EINSTEIN ASSIGNED TOP WEIGHT OF 123 FOR CLARK HANDICAP – The most recent time Einstein (Brz), Macho Again and Bullsbay met in the same race was the Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) here on June 13 with Einstein conceding 7 pounds to the two rivals.
Should they line up as expected next Friday in the 135th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII), the gap will be smaller.
Einstein, owned by Stronach Stables, was assigned the top weight of 123 pounds by Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, one fewer than in the Stephen Foster in which he finished third behind Macho Again and a neck ahead of Bullsbay.
Macho Again, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, and Bullsbay, owned by Mitchell Ranch, Frank Lewkowitz and Joe Rice, carried 117 pounds each in the Foster. For the Clark, Macho Again was assigned 121 and Bullsbay 119.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Furthest Land, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) in his most recent start, was assigned the Clark’s second high weight of 122 pounds.
Einstein, winner of the Clark last year, and Bullsbay turned in poor performances over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) finishing 11th and ninth, respectively, in their most recent starts. Macho Again has not run since finishing fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) at Belmont Park on Oct. 3.
Other horses considered as probable for the 1 1/8-mile main track test by Churchill Downs racing officials are Godolphin Racing’s Etched (120), Hardacre Farm’s Kiss the Kid (118), David Holloway Racing’s Dubious Miss (116), Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak (115), Edmund Gann’s You and I Forever (115) and Circle E Racing, Caesar Kimmel and Philip Solondz’s Timber Reserve (114).
Entries for the Clark Handicap will be taken Tuesday.
SWIFT TEMPER, UNBRIDLED BELLE SHARE FALLS CITY TOP WEIGHT – Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper and Team Valor International’s Unbridled Belle, both Grade I stakes winners during their impressive careers, were assigned top weight of 122 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Thursday’s 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Trained by Dale Romans, Swift Temper ran fourth behind Miss Isella in last year’s Falls City and was second to the same rival in this June’s Fleur De Lis (GII) at 1 1/8 miles. Her brightest moments this year came in back-to-back victories in the Ruffian (GI) at Belmont Park and the Delaware Handicap (GII) at Delaware Park.
Unbridled Belle is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Monday and join Swift Temper in the starting gate. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Unbridled Belle won Turnback the Alarm Handicap (GIII) at Aqueduct in her most recent start on Oct. 31. She won the Grade I Beldame at Belmont Park in 2007.
Other fillies and mares considered as probable for the Falls City by Churchill Downs racing officials are Vision Racing’s Copper State (116), John and Glen Sikura’s Seranading (116) and Magdalena Racing’s Best Lass (114). Regarded as possible starters are Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Whirlie Bertie (117) and Jerry Jamgotchian’s Sweet and Flawless (111).
Entries for the Falls City will be taken Sunday.
BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE WINNER FURTHEST LAND TOPS RIVER CITY WEIGHT LIST – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Furthest Land, a three-time winner of the turf this year and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) over a synthetic surface in his most recent start, was assigned top weight of 123 pounds by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for next Friday’s 32nd running of the $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII) at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
The Green Lantern Stables’ Karelian, who dead-heated with the Amerman Racing Stables’ Demarcation in last year’s River City, was assigned the next high weight at 122 pounds. Karelian is not expected to run in this year’s race.
Demarcation, who was assigned 117 pounds, is nominated to both the Clark Handicap and River City Handicap and no decision has been made as to which race the 5-year-old gelding will go in.
“I entered him this morning in a money allowance for Tuesday,” trainer Paul McGee said of Demarcation. “If it doesn’t fill, I won’t lose any sleep over it because he can come back in the River City. That’s the direction we’re leaning, but the Clark has not been ruled out.”
The probable starting high weight at 121 pounds is Rahy’s Attorney. Owned by Elle Boje Farm, Dean Reed, Mitch Peters and Jean and Jim MacLellan and trained by Ian Black, Rahy’s Attorney has won three of six starts in 2009 including scores in the King Edward Handicap (GII) and the Nijinsky (GII) at Woodbine. He upset Ventura to win last year’s Woodbine Mile (GI) at Woodbine.
Other horses considered by track racing officials to be probable for the River City are Catherine Day Phillips and Todd Phillips’ Jambalaya (120), Nyala Farm’s Banrock (119), Kiaran McLaughlin’s Brave Tin Soldier (117), Edward Evans’ Pleasant Strike (116), Ashbrook Farm’s Wicked Style (116), Eldon Farm Equine’s Wheels Up At Noon (115), Paul Gutheil’s Cryptolight (114) and Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada (114).
Entries for the River City Handicap will be taken Tuesday.
JOCKEYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO JULIA BRIMO FUND -- On Saturday, Nov. 28, jockeys across North America will be asked to contribute one mount fee to the Julia Brimo Fund, set up to assist with her expenses during rehabilitation for her injuries.
Brimo suffered head and back injuries in a spill at Keeneland on Oct. 30 and is currently a patient at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Early next week, she is expected to be transferred to the Lyndhurst Centre, a leading spinal cord rehabilitation facility also in Toronto.In honor of Brimo and to raise awareness of the plight of seriously injured jockeys, riders across North America will wear two patches on their boots that day. One patch will feature her name, “Julia”, on it while the other will highlight the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
The Julia Brimo Fund was established at Fifth Third Bank by Cindy Werner, the wife of trainer Ronny Werner. Contributions can be made to the Fund by sending a check made out to the Julia Brimo Fund and sent to Cindy Werner at 1116 Flat Rock Road, Louisville, KY 40245.
BARN TALK – Freddie Lenclud, the only apprentice rider to win a race at the current Fall Meet, will have a new agent when the meet ends next Saturday and a new winter destination. “Doc Danner is going to have my book and I am going to Oaklawn Park the first of the year,” said Lenclud, who has ridden six winners through the first 13 days of the meet. Lenclud, who had entertained thoughts of riding at Aqueduct in the winter, will remain in Kentucky to ride at Turfway Park through December before going to Arkansas
WORK TAB – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, prepping for next week’s Clark Handicap, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 over a “fast” track Friday morning. The move was the 11th fastest of 20 at the distance. … Vision Racing’s Copper State, working for an expected start in Thursday’s Falls City Handicap, worked a half-mile in :49, the 20th fastest of 47 at the distance.