HOWARD LOOKS FOR SECOND BASHFORD MANOR WITH POWER WORLD - With 283 career wins beneath the Twin Spires, trainer Neil Howard is no stranger to the Churchill Downs winner’s circle. One of his most important early wins came in the 1989 running of the Bashford Manor (GII) with Dogwood Stables’ Summer Squall, and he will bid for second win in the race Monday with Courtlandt Farms’ Power World.
The 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor endured a troubled start and rallied from 11 lengths back under jockey Corey Lanerie to win his 4 1/2-furlong debut at Churchill Downs on June 11.
"So far, I’m fairly optimistic about him,” Howard said. “He ran a good race in his last after getting the heck bumped out of him at the start. Given he had such a rough beginning, I think he put in a very mature effort.”
Running in Saturday’s Bashford Manor has brought back good memories of Summer Squall, who would run second to Unbridled in the 1990 Kentucky Derby (GI) and bounce back to beat the rival in the Preakness (GI) to provide Howard with his only victory in a Triple Crown race.
“Summer Squall was very, very precocious,” Howard said. “To be that precocious and then go on to win a classic is something special.”
Summer Squall and Power World appear to have different running styles, but the 62-year-old native of Riverdale, New York believes that will help the latter’s chances on Saturday.“Summer Squall had early speed and I don’t think Power World has that much of it,” Howard said. “It’s going to be a real slugfest on the front-end though and I’m glad that I won’t be a part of it. He’ll come running.”
One of the horses that will likely be close to the early pace is Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts, who has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. A son of Speightstown, Sum of the Parts made an auspicious debut in a May 14 maiden race at Churchill Downs in which he defeated Stoneway Farm’s Bashford Manor contender Exfactor by 2 3/4 lengths. The latter returned to score a 4 ½-length victory at 5 ½ furlongs in his next outing on June 9.
The six-furlong Bashford Manor is scheduled as the 12th and featured event on a special 13-race program on the final Saturday of the historic track’s 38-day Spring Meet. Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m. EDT and the Bashford Manor is set for a 6:23 p.m. start.
The field for the 110th running of the Bashford Manor from the rail out with jockey and weight includes Laurie’s Rocket (Brian Hernandez Jr., 116), Lil Cherokee (Miguel Mena, 120), Power World (Lanerie, 118), Exfactor (Calvin Borel, 118), Chalybeate Springs (Jesus Castanon, 116), Bonaparte (Jon Court, 118), Sum of the Parts (Leandron Goncalves, 118), Hot Speed (Robby Albarado, 120), Tarpy’s Goal (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Green Mouse (Manoel Cruz, 118) and Friscan (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118).
BANNED SHARP IN WORK, SET FOR VIRGINIA DERBY – Glen Hill Farm’s Banned, a two-time graded stakes winner on turf, tuned up for a run in the $600,000 Virginia Derby (GII) with a sharp half-mile work on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course on Thursday.
The 3-year-old son of 2004 turf champion Kitten’s Joy, winner of American Turf Presented by Ram (GII) and the Jefferson Cup (GIII) during the Spring Meet, breezed four furlongs around the dogs over the firm going in :50.40 for trainer Tom Proctor.
"He’s a little keener than I’d like him to be at this point, but that’s okay it was still a good work,” Proctor said.
Proctor gave his rising star a bit of a breather after his Jefferson Cup win, but is now gearing Banned up for the July 16 Virginia Derby.
"I was thinking about working him Tuesday, but I wanted to give him an extra couple days because it’s the summer and hot and you don’t want to cook them,” Proctor said. “I probably could have worked him Tuesday though, because I don’t think he ran too hard in his last race.”
A big effort by Banned at Colonial Downs could convince Proctor to point him to a run in the 1 ¼-mile Secretariat (GI) at Arlington Park.
“We’ll have to see how he comes back from the Virginia Derby, but it’s a big possibility we will run in the Secretariat,” Proctor said. “I don’t know if he’s really bred to go that far and the bottom half of his pedigree says he can’t, but if you look at his action he looks like he could handle 1 ¼ miles.”
Bred in Kentucky by Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey, Banned has a career record of 4-0-1 from seven starts with earnings of $299,076.
LEPAROUX SURGES TO LEAD ATOP JOCKEY STANDINGS - Julien Leparoux will begin the closing week of Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet with 45-40 lead over Corey Lanerie in the race to be Churchill Downs’ leading rider.
Just 2 ½ weeks ago, Leparoux trailed Lanerie by 11 wins.
Through the first 25 days of the 38-day Spring Meet, Lanerie had a 34-24 lead over Shaun Bridgmohan with Leparoux in third at 23. Since June 12, Leparoux has gone on a 22-of-51 (43.1%) tear over the eight-day period, recording one five-win day (June 17), a trio of three-win days and four two-win days.
Meanwhile, Lanerie is 6-for-62 (9.7%) during than span and has been runner-up on 17 occasions. Ten of those seconds have been decided by a length or less, including five losses by a nose, head or neck. Also, Leparoux and Lanerie finished one-two five times during that period with the former on top in each occasion.
The French-born Leparoux, who will turn 28 on July 15, is seeking his eighth Churchill Downs riding title. He was leading rider at the Downs in 2006 Spring (87 wins), 2007 Spring (69 wins), 2007 Fall (27 wins), 2008 Fall (record 63 wins), 2009 Spring (62 wins), 2009 Fall (27 wins, tied with Calvin Borel) and 2010 Fall (28 wins).
Lanerie, a 36-year-old native of Lafayette, La., is pursuing his first local crown. In last year’s Spring Meet he finished second to Calvin Borel with 29 wins, which was Lanerie’s third top five finish in the Churchill Downs jockey standings. He won multiple riding titles in Texas before he moved to the Kentucky-Louisiana circuit in 2004. He was the leading rider at the 2010 Ellis Park meeting with 33 wins.
Elsewhere, Leparoux will begin Thursday’s action needing five wins to become only the 10th jockey in Churchill Downs history to win 500 races beneath the historic Twin Spires. He took out his license to ride in 2005 and first rode at Churchill Downs during that year’s Fall Meet.
There’s also a tight race for leading trainer. Nine-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen (Fall 2001, Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010 and Fall 2010) began the week with 15 wins, one more than two-time leading conditioner Tom Amoss (Spring 2002 and Spring 2008) and 2002 Fall training champ Ken McPeek. Asmussen is pursuing his fifth straight local title. Eddie Kenneally, seeking his first local title, was fourth with 12 wins, followed by eight-time champ Dale Romans (Spring 2000, Spring 2001, Spring 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2003, Spring 2005, Fall 2005 and Spring 2006) with 11 wins and Fall 2008 leading conditioner Mike Maker with 10 victories.
Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. is looking to dethrone 17-time leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey (Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2003, Spring 2004, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009 and Fall 2010). They have an 8-5 lead heading into the final week.
Below is a look at the rest of the leaders entering Thursday’s action:
1. Julien Leparoux (45-for-171, 26% win-percentage, $1,553,810 in earnings)
1. Corey Lanerie (40-for-207, 19%, $1,283,590)
3. Shaun Bridgmohan (29-for-163, 18%, $982,793)
4. Calvin Borel (25-for-181, 14%, $900,247)
5. Kent Desormeaux (21-for-110, 19%, $977,609)
1. Steve Asmussen (15-for-96, 16%, $1,149,089)
2. Tom Amoss (14-for-39, 36%, $368,280)
2. Ken McPeek (14-for-57, 25%, $776,988)
4. Eddie Kenneally (12-for-45, 27%, $357,540)
5. Dale Romans (11-for-82, 13%, $884,000)
1. Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. (8-for-40, 20%, $167,147)
2. Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey (5-for-31, 16%, $157,163)
3. Donald Adam’s Courtlandt Farms (4-for-27, 15%, $293,602)
3. Robert Baker and William Mack (4-for-16, 25%, $78,649)
3. Martin Cherry (4-for-8, 50%, $67,953)
3. Tom Ludt’s Vinery Stables LLC (4-for-10, 40%, $140,368)
3. Merrill Scherer, Dan Lynch and Ken Sentel (4-for-19, 21%, $100,843)
BARN TALK – Preston Stables LLC’s Flat Out, sixth to Pool Play in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI), will run in Saturday’s Suburban Handicap (GII) at Belmont Park. The Scooter Dickey-trained Flat Out had also been considered for Monday’s $175,000-added Firecracker Handicap Presented by GE (GII) on turf at Churchill Downs. …
Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan is now “likely” to run in the Firecracker. Trainer Charles Lopresti worked the winner of Keeneland’s Phoenix (GIII) a half-mile over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :48.80 on Tuesday. Lopresti said Wise Dan went back to the track at Keeneland on Thursday and appears ready to go. “We drew some blood on him and if the blood work comes back good on him this (Thursday) afternoon we’re going to run,” Lopresti said. Tuesday’s work was Wise Dan’s first experience on grass.
Horses under consideration for the 21st running of the Firecracker Handicap (with trainer, weight) include Baryshnikov (Mike Maker, 117), El Caballo (Ralph Nicks, 114), General Quarters (McCarthy, 117), Joshua Reynolds (Ralph Nicks, 114), Lubash (James Ryerson, 115), Mister Marti Gras (Chris Block, 115), Mystic (Bill Mott, 114), Strike Impact (Pat Dupuy, 117) and Wise Dan (Lopresti, 115). …
Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image, winner of the Grade I Humana Distaff and Grade III Winning Colors at Churchill Downs this spring, breezed four furlongs in a “bullet” time of :46.20 over a fast main track beneath the Twin Spires on Tuesday. “She’s a fast horse,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We’re pointing her to the (Grade I) Princess Rooney (at Calder Race Course on July 9). We’ll see how she comes out of that and then maybe look at the (Grade I) Ballerina (at Saratoga on August 27). …
Joseph M. Cornacchia, co-owner of Kentucky Derby winners Strike the Gold (1990) and Go for Gin (1994) died Sunday in New York at the age of 78. Funeral services will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Westhampton, New York on Friday. …
Join us for the 3rd Annual Horsemen’s Golf Scramble at Glenmary’s Country Club on Monday, August 29th. Registration begins at 11 a.m. EDT and the cost is $100 per player with four players to a team. Lunch will also begin at 11 a.m. and the shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. Those interested may pick up a form from The Backside Learning Center and return it by Friday, August 12. …
The Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation (“Churchill Charities”) will continue its new charitable initiative, Pony Up For Charity, this Friday, July 1, at Downs After Dark. Customers may elect to ask their server to add, or “Pony Up,” a dollar or more to their food and beverage tab, which will be designated to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. …
The first race for Friday’s “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing celebration at Churchill Downs has been moved up one hour to 5 p.m. because it is now a special 13-race program. Two “make-up” races originally scheduled for last Thursday were added to Friday’s card after an F1 tornado hit the Louisville track’s barn area last Wednesday night and forced a cancellation of the next day’s program. Admission gates will still open on the regular night schedule at 4 p.m. …
WHO’S HOT – The hottest jockey over the last five racing days (June 18-26) is Julien Leparoux (13-for-35). Ken McPeek (6-for-15) and Eddie Kenneally (4-for-9) are the hottest trainers over the same period. Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey (2-for-4) and Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. (2-for-8) are the hottest owners.
WORKTAB – William S. Farish and Skara Glen Stables’ Close Ally, who ran second to Banned in the American Turf Presented by Ram (GIII) prior to finishing second in the Lone Star Derby (GIII) on dirt in his most recent start, breezed five furlongs over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course on Thursday morning for trainer Neil Howard.
Right Time Racing LLC’s Bouquet Booth, fifth in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks and third in the Regret Presented by Etihad Airways (GIII), breezed four furlongs on a fast main track at Churchill Downs in :49.80 for trainer Steve Margolis.
Mrs. Yoshio Fujita’s Ravi’s Song, who ran second in the Grade III Early Times Mint Julep to Magdalena Racing’s My Baby Baby, worked a “bullet” four furlongs in :47.60 on the main track on Thursday morning for trainer Carl Bowman.
WEATHER – Thursday: sunny, 87. Friday: mostly sunny, 92. Saturday: mostly sunny and hot, 96. Sunday: mostly sunny with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 93. Monday: partly sunny with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 91. Tuesday: partly sunny with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 90. Wednesday: mostly sunny with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms, 92.