SWIFT TEMPER SCRATCH FROM FALLS CITY, RETIRED – Mark Stanley’s Grade I-winning millionaire Swift Temper, the 5-2 second choice in the morning line for today’s 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs, has been scratched from the race because of an injury and retired.
Trainer Dale Romans said the 5-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway suffered a fractured splint bone in her final training for the race. The 1 1/8-mile Falls City had been scheduled to been the final race of Swift Temper’s career.
“She fractured a splint bone, but she’s completely sound and it’s not a big issue,” said Romans. “She was going to be retired after this race anyway, so she can go ahead and start her career as a broodmare.”
Swift Temper steadily improved throughout a racing career that started in the late summer of 2006. She joined Romans’ barn during her 3-year-old season and her final year of racing was her finest. Her three victories in 10 races in 2009 included victories in the Personal Ensign (GI) Saratoga and the Delaware Handicap (GII) at Delaware Park.
“I didn’t pick her up until she was three, and she always seemed like she could improve,” Romans said, “but nobody could have predicted she could go to that level.”
She concludes her racing career with a record of 6-4-3 in 31 races with earnings of $1,296,688.
“She’s a special filly and has been special for our barn,” Romans said. “We hate to see her go, but I think she’s going to have a great career as a broodmare.”
KISS THE KID LOOKS FOR BREAKTHROUGH IN CLARK – There is a slight chance of precipitation falling in the Louisville area late Thursday and early Friday and for the connections of Hardacre Farm’s Kiss the Kid, that “would be just fine.”
So says Barry Menifee, assistant to trainer Amy Tarrant, of the 6-year-old Kiss the Kid, who will be making his 23rd consecutive stakes start in Friday’s 135th running of the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade II).
Kiss the Kid, who arrived at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, has just missed in his two most recent dirt starts. The son of Lemon Drop Kid will be going for his first graded-stakes victory on dirt in the 1 1/8 mile Clark to go with two Grade III turf scores.
“He’s been as sound as hickory, just a good solid horse,” said Menifee. “He’s never really missed any significant time. He’s going to run next year … he’s good and sound and we are going to keep going with him.”
Kiss the Kid has a lifetime record of 8-4-6 in 34 races with earnings of $736,267. His dirt record is 3-2-4 in 12 races, but he is 2-2-0 in four runs on wet tracks. Those recent runner-up finishes on dirt were a neck loss to Clark rival Etched in the Meadowlands Cup (GII), and a near-miss, also by a neck, to Get Serious in the off-the-turf Oceanport at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2. Both races were run on sloppy tracks.
Paco Lopez, who has been aboard for Kiss the Kid in his past two starts, has the riding assignment in the Clark, which will be the 6-year-old’s final race of 2009.
“He is going straight to Florida after the race,” Menifee said. “We have a training center in Ocala first for a while and then on to Gulfstream Park where we’ll probably look for a couple of grass races.”
RAHY’S ATTORNEY MAKES RARE ROAD TRIP OUT OF CANADA – A cold breeze began blowing through the Churchill Downs barn area a couple of mornings ago, right after Rahy’s Attorney arrived for a start in Friday’s 32nd running of the $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII).
"Hey, don’t blame us; it’s been warm up there,” said Jeff Bowen, assistant to Rahy’s Attorney’s trainer Ian Baker.
Rahy’s Attorney arrived at Churchill Downs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday after vanning south from his home base at Woodbine in Toronto. The River City will be only the third start away from Woodbine for Rahy’s Attorney who has compiled a record of 10-3-4 in 23 races record at the Canadian track.
"There is no need to travel,” said Bowen, a six-year Baker’s assistant. “I’m a little biased, but I think we have the best turf course in North America. The money is great and the stakes program is geared toward the Atto Mile and the Canadian International.”
A true “rags to riches” horse, Rahy’s Attorney has earned $1,527,723 in a career that features seven stakes wins at Woodbine, four in graded company highlighted by a score in the Grade I Woodbine Mile in 2008.
His lone trips away from Woodbine were a sixth-place finish in the Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) in 2008 at Keeneland and a ninth-place finish in the Mile Championship (GI) at Kyoto, Japan, to close out 2008. Rahy’s Attorney effort in that last trip to Kentucky was compromised by a wide trip after breaking from the 12 post. “The outside post killed us there,” Bowen said.
Three years ago, Rahy’s Attorney could have been claimed for $32,000.
“He hadn’t shown us much and the second time when we ran him for $32,000 he opened up a big lead and just got caught,” Bowen said. “We thought ‘Hey, maybe we have something here.’ No more tags after that.”
Owned by Elle Boje Farm, Dean Read, Mitch Peters and Jean and Jim MacLellan, Rahy’s Attorney broke his maiden in his third start as a 3-year-old in 2007 and later that year won his first three starts on the grass.
“Ontario has a great breed program and as a 3-year-old we let him build up his confidence in those races,” Bowen said.
Robert Landry, who rode Rahy’s Attorney in his first 12 starts, has the call Friday in the River City and will break from post position four. Landry was reunited with Rahy’s Attorney last month in a three-length victory in the Bunty Lawless Stakes at Woodbine.
BARN TALK – Steve Asmussen saddled two winners on Wednesday to move four victories ahead of Dale Romans in the race for leading trainer of the meet. With three days to go in the 21-day meet, Asmussen owns a 16-12 lead over Romans. Asmussen, who has won three Spring and three Fall training titles here, has six horses running on the Thanksgiving Day card and Romans, who has won five training titles here outright and shared three others, has five runners on the 12-race card. Romans could make a serious dent in the deficit Friday when he has eight horses entered on the 12-race card to only two for Asmussen. On Saturday’s “Stars of Tomorrow II” card exclusively for 2-year-olds, Romans has 10 entrants and Asmussen seven.…
Julien Leparoux rode two winners Wednesday to increase his lead over Calvin Borel to 24-22 in the race for leading rider. Leparoux has 10 mounts Thursday and Borel nine, but this will be Leparoux’s final day to ride here this meet as he will be riding this weekend in the Japan Cup in Tokyo. On the final two days of the meet, Borel is named on 21 mounts – nine Friday and 12 on Saturday. ...
Ken and Sarah Ramsey strengthened their hold on a bid for a record 16th leading owners title Wednesday when two of their four starters won to give the couple nine victories for the meet. To Tell the Truth ($4.40) won the fourth and Rising Barometer ($4.80) took the eighth to give the Ramseys a five-win lead over Brereton Jones, the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and the partnership of L.T.B. Inc. and Miles Childers. The Ramseys have won eight Spring titles and seven Fall titles.
WORK TAB – Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ Simmard breezed through the stretch Thursday morning in :27.20 in advance of Friday’s River City for trainer Roger Attfield.