HIGHLY REGARDED BIND OUT OF MATT WINN WITH FRACTURE, PROBABLY OUT FOR YEAR – An injury suffered during a Monday workout has taken Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s highly regarded Bind out of consideration for Saturday’s $125,000-added Matt Winn Presented by Emirates Equestrian Federation (GIII) at Churchill Downs and has probably knocked him out of racing for the year.
Trainer Al Stall Jr. said Bind suffered a condylar fracture in his right front leg during a four-furlong work over Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface that was to have been his final major work prior to his stakes debut in the Matt Winn. Bind covered the distance in :49.60 under exercise rider Jerry O’Dwyer.
"He worked like a champ,” Stall said. “He worked like his normal self. He looked like a gazelle running down the lane, but he didn’t cool out properly and there it was.”
Stall said the injury would require surgery and Bind was transported later in the morning to the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital for the procedure. He said the prognosis for Bind’s fracture is “very good” at this point.
“It’s non-displaced, clean, there’s no trash,” Stall said. “It’s a kick in the teeth right off the bat on a Monday morning, but that’s just how it goes.”
Stall said that the best case scenario for Bind would probably see him return to competition late this year or early 2012 when his stable returns to New Orleans’ Fair Grounds. Even if the surgery is as successful as he anticipates, Stall said the colt would probably be out of training for 120 days.
Meanwhile, another major contender for the Matt Winn – George Bolton, Stonestreet Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Dominus – is dealing with a foot issue, but remains “possible” for the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.
The son of Smart Strike was nipped at the finish by Machen in a runner-up finish in The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) on April 30 and trainer Steve Asmussen said he hopes the issue will clear up in time for the colt to be entered for the Matt Winn on Wednesday.
Another Matt Winn contender, Iron Horse Racing LLC’s Alstom, worked a sharp five furlongs on Monday in :47.40 for Hall of Fame trainer and four-time Kentucky Derby-winner D. Wayne Lukas.
The move over a fast track by the son of Silver Train was the fastest of 54 at the distance. Alstom finished third to Meistersinger in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs in his most recent outing.
Another Asmussen nominee for the Matt Winn – George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables’ Astrology – worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs on Monday. The third-place finisher in the Preakness (GI) and winner of Churchill Downs’ Iroqouis (GIII) breezed in company with 3-year-old stablemate Brock and covered the distance in 1:13.20.
The list of 3-year-olds considered for the Matt Winn (formerly the Northern Dancer) includes (with trainer): Alstom (Lukas); Dominus (Asmussen); Infrattini (Paul McGee); Joe Vann (Todd Pletcher); and Uncle Brent (Lynn Whiting).
APART SHARP IN KEENELAND WORK FOR STEPHEN FOSTER – While trainer Al Stall Jr.’s Monday was darkened by news of the season-ending injury to his promising 3-year-old Bind, a glimmer of light was provided by a sharp workout by Adele Dilschneider’s Apart in his final prep for a run in Saturday’s $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) Presented by Abu Dhabi (GI).
The 4-year-old son of Flatter breezed four furlongs in :48.40 over the synthetic Polytrack course at Keeneland. The move under exercise rider Jerry O’Dwyer was the second fastest of eight at the distance.
“Apart is on target,” Stall said. “I think he’s an improving horse. That’s what he’s got going for him. He’s a Grade II, Grade III type of winner and we just feel like he’s going to get better with time. It’s nothing we’re doing. It’s just something Mother Nature will take care of, hopefully.”
Julien Leparoux is scheduled to ride Apart in the Stephen Foster, a 1 1/8-mile race won last year by stablemate Blame.
While Stall likes the way Apart is coming up to the race, he is a bit concerned about the prospect of a full starting gate for the race.
"This race is getting to be such a big field that the (post) draw will be important, so we’re going to have to sweat that out,” he said. “It’ll be about set-ups and trips and that kind of thing this weekend, I think.”
Apart is coming off a neck victory over Colizeo in the William Donald Schaefer Jr. Memorial (GIII) at Pimlico, a Preakness Day race that Blame won a year earlier and used successfully as a Foster prep. His career record stands at 5-3-1 in 12 races with career earnings of $640,018. His Churchill Downs record is 2-1-0 in five races, with the 2010 Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) accounting for one of those victories.
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s Regal Ransom, a narrow runner-up for First Dude in the recent Alysheba (GIII) at Churchill Downs, arrived at the Louisville track on Monday to complete his preparation for the Foster.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Distorted Humor stepped off a van at the track around 10:30 a.m. (all times EDT) following a flight from New York to Louisville International Airport. He is stabled in Barn 41.
The winner of the 2009 runnings of the UAE Derby (GII) and Super Derby (GII) has made three career starts at Churchill Downs, with an eighth-place finish behind Mine That Bird in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and a ninth-place finish behind Stephen Foster contender Giant Oak in last fall’s $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) on his on his resumé along with his near miss in the Alysheba.
Southern California-based Stephen Foster contenders Crown of Thorns and Gladding are scheduled to arrive in Louisville on Tuesday following a flight from the West Coast.
The Stephen Foster appears to have lost a starter in Donald Dizney’s First Dude, who had been scheduled to be on the same plane. Trainer Bob Baffert told Daily Racing Form he would keep the 4-year-old winner of the Alysheba in Southern California to run in the Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) on July 9.
Horses considered likely for the Stephen Foster (with trainer, weight) include: Apart (Stall, 118); Crown of Thorns (Richard Mandella, 121); Duke of Mischief (David Fawkes, 118); Equestrio (Nick Zito, 116); Flat Out (Scooter Dickey, 114); Gladding (John Sadler, 117); Giant Oak (Chris Block, 122); Mission Impazible (Todd Pletcher, 118); Pool Play (Mark Casse, 116) and Regal Ransom (bin Suroor, 117).
PERREGAUX WORKS FOR POSSIBLE JEFFERSON CUP BID – Courtlandt Farms’ Perregaux, a recent allowance winner on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course, tuned up for a possible run the $100,000-added Jefferson Cup Presented by Abu Dhabi (GIII) on Saturday’s Stephen Foster Day program.
The son of Distorted Humor breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 over a fast main track for trainer Neil Howard, who is also considering a Jefferson Cup run by William S. Farish and Skara Glen Stable’s Close Ally, runner-up in the American Turf (GII) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.
The Jefferson Cup, a race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf, is one of four graded stakes races for Thoroughbreds on the Stephen Foster Day program.
Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course is scheduled to be open for training on Tuesday, June 14. That will provide a final chance for contenders for the Jefferson Cup and the $125,000-added Regret Presented by Etihad Airways (GIII), a Foster Day race for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf, to train over the grass surface before Saturday’s races.
Three-year-olds under consideration for Saturday’s Jefferson Cup (with trainer) include: Banned (Tom Proctor), Chalice (Kellyn Gorder), Chinglish (Mark Hennig), Close Ally (Howard), Derby Kitten (Mike Maker), Dream Warrior (Eddie Kenneally), Perregaux (Howard); Redboard (Garry Simms); and Swagger Jack (Darrin Miller).
Likely starters for the Regret (with trainer) include: Bizzy Caroline (Ken McPeek), Blushandbashful (John Terranova II), Bouquet Booth (Steve Margolis), Diva Ash (Dale Romans), Excited (Todd Pletcher); Gaya (Tom Amoss), Holidaysatthefarm (Tom Proctor). Kathmanblu (McPeek). My Phi Temper (Ronny Werner) and Sassy’s Dream (McPeek).
BARN TALK – Preakness (GI) winner Shackleford and Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro returned to Kentucky on Monday on board a flight from New York to Louisville.
Shackleford, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Dale Romans, ran fifth in the Belmont after leading to the top of the stretch and has settled back into Romans’ barn at Churchill Downs.
Nehro finished fourth for trainer Steve Asmussen, but came out of the race with an ankle chip. Nehro is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday in Lexington, according to owner Ahmed Zayat.
The flight also carried Belmont also-rans Santiva (eighth in the Belmont and sixth in the Kentucky Derby) and Prime Cut (11th in the Belmont) back to their Churchill Downs barns. Santiva is trained by Eddie Kenneally, while Prime Cut is conditioned by Neil Howard.
WORK TAB (Track: FAST) – Riley Tucker, winner of the 2010 Aristides (GIII), breezed four furlongs in :52.20 … Texas Mile (GIII) winner Thisskyhasnolimit breezed five furlongs in 1:03.