Jockey Calvin Borel, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and a 2013 inductee into the Thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame, will take the rest of the year off as he continues his recovery from injuries suffered in an October riding mishap at Keeneland Race Course.
Both Borel and agent Jerry Hissam have confirmed that he would remain out of the saddle through the end of the year and plans to return to competition in the 2014 meet at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., which will open Jan. 10.
The 47-yearold Louisiana native suffered a fractured fibula in a spill at the Lexington track on Oct. 24. He had originally planned to be out of action for “three or four weeks,” but has now decided that he will work toward a return to competition after the first of the year.
Borel confirmed his plans Tuesday during an appearance at the “Race for Success,” an annual fundraiser for Neighborhood House in Louisville’s Portland neighborhood. He was a featured guest at the annual event along with his wife, Lisa, and retired Hall of Fame rider Pat Day.
Lisa Borel said that her husband was doing well in his recovery from the leg injury, but also suffered “some soft tissue damage” in his right shoulder during that spill that requires added time to heal on its own.
Borel won the Kentucky Derby in 2007 (Street Sense), Mine That Bird (2009) and Super Saver (2010). He is the only jockey in 139 years of Kentucky Derby history to win the race three times in four years.
TAPTOWNE GETS BACK TO WORK, GLYSHAW EYES ON MORE 2013 START – Clovertowne Farm’s Taptowne returned to the Churchill Downs work tab on Wednesday with his first serious training move since a star-crossed journey to Southern California for a planned run in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Temperatures were in the mid-20s when the gray/road gelding breezed five furlongs for trainer Tim Glyshaw in 1:00.80. The move was the best of only three at distance on a sparsely-populated morning workout roster. Although Churchill Downs track crews worked the track throughout the night to counter the effects of sub-freezing conditions and to have the main track ready for Wednesday’s racing, little water had been placed on the surface over the past couple of days because of the cold snap.
Most horsemen passed on serious training on the frigid morning, but Glyshaw had no reservations about sending Taptowne out for his breeze.
“He’s pretty professional,” Glyshaw said. “He works the same on any kind of surface. The conditions weren’t optimal, but we wanted to do it today so we could get it out of the way.
“You have race day rules to get off the vet’s list, and we were working today to get off the California vet’s list. But he worked really, really well.”
Taptowne had been placed on that California list in the aftermath of his journey to Santa Anita for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI). Santa Anita stewards scratched Glyshaw’s horse on the day before the Nov. 1 race after a veterinarian who had advised that the horse had suffered a minor hoof bruise.
The Breeders’ Cup trip was one of the few disappointments in a year that has been easily the best of Taptowne’s four racing seasons. The consistent gelding has fashioned a 9-2-5-1 record with earnings of $381,716 in 2013. His career earnings stand at $552,599 after six wins in 28 lifetime races.
His 2013 highlight was an Aug. 3 win in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes at Mountaineer, but he has kept good company in strong races throughout the season. Taptowne was runner-up to the victorious Cyber Secret and finished ahead of reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned in the Oaklawn Handicap (GII) in mid-April. He also recorded second-place finishes behind Pants On Fire in Churchill Downs’ Ack Ack Handicap (GIII); Prayer for Relief in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker (GIII) and Bernie the Maestro in his most recent outing in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial on Oc.t 5 at Indiana Downs.
Glyshaw’s stable star is expected to have one more start in his successful 2013 campaign. He had looked at both the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at Churchill Downs over 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 29 and the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles on following day as possible spots for Taptowne’s final start of the year.
Nominations for the Clark Handicap close today, but horses considered as strong candidates to compete in that Churchill Downs race include the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Travers (GI) winner and 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Will Take Charge and Game On Dude, trainer Bob Baffert’s beaten favorite in the Classic.
“With Game On Dude and (Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up) and Lukas’ horse looking like they’ll run in the Clark, we didn’t need to go there,” Glyshaw said. “The mile-and-an-eighth (of the Clark) was going to be a little bit of a question for him, anyway, but I definitely can’t do it with those horses in it. And the mile-and-a-quarter of the Gold Cup is too far for him.”
With those races out of consideration, Glyshaw has circled the $150,000 added Swatara, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up at Penn National on Nov. 27 to be Taptowne’s near-term objective. If all goes well in that Thanksgiving Eve outing, the race will be his final outing of 2013.
“After that race he’ll have all of December off,” Glyshaw said. “We’ll probably take him to Oaklawn and run him in the series of races for older horses there. But he’ll be back to run next year.”
BIRTHDAY BOY LANERIE LEADS JOCKEY STANDINGS HEADING INTO THIRD OF FIVE WEEKS OF FALL MEET RACING – Veteran jockey Corey Lanerie had two very good reasons to smile heading into Wednesday’s racing program at Churchill Downs: he was celebrating his 39th birthday and he owned a strong lead after two weeks of competition for the title of “leading rider” of the 25-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
Lanerie scored a pair of wins on Sunday to lift his lead over Miguel Mena in the jockeys’ race to 17-11. Heading into Wednesday’s racing Lanerie’s mounts had a record of 77-17-10-11, which was good for a win rate of 22 percent and 49 percent of his mounts had finished 1-2-3.
"I’m glad the way things have gone,” Lanerie said. “My horses have gotten in and things are going well.”
The quick start on the 2013 Fall Meet continues a strong run for Lanerie, who caught fire in 2012 to sweep both the Spring and Fall Meet riding titles at the home of the Kentucky Derby. He added a third crown when he led the local jockey colony in victories during Churchill Downs’ inaugural September Meet.
Lanerie’s early lead is all the more impressive because the strong riding corps at Churchill Downs again includes Julien Leparoux, an eight-time leading rider at the track who returned to Churchill Downs last week after riding for most of the last two years in Southern California.
“I think that helped me over the last couple of years,” Lanerie said. “A lot of our business wasn’t the same, but I picked up a lot of business after he left.”
A native of Lafayette, La., Lanerie rode in Louisiana and Texas earlier in his career before making the move to the Kentucky racing circuit. For most of those years, he had returned to Louisiana to ride at the Fair Grounds meet during the winter, but he plans to head to Florida for a second consecutive year after the Churchill Downs Fall Meet wraps up on Nov. 30.
He’ll ride over the winter at Gulfstream Park, where hopes to connect with new owners and trainers. But another reason to winter in Florida is the wealth of promising 3-year-olds that gather there early in the year with hope of making the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown races.
"I’m hoping to come out with a good horse – or two,” Lanerie said.
After Lanerie and Mena, Leandro Goncalves ranked third in the Fall Meet rider standings following a three-win day on Sunday. Leparoux, Joe Rocco Jr. and Ricardo Santana Jr. were tied for fourth with seven wins heading into Wednesday’s racing, and apprentice jockey Dylan Davis was just behind that trio with six victories.
CHURCHILL DOWNS GOVERNOR’S SCHOLARS CLASS OF 2013 TO VISIT TRACK ON THURSDAY – Churchill Downs will welcome 30 outstanding high school students from all areas of Metro Louisville on Thursday, Nov. 14 when members of the 2013 class of Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars visit the historic track.
The students will be honored for their participation in the Churchill Downs program, a 13-year-old corporate partnership with the overall Kentucky Governor’s Scholars. The students, accompanied by family members and representatives of their respective schools, will be recognized during an 11 a.m. (EST) reception in the Trophy Room in the Clubhouse.
The Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars program is unique in that all students who participate in it must have overcome personal challenges or adversity to become high achievers in both their personal lives and the classroom.
The overall Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program, launched in 1983, places outstanding students from across the state on one of three college campuses for five weeks in the summer prior to their senior years for experience, and is designed to enhance their role as the state’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. Information is available at www.kgs.org.
The CDGS Class of 2013 includes on student from each of Kentucky legislative districts in the Metro Louisville.