Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner will return to Kentucky on Monday following his 2 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) at Del Mar, according to Churchill Downs’ Director of the Stable Area Steve Hargrave.
Gun Runner, a 4-year-old chestnut colt by Candy Ride (Arg), led every step of the way for his victory in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic under jockey Florent Geroux. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner’s earnings catapulted to $8,988,500 from 11 career victories, three seconds and two thirds in 18 starts.
Gun Runner’s flight is expected to land in Louisville on Monday between 1-3 p.m. EST, and he is expected to van directly to Three Chimneys Farm in Versailles, Ky. for three days, according to Hargrave.
Geroux will be off his lone mount Sunday and will return to riding at Churchill Downs next week, per agent Doug Bredar.
In Friday’s marquee race at Del Mar, the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Charles Fipke’s locally-based Forever Unbridled narrowly defeated Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Abel Tasman. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Forever Unbridled returned Saturday to her home base in Barn 48 at Churchill Downs.
Forever Unbridled raced only two times in 2017 prior to her Distaff victory including a 1 ¾-length victory in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (GII) at Churchill Downs on June 17.
Rounding out the locally-based Breeders’ Cup champions was Live Oak Plantation’s homebred World Approval. The 5-year-old gelding prevailed by 1 ¼-lengths in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile. World Approval will leave Del Mar on Tuesday and fly to Ocala, Fla., according to Hargrave.
Primarily under the care of trainer Mark Casse’s son and assistant Norm, World Approval is the last Breeders’ Cup winner for the father-son team as Norm will begin training on his own in 2018.
“I can’t think of a better way to end my tenure with Casse Racing than one more victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile,” Norm said. “I’m so proud to represent Churchill Downs and Kentucky racing.”
The Casse’s previously won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile with champion Tepin.
BREEDERS’ CUP WILL RETURN TO CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR NINTH TIME IN 2018 – The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will return to Churchill Downs in 2018, making its first visit in seven years. The two-day racing extravaganza will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, and will be televised live by NBC Sports Group.
The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be the ninth time that the event will be hosted at Churchill Downs which, at that time, will be tied with Santa Anita Park in California for the most ever held at one venue.
In years past, largely in part to the incredible support of the Louisville community and Kentucky residents, Churchill Downs has hosted some of the largest Breeders’ Cup’s crowds, including a record-breaking two-day attendance figure of 114,353 in 2010, which included a total two-day handle record of $173,857,697. In 2018 these numbers have the potential to reach all-time highs as interest in the Breeders’ Cup continues to grow.
DEADLINE LOOMS TO REGISTER FOR KENTUCKY DERBY TICKET ONLINE SALE – Fans interested in purchasing available inventory for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 144 must register by Sunday, Nov. 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The demand for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks tickets is truly exceptional. Each year, the number of requests for reserved seating vastly exceeds our available inventory. Those who register online at www.KentuckyDerby.com/Tickets simply by providing an e-mail address under “Sign Up Now” icon will be notified via e-mail about a select online sale to the general public in mid-November (limit six tickets per household).
Churchill Downs officials feel the online approach is the best way to give all sports fans and entertainment seekers around the world a fair shot to purchase these highly coveted reserved seats to its two premier racing events.
CATALANO CONSIDERS OPTIONS FOR CHILUKKI WINNER FARRELL’S NEXT START – Trainer Wayne Catalano was all smiles Sunday morning at Churchill Downs as he began to weigh the options for $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (Grade II) winner Farrell’s next start.
“She may have to be the queen of Oaklawn next year,” Catalano said. “I’m not quite sure where we’ll run her next but we’ll shop around and see what’s best for her. She is doing great this morning and licked the feed tub clean.”
Farrell, ridden by Catalano’s son-in-lawn Channing Hill, led nearly every step of the way in the one-turn mile Chilukki to beat a field of 13 rivals by one length.
“The real Farrell is back,” Catalano said. “It was truly a family affair and that’s what makes racing so special. I had my family with me in the winner’s circle including my grandsons. I finally got to cry tears of joy and whenever you get to do that in this game it’s extremely special.”
Catalano described the Coffee Pot Stable’s homebred as “hyper” but that was not entirely the case in the Chilukki.
“I knew she would act better for this start than she did in the Dogwood,” Catalano said. “Before she was really antsy and on her toes. I stood out by the rail to watch the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) on the Big Board as the field walked over for the Chilukki. They were getting ready to leave the gate in the Juvenile and Farrell was just about to get in the tunnel. I told her groom, ‘Hurry up and get her in there; I don’t want her too excited to see the race.’ A lot of the times in the paddock we take her out of the stall and walk her most of the time. She was behaving so well we actually got to keep her in her stall and relax a bit before the race.”
Farrell, a 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, increased her earnings to $727,077 with six victories and one third-place finish in 10 starts.
NEXT WEEKEND’S STAKES PROBABLES – Flurry Racing’s Mr. Misunderstood leads the probable entrants for Saturday’s 14th running of the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (Grade III) at Churchill Downs, according to Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork.
Other probable entrants for the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds include Adonis Creed (trainer Brad Cox); Giant Payday (Ian Wilkes); My Bariley (Anthony Granitz); and Sharm El Sheikh (Murat Sancal). Entries will be drawn Wednesday for Saturday’s card.
FREE BRISNET PAST PERFORMANCES FOR CHURCHILL DOWNS – Brisnet.com is offering horseplayers complimentary past performances for the entire Fall Meet at Churchill Downs. To download the free past performances, guests can visit: https://www.brisnet.com/product/past-performances/FPP.
ROMANS VS. MOTT – Dale Romans, a 51-year-old native of South Louisville, is just two wins away from surpassing Hall of Famer Bill Mott as the all-time leading trainer in races won at Churchill Downs – a record that 64-year-old Mott has held for 31 years. Mott was victorious in Friday’s first race with The Money Monster and now leads Romans 702-701 wins at Churchill Downs.
Romans Entries: Laughing Levi (Sunday, Race 3); Jeremiah Jewel (Sunday, Race 6); Surf Shack (Sunday, Race 7); Wolf Gourmet (Sunday, Race 9); Captivated (Wednesday, Race 5); and Miss Katie Bug (Thursday, Race 3)
Mott Entries: Richmond Street (Thursday, Race 9).
MILESTONE WATCH – Along with the heated-battle between Dale Romans and Bill Mott for the all-time leading trainer honors at Churchill Downs (702-701 wins), trainer Greg Foley (398) is two wins away from 400 career-victories beneath the historic Twin Spires while trainer Ian Wilkes is targeting 200 career victories at Churchill Downs (195 wins). … Jockey Corey Lanerie is just one victory away from 900 wins at Churchill Downs. Lanerie is sixth in all-time wins at Churchill Downs, only 15 wins behind Larry Melancon (914) and 26 victories behind Don Brumfield (925).
DOWN THE STRETCH – There is a $19,426 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot Sunday. The wager begins in Race 5 with a scheduled post time of 3 p.m. (all times Eastern). … Racing returns Wednesday to Churchill Downs with a 10-race card that kicks off at 1 p.m. EST. Racing continues at Churchill Downs on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule through Nov. 26. … A Veteran’s Day tradition continues. Military Appreciation Day at Churchill Downs will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, and all United States veterans and active military will receive free general admission with proof of identification. Additionally, men and women who served American in the military can spend a day at the races with family and friends in the track’s Skye Terrace for just $29 per person – a nearly 25-percent discount – by calling (502) 636-4450. The package includes admission, a race day program, Chef’s Table buffet and soft beverages. … The 50/50 charitable gaming raffle is back for the Fall Meet. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards charitable organizations that benefit from the Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that helps support the critical work of nonprofits in our industry, make a difference in important public health programs and provide meaningful opportunities in art and education. Visit www.derbygives.com to purchase tickets and for more information. … For more information about Churchill Downs’ Fall Meet visit: https://www.churchilldowns.com/racing-wagering/news/40-things-to-know-about-churchill-downs-fall-meet.