MYKINDACANDY GIVES BARNETT BIG BOOST – The most electric performance Friday night under the lights of “Downs After Dark” came from Phyllis Newcomb’s Mykindacandy, who broke his maiden in the sixth race with the fastest 5 ½-furlong time of the meet in winning by 9 ¼ lengths.
"We needed that,” trainer Bobby Barnett of Mykindacandy’s victory, the conditioner’s first of the meet from 11 starters.
Under Calvin Borel, Mykindacandy was clocked in 1:02.74, coming close to the 9-year-old track record at the distance of 1:02.52. Mykindacandy had run three times this year at Oaklawn Park in the care of Stanley Roberts.
“I got him about a month ago,” Barnett said. “He was going to run earlier, but he had a lot of mucous, so maybe it all worked out for the best.”
Barnett was expecting a big effort from Mykindacandy and he got that and then some.
“The owners thought he was a nice horse, and his first race at Oaklawn Park, some people from California offered a lot of money for him,” Barnett said. “Luckily for Bobby Barnett, they didn’t sell him. Calvin worked him the first time here and he had remembered him from Oaklawn.”
Barnett would like to keep Mykindacandy on the dirt and consider stretching the colt out.
“We are going to stay here for the summer,” Barnett said. “I am not crazy about Polytrack. I see some of those nonwinners of two allowance races at Monmouth they are running for $80,000, so we’ll see. I don’t know what’s next. He is bred to go two turns (by Candy Ride) and the owner and I have talked about that.”
TAMBURELLO A STUDY IN PERSEVERANCE – For an apprentice rider trying to get a foot in the door of a jockey colony, positive reinforcement can be hard to find when riding a steady diet of mostly hopeless longshots.
Amanda Tamburello has no problem remaining upbeat.
"If you love what you do, it doesn’t matter,” said Tamburello, whose lone victory came last October at Turfway Park. “Just go out and get that second one today.”
Tamburello, 32, worked as an exercise rider for trainer Ken McPeek before becoming an apprentice and one of the horses she worked with was Theregoesjojo, who was a prominent player early on the Kentucky Derby trail in 2009.
"I was with him starting in January at Gulfstream Park through the Blue Grass Stakes,” Tamburello said. “He is the best horse that I have worked with.”
Tamburello, who started her career last July, won on her 15th mount, an 18-1 shot named Include de Uno on Oct. 1, but that momentum was short-lived.
“Two days later, I fell and hit my head and was out three months,” said Tamburello, who gallops a lot of horses in the morning for trainer Wayne Catalano and some for Pat Byrne.
Tamburello, who returned to riding during the Keeneland meet, has had 20 mounts thus far this meet and rides I’am Toorific in Saturday’s second race. She plans to remain in Kentucky this summer and ride at Ellis Park.
BARN TALK – Calvin Borel, trying to win his first Spring Meet riding title, enters the final 10 days of the 42-day meet with a 10-win advantage on Corey Lanerie (39-29). Borel, whose Churchill Downs victory total stands at 1,012, has won one Fall Meet title outright (1999) and shared two others in 2006 and 2009. Borel is named on eight mounts Saturday and five on Sunday. …
Shaun Bridgmohan, third in the rider standings with 27 victories, has 293 career triumphs at Churchill Downs and is poised to become the 19th rider to reach the 300-win plateau. Bridgmohan is named on seven mounts Saturday and four on Sunday. …
The victory by Music City in Friday night’s Morluc overnight stakes, gave trainer Bill Helmbrecht his second Churchill Downs stakes victory. The other came in 1982 in the first division of the Falls City Handicap with Mezimica.
Casper’s Touch, who debuted in April at Keeneland, ran third Saturday in the Chasham Stakes at seven furlongs at Royal Ascot for trainer Ken McPeek. …
Nominations close Saturday for the final three stakes of the Spring Meet scheduled to be run July 3 and 4. Scheduled for July 3 are the 109th running of the $100,000-added Bashford Manor (GIII) for 2-year-olds going six furlongs and the 29th running of the $100,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (GIII) for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf. Backtalk won the Bashford Manor last year and Closeout took the Locust Grove. The 20th running of the $175,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) at a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course is the closing day feature on July 4. Mr. Sidney won the 2009 Firecracker.
WORK TAB – Dogwood (GIII) runner-up Tap Tap Tapping worked five furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:01.80.