Florida Derby (GI) winner Take Charge Indy continued his preparations for Friday’s $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) with a three-furlong workout in :35.40 over the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.
Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Take Charge Indy recorded opening fractions of :12 and :24 in the three-eighths move and galloped out four furlongs in :47.80.
“He did it well and (exercise rider) Johnny (Byrne) said he did it in hand,” trainer Pat Byrne said.
It was the second published workout for Take Charge Indy since he finished third behind Newsdad in the Fayette (GII) at Keeneland in his first start since finishing 19th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
“He got so much out of (the Fayette),” Byrne said. “I bet he’s five or six lengths better (now). I was so apprehensive going into the Fayette off a six-month layoff, but I could only train him so much. He nearly pulled it off.”
Also working for Byrne on Sunday was Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) hopeful Positively, who finished second behind Uncaptured in the Iroquois (GIII). A bay son of Distorted Humor, Positively breezed three furlongs in :35, the fastest move of six at the distance.
“He went very well, too, and cooled out great,” Byrne said. “We’re looking forward to having a good Thanksgiving (week).”
Another Clark worker on Sunday was A. Stevens Miles Jr.’s homebred Neck ’n Neck, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.80 and recorded fractions of :13.60, :26.80, :38.80 and :51 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.80 and seven furlongs in 1:29.60.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, Neck ’n Neck most recently won the Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs by 2 ¼ lengths over Fort Loudon.
BRUSHED BY A STAR TO MAKE FIRST START FOR NEW CONNECTIONS IN FALLS CITY – Brushed by a Star, who scored a narrow win over Joyful Victory in the Chilukki (Grade II) for owner Team Forster and trainer Grant Forster, will make her first start for her new connections in Thursday’s $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs.
Following her victory in the Chilukki, Brushed by a Star was sent to Lexington and sold for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. She was then sent back to Louisville to continue training under Eddie Kenneally.
“The new owner is a partnership group: Unlimited Equine LLC,” Kenneally said. “We’ve seen all her races this year. She won the Molly Pitcher (GII at Monmouth) and the Iowa (Distaff at Prairie Meadows), too. She’s a very nice filly and has a lot of residual value as well.”
In preparation for the Falls City, Brushed by a Star breezed a half-mile in :47.20 on Friday. It was the second fastest work of 35 at the distance.
“She worked very well,” Kenneally said. “She came to us very good. She’s sound and healthy. We’ll try not to change anything. She just won a Grade II. They did a fine job with her.
“She’s already had a Grade II prep for another Grade II. They’re 19 days apart, which isn’t ideal, but she’s had a fairly light year.”
Brushed by a Star will be ridden by Corey Lanerie and carry the top weight of 122 pounds in the Falls City.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR CLOSING-WEEK STAKES ACTION – The final week of racing at Churchill Downs is loaded with stakes action and the Louisville track will host five graded stakes events over the final four days of the 21-day Fall Meet. The fields for the stakes races are beginning to take shape and below are lists of horses believed by Churchill Downs officials to be pointing to each race.
Field for Thursday’s Grade II, $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (drawn Sunday): Joyful Victory, Arena Elvira, Aint She a Saint, Sea Level Drive, Maristar, Brushed by a Star and Afleeting Lady.
Probable starters for Friday’s Grade I, $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (enter Tuesday): Bourbon Courage, Cease, Eye of the Leopard, Fast Falcon, Lunar Victory, Mission Impazible, Neck ’n Neck, Pool Play and Take Charge Indy. Shackleford is a possible starter and Stealcase is unlikely.
Probable starters for Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (enter Wednesday): Dewey Square, Fear the Kitten, Frac Daddy, Indiano Jones, Java’s War, Joha, Positively, Tesseron, Track Rocker, Uncaptured and Will Take Charge.
Probable starters for Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000-added Golden Rod (enter Wednesday): Broken Spell, Cloudy Vow, Danalake, Finding More, Gal About Town, Liberated and Silver Strike.
Probable starters for Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000-added River City Handicap (enter Thursday): Boisterous, Depeche Chat, Guys Reward, Miami Deco, Middie, Optimizer, Stormy Lord and Temeraine. Final Count and Sachem Spirit are possible.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Trainer Dale Romans reported Sunday that a decision on whether Shackleford will make his final career start in the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at Churchill Downs or the Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct will come Monday … Sheldon Nitenson’s homebred Danalake, who breezed four furlongs in :48.80, is being pointed to the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) on Nov. 24, according to trainer Todd Pletcher … Fox Hill Farms Inc.’s Joyful Victory breezed three furlongs in :35.20 in prep for Thursday’s $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) … Brian Hernandez Jr. will ride the meet at Fair Grounds following the conclusion of the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs, agent Frank Bernis reported. Hernandez, who rode Fort Larned to victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), previously said he would be taking his tack to Gulfstream Park this winter … The 50,000th race in the 138-year history of Churchill Downs is scheduled to be held on Race 10 on Thanksgiving Day.
- END -