Perhaps lost in the excitement of Breeders’ Cup Championship Saturday at Santa Anita was the performance of Frac Daddy in Saturday’s seventh race at Churchill Downs. The 2-year-old son of Scat Daddy scored a 9 ¾-length victory under David Cohen and Phil Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek, said the impressive juvenile could make his next start in the Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24.
“He was ultra-impressive to break from the 12-hole and then draw off like that,” Bauer said. “I’m not sure what he beat, but when you win like that, it doesn’t matter. We’ll definitely look at the (Kentucky Jockey Club) and see.”
Bauer noted that Frac Daddy, who races for Magic City Thoroughbred Partners, still has room to improve with just two starts under his belt.
“If you watch his first race at Belmont, he was pretty green,” Bauer said. “He still has room for improvement, which is a scary thing.”
Nominations for the Kentucky Jockey Club close Wednesday (today). The race was won last year by WinStar Farm LLC’s Gemologist.
HERNANDEZ TO RIDE WINTER AT GULFSTREAM PARK – Brian Hernandez Jr. has routinely taken his tack to Fair Grounds following the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs, but the 27-year-old journeyman said Wednesday he will try his hand at Gulfstream Park this winter.
“I talked it over with (agent) Frank (Bernis) Tuesday and he was already thinking about it,” Hernandez said. “It makes sense to go now. We can walk into any barn and say, ‘Hey, we won the Breeders’ Cup Classic.’ Now is the best time to go.”
Hernandez won the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Fort Larned for trainer Ian Wilkes and the day prior he won the Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) with Neck ’n Neck, who is being pointed to the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) on Nov. 23.
“Fort Larned and Neck ’n Neck are both going and we want to follow them,” Hernandez said. “We also want to try to pick up some other business.”
Hernandez finished eighth on Fire It Up in the 2005 Palm Beach (GIII) in his lone career mount at Gulfstream Park.
BREEDERS’ CUP WINNERS RETURN TO OLD KENTUCKY HOME – It was a great Breeders’ Cup for the Bluegrass and the winners of five Championship races at Santa Anita have returned to the home of the Kentucky Derby. Fort Larned, Little Mike, Groupie Doll and Hightail arrived Nov. 4 and Tapizar arrived Wednesday.
Janis Whitham’s Fort Larned, winner of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) enjoyed a day of walking the shedrow at trainer Ian Wilkes’ barn. Fort Larned’s regular exercise rider Katie Merritt said the 4-year-old colt shipped well and has been full of himself since arriving in Louisville.
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI), walked the shedrow at trainer Dale Romans’ barn. Assistant trainer Baldemar Bahena said Little Mike could visit the Churchill Downs track for a jog and/or gallop as early as Thursday.
Groupie Doll, who races for Fred Bradley, Buff Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, walked the shedrow at trainer Buff Bradley’s barn. “She’s doing great,” assistant trainer Maria Kabel said. “She’s bright and happy. She’ll go to the track (Thursday) morning at 6:20. I imagine she’ll jog a mile and gallop a mile. Then she’ll go home (to the Bradleys’ farm in Frankfort, Ky.).”
Bluegrass Hall LLC’s Hightail, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, is stabled in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas. Hightail is pre-entered in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (GIII) on Nov. 17.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Tapizar, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI), arrived at trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. Asmussen said the horse is doing great and could visit the Churchill Downs oval for some light training this week.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Trainer Pat Byrne said Take Charge Indy, who finished third in the Fayette (GII) at Keeneland in his first start since the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), will continue his preparations for the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) with a workout at Churchill Downs on Saturday following the renovation break … Team Forster’s Brushed by a Star, winner of the Chilukki (GII) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3, sold for $400,000 to Volt Inc. at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale … Indian Spell, out of Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Proud Spell, makes her debut in Thursday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs … Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Always Kitten, the beaten favorite in the JP Morgan Chase Jessamine (GIII) at Keeneland, will attempt to rebound in Thursday’s sixth race at Churchill Downs, a one-mile allowance for 2-year-old fillies on the Matt Winn Turf Course … Nominations for the Falls City Handicap (GII), Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI), Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), Golden Rod (GII) and River City Handicap (GIII) close Wednesday (today), Nov. 7.
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