Valene Farms’ Givemeaminit has earned $166,600 in just four races to begin his career but the 2-year-old colt is searching for his elusive first win in Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.
“He fits right in with the rest of the field,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “I’m not scared at all to run a maiden with horses in this type of field if I feel like they belong here. This horse has run some solid races to start his career and did it against some tough competition. For a $200,000 purse, why not give it a shot?”
Givemeaminit began his career in a maiden special weight race on July 22 at Saratoga and finished second, defeated 2 ¼ lengths by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Sporting Chance. Stewart gambled and ran Givemeaminit in the Sept. 4 Hopeful (GI) and was narrowly defeated, once again, by Sporting Chance.
The 2-year-old Louisiana-bred colt’s subsequent start was at Keeneland in the Oct. 7 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) where he finished fifth behind Free Drop Billy. Givemeaminit most recently competed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) on Nov. 4 where he finished fourth, defeated by Good Magic.
“In the Breeders’ Cup, Good Magic was a maiden and look what he did,” Stewart said. “It would be great to break our maiden in the Jockey Club. He’s been training well so all systems are a go.”
Givemeaminit is the co-second choice at 6-1 on Churchill Downs odds maker Mike Battaglia’s morning line.
The Kentucky Jockey Club – a “Prep Season” race on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” in which the Top 4 finishers will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively – goes as Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 1 p.m. The co-featured $200,000 Golden Rod (GII) for fillies is Race 9 at 4:57 p.m.
The complete field for the Kentucky Jockey Club from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Gotta Go (Chris Landeros, 6-1); Diamond King (Frankie Pennington, 20-1); John Tippmann (Rayan Gazader, 20-1); Arrival (Julien Leparoux, 12-1); Givemeaminit (Brian Hernandez Jr., 6-1); Enticed (Junior Alvarado, 4-1); Promises Fulfilled (Alex Canchari, 8-1); High North (Corey Lanerie, 30-1); Reride (Ricardo Santana Jr., 20-1); Bravazo (Jon Court, 8-1); Quip (Florent Geroux, 8-1); Tiz Mischief (Robby Albarado, 8-1); Lone Sailor (Channing Hill, 12-1); and Peppered (Joe Rocco Jr., 12-1).
All starters will carry 122 pounds. High North will race with Lasix for the first time.
Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast for Louisville calls for partly skies and a high near 56.
The Kentucky Jockey Club is named in honor of the holding company that operated Churchill Downs at the time of the race’s inaugural running in 1920. In recent years, the Kentucky Jockey Club produced Kentucky Derby winners in WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, who won both races for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2009 and ’10, and Mike Pegram’s Real Quiet, the runner-up in the 1997 Kentucky Jockey Club who returned to win the Derby for trainer Bob Baffert the following spring.
GEROUX CONFIDENT IN MONOMOY GIRL LEADING INTO GOLDEN ROD – Monomoy Girl, the heavy 8-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $200,000 Golden Rod (Grade II), was a decisive winner around one turn in the Oct. 29 Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes but jockey Florent Geroux feels confident in the filly as she stretches out around two turns.
“She was so relaxed on the lead (in the Rags to Riches),” Geroux said. “If she stays as relaxed as she did, she’ll do fine going longer in distance.”
The 1 1/16-mile race is the co-headliner on the second-to-last of the 21-day Fall Meet. Billed as “Stars of Tomorrow II,” each of the 12 races is exclusively for 2-year-olds.
The Golden Rod – a “Prep Season” race on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” in which the Top 4 finishers will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively – goes as Race 9 at 4:57 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 1 p.m. The co-featured $200,000 Kentucky Jockey (GII), which attracted 14 colts and geldings, is Race 11 at 5:56 p.m.
The Golden Rod field from the rail out (with jockeys and morning line odds): Caroline the Great (Calvin Borel, 30-1); Undivided (Alex Canchari, 30-1); Dessert Honeys (Channing Hill, 15-1); Sultry (Corey Lanerie, 4-1); Road to Victory (Julien Leparoux, 8-1); Monomoy Girl (Florent Geroux, 8-5); Cash Out (Junior Alvarado, 8-1); Stronger Than Ever (Robby Albarado, 15-1); Deadline (Brian Hernandez Jr., 15-1); Kelly’s Humor (Ricardo Santana Jr., 5-1); Foxtrot Sally (Joe Rocco Jr.,15-1); and Ipanema Beach (Chris Landeros, 20-1).
IMPROVING JUVENILE MR. RECIO ATTEMPTS DIRT FOR FIRST TIME IN SATURDAY ALLOWANCE – Rigney Racing’s Mr. Recio caught the eyes of many when he rallied from more than 10 lengths off the early pace to break his maiden by a half-length on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course on Sept. 24. But the 2-year-old colt will attempt dirt for the first time in a first-level allowance race Saturday.
“This horse trains great on the dirt,” trainer Phil Bauer said. “I told Mr. Rigney the other day that this could be a perfect spot to at least try him on the dirt. If he runs as well on the dirt as he trains he should do well in this spot.”
Mr. Recio is a 2-year-old colt by Scat Daddy out of the Mineshaft mare Kiss Mine, who was trained by locally-based Dave Vance. Kiss Mine recorded 10 victories through 36 starts in her career, which included multiple stakes wins on the turf and synthetic surfaces.
“I was talking with Dave Vance’s assistant the other day and he was telling me Kiss Mine trained really well on the dirt at Churchill,” Bauer said. “This is definitely a test for (Mr. Recio) but it’s a good time to try something like this.”
Mr. Recio is listed as 6-1 on the morning line in Race 10 Saturday with a scheduled first post of 5:27 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ “Stars of Tomorrow” programs have helped launched the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 future Grade I winners led by Super Saver; 2011 Preakness and 2012 Met Mile and Clark Handicap winner Shackleford; 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra; 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2013 Stephen Foster Handicap hero Fort Larned; 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can; 2013 champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge; 2016 Belmont Stakes winner Creator; and five-time Grade I winner Gun Runner, who won this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and is likely to be crowned Horse of the Year.
‘ALL OTHERS’ EARLY 3-1 FAVORITE IN KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 1 – The first of Churchill Downs’ four 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools kicked off its four-day run on Thanksgiving Day with the popular #24 “All Others” as the 3-1 favorite.
The overall individual favorite in the future wager, through one day of wagering, is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) beaten favorite #2 Bolt d’Oro at 7-1. Other early favorites in the future wager include: Principe Guilherme (#17, 8-1); Good Magic (#10, 9-1); McKinzie (#14, 11-1); and Montauk (#16, 13-1).
This week’s Derby Futures pool, which coincides with the lone Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, is the first of four that will be conducted in the months leading up to the 2018 running of the famed “Run for the Roses.” Through one day of wagering, offspring sired by Medaglia d’Oro, including Bolt d’Oro, are the 5-1 early favorite.
Winning mutuel payouts on the $2 minimum bet will be determined by the odds that are in place at the conclusion wagering on Sunday at 6 p.m. (EST).
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Past Performances: http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/Derby18Future1.pdf
Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager Past Performances: http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/Derby18SirePPs.pdf
For more information and live odds visit: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager
HERNANDEZ JR. BECOMES 14TH JOCKEY TO WIN 500 RACES AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Brian Hernandez Jr. became the 14th jockey in Churchill Downs history to ride 500 winners at the home of the Kentucky Derby when the 32-year-old won the seventh race on Thanksgiving Day aboard Rock Shandy for trainer Jordan Blair.
“It’s great to have my family here with me for this,” Hernandez Jr. said. “I’m thankful for all of the trainers and owners who have supported me throughout my career so far.”
Hernandez Jr., who began riding professionally in 2003, won his first race at Churchill Downs aboard Machine to Tower on May 27, 2004. Overall, the native of Lafayette, La. has won 1,729 races and his mounts have amassed more than $63.8 million from 12,629 starts during a 15-year riding career.
He won the Eclipse Award in 2004 as the nation’s champion apprentice jockey. In 2012, Hernandez Jr. won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita aboard Fort Larned for his biggest career win.
MEET LEADERS – Perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie begins racing Friday with a near-insurmountable win lead over Julien Leparoux in the jockey standings, 30-15. Ricardo Santana Jr. is in third with 14 victories. … In the trainer standings, Louisville-native Brad Cox held a three-win lead over Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, 11-8. Eddie Kenneally was third with seven victories. … With a victory by Shining Copper in Thursday’s $100,000 River City Handicap (Grade III), Ken and Sarah Ramsey moved into a tie with Stoneway Farm in the owner’s standings, each with three victories.
MILESTONE WATCH – Trainer Greg Foley (399) was one win away from 400 career victories beneath the historic Twin Spires while trainer Ian Wilkes was targeting 200 career victories at Churchill Downs (197 wins). … Trainer Mike Maker was three wins away from 2,000 career victories.
FREE ONLINE BRISNET PAST PERFORMANCES FOR CHURCHILL DOWNS; NEW BRISNET BETTING GUIDE DEBUTS ON-TRACK – Throughout Churchill Downs’ Fall Meet, Brisnet.com is offering horseplayers complimentary past performances for each day’s races at the Louisville, Ky. racetrack. To download the free Churchill Downs past performances online, guests can visit: https://www.brisnet.com/product/past-performances/FPP.
Additionally, Brisnet.com has introduced an excellent new product for on-track guests at Churchill Downs. The Brisnet.com Betting Guide features informative Brisnet.com Premium Plus Past Performances for four-to-eight different racetracks around the country in a bound book with high-quality paper. The book will retail for only $5, which means the new product will be significantly cheaper for Churchill Downs’ guests compared to previously-offered past performance products. It also will have better quality and more targeted content for horseplayers.
The new Brisnet.com Betting Guide is available at program stands and other distribution locations throughout Churchill Downs.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Friday’s 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot has a carryover of $81,372 and will begin in Race 7 at 3:57 p.m.