wrong way and then galloped her once around the right way and took her to the paddock and let her look around,” said Arias, who is from Panama.

 Also looking on was owner Richard Rowan, who said the pronunciation on the filly’s name is “Enda.”

“The R is silent,” Rowan said. “In Portuguese, Renda means wealth.”

Rowan is no stranger to Churchill Downs, having started Puxa Saco, who ran third in the 2005 Humana Distaff for trainer Jenine Sahadi.

“This filly is faster than Puxa Saco,” said Rowan of Renda, who broke her maiden at first asking by five lengths at Calder on May 31. ”She is such a big filly, and with her pedigree (by Medaglia d’Oro), I didn’t expect her to win going five furlongs. I thought it would take until she went seven-eighths or a mile.”

“Wesley (jockey Wesley Henry) just kept looking back for the competition and there was none. Florida is a great place to start a 2-year-old. If you have a good one, you can go anywhere.”

Churchill Downs was the next stop for Renda with the Debutante being the first graded stake for 2-year-old fillies in North America.

“There was an allowance race in New York, but that was only 5 ½ furlongs and this is six,” Rowan said.

CURLIN ASSIGNED 130 POUNDS, EINSTEIN 124 FOR FIRECRACKER – Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin was assigned 130 pounds by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for the July 4 Firecracker Handicap (GII) at a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and winner of the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) in his most recent start, Curlin is not expected to run in the Firecracker.

However, the second high weight for the Firecracker, three-time Grade I turf winner Einstein, is expected to compete for trainer Helen Pitts and tote 124 pounds. Owned by Patricia Cunningham and Melissa Greene, Lessee, Einstein finished second in his most recent start to Curlin in the Stephen Foster.

Team Valor and Gary Barber’s Becrux was assigned third high weight of 120 pounds, but he is entered in Saturday’s American Invitational Handicap (GII) at Hollywood Park. Hickory Tree Stable’s Rebellion, who is two-for-two in graded stakes in 2008, was assigned 119 pounds.

Two horses that have won stakes events over the Matt Winn Turf Course were assigned 118 pounds: Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s three-time Churchill Downs stakes winner Inca King winner of the recent Opening Verse, Jefferson Cup (GII) and Commonwealth Turf for trainer Steve Asmussen – and Zayat Stable’s Thorn Song, winner of last fall’s River City Handicap (GIII) for trainer Dale Romans.  Weighted at 117 are a pair of possible starters in Carl Moore Management and Martin Racing Stable’s Aegon Turf Sprint (GIII) victor Mr. Nightlinger and James Tafel’s Coragil Cat, winner of the Hanshin Handicap (GIII) over Polytrack at Arlington Park.

Also weighted at 117 was Tom Walters’ Churchill Downs Stakes (GII) winner Elite Squadron, but the Jim Baker trainee will pass on the Firecracker.

Entries for the Firecracker are set to be drawn on Tuesday.

ASMUSSEN COULD HOLD HOT HAND IN BASHFORD MANOR – Trainer Steve Asmussen saddled the winner of last year’s Bashford Manor in Kodiak Kowboy and it appears he may have the runners to beat in this year’s renewal, set for Saturday, July 5.

As of Friday, six colts were considered as probable for the six-furlong, Grade III event and Asmussen trains two of them.

J. Kirk Robison’s Lyin’ Heart is undefeated in two starts at Lone Star Park.In his most recent start, Lyin’ Heart, a son of 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart, won the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity by 3 ½ lengths.

Asmussen also may be represented by Padua Stables’ Segal. A son of Harlan’s Holiday, Segal broke his maiden at first asking on May 7 at Churchill Downs and most recently ran third in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine on June 15.

Others considered as probable by Churchill Downs racing officials are three undefeated colts: Thomas McCarthy’s General Quarters, Kevin Chessen’s Silver Bayer and Samotowka Stables and Magdalena Racing’s Theregoesjojo; and Paul Giacopelli and Donnie Kelly’s Medaglia D’Onore, who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on June 19.

Regarded as possible for the race is Richard Ravin and Larry Rivelli’s My Dominick James, a 2 ¾-length maiden winner in his career debut at Arlington Park on June 8. 

Entries will be taken for the Bashford Manor on Wednesday, July 2.    

MELANCON, LANERIE TO BE FEATURED AT “JOCKEY TALK” – Jockeys Larry Melancon and Corey Lanerie will be the featured guests during this Saturday’s “Jockey Talk” – a new program at Churchill Downs that allows horse racing fans to mingle with their favorite race riders.

Each Saturday through the remainder of the Spring Meet fans will get a chance to meet, visit, receive autographs and take pictures with select Churchill Downs jockeys from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times EDT) in the paddock area.

Melancon, a 52-year-old native of Breaux Bridge, La., is the third-leading rider all-time at Churchill Downs with 901 victories under the Twin Spires.

Lanerie, a 33-year-old native of Lafayette, La., entered Friday’s 11-race program with 17 victories on the meet, good for eighth place in the rider standings. 

ALBARADO, McPEEK AND KLEIN SET FOR SEASON FINALE OF “CHURCHILL DOWNS IN SEASON” ON WAVE3 – Leading jockey Robby Albarado, trainer Ken McPeek and owner-breeder Richard Klein are scheduled as guests on Saturday’s season finale for “Churchill Downs In Season” on WAVE-3 TV.

            The weekly look at Churchill Downs racing is hosted by Churchill Downs’ John Asher and is scheduled to be telecast live from the paddock garden at 9:30 a.m. (EDT).

            Albarado, the leading jockey in the Spring Meet and regular rider of “Horse of the Year” Curlin, is bearing down on his first Churchill Downs riding crown.  McPeek is in a three-way battle with Tom Amoss and Steve Asmussen for “leading trainer” honors for the 52-day meet.  Klein is a member of a family team that includes his mother and father, Elaine and Bert, and perennially ranks among the leading owners at Churchill Downs.

            The season finale of the 30-minute “Churchill Downs In Season” will also include a preview of Saturday’s 108th running of the Debutante Stakes (GIII) and a look ahead to the three stakes races scheduled for  meet’s July 4-6 closing weekend: the $200,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII), the $150,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII) and the $150,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (GIII). 

BARN TALK – Well-wishes go out to trainer John Churchman, who is recuperating at home after a stent procedure this week. “I had been feeling pretty sick for a while,” Churchman said Friday morning. “I have been home for a couple days, but I am not doing all that well.” The 73-year-old Louisville native has three horses stabled at Churchill Downs. Churchman saddled two Kentucky Derby starters, Fighting Fantasy in 1990 and Wilder Than Ever in 1991. … The seven double-figure win payoffs on Thursday’s card equaled a high for the meet, matching that of April 26, the opening day of the 52-day Spring Meet. … Robby Albarado recorded his second consecutive three-victory day on Thursday, giving him eight such days on the meet to go with two four-win days. Albarado, seeking his first riding title at Churchill Downs, opened an eight-win lead over second-place Miguel Mena with eight days remaining in the meet that closes July 6. … A victory by Padua Stables’ Hoya in the last race Thursday gave trainer Steve Asmussen his 25th win of the meet and moved him into a tie for second with Ken McPeek, one behind Tom Amoss in the chase for leading trainer. As usual, juvenile runners have been a key to Asmussen’s successful meet as 12 of his winners have come from his strong division of 2-year-olds.  Both Asmussen and Amoss have four horses entered on Friday’s 11-race card; McPeek has one. 

WORK TAB (Track: GOOD) – Phoenix Stakes (GIII) winner Off Duty worked a half-mile in :47.20 over a “good” track for trainer Lynn Whiting. The move was the fastest of 26 at the distance. … Padua Stables’ Segal worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over a track labeled “muddy” in a probable prep for the Bashford Manor for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was the ninth fastest of 18 at the distance.

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

        Through Thursday, June 26Jockeys                           Starts   1-2-3

Robby Albarado                  223  59-29-27

Miguel Mena                       298   51-46-43

Julien Leparoux                  267   46-50-46

Jamie Theriot                     232   44-34-30

Calvin Borel                        253  41-35-38

Shaun Bridgmohan             192   39-34-25

Jesus Castanon                   222   26-22-26

Corey Lanerie                    189   17-25-22

Brian Hernandez Jr.            169   15-26-16

John McKee                       132   11-21-20

Elvis Trujillo                        77   10-10-19

Trainers

Tom Amoss                       67   26-12-12

Steve Asmussen                115   25-18-17

Ken McPeek                        67    25-12-5

Mike Maker                        54    15-11-8

Dale Romans                    121   14-25-20

Ian Wilkes                          45     13-11-6

Eddie Kenneally                  58    12-9-9

Cody Autrey                      52      9-9-11

Greg Foley                         59       9-9-8

Bret Calhoun                       23      9-2-4

Paul J. McGee                     42       8-7-4

Nick Zito                             20       8-5-1

D. Wayne Lukas                  49       8-2-4      

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey         52   15-8-12

Maggi Moss                         27     12-6-4

Zayat Stables, LLC                46    8-10-10

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein   35     7-7-6

Heflin & Driver Racing           26     5-5-6

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable       16     5-1-0

Six (6) owners tied at four (4) wins

Pure Clan Works On Turf For Trip To American Oaks

With co-owner Lewis Lakin looking on, three-time Churchill Downs graded stakes winner Pure Clan

worked five furlongs on “firm” turf Thursday morning in 1:03.40 with jockey Julien Leparoux up in preparation for the July 5 $750,000 American Oaks Invitational (GI) at Hollywood Park.

The move was the third fastest of eight at the distance with the rail out 22 feet from the hedge and the “dogs” up.

“She worked in what I told him to work and that was good,” trainer Bob Holthus said. “She will walk in the morning and then gallop the next two days before leaving Monday morning. When she gets out there, she will walk on Tuesday, gallop Wednesday and Thursday and then work three-eighths in 40 on Friday.”

Pure Clan, who is also owned in partnership by IEAH Stable and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, added the Grade III Regret on June 14 on the Matt Winn Turf Course to victories last fall on the dirt in the Pocahontas (GIII) and Golden Rod (GII).

Pure Clan will be one of two Churchill Downs-based fillies going to the American Oaks. The other is My Baby Baby, owned by Sue McPeek and trained by her husband Ken.

EINSTEIN “PROBABLE” FOR FIRECRACKER RUN FOR PITTS – Trainer Helen Pitts sent three-time turf Grade I winner Einstein out for a gallop over the Matt Winn Turf Course on Thursday morning with a shot at the July 4 Firecracker (GII) squarely in the horse’s sights.

“I will probably run him in the Firecracker,” Pitts said of Einstein, who ran second to 2007 “Horse of the Year” Curlin in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on the main track. “I know the mile is not his best distance, but I want to get a race in him and point for the big one.”

The “big one” would be the Arlington Million (GI) at a mile and a quarter at Arlington Park on Aug. 9. Einstein is owned by Patricia Cunningham and Melissa Green, Lessee.

Einstein won the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby Week and took the Gulfstream Park Turf (GI) earlier in the year. He also finished second to NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) winner Kip Deville in Keeneland’s Maker’s Mark Mile (GI) at the Firecracker distance of one-mile.

LUKAS MULLS BASHFORD MANOR AS FIRST START FOR FAST DRAW – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has high hopes for a 2-year-old Gone West colt named Fast Draw, who is a full brother to two-time Grade I winner Grand Slam. He was eager for the colt’s debut in Wednesday’s fifth race, but Fast Draw was scratched at the gate after sustaining a cut on his leg.

“He just nicked it a little bit. He may have hit a capillary,” Lukas said. “I think he might be a little better horse at this age than Grand Slam.”

Grand Slam went on to win the Futurity and Champagne at Belmont to highlight his 2-year-old season and then won the Peter Pan at 3.

Fast Draw, who is owned by Robert Baker and William Mack, was back on the track Thursday morning and worked a “bullet” five furlongs in :58.60. Fast Draw is nominated to the $150,000-added Bashford Manor on July 5 and Lukas said he could show up there.

“Maybe,” Lukas said of the possibility of a Bashford Manor run. “I know there are some other maiden races coming up, or I could wait for Saratoga.”

If Fast Draw makes his racing debut in the Bashford Manor, it would not be the first time the Hall of Fame trainer has made that ambitious move. Two years ago he saddled first-time starter Pegasus Wind for a fifth-place finish behind Circular Quay in the Bashford Manor. That son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus would later finish third to Scat Daddy in the Champagne (GI) at Belmont Park.

The Lukas-trained Timber Country was a maiden making his second career start when he finished sixth to Hyroglyphic in the 1994 Bashford Manor. The son of Woodman would later win the Champagne (GI) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) to sew up honors as that year’s champion 2-year-old. He would later finish third to stablemate Thunder Gulch in the 1995 Kentucky Derby and won the Preakness (GI) in his final career start.

SPRINGER RETURNS TO THE RACES ON FRIDAY – The long wait for jockey Jordan Springer ends Friday afternoon when she rides three horses on the 11-race card.

Springer was injured in a training mishap last November at Churchill Downs while galloping a horse for trainer Frank Brothers.

“It has been a long time, more than seven months,” said Springer, who was the leading female rider at Churchill Downs during the 2005 Spring and Fall meets. “I shattered a bone in my upper back and when it first happened, I didn’t think I would be back.”

Springer, 30, is named to ride Carsons Regal Lady for trainer John Fahey III in the fifth and Geri’s Kid and Genius Govenor in the eighth and ninth races for trainer Roger Anderson. She is scheduled to ride Trade Water Lady for trainer Buff Bradley in Saturday’s 11th race.

NARA GRAD STRAIGHT TO RIDE FRIDAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Matthew Straight, a recent graduate of the North American Racing Academy (NARA) in Lexington, Ky., will compete in his first pari-mutuel races Friday at Churchill Downs.

Straight, 22, is the second NARA graduate to make his riding debut this month. He will ride two horses for owner-trainer Bernard Girdley, Bali Warrior in the eighth and Miss Sara K. in the 11th.

Jessica Oldham Stith, daughter of former jockeys John Oldham and Suzie Picou Oldham, was the first NARA grad to race, finishing fifth at River Downs on June 17.

Straight came to Kentucky from East Greenbush, N.Y., in September 2006 to complete courses at NARA under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron. Before graduating, he worked for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher through an internship.

MELANCON, LANERIE TO BE FEATURED AT “JOCKEY TALK” – Jockeys Larry Melancon and Corey Lanerie will be the featured guests during this Saturday’s “Jockey Talk” – a new program at Churchill Downs that allows horse racing fans to mingle with their favorite race riders.

Each Saturday through the remainder of the Spring Meet fans will get a chance to meet, visit, receive autographs and take pictures with select Churchill Downs jockeys from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times EDT) in the paddock area.

Melancon , a 52-year-old native of Breaux Bridge, La., is the third-leading rider all-time at Churchill Downs with 901 victories under the Twin Spires.

Lanerie, a 33-year-old native of Lafayette, La., entered Thursday’s nine-race program with 17 victories on the meet, good for eighth place in the rider standings.

BARN TALK – Trainer Todd Pletcher received an early birthday present on Wednesday when Starlight Partners’ Bullion Cache broke his maiden in his second start by taking the fifth race. The 2-year-old son of Seeking the Gold covered the five furlongs in :58.07. “Where is he going next? That’s a good question,” said Pletcher’s Churchill Downs assistant Mike McCarthy. “I would say probably Saratoga after we pull out of here or maybe Arlington.” Pletcher, who turns 41 today, is represented by one horse at Churchill Downs today, Ikigai in the sixth for owner Edmund Gann. … Bullion Cache’s victory was the second of three on the day for Robby Albarado, who boosted his total to the meet to 56. He entered the Thursday card with a six-win advantage on Miguel Mena in the race for leading rider.

WORK TAB – Chrysalis Stables’ three-time Louisville Handicap (GIII) winner Silverfoot worked a half-mile on the main track in :49.40 for trainer Dallas Stewart, the 13th fastest of 37 at the distance. … B. Wayne Hughes’ Ketchikan, runner-up in the 2007 Louisiana Derby (GII), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 – 11th fastest of 31 – for trainer Al Stall Jr. … Turning in half-mile turf works were Silverton Hill Farm’s 2007 Blue Grass Stakes (GI) winner Dominican in :50.80 for trainer Darrin Miller, and Starlight Stable and Donald Lucarelli’s Sam P., eighth in the Stephen Foster in his most recent start, covered the distance in :51.60 for trainer Todd Pletcher.

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Wednesday, June 25

 

Jockeys Starts 1-2-3

Robby Albarado 216 56-29-27

Miguel Mena 291 50-45-42

Julien Leparoux 259 45-49-44

Jamie Theriot 224 43-32-29

Calvin Borel 246 40-34-36

Shaun Bridgmohan 187 38-33-25

Jesus Castanon 218 26-22-26

Corey Lanerie 184 17-23-21

Brian Hernandez Jr. 164 15-25-15

John McKee 128 10-21-20

Elvis Trujillo 77 10-10-19

Trainers

Tom Amoss 65 26-11-12

Ken McPeek 67 25-12-5

Steve Asmussen 112 24-18-17

Mike Maker 52 15-11-7

Dale Romans 119 14-25-20

Ian Wilkes 42 13-9-5

Eddie Kenneally 55 12-9-8

Cody Autrey 50 9-9-10

Greg Foley 58 9-9-8

Bret Calhoun 21 9-1-3

Paul J. McGee 41 8-7-3

Nick Zito 20 8-5-1

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey 50 15-8-11

Maggi Moss 27 12-6-4

Zayat Stables, LLC 46 8-10-10

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein 33 7-7-5

Heflin & Driver Racing 24 5-5-5

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 14 5-1-0

Six (6) owners tied at four (4) wins

 

Garden District Faces Nine In Saturday's $100,000 Debutante Stakes

Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Garden District (pictured at left), the runner-up when competing against males in the Grade III Kentucky Stakes on May 1, tops a field of 10 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 108th running of the $100,000- added Debutante Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs.

The Debutante, the year’s first graded stakes event for 2-year-old fillies in North America, will go as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race card that begins at 1:15 p.m. (all times EDT).

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Garden District broke her maiden at first asking on April 10 at Keeneland and then ran back in the Kentucky Stakes. Robby Albarado, the leading jockey of the Spring Meet, will have the mount aboard the daughter of Dixie Union, who drew post position four.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled a record six winners in the Debutante is represented by two runners: Devil Eleven Stable’s Cameron Crazies, who will break from post position six under Miguel Mena, and Donald Dizney’s Runaway Heart, who will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post position nine. Devil Eleven Stable is a partnership headed by former basketball star Bobby Hurley, an All-American guard at Duke University who played in the National Basketball Association from 1994-98 for the Sacramento Kings and the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Steve Asmussen, who has saddled the past three Debutante winners, also has a pair of starters in the race: Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Songtress and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Simplify, who will break from post positions two and three under Calvin Borel and Corey Lanerie, respectively.

The field for the Debutante, from the rail out, is as follows: Silverton Hill Farm’s Corlett (Jamie Theriot); Songtress (Calvin Borel); Simplify (Corey Lanerie); Garden District (Robby Albarado); Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Cameron Crazies (Miguel Mena); Roger Sterling’s Super Poni (Fernando De La Cruz); Richard Rowan’s Renda (Wesley Henry Sr.); Runaway Heart (Julien Leparoux); and Raquel Racing Stable’s Yo Eleven (Larry Melancon).

All starters will carry 118 pounds.

Stephen Foster Heroes Curlin, Einstein Head Nominations to Firecracker Handicap

Reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin and three-time Grade I turf winner Einstein, the 1-2 finishers in the $1 million Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on dirt on June 14, top a list of 35 nominations for the 19th running of the Firecracker Handicap (GII) over the Matt Winn Turf Course at a mile on July 4.

Curlin, owned by Stonestreet Stables and Midnight Cry Stables, is not expected to run in the Firecracker, but Einstein, owned by Patricia Cunningham and Melissa Green, Lessee, could use the race as a prep for the Aug. 9 Arlington Million (GI).

Other graded or group stakes winners on the grass nominated to the Firecracker include Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s Becrux; Brant Laue’s Gun Salute; James Scatuorchio’s Icy Atlantic; Heiligbrodt Racing’s Stable’s Opening Verse winner Inca King, who is undefeated in three starts over the Matt Winn Turf Course; Carl Moore Management and Martin Racing Stable’s Mr. Nightlinger; Stud TNT’s Portuga; Zayat Stables’ Thorn Song; and, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Whatsthescript.

Weights for the Firecracker will be announced Friday, June 27.

Nominations are also out for the July 5 $150,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII) and the closing day, July 6 $150,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (GIII).

Kentucky Stakes (GIII) winner Run Away and Hide, owned by Ronald Kirk, John Bates and Michael Riordan, tops the list of 22 nominees for the 107th running of the Bashford Manor for 2-year-olds going six furlongs. Trained by Ronny Werner, Run Away and Hide is undefeated in two starts.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won the Bashford Manor a record five times and he is represented by one nominee, Robert Baker and William Mack’s Fast Draw, who is slated to make his racing debut on Wednesday’s card.

Kodiak Kowboy won the 2007 Bashford Manor for trainer Steve Asmussen, who has nominated Padua Stables’ Segal and J. Kirk Robison’s Lyin’ Heart.

Eclipse Award winner Dreaming of Anna, who took the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) in his most recent start on June 14, tops the list of 45 nominees to the Locust Grove, which is run at a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Owned by Frank Calabrese and trained by Wayne Catalano, Dreaming of Anna has won eight of her 11 turf starts and placed second in the other three.

Trainer Bill Mott has won the Locust Grove a record four times and he is represented by three nominees: Swettenham Stud’s Paris Winds, IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm’s Sharp Susan, and Diane and Guy Snowden’s Stormy West.

Weights for the Locust Grove will be announced on Sunday, June 29.

AUDIBLE CALLED: THERIOT HEADING TO SARATOGA – The plan was for jockey Jamie Theriot to have an easy summer that would involve riding some horses at Ellis Park when the Churchill Downs meet ended July 6.

The plan has changed.

“We’ve called an audible,” agent Fred Aime said. “We’re going to Saratoga. We are going to go up a week before the meet opens (on July 23) and make the rounds and work some horses.”

Theriot, who won six races on June 18 and stands fourth in the rider standings with 42 victories, has rebounded from an 8-for-86 start to hit at nearly a 26 percent clip (34 for 131) since May 23.

“Jamie just bought a house here and he was going to stay here this summer and ride some at Ellis Park,” Aime said. “But we decided it might be time to pull the trigger.”

BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR BRIDGMOHAN: BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN – Shaun Bridgmohan turned 29 on Tuesday and he started the day by doing what he likes to do best: getting on a horse.

Bridgmohan was injured in a spill Saturday, but was back at the track for the first time Tuesday.

“I was a little scared,” Bridgmohan said. “I haven’t seen the replay of it yet. But I was lucky. Nothing was broken, just a cut on my right arm and the back of my left knee.”

The first horse Bridgmohan worked Tuesday was Whirlie Bertie, a two-time winner this meet for trainer Steve Margolis.

“I put some pressure on my leg and it didn’t hurt,” Bridgmohan said. “I tested it (in the work) and it was fine.”

Whirlie Bertie worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 over a fast track, the fastest move of 11 at the distance on Tuesday and had Margolis looking ahead for the homebred 3-year-old filly owned by Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein.

“There is a two other than next week and after that hopefully on to bigger and better things,” Margolis said. “She worked in a minute in just a gallop. Shaun never asked her. I had her galloping out in 1:13 and change and seven-eighths in 1:27 and change.”

Whirlie Bertie, a daughter of Stormin Fever out of the Kleins’ Grade II winner De Bertie, broke her maiden in her second start on May 2, winning by 3 ¼ lengths going a mile and a sixteenth. She came back on May 21 to clear her first allowance condition by 7 ¾ lengths at a mile and one-eighth.

MY BABY BABY HEADED FOR AMERICAN OAKS – Trainer Ken McPeek said that Edgewood (GIII) runner-up My Baby Baby, who races for his wife Sue, is scheduled to work this week and ship Monday to Hollywood Park for the $750,000 American Oaks Invitational (GI) to be run July 5.

Another McPeek runner that could go back on the road is Alien Farm’s Nistle’s Crunch, who ran second in last Saturday’s rain-drenched Colonial Turf Cup (GIII) at Colonial Downs.

“It only rained for about an hour that day … a half-hour before the race and a half-hour after,” McPeek said. “He’s back here now and he may go back for the Virginia Derby (on July 19).”

Fourth-place Preakness finisher Racecar Rhapsody, who was scratched out of a race last week after being sold, remains in McPeek’s barn.

“He’s still with us,” McPeek said. “I am going to work him this week, and he may run before the meet is over.”

ONE CAROLINE MORE THAN FINE IN SUNDAY ROMP – There could be a new star on the horizon in the 3-year-old filly ranks this year and her name is One Caroline.

Trained by Rusty Arnold for G. Watts Humphrey Jr., One Caroline passed her first allowance test in style Sunday by romping to a front-running 6 ¾-length victory while being geared down late over a mile and a sixteenth in 1:45.07.

“It has been awhile since we had one win like that,” said Jack Bohannan, who is in charge of Arnold’s string at Churchill Downs. “Rusty thought of all the 3-year-old fillies that we had she was the best one and she showed it Sunday.”

A $400,000 purchase in 2006, One Caroline is a daughter of Unbridled’s Song out of the Broad Brush mare Powder. She broke her maiden in her debut at Churchill Downs on May 17 as the 6-5 favorite going a mile and a sixteenth.

“We are going to have to find out how she likes to run,” Bohannan said. “(Sunday) I thought she was doing too much going into the first turn and in her first race she didn’t break.”

One Caroline has been training at Keeneland and could head to Saratoga next.

“Rusty and Mr. Humphrey will get their heads together, but I would guess she would go to Saratoga for a two other than allowance and then try a stake, maybe the (Grade I) Alabama (on Aug. 16).”

PRETTY PROLIFIC PRETTY PROFESSIONAL IN POWERFUL PERFORMANCE – Trainer Jim Baker added to his good meet Sunday when his promising 2-year-old filly Pretty Prolific rolled to an easy win in her career debut to give Baker his fifth winner from 16 starters.

“She was very professional,” Baker said of Pretty Prolific, who won by 3 ½ lengths and covered the five furlongs in :58.53. “She was good in the paddock. She has got some class to her.”

A daughter of 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart, Pretty Prolific is owned by Tom Walters, who also owns Churchill Downs Handicap (GII) winner Elite Squadron.

“He was here for her race and he is just floating on air right now,” Baker said of Walters. “I think we may take her to Saratoga next.”

Elite Squadron is headed for the July 5 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap (GI) at Hollywood Park and worked a bullet five-eighths in :58.80 on Saturday. Baker said that Rafael Bejarano would have the mount in the Triple Bend.

BARN TALK – There were six dead heats during the past week of racing bring the number of dead heats for the meet to 14 through the first 42 days of racing. Of the 14, none has been to win. … With 10 racing days left in the meet, the race for leading trainer has evolved into a three-way battle among Tom Amoss (26), Ken McPeek (25) and Steve Asmussen (23). Asmussen, who won training titles at both Churchill Downs meets in 2007, has a chance to gain ground the next two days with seven horses entered. Amoss has four entrants and McPeek two. … Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have teamed to win 12 owner titles at Churchill Downs, enter the final two weeks of the meet with a 14-12 edge in winners over Maggi Moss, who was the leading owner at the 2007 Spring Meet. The Ramseys have four runners entered the next two days; Moss has one.

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS Through Sunday, June 22 Jockeys Starts 1-2-3

 
Robby Albarado 210 53-29-27

Miguel Mena 284 49-45-40

Julien Leparoux 254 45-48-44

Jamie Theriot 217 42-32-27

Calvin Borel 241 40-34-36

Shaun Bridgmohan 182 36-33-25

Jesus Castanon 214 24-22-25

Corey Lanerie 180 17-23-21

Brian Hernandez Jr. 160 15-23-15

John McKee 125 10-20-18

Elvis Trujillo 77 10-10-19

Trainers

Tom Amoss 63 26-11-10

Ken McPeek 67 25-12-5

Steve Asmussen 109 23-18-17

Mike Maker 50 14-11-7

Ian Wilkes 42 13-9-5

Dale Romans 113 12-25-20

Eddie Kenneally 54 12-9-8

Greg Foley 58 9-9-8

Bret Calhoun 21 9-1-3

Cody Autrey 49 8-9-10

Nick Zito 20 8-5-1

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey 48 14-8-11

Maggi Moss 26 12-6-3

Zayat Stables, LLC 44 7-10-10

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein 33 7-7-5

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 14 5-1-0

Five (5) owners tied at four (4) wins

 

'Horse of the Year' Curlin Works Easy Five Furlongs at Churchill Downs

 

Reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin returned to serious training after his recent victory in the $1 million Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) with an easy five-furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs. 

Stonestreet Stable and Midnight Cry Stable’s 4-year-old son of Smart Strike breezed around 6:30 a.m. (EDT) and covered the distance over a “fast” track in 1:03.80. Regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas was in the saddle as Curlin covered the distance in fractions of :13.20, :26.20 :38.80, and :51:20. The Steve Asmussen-trained champion galloped out six furlongs in 1:17. 

“He looked good,” Asmussen said. 

Asmussen plans to work Curlin over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course next Tuesday, which would be a first step toward a possible trip to Paris for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Group 1) at Longchamp on Oct. 5. Curlin has not run on the turf in his 12-race career, but should the colt display an affinity for the surface in that work Asmussen has said he would look for a race over the surface in mid-July. 

Curlin has a record of 9-1-2 in 12 races and has earned $9,396,800. 

Also working on Monday for Asmussen was Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Pyro, the winner of the Louisiana Derby (GII) and Northern Dancer (GIII). The son of Pulpit breezed an easy four furlongs under Rosas in :53.60 under Roses. It was the colt’s first work since his Northern Dancer win at Churchill Downs on June 14. Asmussen has mentioned the $1 million Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park as a likely spot for Pyro’s next race. 

WORK TAB (Track: FAST)Delightful Kiss, seventh to Curlin in the Stephen Foster Handicap, breezed four furlongs in :47.20 – the fastest of 55 moves at the distance – in a prep for Saturday’s Prairie Meadows Cornhusker (GII). …Dogwood (GIII) winner Acoma breezed five furlongs in 1:02.80. Runaway Heart breezed four furlongs for trainer D. Wayne Lukas in :51 in a prep for a possible start in Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante (GIII). Cameron Crazies, also a Lukas-trained Debutante hope, breezed a half-mile in :50.20. …Debutante candidate Songtress breezed four furlongs in :49.40. …Mineshaft Handicap (GIII) winner and Travers (GI) runner-up Grasshopper, fourth for trainer Neil Howard in the Stephen Foster, breezed three furlongs under exercise rider Annie Finney in :36.30 – the second best of 10 moves at the distance.

Garden District Preps For Run Against Fillies In Debutante Stakes

Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Garden District completed her major preparations for Saturday’s expected run in the 108th edition of the Debutante Stakes (Grade III) for 2-year-old fillies by working five furlongs in 1:02.20 over a “fast” track Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.


“She’s right on schedule for the Debutante,” said Mike McCarthy, who oversees the Churchill Downs division of trainer Todd Pletcher’s stable. “She has been working very good, and her work last week was excellent.”

Runner-up in the Grade III Kentucky Stakes against the boys on May 1, Garden District has shown a steady stream of works since, highlighted by last Sunday’s five-eighths work in 1:01 and a :47.60 half-mile on June 1. She broke her maiden at first asking at Keeneland on April 10.

“There was nowhere else to go (after the Kentucky Stakes), so this race was the plan,” McCarthy said. “It looks like it is going to be a very competitive field.”

Churchill Downs officials anticipate a field of between eight and 10 for the six-furlong event.

 

BRIDGMOHAN EXPECTED TO BE BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEK – Doc Danner, the agent for jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, said Sunday morning that Bridgmohan would be off all of his mounts Sunday but “hopefully will be back Wednesday or Thursday” following a spill in Saturday’s first race.

“He is going to be sore today,” Danner said. “He has a cut on his right arm and left leg. There was no swelling last night.”

Bridgmohan stands sixth in the rider standings with 36 victories through the first 41 days of the 52-day Spring Meet that ends July 6.

“We have a big week ahead of us,” Danner said. “He is riding in Iowa on Friday and either at Belmont or Hollywood Park on Saturday.”

That Saturday ride would be on Millennium Farms’ Student Council, who is headed for either the Suburban (GI) at Belmont or the Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) in California. The 6-year-old son of Kingmambo tuned up for that Saturday engagement by working five furlongs in :59.60 over a fast track Sunday morning, the second fastest of 25 at the distance.

BOREL OK AFTER BEING UNSEATED ON SATURDAY – Calvin Borel was having a pretty good day Saturday … until the ninth race.

On his second day back riding after missing four racing days because of a swollen knee ligament, Borel had his second consecutive three-win day as he accounted for the Pick Three in races two through four.

However, in the ninth, his mount I Believe in Me stumbled badly coming out of the gate and went down on his nose. Borel was unseated in the incident.

“I was OK. I took off the last two races just as a precaution,” Borel said. “I went home and put ice on it and there was no swelling.”

WINSTAR’S WEST COAST SWING RETURNS WITH A VENGEANCE – WinStar Farm’s West Coast Swing, away from the races for eight months since running second in the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland, made an impressive return to action Saturday by scoring a 6 ¼-length allowance victory at a mile on the main track.

“We have just been trying to get her ready and she was eligible for the condition,” said trainer Shannon Ritter, who has West Coast Swing stabled at Keeneland. “We will talk it over with Elliott to determine what is next.”

Elliott is former trainer Elliott Walden, vice president and racing manager for WinStar. Prior to becoming a trainer, Ritter served as an exercise rider for Walden, galloping, among others 1998 Belmont Stakes (GI) and 1999 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) winner Victory Gallop.

West Coast Swing is a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Gone West out of the Danzig mare Dance Swiftly. She has won four of her five career starts with her Saturday score being her first at Churchill Downs.

BARN TALK – Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra remains “50-50” to run in the Debutante, according to trainer Hal Wiggins. “The Debutante comes up a little quick for us, coming back in 15 days,” Wiggins said. Rachel Alexandra broke her maiden on June 13 and ran one of the fastest five-furlong races of the meet for a 2-year-old in :57.50. “She ran real hard that day,” Wiggins said. “If she doesn’t go in the Debutante, we will hang around here and look for something at Arlington or Ellis.” … Donald Dizney’s Runaway Heart is also possible for the Debutante. The filly just arrived in trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ barn after breaking her maiden at Calder for trainer William White. “I am going to work her this week and then decide,” Lukas said. “I don’t know a lot about her.” … Mr. Champ’s victory in Saturday’s second race gave owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey their 13th winner of the meet. The Ramseys, who have won six Spring Meet owner titles and six Fall Meet titles, hold a 13-12 lead over Maggi Moss in the chase for leading owner with 11 racing days remaining in the Spring Meet that ends July 6. … Corey Lanerie had his first riding triple of the meet on Saturday to hike his win total to 16, good for eighth in the rider standings. Lanerie’s winners were Lost Trail ($5.80) in the first for trainer Frank Brothers and Ecton ($6) in the fifth and Baja Morning ($7.20) in the sixth, both for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

WORK TAB (Track: FAST) – Tom Walters’ Elite Squadron, prepping for the July 5 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap (GI) at Hollywood Park, worked a “bullet” five furlongs in :58.80 for trainer Jim Baker. … Team Valor International’s Fairbanks worked five-eighths in 1:01 (fifth fastest of 25) in preparation for Saturday’s Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap (GII) … Also working five furlongs was Silverton Hill Farm’s Corlett (1:01.80, ninth fastest of 25) for trainer Darrin Miller in preparation for Saturday’s Debutante. … Maggi Moss’ Aristides (GIII) winner Indian Chant worked a half-mile in :46.40 for trainer Tom Amoss, the fastest of 80 at the distance. Other half-mile workers of note were Winchell Thoroughbreds’ multi-graded stakes winner Zanjero in :51.20 for trainer Steve Asmussen, and Arindel Farm’s dual Grade I winner and 2006 3-year-old filly champion Wait a While in :49.80 for trainer Todd Pletcher. … Sunshine Millions Turf winner War Monger worked three furlongs in :39.60 for trainer Bill Mott. Owned by Peter Vegso, it was War Monger’s first work since April 29 at Keeneland, where he last ran on April 11 with a 10th-place finish in the Makers Mark Mile (GI).

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Saturday, June 20 Jockeys Starts 1-2-3

Robby Albarado 205 53-28-26

Miguel Mena 276 48-43-39

Julien Leparoux 248 42-47-44

Jamie Theriot 210 42-31-25

Calvin Borel 235 40-33-34

Shaun Bridgmohan 182 36-33-25

Jesus Castanon 206 22-22-23

Corey Lanerie 174 16-22-20

Brian Hernandez Jr. 156 13-21-15

John McKee 122 10-18-18

Elvis Trujillo 77 10-10-19

Trainers

Tom Amoss 63 26-11-10

Ken McPeek 65 25-12-5

Steve Asmussen 105 22-17-16

Mike Maker 47 13-10-6

Ian Wilkes 41 13-8-5

Dale Romans 113 12-26-20

Eddie Kenneally 54 12-9-8

Bret Calhoun 21 9-1-3

Cody Autrey 48 8-9-10

Greg Foley 57 8-9-8

Nick Zito 20 8-5-1

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey 45 13-7-10

Maggi Moss 26 12-6-3

Zayat Stables, LLC 44 7-10-10

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein 32 6-7-5

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 14 5-1-0

Four (4) owners tied at four (4) wins

 

Two-time Stakes Winner Tizdejavu Points Toward American Derby

 

AMERICAN DERBY NEXT UP FOR TIZDEJAVU – Trainer Greg Fox was still floating on Cloud Nine a week after Tizdejavu’s authoritative four-length victory in the Jefferson Cup (GII) on “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” at Churchill Downs.

“I was thrilled with the whole day. He handled everything professionally,” Fox said. “It is a shame there are no other races here, because he really loves this course.”

The Jefferson Cup was Tizdejavu’s second win over the Matt Winn Turf Course. On May 2, in his turf debut, he had won the Crown Royal American Turf (GIII), also in front-running fashion.

A homebred son of Tiznow who is owned by Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth, Tizdejavu returned to Fox’s farm in Lexington immediately after his Jefferson Cup score, which was his third in six career starts and boosted his earnings to $271,187.

“He came out of the race in great shape,” Fox said. “We are looking at a race in Chicago on July 12 (the $250,000 Grade II American Derby at a mile and three-sixteenths). That will give us four weeks between races.”

Fox is hopeful that will be the first of two trips to Arlington Park this summer.

“I only like to look one race ahead, but if he handles the course well up there, we’d look at the Secretariat,” Fox said of the $400,000 Grade I race at a mile and a quarter on Aug. 9. “That is our main goal for the summer.”

 

BOREL RETURNS TO SADDLE WITH RIDING TRIPLE – A swollen knee ligament knocked Calvin Borel out of the saddle for four days, but the popular reinsman from Louisiana came back in Tiger Woods-like fashion on Friday to record three victories from four mounts.

Borel, who was forced to take off mounts in five stakes on last Saturday’s “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” card, scored with Amber Room ($11) for trainer Bernie Flint in the second, Glee Club ($6.60) in the fifth for trainer Ian Wilkes and Ready’s Rocket ($8.40) for trainer Tim Glyshaw in the seventh.

“I was ready to come back because it was getting a little boring,” Borel said of his forced inactivity. “It’s getting a little better. I gave it some time, iced it and stayed off it and the doctor drained a lot of fluid from it.”

Borel tested the knee Friday morning by working four horses. He is named on seven mounts on Saturday’s card.

The three victories gave Borel 37 for the meet, good for fifth place in the rider standings with 12 days to go in the Spring Meet.

 Robby Albarado also had a riding triple on Friday to boost his season total to a meet-leading 53 and a five-victory lead over Miguel Mena. Albarado’s victories came aboard O’Sotopretty ($9.40) in the sixth for trainer Dale Romans, Tempest Storm ($8.40) in the ninth for trainer Al Stall Jr. and Alleged Diva ($8.40) in the 10th for trainer Ken McPeek.

McPeek’s victory was his 25th of the meet, leaving him one behind Tom Amoss in the race for leading trainer.

 

FIELD OF EIGHT TO TEN SHAPING UP FOR DEBUTANTE – Churchill Downs racing officials are expecting a field of eight to 10 for next Saturday’s 108th running of the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs.

Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has saddled the past three Debutante winners, is expected to be represented by Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Simplify, a May 1 maiden winner at Churchill Downs, and the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Songtress, who won at first asking at Churchill Downs on May 22.

 D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled a record six Debutante winners, also may be represented by two runners. Considered as probable is Devil Eleven Stable’s Cameron Crazies, who broke her maiden on May 29 at Churchill Downs in her second start. Donald Dizney’s Runaway Heart, a maiden winner at Calder on May 31, is considered as possible.

Another probable is Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Garden District. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Garden District ran second against the boys in the Grade III Kentucky Stakes on May 1 at Churchill Downs after breaking her maiden at first asking at Keeneland on April 10.

 Others considered as probable for the Debutante are Silverton Hill Farm’s Corlett, Richard Rowan’s Renda, Roger Sterling’s Super Poni and Raquel Racing Stable’s Yo Eleven. Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra is considered as possible.            

 

SATURDAY DEADLINE TO NOMINATE FOR CLOSING WEEK STAKES – Saturday, June 21 is the deadline for nominations for the final three stakes of the 52-day Spring Meet: The Firecracker (GII), the Bashford Manor (GIII) and the Locust Grove Handicap (GIII).

The $200,000 Firecracker is a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course for 3-year-olds and up on July 4. The Bashford Manor carries a $150,000 purse for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track on July 5 with the $150,000 Locust Grove scheduled for closing day July 6 at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

 Weights for the Firecracker will be announced on Friday, June 27, with Locust Grove weights coming out on Sunday, June 29.

Remarkable News won last year’s running of the Firecracker, a race taken by Eclipse Award winner Miesque’s Approval in 2006. Kodiak Kowboy earned the first of his two graded stakes scores in last year’s Bashford Manor, a race that has been won in the past by juvenile champions Boston Harbor (1996) and Favorite Trick (1997). Mauralakana won last year’s Locust Grove.

Information is available by calling Churchill Downs Racing at (502) 636-4470 or nominations may be made via fax at (502) 636-4479.

           

BARN TALK – Trainer Pete Anderson plans to work Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss on Monday or Tuesday before shipping Wednesday to Iowa for Friday’s $250,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap (GII) at a mile and one-eighth. Delightful Kiss finished seventh behind Curlin in last Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap (GI). … A belated birthday greeting goes to jockey Christian Rojas, who turned 40 on June 19.

 

WORK TAB – Zayat Stables’ Eaton’s Gift, winner of the Swale Stakes (GII), worked five furlongs over “good” going in 1:00 for trainer Dale Romans. It was the fastest move of 20 at the distance. … Patricia Blass’ Prom Shoes, winner of this spring’s Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park, worked five furlongs in “sloppy” going in 1:01.40, fourth fastest of 20 at the distance, in preparation for a possible start in Friday’s $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup (GII) on June 28.

 

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

          Through Friday, June 19 Jockeys                          Starts   1-2-3

Robby Albarado                  205  53-28-26

Miguel Mena                       266   48-38-35

Julien Leparoux                  248   42-47-44

Jamie Theriot                     202   40-31-22

Shaun Bridgmohan             181   36-33-25

Calvin Borel                        229  37-33-34

Jesus Castanon                   206   22-22-23

Corey Lanerie                    165   13-21-20

Brian Hernandez Jr.            148   13-20-15

John McKee                       116   10-17-18

Elvis Trujillo                        77   10-10-19

Trainers

Tom Amoss                       62   26-11-10

Ken McPeek                        64    25-12-5

Steve Asmussen                 101  22-16-16

Ian Wilkes                           40    13-8-5

Dale Romans                     109   12-24-19

Mike Maker                         44    12-10-4

Eddie Kenneally                   52     10-9-8

Bret Calhoun                       20      9-1-3

Cody Autrey                        47      8-9-9

Nick Zito                             20      8-5-1

Greg Foley                          55      8-9-8

Five (5) trainers tied with 7 wins

Owners

Ken and Sarah Ramsey         42     12-7-8

Maggi Moss                         25     12-6-3

Zayat Stables, LLC                43    7-10-9

Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein   32     6-7-5

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable      14      5-1-0

Four (4) owners tied with four (4) wins

Regret Winner Pure Clan Opens New Vista for Veteran Holthus

Regret (GIII) winner Pure Clan returned to the track Thursday morning for the first time since winning her third stakes race at Churchill Downs – and her first over the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Owned by IEAH Stable, Lewis Lakin and the Pegasus Holding Group Stables, Pure Clan added the Regret on turf to victories at Churchill Downs last fall on the dirt in the Pocahontas (GIII) and Golden Rod (GII). The Regret victory earned Pure Clan an invitation to the $750,000 American Oaks (GI) to be run July 5 at Hollywood Park.

“She is doing very well. She will breeze on the grass here on the 26th and then ship to California on the 30th,” trainer Bob Holthus said.

The journey to the American Oaks will mark a career first for the veteran trainer, who will turn 74 next Tuesday.

“This will be the first time I have saddled a horse in California,” said Holthus, “But, I have been to Hollywood Park once to buy a horse. It was 1982. I flew in, vetted a horse and flew back. Her name was Freida Frame and I bought her for John Franks. She turned out to be a stakes winner.”

The Regret win by Pure Clan was her first in four races this year. She finished third to Proud Spell in the Kentucky Oaks prior to her Regret victory.

MACHO AGAIN LOOKING GOOD TO STEWART – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again “is galloping regularly until we decide where to go with him,” trainer Dallas Stewart said.

Winner of the Derby Trial, Macho Again ran second to Big Brown in the Preakness (GI) and was fifth in the Belmont Stakes (GI) in his most recent start,

“He is doing really good and I don’t see anything that I don’t like,” Stewart said.

The $500,000 Jim Dandy (GII) on July 27 at Saratoga or the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (GIII) on Aug. 2 at Mountaineer are being considered for Macho Again.

Also eyeing the Jim Dandy is William K. Warren Jr.’s Denis of Cork, runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (GI) in his most recent start.

“He is doing well,” trainer David Carroll said of Denis of Cork, who ran third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). “We are looking at the Jim Dandy, and from there that would give us four weeks to the Travers.”

APPRENTICE WADE LOOKING TO DRUM UP BUSINESS FOR ELLIS MEET – There was a new face hustling horses on the backside Friday morning at Churchill Downs: apprentice jockey Lyndie Wade.

“I am going to be here until Tuesday working horses and then I will be riding at Ellis Park,” said Wade, who got on horses for Randy Morse, Al Stall Jr., and Bob Holthus. “Fred Aime is going to have my book at Ellis.”

The Ellis Park meet opens July 4 and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Wade, 17, is trying to jump-start a promising career that stalled last November in a spill at Hawthorne.

“I had won 26 races in Louisiana and then came to Hawthorne and won 26 races in five weeks,” Wade said. “Then on Nov. 30, a horse I was on broke down and two horses ran over me. I had head trauma, a broken jaw and a collapsed lung and I was in a coma for nine days.”

Wade returned to the track in March at Oaklawn Park galloping horses and notched eight winners in April at Hawthorne. He has ridden five winners at the current Arlington Park meeting.

“It has been tough at Arlington and I still have my (apprentice) bug,” Wade said. “I want to rejuvenate my bug. I want to be known as a good rider rather than the kid that got hurt at Hawthorne.”

ASMUSSEN ROARS BACK INTO RACE FOR LEADING TRAINER – Steve Asmussen saddled three winners on Thursday’s nine-race card and in the process turned the two-way race for leading trainer at the Spring Meet into a three-man scramble with 13 days remaining until the meet closes on July 6.

The three-win day was the second of the meet, matching the performance of Ken McPeek on May 24. Asmussen’s 22 wins trail Tom Amoss (26) and McPeek (24).

His winners on Thursday were Tora, who he owns, in the second, Cradle of Peace for Vinery Stables in the sixth, and Stonestreet Stable’s Sonoma Cat in the eighth.

Asmussen has won five training titles at Churchill Downs and swept both the Spring and Fall meets in 2007.

THERIOT, MCKEE TO BE FEATURED DURING 'JOCKEY TALK' – Jockeys Jamie Theriot and John McKee will be the featured guests during this Saturday’s “Jockey Talk” – a new program at Churchill Downs that allows horse racing fans to mingle with their favorite race riders.

Each Saturday throughout the remainder of the Spring Meet fans will get a chance to meet, visit, receive autographs and take pictures with select Churchill Downs jockeys from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times Eastern) in the paddock area.

Theriot, a 29-year-old native of Arnaudville, La., is currently the hottest rider on the grounds, coming off a six-victory day on Wednesday. Theriot is fourth in the rider standings with 40 victories.

McKee, 26, entered Friday’s card with 10 wins on the meet, good for a tie for 10th place in the rider standings. The Cincinnati native was leading rider the 2004 Fall Meet.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE SATURDAY FOR CLOSING WEEK STAKES – Saturday, June 21 is the deadline for nominations for the final three stakes of the 52-day Spring Meet: The Firecracker (GII), the Bashford Manor (GIII) and the Locust Grove Handicap (GIII).

The $200,000 Firecracker is a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course for 3-year-olds and up on July 4. The Bashford Manor carries a $150,000 purse for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track on July 5 with the $150,000 Locust Grove scheduled for closing day July 6 at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Information is available by calling Churchill Downs Racing at (502) 636-4470 or nominations may be made via fax at (502) 636-4479.

BARN TALK – Overbrook Farm’s Clearly Foxy, scratched out of last Saturday’s Regret (GIII), is scheduled to ship to Hollywood Park on June 23 for the July 5 American Oaks Invitational (GI). Scheduled to be on the same flight is Melnyk Racing Stables’ Canadian champion filly Sealy Hill, who is shipping to Churchill Downs from Woodbine. Sealy Hill is scheduled to run in the July 5 Vanity Handicap (GI). Both fillies are trained by Mark Casse. … Unbridled Spring is the lone horse to be a perfect 3-for-3 at the Spring Meet, but he could get some company on Saturday when two-time winners Point Perfect and Antrim County go postward. James Gilliam’s Point Perfect will try the Churchill Downs turf for the first time in the sixth race, a five-furlong sprint, and Father Maloney Stable’s Antrim County is entered in the seventh race, a one-mile starter/allowance test on the main track. …Silverton Hill Farm’s Dominican, winner of the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI), worked a half-mile on Friday over a “muddy” track in :52.20 for trainer Darrin Miller.

2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through Thursday, June 19

Jockeys (Starts 1-2-3)
1. Robby Albarado (199 50-28-25)

2. Miguel Mena (259 47-34-35)

3. Julien Leparoux (245 41-46-44)

4. Jamie Theriot (199 40-31-21)

5. Shaun Bridgmohan (175 35-32-22)

6. Calvin Borel (225 34-33-34)

7. Jesus Castanon (202 22-20-23)

8. Corey Lanerie (161 13-21-18)

-. Brian Hernandez Jr. (145 13-20-15)

10. John McKee (111 10-16-18)

--. Elvis Trujillo (76 10-10-18)

Trainers

1. Tom Amoss (61 26-10-10)

2. Ken McPeek (63 24-12-5)

3. Steve Asmussen (97 22-16-13)

4. Mike Maker (43 12-9-4)

-. Ian Wilkes (39 12-8-5)

6. Dale Romans (106 11-24-18)

7. Eddie Kenneally (50 9-9-8)

-. Bret Calhoun (20 9-1-3)

9. Cody Autrey (46 8-9-9)

-. Nick Zito (20 8-5-1)

-. Greg Foley (55 8-9-8)

Five (5) trainers tied with 7 wins

Owners

1. Ken and Sarah Ramsey (45 12-7-8)

-. Maggi Moss 2(3 12-4-3)

3. Zayat Stables, LLC (41 7-8-9)

4. Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein (31 6-7-4)

5. Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (14 5-1-0)

6. Heflin & Driver Racing (22 4-5-4)

-. Padua Stables (7 4-1-0)

-. Eliah and Lisa Kahn (4 4-0-0)

Ten (10) owners tied with three wins