LANERIE WINS 300TH AT CHURCHILL DOWNS; EYES FIRST RIDING TITLE – Jockey Corey Lanerie added another highlight to his career when he captured his 300th win beneath the Twin Spires in Sunday’s ninth race aboard Taptowne.
Lanerie is just the 20th rider in Churchill Downs history to reach the 300-win plateau.
“It feels good, but I honestly didn’t know I had that many,” Lanerie said. “I’ve had a lot of good mounts and it makes it easy.”
The native of Lafayette, La., who will turn 37 Sunday, rode his first winner at Churchill Downs during the Fall Meet in 2000 and his list of victories at the Louisville track since then includes eight stakes wins.
“The stakes races I’ve won here stand out as highlights, but all of them are important to me,” Lanerie said.
The next goal for Lanerie is to capture a riding title at the home of the Kentucky Derby. He has finished second in the jockey standings in the past two Spring Meets to Calvin Borel in 2010 and Julien Leparoux in 2011.
“It’d be great (to win a riding title),” Lanerie said. “It’s a tough chore, but I’m definitely up to the task.”
Lanerie, who recorded his 3,000th career victory in February at Fair Grounds, is off to a red-hot start at the 2011 Fall Meet with eights wins from 28 mounts. He is currently second in the jockey standings behind Leparoux, who has 10 wins from 52 mounts.
READY’S ROCKET GOES FOR 11TH WIN BENEATH THE TWIN SPIRES – Fan-favorite Ready’s Rocket will return to his favorite track and in search of an historic 11th win at Churchill Downs in Thursday’s sixth race.
Ready’s Rocket, who has recorded more wins beneath the Twin Spires than any horse since 1991, which was the first year detailed information was gathered by Equibase, will enter Thursday’s race off two third-place finishes on the synthetic Polytrack surface at Turfway Park.
“He ran well, but he probably shouldn’t have lost either race,” trainer Tim Glyshaw said. “He did okay this summer (at Ellis Park and Turfway Park), but this is definitely his favorite place.”
Ready’s Rocket will break from post 11 under Calvin Borel in the starter allowance and Glyshaw hopes the race could set the 8-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready up a run in the upcoming Claiming Crown at Fair Grounds.
"If he runs well-enough tomorrow (Thursday) then I’ll probably run him in the Claiming Crown (Express) on Dec. 3,” Glyshaw said. “If he doesn’t run well then I’ll enter him in another starter allowance here (Churchill Downs) toward the end of the meet.”
Ready’s Rocket will enter the race off a near seven-week layoff due to a foot issue that was discovered shortly after his most recent start at Turfway on Sept. 23.
"He got an abscess on his right-front foot a few days after the race,” Glyshaw said. “It took him about ten days to get over it and that’s why we didn’t bring him to Keeneland. He’s doing fine now.”
Long-term plans for Ready’s Rocket have not been finalized; however, Glyshaw would like to bring him back as a 9-year-old.
“We’ll bring to Fair Grounds with us this winter and hopefully run him every six weeks or so,” Glyshaw said. “I’d love to bring him back for the Spring Meet (at Churchill Downs) next year. He still loves his job and we’ll keep him going, but he’ll tell us when enough is enough.”
Ready’s Rocket has a record of 19-8-11 from 67 career starts and earnings of $235,995.
MEET LEADERS AT A GLANCE – Through six days of the 21-day Fall Meet, jockey Julien Leparoux, trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey are the leaders in their respective categories at Churchill Downs. Below is a look at the divisional leaders entering Wednesday’s action:
1. Julien Leparoux (10-for-52, 19% win-percentage, $944,313 in earnings)
2. Corey Lanerie (8-for-28, 29%, $209,574)
3. Calvin Borel (4-for-27, 15%, $188,368)
3. Jon Court (4-for-17, 24%, $81,118)
3. Corey Nakatani (4-for-15, 27%, $1,836,830)
1. Steve Asmussen (6-for-26, 23%, $1,876,049)
2. Bill Mott (5-for-11, 45%, $3,988,151)
3. Eddie Kenneally (4-for-9, 44%, $189,463)
4. Jinks Fires (3-for-5, 60%, $65,420)
4. Mike Maker (3-for-21, 14%, $1,207,012)
4. Steve Margolis (3-for-10, 30%, $296,400)
1. Ken and Sarah Ramsey (3-for-16, 19%, $601,423)
2. Fred Allor (2-for-2, 100%, $51,120)
2. Billy, Donna and Justin Hays (2-for-4, 50%, $19,590)
2. Richard, Bertram & Elaine Klein (2-for-7, 29%, $256,200)
2. Robert Lothenbach’s Lothenbach Stables Inc. (2-for-3, 67%, $77,754)
2. Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm LLC (2-for-3, 67%, $2,728,905)
BARN TALK – Monastic, a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Keertana and stakes winner Snow Top Mountain, will make his fourth lifetime start in Wednesday’s second race for trainer Tom Proctor. The 2-year-old gelded son of Rock Hard Ten finished 10th as the 2-1 favorite in the Bourbon (Grade III) at Keeneland in his most recent start. …
Nominations for four graded stakes to be run at Churchill Downs over Thanksgiving weekend will close today (Wednesday). The races include the 96th running of the $175,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track on Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving Day), the 137th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track on Nov. 25, the 85th running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the main track on Nov. 26 and the 68th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the main track on Nov. 26. …
Ten $1,000 scholarships will be distributed to full-time students from colleges and universities throughout the country when Churchill Downs joins the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association for the annual College Scholarship Day on Friday, Nov. 11. College Scholarship Day will also feature a concert by Grammy-nominated country music artist David Nail. The concert will begin after Friday’s 10th and final race and Nail is expected to perform from 5:30-7 p.m. EST. The concert is included in the track’s regular $3 admission price, but is complimentary for full-time students with a valid college ID.
WORKTAB – Gold Mark Farm LLC’s Culotte, winner of the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes and Opelousas Stakes this year, breezed five furlongs Wednesday morning over a wet fast track beneath the Twin Spires in 1:01.80 for trainer Tom Amoss. …
At the nearby Trackside Training Center, Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s multiple stakes winner Gran Lioness breezed four furlongs on a fast track in :49.80 for trainer Bret Calhoun. The work was the fourth fastest of 15 at the distance. … Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC’s Twinspired breezed five furlongs in 1:04.80 for trainer Mike Maker.