AMERICAN DERBY NEXT UP FOR TIZDEJAVU – Trainer Greg Fox was still floating on Cloud Nine a week after Tizdejavu’s authoritative four-length victory in the Jefferson Cup (GII) on “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” at Churchill Downs.
“I was thrilled with the whole day. He handled everything professionally,” Fox said. “It is a shame there are no other races here, because he really loves this course.”
The Jefferson Cup was Tizdejavu’s second win over the Matt Winn Turf Course. On May 2, in his turf debut, he had won the Crown Royal American Turf (GIII), also in front-running fashion.
A homebred son of Tiznow who is owned by Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth, Tizdejavu returned to Fox’s farm in Lexington immediately after his Jefferson Cup score, which was his third in six career starts and boosted his earnings to $271,187.
“He came out of the race in great shape,” Fox said. “We are looking at a race in Chicago on July 12 (the $250,000 Grade II American Derby at a mile and three-sixteenths). That will give us four weeks between races.”
Fox is hopeful that will be the first of two trips to Arlington Park this summer.
“I only like to look one race ahead, but if he handles the course well up there, we’d look at the Secretariat,” Fox said of the $400,000 Grade I race at a mile and a quarter on Aug. 9. “That is our main goal for the summer.”
BOREL RETURNS TO SADDLE WITH RIDING TRIPLE – A swollen knee ligament knocked Calvin Borel out of the saddle for four days, but the popular reinsman from Louisiana came back in Tiger Woods-like fashion on Friday to record three victories from four mounts.
Borel, who was forced to take off mounts in five stakes on last Saturday’s “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” card, scored with Amber Room ($11) for trainer Bernie Flint in the second, Glee Club ($6.60) in the fifth for trainer Ian Wilkes and Ready’s Rocket ($8.40) for trainer Tim Glyshaw in the seventh.
“I was ready to come back because it was getting a little boring,” Borel said of his forced inactivity. “It’s getting a little better. I gave it some time, iced it and stayed off it and the doctor drained a lot of fluid from it.”
Borel tested the knee Friday morning by working four horses. He is named on seven mounts on Saturday’s card.
The three victories gave Borel 37 for the meet, good for fifth place in the rider standings with 12 days to go in the Spring Meet.
Robby Albarado also had a riding triple on Friday to boost his season total to a meet-leading 53 and a five-victory lead over Miguel Mena. Albarado’s victories came aboard O’Sotopretty ($9.40) in the sixth for trainer Dale Romans, Tempest Storm ($8.40) in the ninth for trainer Al Stall Jr. and Alleged Diva ($8.40) in the 10th for trainer Ken McPeek.
McPeek’s victory was his 25th of the meet, leaving him one behind Tom Amoss in the race for leading trainer.
FIELD OF EIGHT TO TEN SHAPING UP FOR DEBUTANTE – Churchill Downs racing officials are expecting a field of eight to 10 for next Saturday’s 108th running of the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (GIII) for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has saddled the past three Debutante winners, is expected to be represented by Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Simplify, a May 1 maiden winner at Churchill Downs, and the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Songtress, who won at first asking at Churchill Downs on May 22.
D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled a record six Debutante winners, also may be represented by two runners. Considered as probable is Devil Eleven Stable’s Cameron Crazies, who broke her maiden on May 29 at Churchill Downs in her second start. Donald Dizney’s Runaway Heart, a maiden winner at Calder on May 31, is considered as possible.
Another probable is Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Garden District. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Garden District ran second against the boys in the Grade III Kentucky Stakes on May 1 at Churchill Downs after breaking her maiden at first asking at Keeneland on April 10.
Others considered as probable for the Debutante are Silverton Hill Farm’s Corlett, Richard Rowan’s Renda, Roger Sterling’s Super Poni and Raquel Racing Stable’s Yo Eleven. Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra is considered as possible.
SATURDAY DEADLINE TO NOMINATE FOR CLOSING WEEK STAKES – Saturday, June 21 is the deadline for nominations for the final three stakes of the 52-day Spring Meet: The Firecracker (GII), the Bashford Manor (GIII) and the Locust Grove Handicap (GIII).
The $200,000 Firecracker is a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course for 3-year-olds and up on July 4. The Bashford Manor carries a $150,000 purse for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track on July 5 with the $150,000 Locust Grove scheduled for closing day July 6 at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Weights for the Firecracker will be announced on Friday, June 27, with Locust Grove weights coming out on Sunday, June 29.
Remarkable News won last year’s running of the Firecracker, a race taken by Eclipse Award winner Miesque’s Approval in 2006. Kodiak Kowboy earned the first of his two graded stakes scores in last year’s Bashford Manor, a race that has been won in the past by juvenile champions Boston Harbor (1996) and Favorite Trick (1997). Mauralakana won last year’s Locust Grove.
Information is available by calling Churchill Downs Racing at (502) 636-4470 or nominations may be made via fax at (502) 636-4479.
BARN TALK – Trainer Pete Anderson plans to work Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss on Monday or Tuesday before shipping Wednesday to Iowa for Friday’s $250,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap (GII) at a mile and one-eighth. Delightful Kiss finished seventh behind Curlin in last Saturday’s Stephen Foster Handicap (GI). … A belated birthday greeting goes to jockey Christian Rojas, who turned 40 on June 19.
WORK TAB – Zayat Stables’ Eaton’s Gift, winner of the Swale Stakes (GII), worked five furlongs over “good” going in 1:00 for trainer Dale Romans. It was the fastest move of 20 at the distance. … Patricia Blass’ Prom Shoes, winner of this spring’s Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park, worked five furlongs in “sloppy” going in 1:01.40, fourth fastest of 20 at the distance, in preparation for a possible start in Friday’s $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup (GII) on June 28.
2008 SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through Friday, June 19
Jockeys Starts 1-2-3
Robby Albarado 205 53-28-26
Miguel Mena 266 48-38-35
Julien Leparoux 248 42-47-44
Jamie Theriot 202 40-31-22
Shaun Bridgmohan 181 36-33-25
Calvin Borel 229 37-33-34
Jesus Castanon 206 22-22-23
Corey Lanerie 165 13-21-20
Brian Hernandez Jr. 148 13-20-15
John McKee 116 10-17-18
Elvis Trujillo 77 10-10-19
Tom Amoss 62 26-11-10
Ken McPeek 64 25-12-5
Steve Asmussen 101 22-16-16
Ian Wilkes 40 13-8-5
Dale Romans 109 12-24-19
Mike Maker 44 12-10-4
Eddie Kenneally 52 10-9-8
Bret Calhoun 20 9-1-3
Cody Autrey 47 8-9-9
Nick Zito 20 8-5-1
Greg Foley 55 8-9-8
Five (5) trainers tied with 7 wins
Ken and Sarah Ramsey 42 12-7-8
Maggi Moss 25 12-6-3
Zayat Stables, LLC 43 7-10-9
Richard, Elaine & Bert Klein 32 6-7-5
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 14 5-1-0
Four (4) owners tied with four (4) wins