Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby Veteran Dominican Returns to Dirt For Clark; Sheppard's Just As Well Arrives for River City

DOMINICAN EYES FIRST CHURCHILL SCORE IN 134TH CLARK HANDICAP - The last time Dominican ran on the main track at Churchill Downs, he finished a well-beaten 11th behind the victorious Street Sense in the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I).

The Darrin Miller trainee, after a six-race 2008 campaign split between all-weather tracks and the turf, will return to the natural dirt next Friday in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII).

"We have taken our time with him this year," Miller said of Dominican, who is owned by Silverton Hill Farm. "He bled severely last year in the West Virginia Derby and what I have done this year is have him come out of his races in good order and continue to progress."

Dominican has compiled a 1-2-3 record in six races this year and enters the Clark off a runner-up finish in the Oct. 25 Fayette (GIII) at Keeneland.

"I was real happy with his Fayette," Miller said. "The Clark will be his last race of the year. We will turn him out at the farm and then bring him back in the spring at Keeneland."

Dominican scored his biggest victory in the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass (GI) that propelled him into the Kentucky Derby. Finishing fifth behind Street Sense in the Derby was Silverton Hill's Sedgefield, who is heading to India to begin a stallion career in 2009 at Jai Govind Stud in Jaipur.

"His last race was in the spring at Keeneland," Miller said of Sedgefield, full brother to 2007 champion grass horse English Channel. "I had heard he was going to India, but I don't know all the logistics of it. He should be leaving pretty soon."

In addition to the Clark, Miller may have one other starter in the closing weekend stakes: Silverton Hill's Corlett. Idle since winning the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies on Aug. 2, Corlett is nominated to the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) to be run Nov. 29 on the "Stars of Tomorrow II" card featuring all 2-year-olds.

"How she does this weekend will determine which way we go," Miller said of Corlett, who came out of her Mountaineer win with a chip in an ankle. "Everything has to go right. We feel that she is a good enough filly that we can take our time with."

Corlett broke her maiden here in the spring and then ran a troubled fourth in the Grade III Debutante before winning at Mountaineer.

SNOW NO OBSTACLE TO JUST AS WELL GETTING TO LOUISVILLE - With coffee and doughnuts in tow, Barry Wiseman fumbled with the keys to the track room at the Stakes Barn at Churchill Downs on a brisk Friday morning.

"We drove through snow to get here from Pennsylvania," said Wiseman, who serves as an assistant trainer and exercise rider for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

His cargo on the trip to Louisville was Augustin Stable's Just as Well, who will shoot for his first stakes victory in Saturday's $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs. Just as Well will break from post position six under E.T. Baird and carry 113 pounds, nine fewer than defending race winner Thorn Song.

The trip to Louisville marked a quick turnaround for Wiseman.

"I was here last week and we just got beat a head in the Cardinal with Long Approach," Wiseman said. "I think this one is going to run well, too."

Just as Well enters the River City off an allowance win at Keeneland. The 5-year-old horse is a son of A.P. Indy out of the Nureyev mare No Matter What.

"The dam is the mother of the best two-year-old filly in England this year," Wiseman said, referring to the undefeated Group I winner Rainbow View who was sired by Dynaformer.

While Just as Well was at Keeneland, he was in the same barn with Forever Together, whom Wiseman galloped before she was sent to California and a victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

"She is back home training every day at the farm with Informed Decision (winner of the Grade II Raven Run last month at Keeneland)," Wiseman said. "They paraded her at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup a week after the Breeders' Cup when she got back. They walked her over on the road with cars going by and it didn't bother her a bit."

GARCIA DELIVERS SOLID NUMBERS IN FIRST CHURCHILL DOWNS FORAY - Although snow flurries were swirling in the brisk autumn air, if jockey Julio Garcia had any qualms about riding in the fall at Churchill Downs for the first time, he wasn't letting on.

            "I really like riding here," said Garcia, who has spent most of his career riding in Southern California and Florida. "The people here are great."

            After the Del Mar meet closed in early September, Garcia came east mainly to ride horses for trainer Wesley Ward. He found the winner's circle at Kentucky Downs, annexed two wins at Keeneland that included the closing-day Fayette (GIII) aboard Ball Four, and has added 11 victories at Churchill Downs.

            Garcia is winning at a 17 percent clip (11 for 63), which is third best among jockeys with 10 or more victories at the meet.

            The 11 victories put him in a tie for seventh with Kent Desormeaux at the meet, which closes Nov. 29 and sends Garcia to warmer climes.

            "I am going to California first and then coming back to Florida in the spring," said the 48-year-old Garcia, a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico.

            Garcia, who rode his first U.S. winner in 1984 at Santa Anita, had his best year in 1990 when he won 147 races. His victory aboard Grey Line Express in Thursday's first race was career win No. 1,201.

BARN TALK - Trainer Steve Asmussen's far-flung operation picked up three victories Thursday to raise his 2008 total to 551, four short of the record Asmussen established in 2004. Asmussen, who turned 43 on Tuesday, had no horses entered at Churchill Downs on Friday. However, the trainer had 18 runners entered at other six North American venue, which means Asmussen may have the record in hand by the time he sends out Captain Cherokee in Saturday's 10th race at Churchill Downs. ... Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road, runner-up in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), returns to the races off a six-month layoff  in Sunday's eighth race. "He's been in our barn about six weeks," said trainer Dallas Stewart of Blackberry Road, who was previously trained by David Carroll. "He is doing well and looking forward to getting him started back." ...  Trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey continued to build on their record-setting Fall Meet on Thursday. Maker, now owner of the all-time record for victories at a Fall Meet, added three victories Thursday to increase his total to 24 with seven days left in the meet. The Ramseys, with two victories Thursday, now have 19 for the meet, four more than the previous record. Julien Leparoux continued on pace to break Pat Day's 23-year-old mark of 55 victories at a Fall Meet. With three victories Thursday, Leparoux has 43 for the meet and needs to average two wins a day through the close of the meet Nov. 29 to break the record. In Day's record meet, a total of 271 races were run over the 30-day meet. This year's meet will have 270 races.

WORK TAB - Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate, working toward a possible run in next Friday's Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII), worked six furlongs in 1:14 over a fast track for trainer Steve Asmussen. ... Glencrest Farm's Devil House, a probable starter in Thursday's Falls City Handicap (GII), worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer Rusty Arnold. ... Magdalena Racing's My Baby Baby, runner-up in the Mrs. Revere (GII) in her most recent start, worked a half-mile in :49.20 for trainer Ken McPeek.

TWO CANNED GOODS FOR FREE ADMISSION - Churchill Downs will offer free general admission through Sunday, Nov. 23 to all patrons who donate two non-perishable canned goods at Gates 10 and 17 in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive, sponsored by Forcht Bank.

The canned goods can be delivered to Churchill Downs on those dates or any Louisville area Forcht Bank through Nov. 22 in exchange for the complimentary admission pass.

All donations will benefit Kentucky Harvest.

KENT DESORMEAUX GLASS GIVEAWAY ON SATURDAY - The week's promotional calendar is highlighted by the last of three collectable hurricane glass giveaways that salute popular Cajun jockeys who ride at Churchill Downs. A Kent Desormeaux glass, sponsored by Kentucky Derby Party, will be given away to the first 5,000 paid and pre-paid admissions (includes patrons who bring two canned goods for admission in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive) on Saturday, Nov. 22.

            Fans who receive the glass can come back to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 23 for an autograph session with Desormeaux on the second floor of the clubhouse.

            A glass depicting Calvin Borel, sponsored by Thorntons, was given away Nov. 8. A Robby Albarado glass, presented by GE, was given away Nov. 15.

JOCKEY TALK ON SATURDAY - Every Saturday during the Fall Meet, members of Churchill Downs jockey colony will be on hand for a meet and greet with the fans in the paddock area between 11:30 a.m. and noon. This Saturday's jockeys for "Jockey Talk" will be announced Friday.

JUNIOR JOCKEY CLUB WEEKEND ACTIVITIES - Crafts to create a Thanksgiving Banner of Blessings and special tours of the paddock highlight this weekend's activities at Churchill Downs' Junior Jockey Club located near the Guest Services Booth inside Gate. 10. Coloring books, crayons, individual games and reading material are available as well, and Churchill Downs' mascot Churchill Charlie will be on hand both Saturday and Sunday for photographs between 1-1:30 p.m.

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE DOWNS - Sunday Brunch at Churchill Downs returns this Sunday. For $41.50 ($25 for children 12 and under), customers can dine and watch the Nov. 23 races from a reserved seat Millionaires' Row Six, the luxurious 9,000 square-foot room with a four-tier balcony that overlooks the finish line. The brunch, accompanied by live jazz music, is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a wide selection of food, including stuffed French toast, eggs, maple smoked bacon, homemade biscuits and gravy, carved roast turkey, fresh salads and plenty of sides. Appetizers and a bountiful desert tray will be available until 5 p.m. Brunch and an official program is included in the admission price. To reserve a spot, call (502) 636-4400.

Churchill Downs Announces Expanded Public Drawing for Reserved Seats to 2009 Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs will soon make Kentucky Derby dreams come true for 500 horse racing fans, as the racetrack today announced an expanded public drawing for guests to purchase two seats to the upcoming 135th "Run for the Roses," scheduled for May 2, 2009.  [asset|text=Click here for complete rules.|aid=3657|format=link|height=128|width=128]

Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 22, and continuing each live race day through closing day, Nov. 29, Churchill Downs will hold live drawings for reserved seats to Kentucky Derby 135.  Churchill Downs' guests will have one chance each day, for six days, to have their names drawn for the opportunity to purchase the reserved seats.  A total of 500 pairs of tickets, or 1,000 in total, will be made available for the public drawing.

"Our goal in creating the public drawing for the right to purchase reserved seats to the Kentucky Derby two years ago was to allow an even broader audience to enjoy America's premier horse race first-hand, especially racing fans from Louisville and neighboring communities who support Churchill Downs on a year-round basis," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs and executive vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated.  "Setting aside reserved seats for the general public to purchase gives our fans added opportunities to personally experience the excitement and energy of the first Saturday in May.  This year, we wanted to expand the ways in which customers can become eligible for a chance to purchase tickets, and we believe this new format will allow even more opportunity for our guests to enjoy the ‘Run for the Roses' with us in 2009."

Churchill Downs' guests may enter each daily drawing by filling out an entry form with their contact information at Guest Services stations located inside Gate 17 or outside of Gate 10 in the clubhouse.  Entries must be completed and turned in to the Guest Services stations between the time gates open (11 a.m. EST on Nov. 22, 23, and 26, and 10 a.m. EST on Nov. 27-29) by 1:35 p.m. EST in order to be eligible for that day's drawing.  Individuals who wish to enter the drawing without paying an admission charge may do so at the Gate 10 Guest Services station, which is located outside of the Gate 10 admission booths.  Entries must be received by 1:35 p.m. in order to be eligible for that day's drawing.  No late entries will be admitted into the drawing.  Guests who miss the 1:35 p.m. deadline to enter may try again on the next racing day until Saturday, Nov. 29, closing day of the 2008 Fall Meet.

Entry forms are good for one drawing only.  For multiple chances to be selected, guests must visit on multiple days to complete a new entry form at each visit.

Following the fourth race (approximately 2 p.m.) on Nov. 22, 23 and 26 and following the sixth race on Nov. 27-29, Churchill Downs will draw from all eligible entries and announce over the public address system the names of those who have won the right to purchase two tickets to Kentucky Derby 135.  A total of 50 names will be drawn on Nov. 22 and 23, while 100 names will be drawn daily from Wednesday, Nov. 26, through closing day, Saturday, Nov. 29.  Winners will be announced after every race through the end of the race card.

Winners who are present should proceed to the Guest Services station at Gate 17 no later than 5 p.m., where they will be allowed to personally draw for their Kentucky Derby 135 reserved seats.  For winners who are not present by 5 p.m., a Churchill Downs guest services representative will draw on their behalf. 

All winners will be notified by Churchill Downs and will automatically be invoiced using the information provided on the entry form.  Payment for invoiced tickets will be due to Churchill Downs no later than Jan. 30, 2009.  No tickets will be distributed to winners until payment has been received in full.

Guests are eligible to enter once daily, and they may only win once for the duration of the contest.  Winners' names will be entered into Churchill Downs' records for Kentucky Derby 135 reserved seats.  Once an individual's name has been selected, that guest WILL NOT be eligible to enter the drawing again.

The seats available include a variety of clubhouse and grandstand seats, ranging from grandstand bleacher seats to clubhouse boxes.  The ticket prices per seat range from $88 to $207 ($176 to $414 per pair).  Seats will only be made available in pairs and cannot be purchased individually.

Customers must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the public drawing.  Employees of Churchill Downs Incorporated, Levy Restaurants and Brantley Services are not eligible to participate.

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 conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track's 2008 Fall Meet runs from October 26 through November 29. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on November 5 and 6, 2010.  Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Churchill Downs Announces Freeze in Most Ticket Prices for 2009 Kentucky Derby, Oaks

Churchill Downs racetrack has announced a freeze in most ticket prices for the 2009 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, allowing customers to purchase the majority of reserved seats and general admission at the same price levels offered in 2008.  The 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be held on Friday, May 1, 2009, while Kentucky Derby 135 will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2009.

"Our slowing economy is having a pronounced effect, and many of our customers have been affected in various ways as well," said Bob Evans, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated.  "Although the Kentucky Derby occupies an elite spot in the world of sports and tickets are typically in high demand, we want to keep our price points at the same level to help our customers in this challenging economic climate.  Our fans are critical to our success, and we hope this announcement makes it easier for them to join us on the first Saturday in May next year to enjoy the excitement of Kentucky Derby 135."

The freeze in Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks ticket prices includes the majority of Churchill's permanent seats, as well as most temporary seating areas and general admission on the day of the events.  There will be a previously scheduled price increase by contract for customers in the 30-year personal seat license program, who are coming off a three-year price freeze by contract, and limited price increases in some luxury suites and for a handful of Marquee Village units adjacent to the Kentucky Derby Red Carpet venue, as well as a new price structure for a new reserved seating section in the infield that Churchill Downs will pilot in 2009.

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 conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track's 2008 Fall Meet runs from October 26 through November 29. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on November 5 and 6, 2010.  Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

Eight Churchill Wins Enough For River City Hopeful Canela?; Commentator Breezes Half-Mile in Clark 'Cap Prep

IS EIGHT ENOUGH FOR CANELA UNDER THE TWIN SPIRES? - Canela will attempt to become the first horse since 1976 to have won nine races at Churchill Downs when he starts in Saturday's $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII).

    According to Equibase Company LLC, horse racing's official statistical database, only six horses have won eight career races under the Twin Spires since 1976, which is the first year detailed information was gathered.

            Now trained by Mike Maker, who claimed Canela for $25,000 on May 7 this year for Scarlet Stable (Rose Barney),  Canela has made 13 of his 41 starts at Churchill Downs with eight victories, one second, one third and two fourth-place finishes. A 5-year-old son of El Corredor, Canela has won four races on the main track and is a perfect four-for-four on the Matt Winn Turf Course over which the River City will be run.

            "I had always been a big fan of his when he was running starter/allowance races," said Maker, who has seen Canela win all three times he has started him at Churchill Downs. "Plus, he is a great-looking  horse and he had been running well going a mile and a quarter even though it wasn't against the same level that he'll be facing (Saturday)."

            Canela started his career with trainer Paul McGee, who also trained one of Churchill Downs' eight-race winners: Bet On Sunshine, who ran here from 1995-2002 and at age nine in 2001 won the Grade III Aristides to become the oldest graded-stakes winner in track history.

            "We bought him as a yearling and as a two-year-old he hadn't shown much in straight maiden races," McGee said of Canela. "He broke his maiden for $7,500 at Turfway. He had started up the ladder and won a non-winners of two for $20,000, but he got claimed off me and then (Tom) Amoss got him."

            Wilson Vittur had Canela for one race before Amoss got him for owner Maggi Moss. Canela raced 22 times for Amoss, winning 10 times, before being claimed by Maker for $25,000 on May 7 this year.

            "He had a throat obstruction as a two-year-old, but we didn't do the surgery then," McGee said. "That probably affected him early on."

            More than two years after losing Canela, did McGee ever think Canela would be mentioned in a same sentence with Bet On Sunshine, a horse he calls one of the top three he has ever trained along with Suave and Honor In War?

            "Probably not," McGee said with a laugh. "I didn't like losing him. I had a feeling he was going to go up and he turned out to be a nice horse."

            In the race before the River City on Saturday, Churchill Downs will offer the $56,000-added Bet On Sunshine, an overnight handicap for sprinters going six furlongs.

            McGee will be represented in that with Success Success, owned by David Holloway, who also owned Bet On Sunshine.

The other local eight-win horses are Athenium (1991-94), Crown Lease (1991-95), Lord Rusty (1993-2000) and Maxxed (1995-98). Eleven others had won seven races.

COMMENTATOR WORKS HALF-MILE IN TUNEUP FOR CLARK HANDICAP - Tracy Farmer's Commentator, who figures to be the favorite for the Nov. 28 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII), tuned up for the 1 1/8-mile $400,000-added event by working a half-mile in :48.60 over a fast track with Julien Leparoux up.

            "I liked the way he worked this morning," trainer Nick Zito said. "He finished up strong and galloped out strong. Julien is a good horseman and the work went perfect."

            It was Commentator's first work at Churchill Downs and fifth since winning the Sept. 20 Massachusetts Handicap in his most recent start. The other works had come at Saratoga. John Velazquez, who has ridden Commentator to four wins and a second in five 2008 starts, is scheduled to ride in the Clark.

            Also working Thursday morning for Zito was Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anak Nakal, who worked a half-mile in :49.80.

            "There's an outside chance Anak Nakal could run in the Clark," Zito said. "I have to talk it over with Mr. (Kassem) Masri, but this is a horse that was third in the Belmont (GI), won the Pennsylvania Derby (GII) and was second in the Meadowlands Cup (GII) in his last start. Plus, he won the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) here last fall, so we know he likes this track."

            In addition to Commentator and possibly Anak Nakal, the possible field for the Clark also includes Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss; The Big Stable's Delosvientos; Silverton Hill Farm's Dominican; Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate; and World Thoroughbred Racing's Wayzata Bay.

            Weights for the Clark will be released Friday.

INDYGO MOUNTAIN MAKES WAIT WORTHWHILE FOR THERIOT - One of the most impressive victories by a 2-year-old at the current meet came in Wednesday's 10th race when Clarence Scharbauer's Indygo Mountain romped to a 6 ¼-length score in 1:35.54 going a mile under Jamie Theriot. It was the second start for Indygo Mountain, who had debuted with a second-place effort at Keeneland on Oct. 15 under E.T. Baird.

            "I had been working him for about six months and I knew what kind of horse he was," Theriot said. "But the day he ran over there was the day I took off for surgery. He was like 12-1 on the morning line and I knew he was live."

            Theriot had been injured in a spill on Oct. 3 and had oral surgery on Oct. 14 and was forced to sit out the day after the procedure to recover. Wednesday's performance undoubtably eased any remaining pain, not to mention help cover the bill.

            "He is the total package people are looking for," Theriot said. "His muscle tone, his pedigree (A.P. Indy out of a Mountain Cat mare) and turn of foot. If he stays sound, people will hear from him. He could easily be a (Kentucky) Derby horse."

            It has been more than 20 years since Scharbauer has been in the Kentucky Derby picture as his late wife Dorothy and daughter Pam owned 1987 winner Alysheba. Trainer Bret Calhoun never has had a Derby starter.

            "Bret was thrilled and the owner was very happy with his race," said Dennis "Peaches" Geier, Calhoun's assistant at Churchill Downs. "That was a good race that he came out of at Keeneland and a lot of those horses have come back and run well."

            Indygo Mountain was a $600,000 yearling purchase last year by Scharbauer, who also paid $700,000 for Silver City, a maiden winner last month at Keeneland who is scheduled to run here next weekend.

            "We will see what happens with Indygo Mountain," Geier said. "He will go to the Fair Grounds and usually with Bret he likes to look at nonwinners of two lifetime or an AE/other than. I know this one (Indygo Mountain) can run long; I'm not sure yet about Silver City. You've got to make him do it. We are looking at a 6 ½ (furlong) race for him closing day."

BARN TALK - Trainer Ken McPeek was beaming Thursday morning, a day after first-time starter Danger to Society won a mile maiden event for 2-year-olds by 1 ½ lengths in 1:36.13 for owner Lansdon Robbins III. "I'm going to talk it over with the owner," McPeek said of the colt's next start. "I was really happy for Lansdon because he has put a lot of money into the game and he deserves a good horse." Danger to Society, a $300,000 yearling purchase, is a son of 2002 Kentucky Derby favorite Harlan's Holiday, who was trained by McPeek. "The thing I liked is that he is the third Harlan's Holiday to win this meet," McPeek said. "There was Lady On Holiday and The Right Face, and the horse that ran third in the same race (Saratoga Sinner) is a Harlan's Holiday." ...  Six horses are considered as "probable" by Churchill Downs racing officials for next Thursday's 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII). The sextet includes Pin Oak Stable's Brownie Points; Glencrest Farm's Devil House; Talley Racing's Initforthekandy; Stronach Stable's Spring Waltz; Mark Stanley's Swift Temper and Robert Adams' Unforgotten. Weights for the Falls City will be announced Friday. ... Calvin Borel is one of the five finalists for Santa Anita's 60th George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.  The award, which is voted on by their fellow riders, honors and recognizes riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Other finalists for the award are Gary Baze, Javier Castellano, David Flores and John Velazquez. The winner will be announced in January. ... Julien Leparoux rode two winners Wednesday to reach 40 for the meet. He is the first rider to reach 40 wins at a Fall Meet since Pat Day rode 41 in the 27-day meet of 2003. With eight racing days left in the 26-day meet, Leparoux remains on pace to break Day's Fall Meet record of 55 set in 1985 over a 30-day meet. Robby Albarado, who won the Spring Meet title, added four victories to his Fall total Wednesday to stand at 31.

WORK TAB - Mark Stanley's Swift Temper, third in the Grade II Chilukki in her most recent start, tuned up for an anticipated run in the Thanksgiving Day Falls City Handicap (GII) by working five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01.80 on Thursday morning for trainer Dale Romans. ... Robert LaPenta's Da' Tara, winner of the 2008 Belmont Stakes (GI), worked a half-mile in :49.80 for trainer Nick Zito. ... Haras Santa Maria de Araras' Scolara, third in the Mrs. Revere (GII) in her most recent start, worked a half-mile in :48.20 for trainer Bill Mott. ... Zayat Stables' Thorn Song, the Romans-trained defending winner and likely favorite for Saturday's River City Handicap (GIII), worked on Wednesday.   The half-mile breeze in :48.20 was the only recorded work of the morning and came just before the track closed at 10 a.m.  The Wednesday work schedule was limited because the track was frozen through most of the morning.

TWO CANNED GOODS WILL GET YOU FREE ADMISSION NOV. 21-23 - Churchill Downs will offer free general admission Nov. 21-23 to all patrons who donate two non-perishable canned goods at Gates 10 and 17 in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive, sponsored by Forcht Bank.

The canned goods can be delivered to Churchill Downs on those dates or any Louisville area Forcht Bank through Nov. 22 in exchange for the complimentary admission pass.

All donations will benefit Kentucky Harvest.

FINAL FRIDAY HAPPY HOURS OF THE MEET - The final "Friday Happy Hours" of the 2008 Fall Meet are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 21. The New Orleans-themed event features $2 Budweiser Select, $2 hurricanes, $2 Fischer's hot dogs and live jazz music by Hambone in the upper Jockey Club's paddock balcony area from 3-5 p.m.   

KENT DESORMEAUX GLASS GIVEAWAY ON SATURDAY - The week's promotional calendar is highlighted by the last of three collectable hurricane glass giveaways that salute popular Cajun jockeys who ride at Churchill Downs. A Kent Desormeaux glass, sponsored by Kentucky Derby Party, will be given away to the first 5,000 paid and pre-paid admissions (includes patrons who bring two canned goods for admission in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive) on Saturday, Nov. 22.

            Fans who receive the glass can come back to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 23 for an autograph session with Desormeaux on the second floor of the clubhouse.

            A glass depicting Calvin Borel, sponsored by Thorntons, was given away Nov. 8. A Robby Albarado glass, presented by GE, was given away Nov. 15.

JOCKEY TALK ON SATURDAY - Every Saturday during the Fall Meet, members of Churchill Downs jockey colony will be on hand for a meet and greet with the fans in the paddock area between 11:30 a.m. and noon. This Saturday's jockeys for "Jockey Talk" will be announced Friday.

JUNIOR JOCKEY CLUB WEEKEND ACTIVITIES - Crafts to create a Thanksgiving Banner of Blessings and special tours of the paddock highlight this weekend's activities at Churchill Downs' Junior Jockey Club located near the Guest Services Booth inside Gate. 10. Coloring books, crayons, individual games and reading material are available as well, and Churchill Downs' mascot Churchill Charlie will be on hand both Saturday and Sunday for photographs between 1-1:30 p.m.

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE DOWNS - Sunday Brunch at Churchill Downs returns this Sunday. For $41.50 ($25 for children 12 and under), customers can dine and watch the Nov. 23 races from a reserved seat Millionaires' Row Six, the luxurious 9,000 square-foot room with a four-tier balcony that overlooks the finish line. The brunch, accompanied by live jazz music, is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a wide selection of food, including stuffed French toast, eggs, maple smoked bacon, homemade biscuits and gravy, carved roast turkey, fresh salads and plenty of sides. Appetizers and a bountiful desert tray will be available until 5 p.m. Brunch and an official program is included in the admission price. To reserve a spot, call (502) 636-4400.

Commentator Heads Zito Trio At Top of Clark 'Cap Nominees; Selva Gives Carroll Another Rising Star

TALENTED ZITO TRIO TOPS LIST OF 25 CLARK NOMINEES - Tracy Farmer's two-time Whitney Handicap (Grade I) winner Commentator, Robert LaPenta's 2008 Belmont Stakes (GI) winner Da' Tara and Four Roses Thoroughbreds' 2007 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Anak Nakal, all trained by Nick Zito, headline a list 26 horses nominated to the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade II) to be run Friday, Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.

            Weights for the 134th running of the 1 1/8-mile main track race will be released Friday by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman.

            Among others nominated to the Clark are 2005 race winner Magna Graduate, owned by Elisabeth Alexander; the Helen Pitts-trained turf standout Einstein, who ran second to 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in this summer's Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on the main track here; and 2008 Travers (GI) runner-up Mambo in Seattle for trainer Neil Howard.

            Kicking off the Thanksgiving Weekend of racing will be the 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII), which drew 17 nominations.

            Topping the nominees are Pin Oak Stable's Brownie Points, trained by Donnie Von Hemel, and Abergwaun Farm's Model, trained by Neil Drysdale. Both have run second this year to likely Eclipse Award winner Zenyatta; Brownie Points in the Grade I Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and Model in the Grade II Clement Hirsch at Del Mar.

            Weights for the Falls City will be announced Friday.

Two-year-olds will be the focus of the closing-day "Stars of Tomorrow II" card, highlighted by the 83rd running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and the 66th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for fillies, both at 1 1/16 miles.

Joseph Rauch and David Zell's Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the Nov. 1 Iroquois (GIII) in his most recent start for trainer Ian Wilkes, heads a list of 25 nominees for the Kentucky Jockey Club that has had four of its winners come back the following spring and win the Kentucky Derby (GI), most recently 1973 victor Cannonade.

Twenty-one fillies were nominated to the Golden Rod, including the second-, third- and seventh-place finishers in last month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Santa Anita. Comprising that trio are runner-up Dream Empress, owned by Livin the Dream Racing, third-place finisher Sky Diva, owned by Puglisi Racing, and William Pacella, George Bonomo and Fred Barbara's C.S. Silk.

Also nominated are the 1-2 finishers from the Nov. 1 Pocahontas (GIII): Eldon Farm Equine's Sara Louise and Dolphus Morrison's Rachel Alexandra.

            Marilyn and James Helzer's undefeated Euroears, the Millard Seldin Revocable Trust's Greeley's Conquest, runner-up in the Forego (GI) and Ack Ack (GIII) in his two most recent starts, and Summerplace Farm's Kelly's Landing, winner of the 2007 Dubai Golden Shaheen (GI) top a list of 18 nominees for the $56,000 Bet On Sunshine, an overnight handicap to be run at six furlongs on Saturday. Kelly's Landing was assigned top weight of 123 pounds by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman; Greeley's Conquest 121 and Euroears 120.

SELVA GIVES CARROLL ANOTHER RISING STAR - Trainer David Carroll has enjoyed a banner 2008 with Denis of Cork running third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and second in the Belmont Stakes (GI) early in the year, and with Acoma adding the Grade II Mrs. Revere and the Grade III Valley View to her resumé in the past month.

            On Saturday at Woodbine, Carroll showed he may have a filly to watch in 2009 as he saddled the undefeated Selva to her third consecutive victory, a two-length score in the Glorious Song at seven furlongs.

            "It was a great trip," said Carroll who trains Selva for the same ownership as Acoma, Helen Alexander and Helen Groves. "She ran a super race. She was three- or four-wide all the way around and Emma (Wilson) rode her beautifully."

            A homebred daughter of Forest Wildcat out of the Silver Deputy mare Bayou Mist, Selva broke her maiden at Saratoga on Aug. 7 and then stepped into stakes company for her second start and won the six-furlong Sorority at Monmouth Park on Aug. 31.

            "I worked her a couple of times at Keeneland and she handled the Polytrack well," Carroll said of the preparations for his first starter at Woodbine. "But then you never know how they are going to do on it until they race on it."

            Selva returned to her home base at Churchill Downs immediately after the victory, but Carroll says not to look for her to wheel back in two weeks for the closing-day Golden Rod (GII).

            "She won't run back here," Carroll said. "Helen (Alexander) wants to stretch her out one time. I think ultimately she will be a one-turn filly."

EASY GRADES RETURNS TO THE RACES WEDNESDAY - Four horses that ran in the 2002 Kentucky Derby have offspring entered on Wednesday's card. One horse that ran in the 2002 Kentucky Derby is running this afternoon.

            Easy Grades ran 13th behind War Emblem on that sun-splashed May afternoon six years ago. Today, he makes his return to the races off an 11-month layoff in the fifth race, a $5,000 claimer going six furlongs.

            Owned by TBS Farms LLC, Easy Grades was claimed by trainer Dave Vance at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8, 2007 for $25,000. He made one start for Vance last Dec. 9, running fourth in a $40,000 claimer at Turfway Park.

            "The last time he ran was the night Dad had his accident," said Vance's daughter Trisha, who has been running the barn since her father suffered major spine and neck injuries in a traffic accident heading to Turfway that day.

            "Easy Grades had a minor ankle injury and we just gave him plenty of time off. He is a neat, old horse and has a lot of class to him."

            When Easy Grades came to Churchill Downs for the first time, he was coming off a second-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (GI). In his career, Easy Grades has run 62 times with 11 victories, 14 seconds and five thirds for earnings of $559,159.

            "He has had three good works," Trisha Vance said. "I love him. I just hope we don't lose him."

            For the record, the 2002 Derby starters that have offspring entered Wednesday are Proud Citizen, Came Home, Harlan's Holiday and Johannesburg.

BARN TALK - Julien Leparoux added to his meet-leading victory total with one triumph Sunday to give him 38 through the first 17 days of the meet. Should Leparoux maintain his average of 2.2 wins a day over the final nine days of the meet, he would conclude with 57 victories and break the 23-year-old standard established by Pat Day with 55 wins in a 30-day meet. ... Nominations close Saturday for two $56,000-added overnight handicaps on the turf for 2-year-olds to be run on closing day, Nov. 29.  The Caressing for fillies will be run at a mile and the open Grand Canyon is at 1 1/16 miles. ... A happy 42nd birthday today to jockey E.T. Baird.

WORK TAB - There were no works Tuesday morning because the track was closed to training because of frozen conditions. The cold weather persisted Wednesday morning and no works were recorded. The work tab runneth over on a brisk Monday morning with 137 horses earning times over track labeled as "muddy" before the renovation break and "good" afterward. Bullet works were put in by a couple of runners prepping for anticipated runs on Saturday. Amerman Racing Stables' Demarcation, slated for the Grade III River City Handicap, covered five furlongs on a "good" surface in 1:00.40, the best of 53 at the distance, for trainer Paul McGee. Summerplace Farm's Kelly's Landing worked a half-mile in :47.20 over a "good" surface, the best of 67 at the distance, for trainer Eddie Kenneally in advance of Saturday's Bet On Sunshine overnight handicap. Also working toward the Bet On Sunshine was Marilyn and James Helzer's undefeated Euroears, who covered a half-mile in :50.60 (good) for trainer Bret Calhoun. Other notable works included stakes-winning 2-year-old fillies C.S. Silk (:47.80, good) and Sara Louise (:50.40, good) for trainer Dale Romans, Corlett (1:03.60, muddy) for trainer Darrin Miller and Sugar Mom (1:03.80, good) for trainer Wayne Catalano. Travers (GI) runner-up Mambo in Seattle worked five furlongs in 1:05.60 (muddy) for trainer Neil Howard and Macho Again, winner of the Derby Trial and Jim Dandy (GII) worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 (good) for trainer Dallas Stewart

MILESTONE WATCH - Trainer Mike Maker needs one victory to establish a new standard for wins by a trainer during a Churchill Downs Fall Meet. He and Dale Romans (2003) currently share the record with 20 winners. Maker, who will begin Week 4 of the five-week Fall Meet with a 20-11 advantage over Ken McPeek, has five horses entered at Churchill Downs on Wednesday . . . Maker led all trainer with six wins from 11 starters last week (Nov. 11-16). Eddie Kenneally went 5-for-11 and Todd Pletcher was 4-for-7 . . . Through Tuesday, trainer Steve Asmussen had 547 winners this year, just eight victories shy of his 2004 North American record of 555 wins in a year. He has four horses entered Wednesday: two at Churchill and two at Aqueduct . . . Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey have already won a Fall Meet record 16 races through the first 17 days of the meet, a dozen more than Maggi Moss, Rose Barney's Scarlet Stable and Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm. The record for wins by an owner at any Churchill Downs meet is A.J. Foyt Jr.'s 27 during the 1984 Spring Meet, which was held over 93 dates . . . The Ramseys led all owners with five wins from nine starters last week. Overbrook Farm went 2-for-2.

THIS WEEK'S GUEST ANNOUNCER: LARRY COLLMUS - Veteran racecaller Larry Collmus, the voice of Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park and Suffolk Downs, will describe this week's racing action (Wednesday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 23) as Churchill Downs continues its search to replace the late Luke Kruytbosch as the next "Voice of the Kentucky Derby".

There will be a different track announcer each week during the five-week Fall Meet. Calder's Bobby Neuman, Louisiana Downs' Travis Stone and Golden Gate's Michael Wrona made guest appearances in the first three weeks of the meet, respectively. England's Mark Johnson will take his turn behind the mic on closing week (Nov. 26-29).

Churchill Downs officials are seeking input from customers and encouraging comment via email at announcer@kyderby.com.

TWO CANNED GOODS WILL GET YOU FREE ADMISSION NOV. 21-23 - Churchill Downs will offer free general admission Nov. 21-23 to all patrons who donate two non-perishable canned goods at Gates 10 and 17 in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive, sponsored by Forcht Bank.

The canned goods can be delivered to Churchill Downs on those dates or any Louisville area Forcht Bank through Nov. 22 in exchange for the complimentary admission pass.

All donations will benefit Kentucky Harvest.

MEET'S FINAL FRIDAY HAPPY HOURS SCHEDULED THIS WEEK - This Friday is the final "Friday Happy Hours" of the 2008 Fall Meet. The New Orleans-themed event features $2 Budweiser Select, $2 hurricanes, $2 Fischer's hot dogs and live jazz music by Hambone in the upper Jockey Club's paddock balcony area from 3-5 p.m.   

 KENT DESORMEAUX GLASS GIVEAWAY ON SATURDAY - The week's promotional calendar is highlighted by the last of three collectable hurricane glass giveaways that salute popular Cajun jockeys who ride at Churchill Downs. A Kent Desormeaux glass, sponsored by Kentucky Derby Party, will be given away to the first 5,000 paid and pre-paid admissions (includes patrons who bring two canned goods for admission in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive) on Saturday, Nov. 22.

            Fans who receive the glass can come back to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 23 for an autograph session with Desormeaux on the second floor of the clubhouse.

            A glass depicting Calvin Borel, sponsored by Thorntons, was given away Nov. 8. A Robby Albarado glass, presented by GE, was given away Nov. 15.

 JUNIOR JOCKEY CLUB WEEKEND ACTIVITIES - Crafts to create a Thanksgiving Banner of Blessings and special tours of the paddock highlight this weekend's activities at Churchill Downs' Junior Jockey Club located near the Guest Services Booth inside Gate. 10. Coloring books, crayons, individual games and reading material are available as well, and Churchill Downs' mascot Churchill Charlie will be on hand both Saturday and Sunday for photographs between 1-1:30 p.m.

 SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE DOWNS - Sunday Brunch at Churchill Downs returns this Sunday. For $41.50 ($25 for children 12 and under), customers can dine and watch the Nov. 23 races from a reserved seat Millionaires' Row Six, the luxurious 9,000 square-foot room with a four-tier balcony that overlooks the finish line. The brunch, accompanied by live jazz music, is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a wide selection of food, including stuffed French toast, eggs, maple smoked bacon, homemade biscuits and gravy, carved roast turkey, fresh salads and plenty of sides. Appetizers and a bountiful desert tray will be available until 5 p.m. Brunch and an official program is included in the admission price. To reserve a spot, call (502) 636-4400.

Members of 2008 Class of Churchill Downs Governor's Scholars Welcomed by Historic Track

Churchill Downs welcomed outstanding Metro Louisville area high school students who are members of the 2008 Churchill Downs Governor's Scholars initiative to the historic home of the Kentucky Derby with a reception at the track on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Twenty-eight students from Metro Louisville high schools were joined by their parents, family members and officials of their respective schools in the Trophy Room in the Churchill Down clubhouse to celebrate their participation in the track's Governor's Scholars Program.

The Churchill Downs initiative, which was launched in 2001, funds the participation in the overall Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program by students from Jefferson County and portions of surrounding counties who have overcome personal adversity and challenges to become high achievers in their personal lives and academic pursuits. One student is chosen from each of Jefferson County's legislative districts, some of which extend into surrounding counties, to benefit from the Churchill Downs Governor's Scholars Program.

More than 200 Metro Louisville area high school students have participated in the Churchill Downs program since its inception.

"Churchill Downs is closely involved in many programs, organizations and causes in our community, but our continued investment in the Churchill Downs Governor's Scholars Program remains one of our best and most effective community relations efforts," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs and executive vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated. "Each student who benefits from this program has overcome a significant challenge, or challenges, to excel in academics and in life outside the classroom. We are pleased to work with the members of our Jefferson County legislative delegation in helping these remarkable students benefit from this initiative and applaud the Kentucky legislature for its continued support for this special program."

The Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program, now in its 26th year, allows 1,150 participating students from across the Commonwealth to spend five weeks on a Kentucky college campus to take part in an intense program of hands-on academic studies, leadership building activities and co-curricular programs.

Students selected to participate in the program do so at no cost to the student. The mission of the Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program is to enhance Kentucky's next generation of civic and economic leaders.

The leadership programs are conducted on the campuses of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Morehead State University and Centre College in Danville.

Dr. Aris Cedeno, the academic dean of the Governor's Scholars Program and an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Louisville, said the latest data on the Kentucky Governor's Scholars program showed that 84 percent of the program's participating students have continued their educational careers at colleges and universities in Kentucky. The data, compiled in 2007, showed that those students received an average of more than $55,000 in scholarships for their four-year college careers.

"In these days of economic crisis, when everyone has to prioritize more than ever, Churchill Downs' support for the Governor's Scholars Program becomes a key factor to forward the program's mission of enhancing the intellectual potential of Kentucky's future leaders," said Cedeno. "Churchill Downs provides these outstanding students from Jefferson County with an opportunity to realize their dreams. In turn, Churchill Downs ensures the continuation of a program that for 25 years has demonstrated a commitment for developing bright young minds. It is making a wise investment in the future of Louisville and the state of Kentucky."

Cardinal Winner Indescribable Passes Test on 'Yielding' Turf; Clark Handicap Candidate Einstein Breezes In Slop

INDESCRIBABLE PASSES YIELDING TURF TEST IN CARDINAL - Kenny McCarthy, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, reported that Courtlandt Farms' Indescribable came out of her stirring victory in Saturday's Grade III Cardinal Handicap in good order and would be headed to Florida at the end of the month.

            The head victory over George Strawbridge's Long Approach came in Indescribable's first race over a turf course that was less than firm.

            "The only question we had was whether she would handle the yielding ground," McCarthy said. "We were kind of hoping it would come off (the turf) because she would be strong on the dirt."

            But McCarthy's worries were quickly dissipated.

            "Ninety-nine percent of the time in the first sixteenth of a mile you can tell if they are comfortable with it," McCarthy said. "The first time by she was into the bit and I could tell she was OK with it."

            The victory, which was the second in two days for the barn, raised Mott's record victory total at Churchill Downs to 594. The 600-win plateau is within reach with 10 racing programs remaining in the Fall Meet that concludes Nov. 29.

            "I might retire at 600," McCarthy said with a laugh.

EINSTEIN STEPS OUT ON SLOPPY TRACK - Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) winner Einstein worked five furlongs in 1:03.80 over a sloppy track after Sunday's renovation break with trainer Helen Pitts up.

            "It was a little slower than I liked, but maybe I was being cautious because of the track," Pitts said. "He worked good. I know he is feeling good."

            Pitts had said last week that she would let Einstein "tell me" if he would make his return to the races in the Nov. 28 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII).

            What was Einstein saying on a raw Sunday morning?

            "We still have two weeks (until the Clark)," Pitts said. "I will know more next week after he works again. He'll work Sunday, but I will keep an eye on the weather and he may work Saturday."

            Owned by Midnight Cry Stable, Einstein has not run since finishing fifth in the Arlington Million (GI) on Aug. 9.

EIGHT HORSES PROBABLE FOR SATURDAY'S RIVER CITY - The weights are out and as of Sunday, a field of eight three-year olds and up was shaping up for Saturday's 32nd running of the River City Handicap (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

            According to Dan Bork of the Churchill Downs Racing Office, 2007 River City winner Thorn Song (122) is probable for the race as his stablemate Yate's Black Cat (119) for trainer Dale Romans. Zayat Stables owns Thorn Song and Jerry Crawford, Adam Wachtel, Nils Brous and David Robinette own Yate's Black Cat.

            Other probables, with weight assignments, are Amerman Racing Stables' Demarcation (117), Oxbow Racing's Steve's Double (117), Don Benge's Wise River (116), Scarlet Stable's Canela (115), Stronach Stable's Jungle Fighter (115) and Nick Mamatas and John Kerber's Gentleman Chester (113).             

BARN TALK - Zabeel Racing International's Game Face made a successful return to the races Saturday with a head victory in the eighth race. "That was a nice victory yesterday," said Michael Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "I'm not sure what is next for her." Winner of the Grade II Old Hat at Gulfstream in January and the La Troienne (GIII) at Churchill Downs in May, Game Face had not run since finishing third in the Grade I Acorn on June 7. Dilger also said that Overbrook Farm's Big Surf, a maiden winner last Wednesday, may run closing day in either an allowance race at a mile or the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at 1 1/16 miles. Big Surf is the third foal out of Surfside, winner of the 2000 Clark Handicap and champion 3-year-old filly of that year.

WORK TAB - Dolphus Morrison's Rachel Alexandra, runner-up in the Nov. 1 Pocahontas (GIII), worked five furlongs over a "sloppy" track in 1:05 for trainer Hal Wiggins in preparation for a possible run in the closing-day Golden Rod (GII). ... Silverton Hill Farm's Dominican, winner of the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI), worked a half-mile in :51.40 for trainer Darrin Miller.

Defending Winner Thorn Song Assigned High Weight for River City; Dream Empress Preps for Golden Rod

THORN SONG ASSIGNED HIGH WEIGHT OF 122 FOR RIVER CITY - Zayat Stables' Thorn Song, whose victory in the 2007 River City Handicap (Grade III) marked the first of three graded-stakes scores for the Dale Romans trainee, was assigned high weight of 122 pounds for the 33rd renewal of the race scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22.

The $100,000-added River City will be run at 1 1/8 miles over the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Thorn Song scored a half-length victory over Cosmonaut last year carrying 116 pounds. Since that victory, Thorn Song has won the Grade II Firecracker at Churchill Downs and the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. In his most recent start, Thorn Song ran ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile (GI).

Should the 5-year-old Thorn Song accept the weight assignment, he will try to become the third repeat River City winner joining Same Old Wish (1996-97) and Dr. Kashnikow (2001-02).

The co-second high weights at 119 pounds are Green Lantern Stables' Karelian, trained by Rusty Arnold, and Jerry Crawford, Adam Wachtel, Nils Brous and David Robinette's Yate's Black Cat, trained by Romans.    

DREAM EMPRESS CONTINUES WORK TOWARD GOLDEN ROD - Livin the Dream Racing's Dream Empress, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) in her most recent start worked five furlongs over a "sloppy" track in 1:03.40 on Saturday morning with exercise rider Peter Hutton up.

"It was just a maintenance work," trainer Ken McPeek said. "The track was fine; they had sealed it and it was OK."

Prior to her Breeders' Cup effort, Dream Empress had given McPeek his third victory in Keeneland's Darley Alcibiades Stakes (GI). His other winners were She's A Devil Due in 2000 and Take Charge Lady in 2001.

McPeek was asked how Dream Empress, a winner of two of four career starts, compared with those two at this stage of their careers.

"I think she is better than She's A Devil Due," McPeek said. "She's pointed in the right direction but she still has some work to do (in comparison to Take Charge Lady). But Dream Empress ran better in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies than Take Charge Lady did (sixth)."

McPeek also said that Koolmen Racing Stable's A to the Croft, a three-length allowance winner Friday, would be pointed to the Dec. 6 My Charmer at Turfway Park. "I'd like to get a stakes win for her," McPeek said.

SOUTH FORK LODGE PUTS MOTT BARN IN WIN COLUMN - Trainer Bill Mott got his first win of the Fall Meet on Friday when Donald Dizney's 2-year-old South Fork Lodge prevailed in his debut, a one-mile turf test.

"It was great to finally get a win," said Kenny McCarthy, Mott's assistant at Churchill Downs. The victory was the 593rd for the Mott stable at Churchill Downs, best in track history.

A homebred son of Runaway Groom out of the Unbridled mare Netjet, South Fork Lodge showed a long string of works at Churchill Downs before his debut.

"We had him here all summer and he was entered a couple of times, but he didn't get in," McCarthy said of the colt who had two works here in July before starting his series of works in early September. "We had him ready to roll and then backed off after he popped a curb in behind."

McCarthy was pleasantly surprised with the victory that came on a surface the colt never had been on.

"He was never a great work horse on the dirt, so we figured we'd try the turf," McCarthy said. "I was surprised. We knew he was fit enough and we put blinkers on him to try to get him forwardly placed with the (temporary) rail up. But he got shuffled back on the far turn and lost position and still came back.

"Not many horses can do that with the rail out (22 feet) like that. I thought he ran a brave race."

McCarthy said South Fork Lodge would likely run next in Florida.

BARN TALK - Making the rounds on the backside on a cold, drizzly Saturday morning was former jockey Garth Patterson. "First time I have been back here since the 1998 Derby," said Patterson, now 65, who won 14 stakes during his career at Churchill Downs. A native of Jolley, Iowa, Patterson rode in the Kentucky Derby three times and his biggest triumphs came in the 1975 Kentucky Oaks aboard Sun and Snow and the 1976 Clark Handicap on Yamanin. Thousandkissesdeep became the first two-time winner of the Fall Meet on Friday when she scored in the sixth race, a $16,000 claimer. Trainer Garry Simms claimed the 4-year-old daughter of Delaware Township off Wayne Catalano for $10,000 on Oct. 30 when Thousandkissesdeep took a six-furlong sprint. Simms had Thousandkissesdeep for only one race as she was claimed out of Friday's victory by trainer Luis Cotto, who won a four-way shake for the filly.  ... Three races later Ken Mahler and Vickie Foley, et al.'s Rose of Aran made it two-for-two at the meet. The 2-year-old Van Nistelrooy filly, trained by Foley, had broken her maiden for a $30,000 tag on Oct. 29 and Friday's win was in starter allowance company. E.T. Baird rode both times. ... Robby Albarado, who won his first Churchill Downs riding title this spring, put a major dent in the deficit he faces chasing Julien Leparoux for Fall Meet honors. Albarado won four races Friday to hike his total to 25 after 15 days of the 26-day meet. Leparoux won Friday's nightcap to maintain an 11-victory lead with 36 scores.

WORK TAB - Joseph Rauch and David Zell's Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the Nov. 1 Iroquois (GIII) worked a half-mile on a "sloppy" track in :48.60 for trainer Ian Wilkes. ... Patrica Blass' Prom Shoes, winner of the Fifth Season this spring at Oaklawn Park, worked five furlongs in 1:03 for trainer Jinks Fires.

HORSES AND HOPE ON SUNDAY - Racing fans are encouraged to wear pink to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 16 in conjunction with "Horses and Hope," the new initiative created by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear with the Kentucky Cancer Program.

The event, centered on the women who work in the barn areas at Kentucky racetracks, is designed to provide breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral.

Governor Steve Beshear and the First Lady will be in attendance for a special program in Millionaires' Row Four with more than 900 cancer survivors on hand. The program is expected to begin immediately after the first race, which is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. ET.

Churchill Downs will be adorned in pink Sunday. The featured fifth race at approximately 2:35 p.m. ET will honor "Horses and Hope," complete with special pink saddle towels and jockey's caps. Throughout the day, the color pink will also be featured on jockey's arm bands, groom's vests, outriders, flags, bunting and trophies for winning horse owners. There also will be a special pink cosmopolitan drink on sale with proceeds going to "Horses and Hope."

            Immediately after the fifth race winner's circle presentation, there will be a group picture near the Aristides statue in the paddock garden.

            A special treat will be an appearance by the Kentucky Derby Museum's miniature horse Winston, who will be decorated in pink and paraded throughout the facility to collect donations. Winston is expected to make a cameo appearance in Millionaires' Row Four around 1:20 p.m. ET.

HANDICAPPING CONTEST WEDNESDAYS, SUNDAYS - Racing fans can pit their handicapping skills against the best Louisville has to offer every Wednesday and Sunday in the popular twice-weekly "Who's the Champ?" Handicapping Contest. For a $30 entry fee ($25 for Twin Spires Club members), participants will compete for weekly cash prizes and an invitation to the Nov. 23 final where the top two finishers will win coveted berths in the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship X slated for Jan. 23-24, 2009 in Las Vegas.

Romans Now #2 In All-Time Wins by Churchill Trainers; Unbeaten Euroears Could Return in Bet On Sunshine

RISE OF ROMANS EMPIRE CONTINUES AT CHURCHILL DOWNS - The victory by Zayat Stables' Melo in Thursday's first race was the 450th triumph beneath the Twin Spires for trainer Dale Romans, moving him past D. Wayne Lukas into second place all time at Churchill Downs.

            Hall of Famer Bill Mott is the all-time wins leader at Churchill Downs with 592.

            "I knew we were getting close to the top few and somebody told me in the spring that I was getting close to Wayne," Romans said. "I've sure got a ways to go to get to Bill."

A 42-year-old native of Louisville, Romans began training in 1986 and saddled his first winner at Churchill Downs on Nov. 12, 1987, with Final Destroyer.

Son of former Churchill Downs trainer Jerry Romans, Dale has won eight training titles (Spring 2000-03, 2005-06 and Fall 2003 and 2005) at Churchill Downs and has 17 stakes wins.

 "Final Destroyer. Man, that goes a long way back," Romans said Friday morning while watching his horses train from the viewing stand by the half-mile pole.

Trainer Ken McPeek was in the stand at the same time.

"Final Destroyer? He was my maiden winner at River Downs in 1985 (Oct. 27)," McPeek said. "My dad and I bought him for $3,000 and your dad bought him off us at Latonia."

Final Destroyer won for a $10,000 maiden tag for McPeek and won one other time in 11 total starts before going to the Romans barn in February 1986. For Dale and Jerry Romans, Final Destroyer ran 30 times with three victories, the last delivering Dale's initial Churchill Downs win.

"What I'd like to do is match Bill's stakes wins here (74)," Romans said, "and Wayne's (Kentucky) Derby wins (four)."

 For good measure in Melo's victory, Romans also saddled the runner-up, Charco for the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, to complete a $107 exacta.

EUROEARS POINTED TO NOV. 22 BET ON SUNSHINE - Marilyn and James Helzer's Euroears was all set and ready to return to the races two weeks ago from an injury, but it was not to be.

            "He just tied up a couple days before the race," said Dennis "Peaches" Geier, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun. "He's doing fine and he'll probably run in the Bet On Sunshine next week."

            A 4-year-old son of Langfuhr, Euroears has won all six of his career starts. But soon after taking the Duncan F. Kenner at Fair Grounds in March, Euroears suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture of his right hind leg and was on the shelf for six months.

            Euroears resumed working at Churchill Downs in September and had four works at Keeneland in preparation for the Oct. 30 race. Since scratching out of that race Euroears worked a half-mile in :48 here on Nov. 8.

            Nominations for the six-furlong Bet On Sunshine close Saturday for the Nov. 22 race and in addition to Euroears, it could draw Summerplace Farm's Kelly's Landing.

            "I'm not sure yet," trainer Eddie Kenneally said of Kelly's Landing's participation in the Bet On Sunshine.

            Kelly's Landing, winner of the 2005 Aristides (GIII) here, came back from a 4 ½-month layoff to win a six-furlong sprint on Oct. 17 at Keeneland.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE FOR FIVE STAKES ON SATURDAY- Saturday is closing day for nominations for five stakes, including four Grade II events slated for Thanksgiving Weekend.

            The richest of the stakes is the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track on Friday, Nov. 28. On Thanksgiving Day, the fillies and mares will get their chance at the same distance in the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII).

            Highlighting the closing-day "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features all 2-year-olds are the Golden Rod (GII) for the fillies and the open Kentucky Jockey Club (GII). Both races are 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

            Also closing Saturday is the Bet On Sunshine, a $61,000 overnight handicap for sprinters 3-years-old and up going six furlongs on the main track on Saturday, Nov. 22.

BARN TALK - Julien Leparoux rode two winners Thursday to hike his total for the meet to 35. Leparoux is averaging 2.5 wins a day through the first 14 days of the 26-day meet and is on pace for 65, which would shatter the Fall Meet record of 55 set by Pat Day in 1985. ... Stonestreet Stable cut loose a promising runner Thursday when Misty Lady (ARG) won the eighth race by five lengths under Shaun Bridgmohan. Breaking from the rail in the six-furlong allowance optional claiming sprint, Misty Lady broke last in the field of six, quickly moved to challenge pace-setting Be Golden while under a snug hold and cruised home in 1:11.87 over a track rated as "good." "I'm not sure what's next for her," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "She has been in the barn for about four or five months since we bought her in Argentina." Fourth in her U.S. debut last month at Keeneland, Misty Lady now has won five of nine career starts that include Group I and II wins last year in Argentina. ... The smile on jockey John McKee's face was a bit broader Friday morning after the rider snapped an 0-for-49 run to start the Fall Meet with two victories on Thursday. "I was hoping it would be sooner than later," McKee said of the wins aboard Not Me But U ($57.80) in the third and Nafass ($33) in the fifth. "I guess everybody goes through streaks like that." McKee, who was the leading rider of the 2004 Fall Meet with 27 victories, plans to ride this winter at Turfway Park.

WORK TAB - Oxbow Racing's Steve's Double, a four-time stakes winner, worked five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01 for trainer Ronny Werner. Mushka, winner of the 2007 Demoiselle (GII), worked a half-mile in :52.

INAUGURAL "RIDER CUP" ON SATURDAY - Retired Hall of Fame jockeys Pat Day and Angel Cordero Jr. will captain Team U.S.A. and Team World, respectively, in Saturday's inaugural "Rider Cup" for charity.

The unique event will showcase American-born jockeys versus foreign-born jockeys in a competition for points in Races 4-8.

Before each of the five designated races, the celebrity team captains will choose one jockey to represent their respective team with hope of earning coveted points. No jockey can be chosen more than twice in the series. Points will be awarded on a 3-2-1 scale for first, second and third place finishes in each race. If neither jockey hits the board, the rider with the best finish will be awarded a half-point.

The team with the most points at the conclusion of Race 8 will be crowned the winner and a $10,000 donation will be made to the charity of the winning team's choice. The charity of the second place team will win a $5,000 donation.

Pre-race selections by the captains will be showcased on-track with Churchill Downs' John Asher serving as host.

Based on Saturday's entries for Races 4-8, Team U.S.A. will be comprised of Robby Albarado (born in Lafayette, La.); E.T. Baird (Chicago, Ill.); Calvin Borel (St. Martin, La.); Kent Desormeaux (Maurice, La.); Julio Garcia (Santurce, Puerto Rico); Tracy Hebert (Erath, La.); John McKee (Cincinnati, Ohio); Brandon Meier (Elk Grove, Ill.); Larry Melancon (Breaux Bridge, La.); Perry Ouzts (Lepanto, Ark.); Hector Rosario Jr. (Fajardo, Puerto Rico); and Bill Troilo (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Team World will be Shaun Bridgmohan (Kingston, Jamaica); Aldo Canchano (Huancayo, Peru); Jesus Castanon (Mexico City, Mexico); Ramon Dominguez (Caracas, Venezuela); Inez Karlsson (Goteberg, Sweden); Julien Leparoux (Senlis, France); Miguel Mena (Lima, Peru); and Diego Rodriguez (Guanajuato City, Mexico).

DAY, CORDERO AUTOGRAPH SESSION ON SATURDAY - Before the start of Saturday's inaugural "Rider Cup" for charity, Hall of Fame jockeys Pat Day and Angel Cordero Jr. will take part in a free autograph session with area horse racing fans from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the clubhouse near the PEB jockey and trainer murals.

ROBBY ALBARADO GLASS GIVEAWAY ON SATURDAY - The week's promotional calendar is highlighted by the second of three collectable hurricane glass giveaways that salute popular Cajun jockeys who ride at Churchill Downs. A Robby Albarado glass, sponsored by GE, will be given away to the first 5,000 paid and pre-paid admissions on Saturday, Nov. 15.

            Fans who receive the glass can come back to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 16 for an autograph session with Albarado on the second floor of the clubhouse (time to be announced).

            A glass depicting Calvin Borel, sponsored by Thorntons, was given away Nov. 8. The Kent Desormeaux glass, presented by Kentucky Derby Party, will be given away on Nov. 22.

HORSES AND HOPE ON SUNDAY - "Horses and Hope," a new initiative created by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear with the Kentucky Cancer Program, will be held Sunday. The event, centered on the women who work in the barn areas at Kentucky racetracks, is designed to provide breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral.

            In conjunction with the event, the color pink will be scattered throughout Churchill Downs on Sunday, including the saddle towels for the featured fifth race that will honor "Horses and Hope." Pink will also be featured on jockey's arm bands, groom's vests, outriders, flags, bunting and trophies for winning horse owners. There also will be a special pink cosmopolitan drink on sale with proceeds going to "Horses and Hope."

            More than 900 cancer survivors are expected to attend the races in Millionaire's Row Four and Skye Terrace Five on Sunday. After the fifth race, there will be a group picture near the Aristides statue in the paddock garden.

 

Commentator's Early Churchill Win Impressed Zito; Cardinal Favorite Callwood Dancer Settles In

COMMENTATOR SETTLES IN FOR CLARK HANDICAP BID - Tracy Farmer's Commentator has answered a lot of questions in his five-year racing career. But the question of how good a horse he could be was answered at Churchill Downs on a cold November day in 2004.

Commentator had won his first four starts, but on Nov. 25 he was trying a flat mile for the first time.

"I remember that race. Pat Day rode him and he had the rail," trainer Nick Zito said. "He won by eight that day and Mr. Farmer and I were both here and after that race I thought, ‘Wow, this is a great horse.' "

Commentator returned to Churchill Downs on Wednesday and was on the track Thursday morning under regular exercise partner Carlos Correa as he began preparations for a run in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) to be run Friday, Nov. 28.

 Commentator, now seven, has won four of five starts this year, with the victories coming by an average of nearly 12 lengths. In his two starts at the Clark distance of 1 1/8 miles, Commentator has won the Massachusetts Handicap by 14 lengths and the Grade I Whitney by 4 ¾ lengths.

"He has had a great year and in popularity, he is one of the top horses in America," said Zito, a two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer who also won the 2003 Clark with Quest.  Zito's Clark victory came via the disqualification of the recently retired veteran Evening Attire, who was placed second that day as Zito's horse was elevated to the top spot.

Commentator, who has come back twice from cannonbone fracture injuries, has won 13 of 20 starts and earned $1,841,936. The son of Distorted Humor ranks as one of Zito's all-time favorites that he has had in his barn.

"He's gotta be, no question," Zito said. "He's a great horse, one of the best, to do what he has done to come back like he has. It is a tribute to the horse, the owner and the people in the stable."

WEATHER MAKES CALLWOOD DANCER FEEL RIGHT HOME - Rainy, cool weather greeted Three Chimneys LLC's Callwood Dancer when she arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday night from her home base at Woodbine in Toronto.

            "It's kind of like home," said Sue Lorimer, who took Callwood Dancer out for a jog over a muddy main track Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday's 36th running of the Cardinal Handicap (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

            The 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer has three victories and two runner-up finishes from six starts this year at Woodbine for trainer Roger Attfield, who is expected to be on hand Saturday.

            "She has just really matured this year," said Lorimer, who was Callwood Dancer's regular exercise rider last winter at Payson Park and off and on during the year at Woodbine. "We knew the ability was there and over the winter, she put on weight and really filled out."

            Callwood Dancer owns a victory in this year's Grade II Nassau and in her two most recent starts ran second, finishing ahead of fillies that shone brightly at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Oct. 24.

            In the Grade II Canadian, Callwood Dancer finished two lengths in front of Forever Together, who came back to win not only the Grade I First Lady at Keeneland but the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI). In the Grade I E.P. Taylor, Callwood Dancer finished a head in front Sealy Hill, the 2007 Canadian "Horse of the Year" and runner-up to the undefeated Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

Callwood Dancer, who will break from post position five in the 10-horse Cardinal field, is the only runner in the race to have placed in a Grade I grass event this year.

DEFENDING WINNER THORN SONG HEADS LIST OF RIVER CITY ‘CAP NOMINEES - Zayat Stables' Thorn Song, winner of the 2007 running of the River City Handicap (GIII), heads a list of 34 nominees to this year's renewal of the race to be run Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

            Ninth in his most recent start in the Breeders' Cup Mile (GI) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, Thorn Song won the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile last month at Keeneland, and this summer won the Grade II Firecracker, upsetting the favored Einstein, here at Churchill Downs.

            Trained by Dale Romans, Thorn Song could become the third repeat winner of the River City. Other back-to-back winners of the River City are Same Old Wish (1996 and '97) and Dr. Kashinkow (2001 and '02).

            Other graded stakes winners on the turf nominated to the River City are Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Stream of Gold and Don Benge's Wise River. Stream of Gold, trained by Mike Maker, won the Mac Diarmida (GII) at Gulfstream Park on March 16 and Wise River, trained by Clark Hanna, won the Carey Memorial (GIII) at Hawthorne on Sept. 27.

            Weight assignments for the race will be announced Saturday.

BARN TALK - Trainer Mike Maker added to his meet-leading victory total Wednesday when Proven Quality won the second race and Jumponthebandwagon took the nightcap. Maker has saddled 19 winners as the 26-day meet hit the halfway mark Wednesday.  This weekend, Maker could break the Fall Meet record of 20 set by Dale Romans in 2003. Maker has no entries Thursday, but has one on Friday and three Saturday. Jumponthebandwagon was owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and gave the couple their 14th win of the meet. The Fall Meet record of 15 was set in 1965 by T. Alie Grissom and the Ramseys can break that this weekend with three horses entered on Saturday. ... Julien Leparoux, who rode a Churchill Downs-record seven winners on Tuesday, added two winners Wednesday and hit the halfway mark of the meet with 33 victories. The Fall Meet record is 55, set by Pat Day in 1985. ... While Maker has dominated most of the headlines regarding trainers this meet, Dave Kassen is quietly having a stellar autumn racing session. Quick Notice, owned by Butterfly Stable and Jan Nilsen, won Wednesday's sixth race to give Kassen his third winner from just five starters. "The horse ran real good yesterday," said Kassen, whose 60 percent winning rate leads all trainers with three victories or more. Kassen had two winners from 12 starters here last fall, but did not run here in the spring. "Arlington Park opened around Derby Day, and that kind of leaves Churchill Downs out in the spring," said Kassen, who has 13 horses stabled here. ... The maiden victory in Wednesday's fifth race by Overbrook Farm's 2-year-old Big Surf gave the 11-year-old mare Surfside her second winner of the meet joining full sister High Surf. Surfside, who was trained by D. Wayne Lukas and owned by Overbrook, clinched an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2000 when she defeated males in the Clark Handicap. Big Surf, the third foal out of Surfside, was making her second career start for trainer Todd Pletcher. High Surf, a 3-year-old also owned by Overbrook and trained by Dallas Stewart, had won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race on Nov. 2 in her grass debut for her second career victory in seven starts. Big Surf and High Surf are daughters of Storm Cat.

INAUGURAL "RIDER CUP" ON SATURDAY - Retired Hall of Fame jockeys Pat Day and Angel Cordero Jr. will captain Team U.S.A. and Team World, respectively, in Saturday's inaugural "Rider Cup" for charity.

The unique event will showcase American-born jockeys versus foreign-born jockeys in a competition for points in Races 4-8.

Before each of the five designated races, the celebrity team captains will choose one jockey to represent their respective team with hope of earning coveted points. Points will be awarded on a 3-2-1 scale for first, second and third place finishes in each race. If neither jockey hits the board, the rider with the best finish will be awarded a half-point.

The team with the most points at the conclusion of Race 8 will be crowned the winner and a $10,000 donation will be made to the charity of the winning team's choice. The charity of the second place team will win a $5,000 donation.

Pre-race selections by the captains will be showcased on-track with Churchill Downs' John Asher serving as host.

Based on Saturday's entries for Races 4-8, Team U.S.A. will be comprised of Robby Albarado (born in Lafayette, La.); E.T. Baird (Chicago, Ill.); Calvin Borel (St. Martin, La.); Kent Desormeaux (Maurice, La.); Julio Garcia (Santurce, Puerto Rico); Tracy Hebert (Erath, La.); John McKee (Cincinnati, Ohio); Brandon Meier (Elk Grove, Ill.); Larry Melancon (Breaux Bridge, La.); Perry Ouzts (Lepanto, Ark.); Hector Rosario Jr. (Fajardo, Puerto Rico); and Bill Troilo (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Team World will be Shaun Bridgmohan (Kingston, Jamaica); Aldo Canchano (Huancayo, Peru); Jesus Castanon (Mexico City, Mexico); Ramon Dominguez (Caracas, Venezuela); Inez Karlsson (Goteberg, Sweden); Julien Leparoux (Senlis, France); Miguel Mena (Lima, Peru); and Diego Rodriguez (Guanajuato City, Mexico).

DAY, CORDERO AUTOGRAPH SESSION ON SATURDAY - Before the start of Saturday's inaugural "Rider Cup" for charity, Hall of Fame jockeys Pat Day and Angel Cordero Jr. will take part in a free autograph session with area horse racing fans from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the clubhouse near the PEB jockey and trainer murals.

HORSES AND HOPE ON SUNDAY - "Horses and Hope," a new initiative created by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear with the Kentucky Cancer Program, will be held Sunday. The event, centered on the women who work in the barn areas at Kentucky racetracks, is designed to provide breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral.

            In conjunction with the event, the color of pink will be scattered throughout Churchill Downs on Sunday, including the saddle towels for the featured fifth race that will honor "Horses and Hope." Pink will also be featured on jockey's arm bands, groom's vests, outriders, flags, bunting and trophies for winning horse owners. There also will be a special pink cosmopolitan drink on sale with proceeds going to "Horses and Hope."

            More than 900 cancer survivors are expected to attend the races in Millionaire's Row Four and Skye Terrance Five on Sunday. After the fifth race, there will be a group picture near the Aristides statue in the paddock garden.

ROBBY ALBARADO GLASS GIVEAWAY ON SATURDAY - The week's promotional calendar is highlighted by the second of three collectable hurricane glass giveaways that salute popular Cajun jockeys who ride at Churchill Downs. A Robby Albarado glass, sponsored by GE, will be given away to the first 5,000 paid and pre-paid admissions on Saturday, Nov. 15.

            Fans who receive the glass can come back to Churchill Downs on Sunday, Nov. 16 for an autograph session with Albarado on the second floor of the clubhouse (time to be announced).

            A glass depicting Calvin Borel, sponsored by Thorntons, was given away Nov. 8. The Kent Desormeaux glass, presented by Kentucky Derby Party, will be given away on Nov. 22.

FRIDAY HAPPY HOURS - New Orleans-themed "Friday Happy Hours" - featuring $2 Budweiser Select, $2 hurricanes, $2 Fischer's hot dogs and live jazz music by Hambone - will be held Friday from 3-5 p.m. in the upper Jockey Club's paddock balcony area.