Churchill Downs Race Day Notes for Sunday, May 19

May 19, 2013 Travers Manley


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sunday, May 19, 2013) – There were nothing but smiles on the faces of those working in D. Wayne Lukas’ barn at Churchill Downs on the Sunday morning following Oxbow’s upset victory in the Preakness (Grade I).

“I looked at the fractions and they weren’t blistering and (Oxbow) loves the front end,” assistant trainer Leigh Bentley said. “You always think, ‘I hope they aren’t going too fast,’ and when I saw the fractions I thought they were slow enough that he could go on. We were all really excited. He ran super.”

Oxbow’s victory in the Preakness is a record 14th Triple Crown win for Lukas. He previously was tied with “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons.

“We’d like to add a few more,” Bentley said.

Bentley was at Churchill Downs on Preakness Day to saddle Indian Style in Saturday’s 11th race. The race went off at 6:01 p.m. (all times Eastern) and then she had to rush back to the barn to watch the Preakness, which went off at 6:20 p.m.

“We raced back over here,” Bentley said. “Everyone was yelling and screaming down the lane. The whole barn watched. Everyone loves to watch the races. We cheer each other on.”

Bentley added that Oxbow and Lukas left Baltimore early Sunday morning and should arrive at Churchill Downs on Sunday evening at approximately 5:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). 


Wayne Lukas has a penchant for victories in the main arena at long odds. Some examples are listed below:

Race                                                                 Horse                        Odds

2000 Breeders’ Cup Distaff                               Spain                          55-1

1999 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies                  Cash Run                   32-1

1999 Kentucky Derby                                       Charismatic                31-1

2004 Mother Goose                                          Stellar Jayne               29-1

2013 Rebel                                                        Will Take Charge       28-1

1980 Santa Anita Derby                                    Codex                         25-1

1995 Kentucky Derby                                       Thunder Gulch          24-1

1999 Breeders’ Cup Classic                               Cat Thief                    19-1

2000 Belmont Stakes                                        Commendable            18-1

1994 Vosburgh                                                  Harlan                        18-1

2013 Preakness Stakes                                      Oxbow                       15-1

2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint                  Hightail                      15-1

1998 Florida Derby                                           Cape Town                12-1

1996 Metropolitan Handicap                            Honour and Glory      12-1

2001 Jim Dandy                                                Scorpion                     11-1

1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile                             Is It True                      9-1


Take Charge Indy, six-length winner of the Alysheba (GII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, will make his next start in the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on June 15, according to trainer Pat Byrne.

WinStar Farm LLC and Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Take Charge Indy’s win in the Alysheba was his first since winning the Florida Derby (GI) in March 2012. In the Kentucky Derby, he finished 19th of 20 and came out with a bone chip in his left front ankle, which was removed.

“His win in the Alysheba was vindication for everyone involved, including the horse,” Byrne said. “It was almost a year to the day when he got hurt running in the Derby and then he came back and ran like that.

“Numbers wise, his race in the Alysheba was off the charts. I always knew he could be that kind of a horse. You can look back at what I said about him over the winter. I said, ‘At the end of the day, this is probably the most talented horse I’ve ever trained,’ and I’ve had my hands on a couple of good ones.”

Two of Byrne’s most notable horses are 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick and Awesome Again, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) in 1998.

“I think when it’s all said and done, (Take Charge Indy) might be a better horse than Awesome Again,” Byrne said.

In addition to winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Awesome Again also won the Whitney Handicap (GI), Stephen Foster Handicap (GII), Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap (GII) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GIII).

Take Charge Indy breezed four furlongs in :51 at Churchill Downs on Saturday in his first work since the Alysheba. He is scheduled to work five furlongs this Saturday or Sunday with jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard. Byrne said Take Charge Indy will work shortly after the track opens for training at 6 a.m.

Should Take Charge Indy win the Stephen Foster, it would be the third victory in the race for Byrne, who won back-to-back runnings in 1997-98 with City by Night and Awesome Again.

One horse Take Charge Indy likely will face on June 15 is Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned, who breezed five furlongs in 1:03.20 at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Trainer Ian Wilkes confirmed following the work that Fort Larned is being pointed toward the Stephen Foster.

Fort Larned finished fifth as the 1-2 favorite in the Oaklawn Handicap (GII) in his most recent start on April 13. He stumbled at the start and lost jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in his first start of 2013 in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII).


In one of the best performances of the Spring Meet, Gentlemen’s Bet won Friday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs by 5 ¾ lengths and ran six furlongs in 1:07.90, less than a half-second off the track record of 1:07.55. That effort could land him in the $100,000-added Aristides (Grade III) on June 1.

“He’s possible for the Aristides,” trainer Ron Moquett said. “If everything keeps going smoothly, that’s what we’re thinking.”

Harry Rosenblum’s Gentlemen’s Bet entered Friday’s allowance off a third-place finish in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (Grade III), his only defeat in five career starts.

“We expected him to run really well, but didn’t know where that would put us because there were some really nice horses in there,” Moquett said. “We were thinking of running him in another stake, but decided to give him the easiest path possible. At some point, you won’t have the option of running in an allowance and you have to run in a stake.”

Moquett’s truck sports a novelty license plate that says “1:07 Flat” and Gentlemen’s Bet wasn’t too far from running that time.

“It used to be on Bernie Flint’s car,” Moquett said. “Gentlemen’s Bet didn’t run 1:07 flat, but he did go in 1:07 and change and I think that’s pretty cool. When people ask me what it means, I tell them, ‘That’s what I’m looking for. A horse that can go 1:07 flat.’” 


Trainer Dallas Stewart said Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) runner-up Golden Soul is likely to work at Churchill Downs on Wednesday or Thursday. It will be the first work since the Kentucky Derby for Golden Soul, who is being pointed toward the Belmont (GI) on June 8.

Assistant trainer Norman Casse said Funny Proposition is under consideration for the Fleur de Lis (GII) following her three-length victory at Churchill Downs on Friday. The $175,000-added Fleur de Lis will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Stephen Foster Day undercard on June 15.

Jockey Corey Lanerie passed Keith Allen as the 15th winningest rider in Churchill Downs history with his 432nd victory on Friday. The all-time leading rider at Churchill Downs is Pat Day, who won 2,482 races beneath the Twin Spires.

Treasured Up was in good order on Sunday morning following her narrow victory in Saturday’s Keertana. “She ate up and was bright-eyed this morning,” said Heather Craig, assistant to trainer Al Stall Jr.


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