SILVER VALLEY DEBUTS FOR NEW CONNECTIONS IN DEBUTANTE
Silver Valley was privately purchased following her impressive 4 ¾-length debut victory on May 25 and she will make her first start for her new connections in Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante at Churchill Downs.
Previously owned by Simmons and Associates Inc. and previously trained by Bobby Jenkins, Silver Valley is now in the barn of trainer Ron Moquett for owner Bowman Racing LLC.
“I like her. She’s a smarty filly and I think she’ll run hard,” Moquett said. “We’ll just have to see how the race shapes up. If everyone goes out there and runs early, then maybe we can go and get them from off the pace.”
Silver Valley, who has been in Moquett’s barn at Churchill Downs for about three weeks, is one of seven fillies in the field of 11 who will be making their second career starts in the Debutante. The most experienced filly in the race is Deliver, who has five starts under her belt.
“It’ll be an interesting race because this is only the second or third start for most of these fillies and one of them could take a big step forward,” Moquett said.
The 113th running of the Debutante highlights the 11-race Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Debutante is scheduled as Race 7 at 9:05 p.m.
Moquett could have a starter in both stakes races on Saturday night if he elects to run Livi Makenzie in the $65,000-added Roxelana, which is scheduled as Race 10 at 10:42 p.m.
Livi Makenzie entered the Roxelana off a two-length victory in an allowance/optional-claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 16.
“She’s doing perfect, but I’m not sure we’ll run,” Moquett said. “I’d say we’re 50-50. It’s a tough race for $65,000.”
Moquett said Livi Makenzie also is under consideration for the Saylorville at Prairie Meadows on June 28.
APROPOS MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN SATURDAY’S ROXELANA
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred Apropos, a three-time winner and earner of $109,753, will make her stakes debut in Saturday’s $65,000-added Roxelana at Churchill Downs.
“She’s a nice filly and deserves to get some black type,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said. “Hopefully she’ll get it Saturday. That’s the game plan.”
The Roxelana will be the third race of the Spring Meet for Apropros, who finished second behind Glamour Puss in an allowance/optional-claiming race on Kentucky Derby Day and then recorded an easy victory in an allowance/optional-claiming race on May 26.
In prep for the Roxelana, Apropos, who made headlines when scoring a 10 ¼-length win at Oaklawn Park on March 7, breezed a half-mile at Churchill Downs on June 17 in :49.80, the 18th fastest of 34 at the distance.
“She’s doing fine,” Stall said. “She’s only had one breeze since her last because it’ll be her third race of the meet. So, she’s just cruising along.”
The Roxelana at six furlongs on the main track will go as Race 10 on Saturday’s Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program with a post time of 10:42 p.m.
DOWNS AFTER DARK RESERVED SEATS
Reserved seats for Saturday’s “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” are limited and online sales will cut off Friday at 12 p.m. EDT. There are two Downs After Dark event’s left at the Spring Meet:: Saturday, June 22 (Boots, Brew and BBQ) and Saturday, June 29 (Star-Spangled Night).
Indoor dining packages for the delectable Chef’s Table on Millionaires Row are $59.90 per person. Meanwhile, outdoor reserved box seats on the 3rd Floor of the Clubhouse are $20 per person. Those prices include admission, a reserved seat and racing program.
The Downs After Dark general admission, or cover charge, is $10. Holders of shareholders passes or horsemen licenses and children age 12 and under (when accompanied by an adult) will be admitted free. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.
Reserved seating can be purchased online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets or the on-track box office located at the Gate 1 entrance off Central Avenue (open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on ‘Downs After Dark’ Saturdays).
SALES TOPPER HEADED TO CHURCHILL DOWNS
Tracker Jacker, who sold Wednesday for a sales-record $525,000 at the OBS June 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale, is scheduled to leave Ocala on Thursday afternoon and should arrive at trainer Mark Casse’s barn at Churchill Downs on Friday.
The colt from the first crop of Pioneerof the Nile was one of six horses bought by the sale’s leading buyer, Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables.
“We liked his looks, how he went and his pedigree,” Casse said. “We liked everything about him.”
Casse advised on a total of eight purchases at the sale and said five of them will join his string at Churchill Downs.
“When you spend that kind of money, you’re looking for a Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks-type horse, Casse said. “That’s one of the reasons they’re going to Churchill. You can’t do enough training there and we love Churchill because it’s a safe track and is good for young horses."
Casse said Tracker Jacker and the other purchases could debut during Churchill Downs’ new September Meet.
“One or two could be ready before and we’d run at Arlington or Woodbine or Ellis, but we are looking at September,” Casse said. “We’ll have horses at Churchill and Arlington this summer and we’ll send the occasional horse to Saratoga, but we’re not going to have a string there this year."
Casse, via phone from his barn at Arlington Park, said he will be at Churchill Downs on Friday to saddle Conquest Stables’ Conquest Two Step for his debut in the fourth race. A 2-year-old colt by Two Step Salsa, Conquest Two Step was purchased at the OBS April Sale for $420,000.
CITY’S BEST HAPPY HOUR! EVERY FRIDAY
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 Dane Clark.
FAMILY FUN DAY ON SUNDAY
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 activities include “Cookies & Canvas,” story time and a tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum Gardens to visit 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Winston the miniature pony. 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.
BLACKIE HUFFMAN EDUCATIONAL FUND POKER TOURNAMENT ON JUNE 26
A Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament to benefit the Blackie Huffman Educational Fund will be held in the Triple Crown Ballroom at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, June 26.
Registration for the tournament, sponsored by the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (KHBPA), Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) and Churchill Downs Racing Committee, begins at 5 p.m. and the game starts at 6 p.m. The buy-in is $100 and space is limited to the first 200 players. Prize amounts will be based on the number of players.
For more information or to register early, contact the KHBPA at (502) 363-1077 or the Churchill Downs’ Horsemen’s Lounge at (502) 636-4830.
THIS WEEK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
Thursday, June 20
- 9 races from 12:45-4:59 p.m. EDT (Gates: 11:30 a.m.)
- Feature (Race 3 at 1:49 p.m.): $58,000 alw, 3yo f, 7 F
- 3-Day $19,080 Pick 6 Carryover (Races 4-9 at 2:21 p.m.)
- 1-Day $4,471 Super Hi-5 Carryover (Race 11 at 4:59 p.m.)
Friday, June 21
- 11 races from 2:45-7:54 p.m. (Gates 1:30 p.m.)
- Feature (Race 10 at 7:24 p.m.): $52,000 alw opt clm, 3yo f, 6 ½ F
- City’s Best Happy Hour! Drink specials ($2 Budweiser/Bud Light; $3 Stella Artois; $4 14 Hands Blackberry Sangria), food trucks & live music (Dane Clark) in The Plaza from 4-7 p.m.
Saturday, June 22
- 11 races from 6-11:10 p.m. (Gates: 4 p.m.)
- Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka
- Theme (Fan Vote): Boots, Brew and BBQ. Guests are encouraged to “dress to impress” for a country, Southern-style celebration. There’ll be a contest for best dressed female, male, couple and group.
- Feature (Race 7 at 9:05 p.m.): $100,000-added Debutante, 2yo f, 6 F
- Co-Feature (Race 10 at 10:42 p.m.): $65,000-added Roxelana, f & m, 6 F
- Entertainment on The Plaza Stage includes the SUP DJ from (4-7:30 p.m.) and the Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Show from (8-11:30 p.m.). There also will be music by Dane Clark on the Clubhouse’s fifth floor balcony, Dillan Johnson at the Gate 10 entrance and the Benjamin Davis Group at Gate 17.
- 1,000-pound Mechanical Bull in the Plaza (6-10 p.m.).
- Between Races 6-9, the popular text-to-win sweepstakes promotion “Bet or No Bet,” sponsored by Thorntons, will return in which four lucky on-track patrons will face a tough decision: to place a $1,000 win bet on a horse in the upcoming race or take a $100 Thornton’s gift card.
- Acclaimed Thoroughbred racing cartoonist Pierre Bellocq, better known to generations of horse racing fans as “PEB,” will update his colorful, masterpiece murals that depict every jockey and trainer that have won the Kentucky Derby. PEB will add the images of Orb’s trainer Shug McGaughey III and jockey Joel Rosario. He is scheduled to paint the images between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. (This event was originally scheduled for June 15).
Sunday, June 23
- 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, 3&up, 1 M (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 is Kentucky Derby Museum Day, which includes a tour of the museum gardens to meet 2009 Kentucky Derby-winner Mine That Bird and Winston the miniature pony.