Churchill Downs Race Day Notes for Friday, May 31

May 31, 2013 Travers Manley & Darren Rogers


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, May 31, 2013) – A trio of Belmont Stakes (Grade I) contenders breezed at Churchill Downs on Thursday, including Preakness (GI) winner Oxbow, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) runner-up Golden Soul and Will Take Charge, and all exited their workouts in good order.

The D. Wayne Lukas duo of Oxbow and Will Take Charge, who was eighth in the Kentucky Derby and seventh in the Preakness, both breezed six furlongs Thursday. Oxbow went after the renovation break and went in 1:14.60 and Will Take Charge went shortly after the track opened at 6 a.m. (all times Eastern) and went in 1:15.80.

“They’re both very good this morning,” Lukas said.

Oxbow and Will Take Charge will van to Belmont Park on Monday and will be joined by Lukas trainees Laurie’s Rocket and Optimizer. Laurie’s Rocket will run in the True North Handicap (GII) and Optimizer will run in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (GI).

Golden Soul, in his first work since finishing second to Orb in the Kentucky Derby, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 for trainer Dallas Stewart.

“It was one of his best works yesterday and he really came out of it good,” Stewart said. “He wasn’t tired and ate great last night. I totally think we’re in it to win it now.”

Golden Soul walked the shedrow of Barn 48 at Churchill Downs on Friday, but will return to the track Saturday.

“He’ll jog Saturday, gallop Sunday, gallop Monday and then jog or gallop on Tuesday before flying to New York,” Stewart said. “He’ll gallop up there on Wednesday and Thursday and then jog Friday.”


Good Lord is a five-time stakes winner, but he will look to collect his first graded-stakes triumph in Saturday’s $100,000-added Aristides (GIII) at Churchill Downs. It will be the third try in the race named after the first winner of the Kentucky Derby for Good Lord, who finished fourth in the Aristides in 2011 and 2012.

“He’s doing well and he’ll run a good race,” said 78-year-old Forrest Kaelin, the longest tenured horseman based at Churchill Downs. “He’s been a nice little horse. He’s just shy of $500,000 in earnings and I got him for $20,000. That’s a good buy. It’s hard to find those.”

Following Good Lord’s most recent fourth-place effort in the Aristides, he went on to win five of his next nine starts, all in stakes races. In his last start, he finished third in the Texas Mile (GIII).

“He ran a good race,” said Kaelin, who was sporting a Good Lord baseball cap Friday morning. “There were some nice horses in there with (winner) Master Rick and (runner-up) Prayer for Relief, who’s won over $1 million.”

Doug Shank and Stan Young’s Good Lord will cut back in distance for the Aristides, which will be run at six furlongs on the main track.

“I think he’s better at six furlongs and seven-eighths,” Kaelin said. “Seven-eighths is probably his ideal distance.”

Good Lord will face four rivals in the Aristides, including defending champ Rothko, the 9-5 morning line favorite. It is scheduled as Race 5 on Saturday’s 11-race program at 2:51 p.m.


Gary and Mary West’s Corporate Jungle, sixth behind Mizdirection in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (GI) in his last start, will make his 5-year-old debut for new trainer Tom Proctor in Saturday’s $65,000-added Opening Verse at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

A dark bay or brown son of Giant’s Causeway, Corporate Jungle’s 2012 campaign was highlighted by a victory in the Appleton (GIII) at Gulfstream Park and a runner-up effort to Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Fourstardave (GII) at Saratoga while in the barn of trainer Chad Brown.

“He had some little issues and so they gave him some time,” Proctor said. “It seems like he’s come back good. I got him because they want to have him for Del Mar this summer. If he runs well here, I’ll probably take him to California and go in the Shoemaker Mile (GI).”

The Shoemaker Mile will be run at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 29. Proctor also mentioned the $150,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs on June 29 as a possible next spot for Corporate Jungle if things go according to plan Saturday.

“It’s a handicap so we’ll take a look at the weights and see what we get and what Wise Dan gets before making a decision,” Proctor said.


Nominations for the five graded stakes races on Saturday, June 15 close Saturday: the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; $175,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles; $100,000-added Matt Winn (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; $100,000-added Regret (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf; and $50,000-added President of the United Arab Emirates Cup (GI) for Arabian 4-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles. Stephen Foster Handicap night is the first of three Downs After Dark events at the Spring Meet. The first of 11 races will be 6 p.m. EDT. Handicap weights for the Stephen Foster and Fleur de Lis will be announced Saturday, June 8.


Trainer Charlie LoPresti said depending on the weather he may ship Successful Dan to Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Saturday morning to breeze in prep for the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI). Should Successful Dan make the trip to Louisville, LoPresti said he would breeze after the morning renovation break. …

Trainer Bret Calhoun said Beat the Blues exited her victory in the Winning Colors (GIII) on Memorial Day in fine shape. She will be pointed to the Saylorville at Prairie Meadows on June 28. …

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred Lea is scheduled to make his first start of the year in Saturday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs. A 4-year-old chestnut son of First Samurai, Lea has not raced since winning the Commonwealth Turf (GIII) at Churchill Downs in November. 

“There were no issues, we just gave him the winter off,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said. “We pointed him to here and Saratoga, places we know he’s done well.”

The race is scheduled to be run at one mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course, but rain caused for races to be taken off the turf Friday and the possibility of more rain is in the forecast for Saturday.

“I hope the race stays on (the turf),” Stall said. “To come out of the chute (on the main track) from the one-hole would be a whole different ballgame than what we intended on.” …

WinStar Farm and Chuck and Maribeth Sandford’s Take Charge Indy, six-length winner of the Alysheba (GII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.80 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Friday morning in prep for the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap.

“He was just stretching his legs,” trainer Pat Byrne said. “Elliott Walden (President/CEO of WinStar Farm) and the Sandfords were on hand and everyone walked away delighted.”

Working under jockey Rosie Napravnik, Take Charge Indy recorded fractions of :12.60, :25, :38, and :51 .20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:17.60.

“I’ll probably blow him out three-eighths next weekend,” Byrne said.


This year’s Top 5 jockeys at the halfway point of the Spring Meet (through 19 of 38 days): Shaun Bridgmohan, 29 wins; Corey Lanerie, 23; Rosie Napravnik, 19; Joel Rosario, 14; and Miguel Mena, 10. Last year’s Top 5 jockeys halfway through the meeting: Bridgmohan, 26; Lanerie, 24; Calvin Borel, 17; Mena, 17; and Leandro Goncalves, 14. Lanerie went on to win the title over Bridgmohan, 71-47. …This year’s Top 5 trainers at the halfway point of the Spring Meet (through 19 of 38 days): Mike Maker, 16 wins; Steve Asmussen, 14; Tom Amoss, 7; Steve Margolis, 7; Greg Foley, 6; and Wesley Ward, 6. Last year’s Top 5 trainers halfway through the meeting: Amoss, 8; Asmussen, 8; Dale Romans, 8; Bret Calhoun, 7; Wayne Catalano, 7; and Brad Cox, 7. Romans went on to win the title over Amoss, 23-17. …This year’s Top 3 owners at the halfway point of the Spring Meet (through 19 of 38 days): Ken and Sarah Ramsey, 15 wins; Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein, 5; and Maggi Moss, 4. Last year’s Top 3 owners halfway through the meeting: Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., 7; John Oxley, 6; and PTK, LLC, 5. Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. won the title over Paula Haughey’s PTK, LLC, 15-11. …Jockey Miguel Mena led all jockeys with seven wins from 21 mounts last week (May 23-27), and jumped to fifth in the standings with 10 wins overall. …Jockey Jesus Castanon had a three-win day on the Monday, May 27 Memorial Day program. …Trainers Steve Asmussen and Mike Maker each won five races last week. Maker had training doubles on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24. …Leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey continued their hot streak with four wins from 13 starters last week, including a victory in the Louisville Handicap (GIII) on Saturday, May 25 with Dark Cove. …Dark Cove and Beat the Blues, winner of the Winning Colors (GIII) on Monday, May 27, were awarded 94 Beyer Speed Figures by the folks at Daily Racing Form. Other top winning figs last week: Big Town (92), Ghost Is Clear (92), Mr. Bowling (91), Honey Hues (90), Apropos (89) and Cozze Up Lady (89). …Blingboy’s upset win at odds of 66.40-1 under Orianna Rossi in the seventh race on Saturday, May 25 triggered meet-high payoffs for $2 Exacta ($1,296.80), 50-cent Trifecta ($2,331.55), $2 Double ($5,304.60 on Races 7-8), 50-cent Pick 3 ($13,474.85 on Races 7-9), 50-cent Pick 4 ($23,217.71 on Races 4-7) and 50-cent Pick 5 ($26,795.75 on Races 7-11). The $13,474.85 Pick 3 payoff was the largest since the 50-cent minimum was introduced on Nov. 19, 2009. It eclipsed the $6,816.60 payday on Nov. 5, 2011. The record $2 Pick 3 payoff is $114,156 on Nov. 4, 2000. …Proud Image’s 10 ¾-length romp in the second race on Thursday, May 23 was the second-most decisive win of the meet, only behind Watercolors’ 12 ½-length triumph in the Friday, May 17 nightcap. …Arborville recorded the fastest five furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course with a :56.95 clocking in the ninth race on Friday, May 24.


Friday, May 31

  • 10 races from 2:45-7:24 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
  • Feature (Race 7 at 5:52 p.m.): $61,000 alw, 3 & up, 1 1/16 M
  • 7-Day Pick 6 Carryover of $68,357 (Races 5-10, 4:50 p.m.)
  • City’s Best Happy Hour! Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois; $4 14 Hands Blackberry Sangria), food trucks (Black Rock Grille, The Traveling Kitchen & Louisville Dessert Truck) & live music (From Paris) in The Plaza from 4-7 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

  • 11 races from 12:45-6 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature (Race 5 at 2:51 p.m.): $100,000-added Aristides (GIII), 3 & up, 6 F
  • Co-Feature (Race 10 at 5:30 p.m.): $65,000-added Opening Verse, 3 & up, 1 1/16 M (T)

Sunday, June 2

  • 10 races from 12:45-5:29 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature (Race 9 at 4:59 p.m.): $52,000 alw, 3yo, 1 M
  • Family Fun Days Presented by Kroger on The Plaza Balcony from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games, crafts, entertainment & Churchill Charlie appearance. Special activity will be plant-potting with Churchill Downs’ Director of Horticulture Matt Bizzell (three sessions at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.).Guests will be shown how to properly plant a Hyacinth Bean Vine seed and can decorate their clay pots.


Churchill Downs will host the City’s Best Happy Hour! in The Plaza every Friday from 4-7 p.m. throughout the 38-day Spring Meet. Drink specials include $2 Budweiser/Bud Light, $3 Stella Artois and $4 14 Hands Blackberry Sangria. There also will be a variety of food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association and live music on the Plaza Stage by From Paris.


Churchill Downs will host Family Fun Day Presented by Kroger on the Plaza Balcony every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the 38-day Spring Meet. Kiddos age 12 and younger are invited to enjoy games, crafts and visits from Churchill Downs’ popular mascot Churchill Charlie. This week’s special activity includes a visit by Churchill Downs’ Director of Horticulture Matt Bizzell, who will show guests how to properly plant a Hyacinth Bean Vine seed. There will be three plant-potting sessions (1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.) and kids can decorate clay pots, too. The first of 10 races on Sunday is 12:45 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. Churchill Downs’ Junior Jockey Club, located inside the Gate 10 entrance, also entertains children age 12 and under on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed when Downs After Dark occurs on June 15, June 22 and June 29). The “Kids Zone” is dedicated to providing fun for the youngsters at Churchill Downs, but all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.


Thursday’s stakes advance for the Aristides and Opening Verse incorrectly stated the trainer of 1991 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Opening Verse. The trainer was Richard Lundy and not Bill Mott as originally written. We apologize for any inconvenience.


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