Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Positively, a recent maiden winner at Churchill Downs, drilled a bullet three furlongs beneath the Twin Spires in :35.20 Sunday morning for trainer Pat Byrne in his last major training move prior to Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashford Manor (Grade III).
The 111th running of the Bashford Manor for 2-year-olds will be contested at six furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs. It will be the featured event on the final “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program of the Spring Meet.
Working prior to the renovation break on the fast main track, Positively recorded the quickest three-eighths work of the day and galloped out four furlongs in :48 and five furlongs in 1:01.40.
“It was perfect,” Byrne said. “It’ll be a tough race, but he’s on his game. We’re in good shape and he should like the extra distance.”
A bay son of Distorted Humor, Positively is a half-brother to Malibu Moon, one of America’s leading sires. The colt was purchased privately by the Sandfords for $200,000 after he failed to meet his reserve price at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Also working toward the Bashford Manor on Sunday was Donegal Racing’s Roman’s Avenue, a winner in his racing debut at Churchill Downs on May 27. A dark bay or brown son of 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner Street Sense, Roman’s Avenue breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Dale Romans. It was the second fastest of 19 five furlongs works on Sunday.
Entries for the Bashford Manor are to be taken Wednesday and Churchill Downs officials are currently expecting a field of nine.
Horses believed by Churchill Downs officials to be pointing to the Bashford Manor include Circle Unbroken (trained by Garry Simms), Go Jack Go (Ralph Martinez), Good Tickled (Darrin Miller), I’m Boundtoscore, Positively (Byrne), Praetorian Prefect (John Paul Pucek), Roman’s Avenue (Romans) and Special Jo (Steve Asmussen).
Trainer Wayne Lukas is expected to enter Hightail or Red Wings for owner Bluegrass Hall LLC.
LITTLE MIKE NAMED HIGH WEIGHT FOR FIRECRACKER; TURALLURE TOPS LIST OF PROBABLE STARTERS – Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike, 2 ½-length winner of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) on Kentucky Derby Day, has been assigned the high weight of 124 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for next Sunday’s Firecracker Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The 22nd running of the $150,000-added Firecracker for 3-year-olds and up will be contested at one mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course on July 1, the closing day of the 2012 Spring Meet.
Since making his turf debut in his fifth career start, Little Mike has compiled an impressive record of 10-1-0 from 13 starts and earnings of $820,542. A 5-year-old gelded son of Spanish Steps, Little Mike recorded his first major victory in the Ft. Lauderdale (GIII) on the turf at Gulfstream Park in January of 2011 and went on to score wins in the Canadian Turf (GIII) and Emirates Airlines Appleton (GIII) later in the year.
He was put on the shelf after the Appleton, but returned in December to win an allowance at Gulfstream Park by the narrowest of margins. In his two starts this year prior to his victory in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Little Mike won the Florida Sunshine Millions Turf and finished fourth in the Canadian Turf (GIII).
The Dale Romans-trained Little Mike is not expected to run in the Firecracker and instead will be pointed to Saturday’s Shoemaker Mile (GI) at Hollywood Park.
Weighted at 122 pounds and leading the list of probable starters for the Firecracker is Four D Stable’s homebred Turallure, who was narrowly defeated by Court Vision in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) at Churchill Downs.
A 5-year-old gray or roan son of Wando, Turallure won the 2011 Opening Verse on the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs prior to recording wins in the Bernard Baruch (GII) at Saratoga and the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (GI), which was the biggest victory of his career.
Turallure has started twice this year for trainer Charlie Lopresti. He began his 2012 campaign with runner-up finish to Data Link in the Maker’s 46 Mile (GI) at Keeneland and then finished seventh in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. Overall, his record stands at 6-4-3 from 18 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,333,080.
Others believed to be pointing to the Firecracker include Michael Bruder’s Guys Reward and Lothenbach Stables Inc.’s Mister Marti Gras. Weighted at 118 pounds, Guys Reward is coming off a victory in the Opening Verse and would be seeking his third win of the Spring Meet in the Firecracker. Mister Marti Gras, who would carry 117 pounds, is a three-time winner on turf, but has made his last eight starts on dirt or Polytrack.
El Commodore (weighted at 116 pounds), runner-up in the Tampa Bay (GIII) this year, and the second and third-place finishers from the Opening Verse, Seruni (117) and Scotus (116), are believed to be possible for the race.
BARN TALK – Trainer Garry Simms said Sunday morning that Blueeyesintherein exited her 2 ½-length victory in Saturday’s Debutante (GIII) at Churchill Downs in fine order and was doing well Sunday morning. A dark bay or brown filly owned by Dorothy Self, Berry King, Travis Morgenson IV LLC and Burr Travis et al, Blueeyesintherein improved her record to a perfect 2-for-2 with earnings of $100,466 with her Debutante win. Simms listed the Schulyerville (GIII) at Saratoga on July 20 and the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies at Mountaineer on Aug. 4 as possible next spots for Blueeeyesintherein.
Rob Auerbach and Marc Winston’s Quiet Success finished second behind Blueeyesintherein and Dolphus Morrison’s homebred Shesakitty completed the trifecta. Both emerged of the race in good order, but neither Tom Amoss (Quiet Success) nor Lon Wiggins (Shesakitty) have made decisions as to where their 2-year-old fillies might make their next starts.
Amoss also said there is no immediate plan for Delaunay, who won the Kelly’s Landing on the Debutante undercard for owner Maggi Moss. A 5-year-old gelded son of Smoke Glacken, Deulaunay was making his first start for Amoss in the Kelly’s Landing after being claimed for $40,000 from trainer Dane Kobiskie in his previous start. …
Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s homebred Karlovy Vary will be pointed to the Virginia Oaks (GIII) at Colonial Downs on July 21 off her 1 ¼-length victory over older rivals in a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance at Churchill Downs on Saturday, according to trainer Rusty Arnold. It was the first start for the 3-year-old bay daughter of Dynaformer since finishing 12th of 14 in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI). …
Bret Jones and Gary Lyster IV’s Hamiltonian and PHWL Partnership’s Kid Sidney lead a field of 12 entered in Thursday’s finale at Churchill Downs. Hamiltonian broke his maiden in impressive fashion in what was his career debut on June 3 at Churchill Downs and Kid Sidney, who has never finished off the board, returns to the races for the first time since finishing second in an Oaklawn Park allowance race on April 13 as the 4-5 favorite. …
Happy 33rd birthday to jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who recently became just the 18th rider to record 400 wins at Churchill Downs. Bridgmohan is second behind Corey Lanerie in the jockey standings at the Spring Meet with 40 victories.
WORKTAB – Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Cozzetti, second behind his stablemate Silver Max in the Oliver at Indiana Downs, breezed four furlongs in :48 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning for trainer Dale Romans. The work was the fastest of 41 at the distance. Cozzetti will make his next start in the American Derby (GIII) on the turf at Arlington Park on July 14. …
Briland Farm’s Absinthe Minded, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained winner of this year’s Pippin and Bayakoa at Oaklawn Park, breezed four furlongs on the main track in :49.80. The work was the 14th fastest at the distance.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013, and its 2012 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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