COMMENTATOR ASSIGNED TOP IMPOST OF 124 POUNDS FOR 134TH CLARK ‘CAP - Tracy Farmer's Commentator has been assigned high weight of 124 pounds by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Friday's 134th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade II).
Trained by Nick Zito, Commentator is expected to start Friday in the 1 1/8 miles main track test.
Assigned the next high weight of 121 pounds is Jay Em Ess Stable's Arson Squad, who is expected to run in the Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29.
When entries are drawn Tuesday, Commentator is expected to attract seven rivals headed by Magna Graduate, who was assigned the second-highest Clark impost.
Owned by Elisabeth Alexander, Magna Graduate won the 2005 Clark as a 3-year-old and took the opening-day Ack Ack Handicap (GIII). Trained by Steve Asmussen, Magna Graduate was assigned 120 pounds.
Others considered probable for the Clark with weight assignments are Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anak Nakal (118), The Big Stable's Delosvientos (118), World Thoroughbreds Racing's Wayzata Bay (117), Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss (116), Circle E Racing, Caesar Kimmel and Philip Solondz's Timber Reserve (116) and Silverton Hill Farm's Dominican (115).
SPRING WALTZ HIGH WEIGHT FOR FALLS CITY - Stronach Stables' Spring Waltz, runaway winner of the Gulfstream Park's Grade II Rampart Handicap in March and runner-up in Belmont's recent Turnback the Alarm Handicap (GIII), was assigned top weight of 120 pounds for Thursday's $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII).
Trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, Spring Waltz has won two of three starts at the Falls City distance of 1 1/8 miles. Spring Waltz, who is training at Keeneland, could face seven rivals in the Falls City when entries are drawn on Sunday.
One of those expected rivals is Pin Oak Stable's Brownie Points, assigned the second high weight of 119 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman. Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, Brownie Points has had two main track starts in 2008, finishing second to Hystericalady in the Azeri (GIII) to unbeaten Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom (GI).
Other probable Falls City starters with weight assignments are Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and Letto Thoroughbreds' Stop a Train (117), Robert Adams' Unforgotten (117), Mark Stanley's Swift Temper (116), Glencrest Farm's Devil House (115), Richard Lister's Tell it as It Is (115) and Talley Racing's Initforthekandy (114).
KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB, GOLDEN ROD FIELDS TAKE SHAPE - The stars of the Nov. 1 "Stars of Tomorrow I" card are expected to come back next Saturday for encore performances on the closing-day "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features races exclusively for 2-year-olds.
Joseph Rauch and David Zell's Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the Iroquois (GIII) and Eldon Farm Equine's Sara Louise, winner of the Pocahontas (GIII), are listed as probable starters by Churchill Downs racing officials for the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod, respectively.
Entries for the two $150,000-added Grade II events at 1 1/16 miles on the main track will be drawn Wednesday. The winners of last year's events went on to live up to their "Star of Tomorrow" billing as Anak Nakal and Pure Clan added 2008 graded stakes victories to their respective tallies in the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod.
Five colts are considered likely to challenge Capt. Candyman Can, topped by John Oxley's Beethoven and Darley Stable's Stormalory, who ran 1-2 in a mile and a sixteenth allowance race on the "Stars of Tomorrow I" card.
Other probables include Dogwood Stable's Coal Baron, the Virginia Tarra Trust's Giant Oak and Carl Potts' Allittakesisone. Possibles include Overbrook Farm's Big Surf, the Live Oak Plantation's Rocketing Returns and either Zayat Stables' Star of David or Winchell Thoroughbreds' Zion from the barn of Steve Asmussen.
Four fillies are considered as likely to challenge Sara Louise in the Golden Rod. Topping the list is Livin the Dream Racing's Dream Empress, runner-up to Stardom Bound in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. Trained by Ken McPeek, Dream Empress won the Darley Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland last month.
Other Golden Rod probables include Pocahontas runner-up Rachel Alexandra, owned by Dolphus Morrison, Winchell Thoroughbreds' War Echo, who is a half-sister to Pyro, and DWD Stables' Dance With Daddy.
CORRECTION - In Friday's Barn Notes, the number of races for the current Fall Meet was listed as 270. The correct number is 268.
BARN TALK - Equibase Company LLC reports that trainer Steve Asmussen entered Saturday with 553 wins, three victories away from breaking his own North American record for wins in a single year (Note: two victories in Dubai this year with Curlin are not included in that number). Asmussen, who won 555 races in 2004, had 16 runners entered at seven venues Saturday including first-time starter Captain Cherokee in the 10th race at Churchill Downs for Stonestreet Stable. Captain Cherokee is a half-brother to two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint (GI) winner Midnight Lute. Asmussen's first runner of the day was Not for Gold in the opener at Aqueduct at 12:30 p.m. (ET) and closes out with Light Lace in the seventh at Remington Park at 10:12 p.m. (ET). ... Making the rounds on the backside Saturday morning was jockey Filiberto Leon, who plans to resume riding when the Turfway Park meet opens Nov. 30. Leon, who will be represented by agent Buddy Fife, last rode at Finger Lakes in June 2007. ... Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss arrived at Churchill Downs Friday night for an anticipated start in next week's Clark Handicap. World Thoroughbred Racing's Wayzata Bay is scheduled to arrive Saturday night for the Clark, as is Pin Oak Stable's Brownie Points, who is slated to run in Thursday's Falls City Handicap.
WORK TAB - Talley Racing's Initforthekandy worked five-eighths in 1:01.60 over a track labeled as "good" on Friday at Trackside Training Center in preparation for an expected run in Thursday's Falls City Handicap.
TWO CANNED GOODS FOR FREE ADMISSION - Churchill Downs will offer free general admission through Sunday, Nov. 23 to all patrons who donate two non-perishable canned goods at Gates 10 and 17 in conjunction with the Kentucky Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive, sponsored by Forcht Bank.
The canned goods can be delivered to Churchill Downs on those dates or any Louisville area Forcht Bank through Nov. 22 in exchange for the complimentary admission pass.
All donations will benefit Kentucky Harvest.
SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE DOWNS - Sunday Brunch at Churchill Downs returns this Sunday. For $41.50 ($25 for children 12 and under), customers can dine and watch the Nov. 23 races from a reserved seat Millionaires' Row Six, the luxurious 9,000 square-foot room with a four-tier balcony that overlooks the finish line. The brunch, accompanied by live jazz music, is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a wide selection of food, including stuffed French toast, eggs, maple smoked bacon, homemade biscuits and gravy, carved roast turkey, fresh salads and plenty of sides. Appetizers and a bountiful desert tray will be available until 5 p.m. Brunch and an official program is included in the admission price. To reserve a spot, call (502) 636-4400.