Colonial Flag and Somali Lemonade arrived at Churchill Downs from their base at Fair Hill in Maryland early Thursday morning and will give trainer Michael Matz two shots in Saturday night’s $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (Grade II).
Skara Glen Stables, Will Farish and George Prussin’s Colonial Flag is coming off a fifth-place finish behind Angel Terrace in a division of the Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland.
“We changed jockeys for the last race and Shaun Bridgmohan said he had a rough trip and he was in good position and then got shuffled back,” Matz said. “She made a run and got beat 4 ¾ lengths.
“She’s had a good year. I don’t know what happened in California (last of eight in GI American Oaks). She got bumped coming into the stretch and she kind of lost everything on the turn, but she was going very good there. She had a nice year and she’s quite a big filly and I think the maturity will help her as an older horse.”
Prior to the Valley View, Colonial Flag won the Ontario Colleen (GIII) at Woodbine.
Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade most recently finished fifth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (GI) at Keeneland. Prior to that race, she was second by a head to Samitar-GB in the Garden City (GI) at Belmont Park.
“She’s kind of had a tough year,” Matz said. “She’s been close, but just hasn’t gotten there. She was just beaten a head in the Garden City, but there was some speed in there. There’s not that much speed (in the Mrs. Revere). Everyone sort of has the same style. It is what it is. There’s not much we can do about it. It’s kind of what has plagued us all year, but she’s been a nice filly for us all year.”
Matz said the Mrs. Revere would be the final start in 2012 for both Colonial Flag and Somali Lemonade. The two 3-year-old fillies will be given the winter off and then be prepped for a return in the spring.
“We tried to keep them separated this year and we’ll try to do that again next year,” Matz said.
The Mrs. Revere will be co-featured on Saturday night’s Downs After Dark racing program with the Commonwealth Turf (GIII). The 1/16-mile Mrs. Revere is scheduled to go as Race 9 at 8:36 p.m. ET.
POOL PLAY BREEZES WITH STEALCASE IN PREP FOR CLARK HANDICAP – Bill Farish Jr.’s Pool Play, eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) in his last start, continued his preparations for next Friday’s $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.60 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Friday morning.
Pool Play worked in company with John Oxley’s Stealcase, who is under consideration for the Clark Handicap and Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
“They went off (the first eighth of a mile) in 13 seconds and then did 12s the rest of the way around,” said assistant trainer Norman Casse, who oversaw the work for his father, Mark. “It was perfect. I asked them to go 1:02 and they went 1:01 and change. We like working our good horses with each other and both of these horses appreciate working in company. They’re two professional horses and it was nice to let them go out and do it together.
“As long as Pool Play comes out of the work fine, he is for sure going in the Clark. We’re still debating on whether to go to the Clark or Cigar Mile with Stealcase.”
Gary and Cecil Barber’s Delegation, third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) to Tapizar, was previously under consideration for the Clark and Cigar Mile, but is no longer being pointed to either race.
“We decided he needed more time in between races,” Casse said.
GROUPIE DOLL SET FOR SATURDAY WORK – Groupie Doll, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI), is scheduled to breeze a half-mile on the main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET.
Owned in partnership by Buff Bradley, Fred Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, Groupie Doll is under consideration for the $350,000 Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24. Weights for the Cigar Mile are scheduled to be announced Sunday.
“The weights are a factor,” trainer Buff Bradley said. “The main thing is to see her work Saturday and to see how she comes out of it. It’s not just the weights.”
Outside of her Breeders’ Cup triumph, Groupie Doll’s 2012 campaign has included victories in the Humana Distaff (GI), Vinery Madison (GI), Presque Isle Downs Masters (GII) and Thoroughbred Club of America (GII).
GAME ON DUDE ASSIGNED TOP WEIGHT FOR CLARK, BRUSHED BY A STAR TOPS FALLS CITY WEIGHTS – Game On Dude, a four-time Grade I winner of nearly $3 million, has been named the 125-pound highweight by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) and Brushed by a Star, winner of the Chilukki (GII), was assigned the top weight of 122 pounds for the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII).
Game On Dude, who most recently finished seventh as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), is not expected to run in the Clark, which means the starting highweight could be Mike Lauffer, Bill Cubbedge and Phillips Racing Partnership’s Shackleford, winner of the Met Mile (GI), who was assigned 120 pounds. Trainer Dale Romans said Shackleford will make his final career start in the Clark or the Cigar Mile (GI). He is scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning following the renovation break and a decision on his next start could be made following the workout.
Other horses believed by Churchill Downs officials to be pointing to the Clark on Nov. 23 (with trainer and assigned weight) include Neck ’n Neck (Ian Wilkes, 119), Pool Play (Mark Casse, 118), Bourbon Courage (Kellyn Gorder, 117), Cease (Al Stall Jr., 117), Take Charge Indy (Pat Byrne, 117), Lunar Victory (Bill Mott, 116), Eye of the Leopard (Wayne Lukas, 115), Mission Impazible (Todd Pletcher, 115) and Fast Falcon (Nick Zito, 113). Middie (Phil Oliver, 115) and Stealcase (Casse, 115) are possible starters.
Brushed by a Star won the Chilukki at Churchill Downs by a head over Joyful Victory and then was sold to Volt Inc. at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Now in the barn of trainer Eddie Kenneally, Brushed by a Star is scheduled to make her sixth start at the Louisville track in the Falls City on Thanksgiving Day.
Other fillies and mares believed to be pointing to the Falls City include Afleeting Lady (Dale Romans, 119), Joyful Victory (Larry Jones, 119), Arena Elvira (Bill Mott, 118), Maristar (Todd Pletcher, 114) and Aint She a Saint (Jeffrey Greenhill, 113).
DOWN THE STRETCH – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten, a multiple graded-stakes winner of more than $1.1 million, breezed four furlongs on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Friday morning in :50.40 … Brushed by a Star breezed four furlongs in :47.20 on the main track for trainer Eddie Kenneally in prep for Thanksgiving Day’s Falls City Handicap (GII) … The lone Downs After Dark nighttime racing event of Churchill Downs’ 21-day Fall Meet is Saturday (Nov. 17), and the first of 11 races under the lights at the historic home of the Kentucky Derby will be 4:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka, Downs After Dark will have a “Golden Era” theme in which fans are encouraged to celebrate the “Roaring 20s” by incorporating gold, black and white colors as they make their wardrobe selections for this exciting night of dining, dancing and racing. Hats, feathers and pearls are a must for the ladies, while suits topped by fedoras will be donned by the fellas.
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