MARY’S FOLLIES HEADS TO FLORIDA AFTER MRS. REVERE VICTORY – Paul Pompa Jr.’s Mary’s Follies did not stick around Louisville long after her 1 ½-length score in Saturday’s Grade II Mrs. Revere in stakes-record time over the Matt Winn Turf Course under Kent Desormeaux.
“I’ve got a van picking her up Sunday and taking her straight to Gulfstream Park,” trainer Rick Dutrow said by phone Saturday night. “I am going to let her regroup and get over this one and train up to her next one.”
Mary’s Follies is now 2-for-2 on the turf with her other grass win coming in the Boiling Springs (GIII) at Monmouth in June. Prior to the Mrs. Revere, Mary’s Follies had finished sixth in the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion (Grade II) at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 3.
“She had been training real good since her last race, which was kind of surprising since she ran such a dull race,” Dutrow said. “She had been training very, very good and we felt like we couldn’t turn down the opportunity last time because that purse was so big and she had run good over that Philadelphia track.
"We felt like we had to take a shot, which was very stupid. But she came out of it the right way and she fired a bullet (Saturday).”
Whatever Mary’s Follies’ next race will be, it figures to be on the lawn.
“I haven’t looked for a race yet, but we will definitely point for a grass race,” Dutrow said. “Even if it comes off, she likes the mud.”
EINSTEIN, MACHO AGAIN HEAD CLARK HANDICAP NOMINEES – Stronach Stable’s Einstein (Brz) and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, winners of the past two major handicap races for older horses here, head a list of 23 nominations for the 135th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) to be run Nov. 27.
Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein is the defending champion in the Clark. Should Einstein run in the Clark, he would be coming back to the races in less than three weeks after finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita, the worst showing in his 29-race career.
Macho Again won the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap here in June and defeated Einstein in the process. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Macho Again has not run since finishing fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) on Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Other Grade I winners nominated to the Clark are Mitchell Ranch, Frank Lewkowitz and Joe Rice’s Bullsbay, winner of the Whitney at Saratoga as well as the Grade III Alysheba here, and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Furthest Land, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
Three horses that won Grade II events in their most recent starts are also among the nominees. They are Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Blame, winner of the Fayette (GII) at Keeneland on Oct. 31; Darley Stable’s Etched, winner of the Meadowlands Cup (GII) on Oct. 16; and Jill Baffert and George Jacobs’ Misremembered, winner of the Indiana Derby (GII) at Hoosier Park on Oct. 3.
Weight assignments for the Clark will be announced Friday.
DEFENDING CHAMPS WON’T MEET AGAIN IN RIVER CITY HANDICAP –When the nominations came out for the 32nd running of the River City Handicap (GIII), there were two prominent names among the 27 nominees: Amerman Racing Stables, LLC’s Demarcation and Green Lantern Stables’ Karelian.
Those two dead-heated for the victory in last year’s running of the River City, so the possibility existed of the same horses dead-heating in the same race a year later.
However, it’s not going to happen.
“Karelian’s not running. We’re running Wicked Style in there,” said Jack Bohannan, assistant to trainer Rusty Arnold.
“I’m not sure which race we’ll go in,” said Paul McGee, trainer of Demarcation who is nominated to both the River City and the Clark Handicap. “(Owner) Mr. (John) Amerman is up in the air on it too.”
Demarcation won the Grade III Ack Ack on dirt here on Nov. 6 for his first victory since last year’s River City that is run at 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
Wicked Style, owned by Ashbrook Farm, ran third in the Fayette (GII) at Keeneland over Polytrack in his most recent start on Oct. 31. In three turf starts in 2009, Wicked Style has two victories and a second-place finish.
Three graded-stakes winners on the turf in 2009 are among the nominees headed by Rahy’s Attorney, winner of the Nijinsky (GII) and King Edward Handicap (GII) at Woodbine this summer. The others are Brave Tin Soldier, winner of the Cliff Hanger (GIII) at the Meadowlands in October and the mare Tizfiz, who took the San Gorgonio (GII) at Santa Anita in January.
Weights for the River City will be announced Friday.
NOMINATIONS OUT FOR CLOSING WEEKEND STAKES – Grade I winners Swift Temper and Unbridled Belle top the list of 18 fillies and mares nominated to the 94th running of the Falls City Handicap (GII) to be contested on Thanksgiving Day.
Swift Temper took the Ruffian in September at Belmont Park and three times this year has gotten the best of Unbridled Belle, a five-time graded-stakes winner who won the Grade I Beldame in 2007.
Weights for the Falls City, which is run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, will be announced Friday. Miss Isella won last year’s Falls City, a race in which Swift Temper finished fourth.
Closing day of the 21-day meet on Nov. 28 is “Stars of Tomorrow II” and will feature 12 races exclusively for 2-year-olds. Highlighting the day will be the 83rd running of the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and the 66th running of the Golden Rod (GII) for fillies.
The Kentucky Jockey Club, won last year by Beethoven, drew 37 nominations including the top three finishers from the opening day Iroquois: Thiskyhasnolimit, Uh Oh Bango and Soaring Empire.
The Golden Rod, won last year by Rachel Alexandra, attracted the top three finishers from the opening day Pocahontas in Sassy Image, Decelerator and All Due Respect among the 23 nominations.
BARN TALK – Calvin Borel’s four-win day on Saturday gave him 11 victories through the first 10 days of the 21-day meet and a two-win advantage over Julien Leparoux and Shaun Bridgmohan in the Fall Meet race for “leading rider.” Borel’s four-bagger came in races 5-8 and the Calvin backers in the crowd were richly rewarded. Borel won with Win Grammy Boy ($12) in the fifth, High Spirit ($16.40) in the sixth, Choice Play ($11.60) in the seventh and Cosmic ($9.60) in the eighth. The rolling doubles returned $146.60, $96.40 and $76.80 and the rolling Pick-3s paid $637 and $783.20. …
Stronach Stable’s Harlem Rocker ran second to Cosmic on Saturday beaten a head in his first start since being disqualified from first in last November’s Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct. “The reason he ran here instead of New York is because he was entered twice up there and the race didn’t go,” said Michael Dilger, who oversees trainer Todd Pletcher’s Churchill Downs string. “A win would have been nice, but he ran well and that sets him up for his next race. He will head to Florida after this meet closes (Nov. 28).”
Trainer Bill Mott, the leading conditioner all time at Churchill Downs, recorded his 625th victory beneath the Twin Spires when Soldier Field was moved up to first place via disqualification in Saturday’s 10th race. Closest to Mott on the all-time list is Dale Romans with 481 with nine of those coming at the current meet.
WORK TAB – Giant Oak, who is pointing toward the Clark Handicap, worked seven furlongs in 1:29.60 over a fast track Sunday morning after the renovation break for trainer Chris Block. The 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway lost narrowly to Beethoven in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club (GII)… Vosburgh (GI) winner Kodiak Kowboy worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 for trainer Steve Asmussen.