Churchill Downs Race Day Notes for Sunday, May 26

May 26, 2013 Travers Manley & Darren Rogers


Blueeyesintherein visited the winner’s circle following her run in last year’s Debutante (Grade III) and trainer Garry Simms is hoping for a similar result Monday in the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

“It’s a tough race, but that’s how it goes,” Simms said. “She’s doing really well and came out of her last race good. We thought we’d stay home.”

Dorothy Self, Berry King and Travis Morgeson V LLC’s Blueeyesintherein’s last race was the Eight Belles (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day and she finished fifth of 13 after battling for the lead.

“I didn’t want to be up that close,” Simms said. “She usually lays three to five lengths off, but she was battling for the lead with some longshots. She held on the best she could.”

Jon Court was aboard Blueeyesintherein in the Eight Belles, but Leandro Goncalves will have the call in the Winning Colors. Goncalves was aboard Blueeyesintherein for her maiden and Debutante victories.

“It’s nothing against Jon,” Simms said. “Leandro started on her and I just thought we’d make a change back.”

The Winning Colors would be the fourth graded-stakes victory of the career for the 61-year-old Simms, who has battled multiple myeloma for more than three years. Multiple myeloma is an incurable form of cancer that attacks the plasma cells in bone marrow.

“I’m doing well and I feel good,” Simms said. “I’ve still got it, but my tests have been good and if it stays like this then I won’t have to have any more treatments until it goes the other way.”


On the first Saturday in May of 1988, Winning Colors became the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby and gave Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his first win in the Run for the Roses. On Monday, Churchill Downs will honor the Hall of Fame filly with the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII) at six furlongs on the main track.

“That’s probably the most confident I’ve ever been about winning one of those,” Lukas said. “She was so exceptional. When she beat the boys so easily in the Santa Anita Derby, we felt she could be the best 3-year-old in the country, regardless of sex. We felt we were in a really good position and it turned out just right.”

Lukas remembers Winning Colors for her talent, size and speed. “She had that tactical speed and strength and she actually was bigger than any colt in the race,” Lukas said.

Winning Colors, who died in Feb. 2008 at the age of 23, gave Lukas his first of four Kentucky Derby victories. “It was good to get that first one and get it out of the way,” Lukas said. “It was a great and fun day for everybody and for (owner) Gene Klein, who was so supportive of our program. It was a good one.”


Churchill Downs will stage a special 11-race Memorial Day program on Monday. The first of 11 races on the holiday program is 12:45 p.m., and the featured event is the Grade III, $100,000-added Winning Colors, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. All active and retired members of the United States armed forces will be admitted free of charge with proof of identification. Churchill Downs popular track bugler Steve Buttleman is sure to decorate the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle with an abundance of U.S. flags and will perform patriotic melodies following the “Call to the Post” for each race. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and the final race is expected to run at 6 p.m.


Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Preakness (GI) winner Oxbow and Will Take Charge, seventh the in Preakness, will work at Churchill Downs on Thursday as part of his first and second sets prior to the morning renovation break. …

Take Charge Indy, six-length winner of the Alysheba (GII), is scheduled to have a five-eighths of a mile work Friday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI), according to trainer Pat Byrne. He will work shortly after the track opens at 6 a.m. and will be guided by Rosie Napravnik. …

Dark Cove came out of his half-length victory in the Louisville Handicap (GIII) in good order, according to trainer Mike Maker. No plans have been made for his next start. …

Atigun was doing well Sunday morning following his runner-up effort to Dark Cove in the Louisville Handicap, according Phil Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek.


Sunday, May 26

  • 10 races from 12:45-5:29 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature (Race 9 at 4:59 p.m.): $54,000 alw/opt clm, 3 & up, 6 ½ F
  • 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 includes Memorial Day military display (interactive Humvee), letter writing to armed forces & crafting paper U.S. flags. Rock climbing wall for age 18 & up.

Monday, May 27

  • 11 races from 12:45-6 p.m. (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
  • Feature: $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII), f & m, 6 F
  • Free general admission for active or retired military
  • Track bugler Steve Buttleman to perform patriotic songs following “Call to the Post” for each race.

Tuesday, May 28

  • No live racing or simulcast wagering

Wednesday, May 29

  • No live racing or simulcast wagering

Thursday, May 30

  • No live racing
  • Simulcast wagering in ITW area on second floor of the Clubhouse from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Calder (12:50 p.m.), Belmont Park (1:05 p.m.), Delaware Park (1:15 p.m.), Louisiana Downs (2:25 p.m.) & Hollywood Park (4 p.m.)

Friday, May 31

  • 11 races from 2:45-7:54 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
  • Feature: $61,000 alw, 3 & up, 1 1/16 M
  • City’s Best Happy Hour! Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois; $4 14 Hands Blackberry Sangria), food trucks (Booty’s Diner, MOE-LICIOUS BBQ, Red’s Comfort Food & 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: $100,000-added Aristides (GIII), 3 & up, 6 F
  • Co-Feature: $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: $60,000 alw, 3 & up, 5 F (T)
  • 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.

– END –


  • Ticket Info

    Sign up for race updates and more


Thank You To Our Sponsors


Missed something? Catch up on past Churchill Downs news