Robert Luttrell’s Promise Me Silver returned to the work tab Sunday morning with a half-mile breeze in :49 after the renovation break at 8:30 a.m. ET. This was the Texas-bred daughter of Silver City’s first breeze since finishing 10th as the 7-2 second choice in the June 6 Acorn (GI) at Belmont Park. It was her first defeat in nine career starts.
Jockey Robby Albarado was in the irons for the 3-year-old filly’s breeze for trainer Bret Calhoun, who was in Texas for the weekend overseeing his string at Lone Star Park.
“She went good and she felt great,” Albarado said following the work.
Albarado was not aboard Promise Me Silver for her most recent start in the Acorn, as he had already committed to riding Shook Up, second in this year’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), who was eased and vanned off the track in that race.
“The last time she ran, they both had awful trips,” Albarado said. “My filly [Shook Up] and she [Promise Me Silver] had a tough trip herself. She stumbled really badly and had to rush up there to the front.”
Calhoun also blamed her most recent effort on the bad trip.
“She broke real bad and had to rush from sixth to first,” Calhoun said via telephone. “I think you can throw that race out. We broke fast way too early.”
Calhoun confirmed that her next start would come in the $150,000 Victory Ride (GIII) at Belmont Park on July 4, where she will be shortening back up to 6 ½ furlongs.
“Going back into this upcoming race, we feel very confident,” Albarado said. “I do for sure, after the work this morning it was really nice. She came back good. I think she will stretch out fine, she rates kindly. I’ve sat behind a couple horses with her a couple of times.”
ASMUSSEN LOOKS TO CONTINUE SUCCESS WITH 2-YEAR-OLDS – Trainer Steve Asmussen is no stranger to success with 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs, and he will be looking to continue such success on Saturday. Asmussen plans to start Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Areolite and Adhara in the $100,000 Debutante (Listed) for 2-year-old fillies, and Erv Woolsley and Keith Asmussen’s Sapphire Storm and Jerry Durant’s Show Bound in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (Grade III) for 2-year-olds. Both races are run at six furlongs on the main track.
Both Areolite and Adhara are coming into the race off maiden victories at Churchill Downs, winning by one length and 6 ¾ lengths, respectively. The latter of the two breezed a half-mile in :50.20 Sunday.
Both fillies look to give Asmussen his fifth win in the Debutante, which would tie Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s five-win record in this race. His previous success in the Debutante came with Cashier’s Dream (2001), Effectual (2005), Richwoman (2006) and Rated Fiesty (2007).
Sapphire Storm will enter the Bashford Manor off a maiden victory second time out at Indiana Grand, with his first race being a third-place effort against Texas-breds at Lone Star Park. Still a maiden, Show Bound will make his second start in the Bashford Manor after finishing third in his June 7 debut on the Belmont Park turf.
Like the Debutante, Asmussen is looking for his fifth Bashford Manor victory which would tie Lukas’s record in the race. Asmussen has found previous success in the Bashford Manor with Lunarpal (2004), Kodiak Kowboy (2007), Kantharos (2010) and Cinco Charlie (2014).
“I think they’ll handle it [the distance] real well,” Asmussen said. “This year, it seems like we have some really nice 2-year-olds. I hope that this success continues on.”
Other probables for the Debutante include Cosmic Evolution (second behind Areolite last time out), Langstars Charmer, Sheza Fine Justice and Tia Chuy. Probables for the Bashford Manor include Dothat Dance, He’s Comin In Hot and Justanothermorgan.
COURT ENJOYING SPRING MEET SUCCESS AT 54 – Veteran jockey Jon Court reflected on his successful Spring Meet at Churchill Downs. Highlighted by G. Watts Humphrey’s Frivolous in last Saturday’s Fleur de Lis Handicap (Grade II), the 54-year-old jockey entered Sunday’s action with 17 victories and had been in the money 31-percent of the time.
“I’ve had a good meet, with Frivolous and then I came back with Honey Lake the next day,” Court said. “I’m glad to be back because this time last year, I was sidelined with a significant injury that was questionable if I would even make it back.”
Last year, Court’s hand was shattered in a riding accident that occurred in the final race on Kentucky Derby Day.
“They had to reconstruct it and do some harvesting of my body and take some biologic material and go in and reconstruct my hand,” Court said. “I feel fortunate and blessed. I’ve had an enormous amount of horsemen rally around me and support me and they got me back in the winner’s circle on a consecutive basis, so I am happy about it.”
Court believes that he exceeded his expectations for the Spring Meet.
“I was just happy to get back and see where it would take me,” he said. “But I’ve come back and have proven to be just as competitive as the rest of the guys in here. I was able to come back and continue to ride well and produce winning results so I’m very ecstatic about it. I’m very happy to be back and be in action. I’ve been enjoying it and so I’m much more appreciative of it.”
Following the conclusion of the Spring Meet, Court will primarily ride at Ellis Park along with many other jockeys currently based at Churchill.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Stonestreet Stable’s Keen Pauline returned to the work tab Sunday morning going a half-mile in :47.20 for trainer Dale Romans, who remained unsure as to the next start for the homebred daughter of Pulpit. Her last race was a victory in the May 15 Black Eyed Susan (Grade II). … Carl Pollard’s Kiss Moon breezed a half-mile in :49 for trainer David Vance. This was the daughter of Malibu Moon’s first work since her victory in the Old Forester Mint Julep (GIII) on June 6. … Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing breezed a half-mile in :47.40 in preparation for Saturday’s $70,000-added Kelly’s Landing obernight stakes. … The Kenny McPeek-trained duo of Flashy American and 2013 Travers Stakes (GI) winner Golden Ticket also breezed four furlongs Sunday. The former worked a bullet:46.80 and Golden Ticket was timed in :49.40.