Runaway maiden winner He’s Comin in Hot headlines a field of eight 2-year-old colts and geldings entered in Saturday night’s 114th running of the $100,000 Bashford Manor (Grade III), one of four stakes events on the 11-race “Downs After Dark” closing night program of Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet.
The six-furlong Bashford Manor – one of Churchill Downs’ most storied races – will go as Race 6 at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET and kicks off an all-stakes Pick 4 that also includes the $100,000 Debutante (Listed); $200,000 Firecracker (GII); and $70,000-added Kelly’s Landing overnight stakes. Saturday’s first race is 6 p.m. ET.
Douglas Scharbauer’s He’s Comin in Hot enters the Bashford Manor 15 days after scoring a sharp, front-running five-furlong maiden special weight victory at Churchill Downs by 4 ½ lengths in :57.96. It took three tries for the Texas-bred son of Early Flyer to notch his first win but the Bret Calhoun-trailed gelding was impressive, repulsing a challenge on the turn and drawing away down the stretch.
Calhoun began Wednesday as the national leader in 2-year-old wins with 14, including three of nine juvenile starters at Churchill Downs.
A trio of invaders – two that exit a maiden grass race in New York and another from Maryland – might pose the biggest threats.
PTK LLC’s Shoot Craps, trained by Dane Kobiskie, and Jerry Durant’s Show Bound, conditioned by Steve Asmussen, ran first and third, respectively, in a five-furlong turf sprint on June 7 at Belmont Park. Shoot Craps and Show Bound were hooked in a speed duel from the outset with the winner racing on the outside and shaking free leaving the eighth the pole.
Show Bound, the $1.55 favorite that day, could benefit from an outside draw Saturday. Asmussen, who also has entered Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen’s Sapphire Storm, has won the Bashford Manor four times – Lunarpal (2004), Kodiak Kowboy (2007), Kantharos (2010) and Cinco Charlie (2014) – and another victory would equal Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ record for the race.
Patrick Rocks, owned by Hidden Hill Farm and Herman M. Braude, invades from Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course after winning a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight in stalking fashion by one length. His trainer, John “Jerry” Robb, had Bashford Manor success two years ago with Debt Ceiling.
The Bashford Manor field from the rail out (with jockeys): He’s Comin in Hot (Jamie Theriot); Patrick Rocks (Victor Carrasco); Roman’s Chance (Miguel Mena); Dothat Dance (James Graham); Shoot Craps (Deshawn Parker); Justanothermorgan (Aaron Court); Sapphire Storm (Robby Albarado); and Show Bound (Julien Leparoux).
Patrick Rocks, Roman’s Chance and Shoot Craps were supplemented to the race for $3,000 each. Justanothermorgan will race with blinkers off.
First run in 1902, the Bashford Manor is named for the former Louisville Thoroughbred breeding and racing farm that dominated the American racing scene in the early 1900s. George J. Long, a wealthy foundry owner, purchased Bashford Manor Farm in 1887 and developed his Thoroughbred operation that provided him two Derby wins as an owner, 1892 (Azra) and 1906 (Sir Huon), and three as a breeder, 1892 (Azra), 1899 (Manuel) and 1906 (Sir Huon). In addition, Bashford Manor also won the Kentucky Oaks in 1894 (Selika) and 1915 (Kathleen). The original Wilder family owned Bashford Manor. The Wilders were direct descendants of Lord Baltimore, whose English home was also called Bashford Manor. Long died in 1930 and the farm was eventually sold in 1973 to make way for the development of a mall complex, fittingly named Bashford Manor, that formally closed in 2003.