ATTA BOY ROY WORKS BULLET FOR IOWA EXCURSION –Atta Boy Roy, winner of the Churchill Downs (GII) on Kentucky Derby Day, worked a half-mile in :47.40 over a fast track after the renovation break Sunday morning with jockey Calvin Borel aboard.
The move was the fastest of 60 at the distance and served as a final prep for a planned run in Friday night’s $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Borel is scheduled to make the trip to Iowa to ride
Based this spring and summer at Churchill Downs’ Trackside Training Center, it was Atta Boy Roy’s first work at Churchill Downs since his runner-up effort in the May 29 Aristides (GIII) in which he lost his footing at the break and came out of the race with a little nick on his heel.
“It was about the size of a dime and it didn’t cost him any training,” trainer Valorie Lund said of the 5-year-old who earned himself an extended stay in Louisville with his victory in the Churchill Downs on May 1.
“If he would have gotten outrun, I would have just gone home,” said Lund, who races in the fall and winter at Turf Paradise in Phoenix and in the summer at Emerald Downs in Washington. “I thought he fit here. If he had been outrun, I guess I would have been wrong.”
Atta Boy Roy’s stay could last until November.
“I plan to be here until the Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 6). I have that much confidence in the horse,” Lund said. “I had plenty of invitations to run elsewhere and people saying they would take care of us, but the end goal is the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint) and everything is pointing to that as long as it fits his schedule.”
Atta Boy Roy has compiled a record of 9-4-0 in 14 races in sprints on dirt tracks and Lund has been high on him since Day One.
“When he first started at two, I told the owner (Roy Schaefer of R.E.V. Racing) this horse is probably a once in a lifetime horse for you and me,” Lund said, adding with a laugh, “Then I turned him out and waited for him to develop.”
When Atta Boy Roy goes to Iowa he will be accompanied by his regular traveling partner, Lund’s pony Written in Red.
“Written in Red has been with him since he was two,” Lund said. “They started training at the same time and they would gallop and breeze together. Written in Red is a 6-year-old thoroughbred stallion and he ran twice for me. He actually outworked ‘Roy’ and I guess it is not good when the stable pony outworks the big horse, but that was a long, long time ago.”
TAP TAP TAPPING LOOKS TO BUILD ON DOGWOOD EFFORT – Trainer David Vance said Sunday morning that Carl Pollard’s Tap Tap Tapping, runner-up in the May 29 Dogwood (GIII), may be heading to Prairie Meadows for Saturday’s $200,000 Iowa Oaks (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles.
The good thing there is they enter on Tuesday,” said Vance, one of 12 trainers to surpass 300 career victories at Churchill Downs. “That way, I can see who is running and what post we drew. If she goes, she will be on a van Wednesday.”
Vance, who has won three training titles here (two Spring and one Fall), picked up his fourth winner of the meet Saturday when Sizzleate won the second race. The victory came on Vance’s 21st starter of the meet and equaled his win output for the past two Spring meets that was achieved with more starters: 42 in 2009 and 33 in 2008.
BARN TALK – Jockey Robby Albarado had another big Saturday away from Churchill Downs as he rode Comedero to a 2 ¼-length victory in the $400,000 Red Legend at Charles Town defeating Churchill Downs-based runners Backtalk (third) and Northern Giant (fourth). Tied for sixth in the rider standings through the first 33 days of the meet with 22 victories, Albarado is 10 wins from surpassing Jim McKnight (883) for fifth all-time in Churchill Downs victories. In addition to his 22 wins, Albarado has had 45 seconds with an in-the-money percentage of 52. …
Trainer Steve Asmussen picked up his 20th winner of the meet Saturday when Pistol Pete Afleet won the eighth race. Asmussen, who has won training titles at the past two meets here, has a 20-15 lead on Tom Amoss with nine racing days left in the meet. In all, Asmussen has won seven training titles here, three in the Spring and four in the Fall. …
Making the rounds on the backstretch Sunday morning was jockey Greta Kuntzweiler, 34, who hopes to resume her riding career when the Ellis Park meet begins July 10.
WORK TAB – Just Louise, prepping for a probable run in Saturday’s Debutante (GIII), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over a fast track. … Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Quiet Temper worked five furlongs in 1:00.60, second-fastest of 44 at the distance. … Inside Information (GII) winner Warbling worked five furlongs in 1:01.20.