Multiple Grade I winner and the richest New York-bred in history Mind Your Biscuits arrived at Churchill Downs early Thursday morning to begin training towards the $200,000 Lukas Classic (Grade III) on Sept. 29, a race that trainer Chad Summers hopes catapults the 5-year-old horse to a Breeders’ Cup victory.

“The goal has always been to win the Breeders’ Cup,” Summers said. “I talked with Ben Huffman (Racing Secretary at Churchill Downs) in April about this plan to get a run over the track before the Breeders’ Cup. I thought why ship back and forth from New York to Kentucky when we could stay here and train just as easily.”

Mind Your Biscuits, a chestnut son of Posse, arrived at Churchill Downs at 3 a.m. (all times Eastern) Thursday and is expected to train at 5:30 a.m. each day and possibly breeze Friday, Sept. 21, according to Summers.

Most recently, Mind Your Biscuits finished second in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney (GI) on Aug. 4 at Saratoga behind fellow New York-bred Diversify.

“You obviously can’t take anything away from Diversify, he’s a very nice horse,” Summers said. “Dealing with six other owners is a lot of stress on deciding where to run but I’d love to match up against him again in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I would’ve loved to match up against Justify with this horse, too, but that won’t happen. He’s just a superstar.

“I think he’s done really well going two turns. Obviously to win the (Breeders’ Cup) Classic would be a big deal but we’ll see what happens after the Lukas Classic. The race is shaping up to be pretty competitive, which is a good thing. It’ll be a true test but Mind Your Biscuits is doing great.”

Mind Your Biscuits competed in the last two runnings of the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) and finished second and third, respectively.

Owned by Summers along with partners Shadai Farm, J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, Scott Summers, Daniel Summers and Michael Kisber, Mind Your Biscuits sports a record of seven wins, 10 seconds and three thirds from 23 starts with earnings of $4,159,286.

FOLEY SIBLINGS CONFIDENT WITH HOG CREEK HUSTLE AHEAD OF SATURDAY’S IROQOUIS – It was nearly one year ago when Something Special Racing’s Patty Tipton called trainer Greg Foley to help look at horses during the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. One of the horses Greg picked out was Hog Creek Hustle, who will tackle stakes company for the first time in Saturday’s $150,000 Iroquois (Grade III) at Churchill Downs for his older sister and fellow trainer Vickie Foley.

“Patty called me last year when we were at the sale and asked if I was there looking at any to buy,” Greg said. “I told her we had a few we were looking at and she brought me about seven or eight pages from the sales book to look at and give her my thoughts. She was really big on the Overanalyze colts and Hog Creek Hustle was one that caught my eye. I told her he may be a bit pricey but I am a big fan.”

Hog Creek Hustle was purchased for $150,000 and debuted on Aug. 18 at Ellis Park. After the colt trailed by nearly six lengths off the early pace in a five-furlong maiden special weight contest, Hog Creek Hustle rallied to narrowly defeat nine rivals under leading rider Corey Lanerie.

“I’m really excited for him to run two turns Saturday,” said Vickie, who’s Barn 8 is adjacent to her brother’s on the Churchill Downs backstretch. “The way he trains certainly shows me that he should love the extra distance. We had a really good summer at Ellis with our 2-year-olds and hope we can continue into the fall at Churchill. There are some horses in the race that could be tough but I’m really confident in our horse.”

“I think he has been training really well in the morning,” Greg said. “I’m excited for Vickie and Patty with this colt. Who knows how good he could be.”

One of the horses to contend with in Saturday’s Iroquois is 2-1 morning line favorite Tight Ten for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tight Ten (2-1-1-0—$70,600) broke his maiden impressively by 4 ¼ lengths under Ricardo Santana Jr. on June 28 at Churchill Downs. The homebred spent July and August at Saratoga Race Course and finished a game runner-up behind Call Paul in the Aug. 12 Saratoga Special.

“This horse is really nice,” Santana said. “I think he has a very bright future ahead of him. I think he should do just fine going two turns with is breeding.”

The 1 1/16-mile Iroquois, one of four stakes events on the first Saturday of the 11-day September Meet, is the first scoring race on the 2018-19 “Road to the Kentucky Derby” – the series of 35 races that will ultimately determine the field for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Points awarded to the Top 4 Iroquois finishers will be 10-4-2-1 as part of the 19-race “Prep Season” that showcases foundation-building races in advance of the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series,” which begins in late February.

The Iroquois also is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” program with the winner receiving an automatic berth into the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is the featured race on “Future Stars Friday” – the 10-race program that includes four additional Breeders’ Cup races for 2-year-olds: the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (GI), $1 million Juvenile Turf (GI), $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI) and $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint.

The complete Iroquois field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Mr Wrench It (Euclyn Prentice Jr., Coty Davidson, 120 pounds, 30-1); Royal Urn (Leonel Reyes, Michelle Nihei, 118, 12-1); Drunk as a Skunk (Joe Rocco Jr., Doug Anderson, 118, 30-1); Tight Ten (Santana, Asmussen, 118, 2-1); My Sixth Sense (Shaun Bridgmohan, Mark Casse, 118, 10-1); Tobacco Road (Julien Leparoux, Asmussen, 120, 6-1); Pole Setter (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 118, 6-1); Cairo Cat (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 118, 8-1); Manny Wah (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano, 118, 8-1); Hog Creek Hustle (Lanerie, Foley, 118, 10-1); Synthesis (Drayden Van Dyke, Keith Desormeaux, 118, 12-1); and Everfast (Robby Albarado, Dale Romans, 118, 12-1).

The Iroquois is carded as Race 10 at 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern) on an 11-race card that begins at 12:45 p.m.

The Iroquois shares Saturday’s spotlight with the 50th running of the $200,000 Pocahontas (GII) for 2-year-old fillies, a 1 1/16-mile event that kicks off the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” and is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Juvenile Fillies Division.”

Other stakes races on Saturday’s program are the 35th running of the $100,000 Locust Grove (GIII) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles and the 10th running of the $100,000 Open Mind (Listed) for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

The four stakes, which are the last four races on the card, comprise an all-stakes late Pick 4 and are part of the late Pick 5 and Single 6 Jackpot sequence.

The sixth annual September Meet begins Friday at Churchill Downs with a 10-race program at 12:45 p.m. and continues on a Thursday-Sunday schedule through Sept. 30. This year’s three-week, boutique race meeting will feature record purse levels as horsemen compete for $5.275 million in prize money, which averages to $479,545 per day.

General admission to Churchill Downs is $3 ($1 for seniors age 60 and up) and $10 for Downs After Dark on Saturday, Sept. 29. Reserved box seats are $10 ($25 for Downs After Dark) and indoor dining options are $39 ($73 for Downs After Dark). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult (Downs After Dark policy: no one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult). Tickets can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets or by calling (502) 636-4400. For parking information, please visit: https://www.churchilldowns.com/visit/info/parking

Opening weekend weather in Louisville will be ideal, according to the National Weather Service, with a forecast of mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s.

TAPPING PEARL HOPES TO REBOUND IN SATURDAY’S POCAHONTASStonestreet Stables Tapping Pearl was one of four 2-year-old winners for trainer Mark Casse during the 2018 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs and head assistant Dave Carroll is hoping the Tapit filly can return to form in Saturday’s $200,000 Pocahontas (Grade II) at the historic Louisville track.

“This filly was really impressive in her debut,” Carroll said. “She went to Saratoga for a bit this summer but it was a head scratcher in the Schuylerville (GIII). She’s better than that and I hope she can show that Saturday.

“One thing that isn’t too ideal is the outside draw. It’s tough breaking from that far outside and going two turns. I just hope we can get lucky and Florent (Geroux) isn’t caught too wide going into the first turn.”

Tapping Pearl, who was made 10-1 on odds maker Mike Battaglia’s morning line, broke awkwardly from the gate in the July 20 Schuylerville and finished ninth out of 10 horses. Following her sub-par effort, the homebred returned to Casse’s barn at Churchill Downs to begin preparing for the Pocahontas.

“She’s been back since the middle of August and has done well in the morning training,” Carroll said. “We put three works in her leading up to this race and she’s done everything we’ve asked to this point.”

Chief among Tapping Pearl’s rivals is 13-length Ellis Park Debutante winner Serengeti Empress for trainer Tom Amoss. However, the Alternation filly also did not draw ideal and will break from the rail as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

“Before I run horses for the first time, I try to give them as much as I can in practice,” Amoss said. “Works in company are obviously important to show their ability against other horses in barn to see where they fit but also (training) inside out is very important to see if horses don’t care for that and work with them on it. So, typically all of our horses train inside of horses in the mornings.”

The Pocahontas will be the last of 11 races on the Saturday racing program and has a scheduled post time of 5:57 p.m. (all times Eastern).

The 1 1/16-mile race opens the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” points system that will determine the field of 14 for America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies next spring. The Pocahontas offers Kentucky Oaks points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 to its top four finishers.

The Pocahontas also is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, which will be run Friday, Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. The Pocahontas winner will earn an automatic berth in the starting gate for the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, along with $60,000 in starting fees and a travel stipend.

The field for the Pocahontas, in order of post position (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Serengeti Empress (Corey Lanerie, Amoss, 120 pounds, 5-2); Love My Honey (Julien Leparoux, Mike Maker, 118, 6-1); My Wynter Rose (Cory Orm, Tommy Short, 118, 50-1); Profound Legacy (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ian Wilkes, 118, 20-1); Splashy Kisses (Drayden Van Dyke, Doug O’Neill, 118, 4-1); Lightscameraaction (Robby Albarado, Kenny McPeek, 118, 20-1); Include Edition (James Graham, Vickie Foley, 118, 30-1); Two Dozen Roses (Ricardo Santana, Todd Pletcher, 118, 6-1); It Justhitthe Wire (Joe Rocco, Kiaran McLaughlin, 118, 6-1); Taylors Spirit (Shaun Bridgmohan, Scott Gelner, 120, 8-1); Saved At Dawn (Fernando De La Cruz, Brad Cox, 118, 15-1); and Tapping Pearl (Geroux, Casse, 118, 10-1).

BLUE PRIZE PREPPING FOR POSSIBLE START IN BREEDERS’ CUP IN SATURDAY’S LOCUST GROVEMerriebelle Stable’s Fleur de Lis Handicap (Grade II) winner Blue Prize (ARG) will return from a three-month layoff Saturday as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Locust Grove (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

“She’s been doing really well and working nearly every week since the Fleur de Lis,” trainer Ignacio Correas IV said. “We didn’t really know where to run her after the Fleur de Lis. We had thought about running in Saratoga but the weather was just so hot. She would’ve had to van 14 hours to and from New York and that was just too much in my opinion.

“We kept her in training in Kentucky and thought the Locust Grove would be a good race for her before the Breeders’ Cup. Our horses are here now at Churchill Downs and I think that’s good to get them used to the surface before the Breeders’ Cup.”

By winning the Fleur de Lis, Blue Prize was awarded an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs but was not originally nominated to the race. The ownership group can nominate the 5-year-old mare before the pre-entry deadline on Oct. 22.

“This filly loves it here at Churchill Downs,” Correas said. “She’s just improved since we got her from Argentina and I think she’s getting better.”

The 1 1/16-mile Locust Grove, for fillies and mares 3-years-old, is carded as Race 9 on the 11-race program with a scheduled post time of 4:53 p.m. (all times Eastern).

The field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Streamline (Chris Landeros, Brian Williamson, 123 pounds, 15-1); Champagne Problems (Calvin Borel, Ian Wilkes, 121, 4-1); Blue Prize (ARG) (Julien Leparoux, Correas, 123, 2-1); Dutch Parrot (Joe Rocco Jr., Will VanMeter, 121, 20-1); Pinch Hit (Shaun Bridgmohan, Brad Cox, 121, 4-1); Mannerly (Corey Lanerie, Brendan Walsh, 121, 5-1); Tiger Moth (Florent Geroux, Cox, 123, 10-1); Sailor’s Valentine (Brian Hernandez Jr., Eddie Kenneally, 121, 10-1); and Pacific Pink (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 121, 12-1).

VERTICAL OAK MADE 7-5 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN SATURDAY’S $100,000 OPEN MINDKirk and Judy Robinson’s recent Honorable Miss (GII) runner-up Vertical Oak was installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite against six other fillies and mares in Saturday’s 10th running of the $100,000 Open Mind at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Vertical Oak will face the top two finishers from the June 23 Roxelana – Dreamchaser Thoroughbreds’ Astrollinthepark and Preston Madden’s Miss Kentucky, respectively.

The six-furlong Open Mind is scheduled as Race 8 with a post time of 4:21 p.m.

The Open Mind field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Thirteen Songs (Robby Albarado, Dallas Stewart, 120, 30-1); P Boo (Jack Gilligan, Kirk Harris, 120, 20-1); Vertical Oak (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 120, 7-5); Courtmewithcarats (Sammy Camacho Jr., Clarke Vesty, 120, 50-1); Our Majesty (Corey Lanerie, Ron Moquett, 120, 8-1); Miss Kentucky (Brian Hernandez Jr., Rusty Arnold II, 122, 2-1); Astrollinthepark (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 120, 2-1).

COURT RETURNS TO ACTION SUNDAY FOLLOWING SHOULDER SURGERY IN LATE JUNE – Veteran jockey Jon Court is set to return to the saddle Sunday at Churchill Downs following shoulder surgery on June 30 after he was injured in a motorcycle accident.

“I feel really good,” Court, 57, said. “I’ve been getting on horses for a couple of weeks and we’re ready to get back to the races.”

A native of Gainesville, Fla., Court has won 4,121 races with purse earnings of $104,087,932 in his 38-year riding career. Now a grandfather, Court has no timetable on how long he will continue to ride.

“I’m going to go as long as my body will let me,” Court said.

Court is scheduled to ride One Thirty Nine in Race 9 Sunday in a 1 1/16-mile conditioned allowance race for trainer Ed Frederick.

Lanerie, Cox, McPeek, Ramseys Defend September Titles – Veteran jockey Corey Lanerie, fresh off of winning the Ellis Park riding title with 30 winners, had the hot hand during last year’s September Meet with a record 25 wins, 15 more than Florent Geroux and Brian Hernandez Jr. Hernandez defeated Geroux, 43-38, during the Spring Meet for his first local leading rider title. Fifteen-time Churchill Downs champion Lanerie was third with 35 wins but missed the final seven racing days following the sudden death of his wife Shantel.

Louisville native Brad Cox and Kenny McPeek shared the training title at last year’s September Meet with seven wins apiece. Cox finished second and six wins back of Asmussen during the Spring Meet, who won his record-extending 19th local training title with 30 winners.

The leading owners during last September were Ken and Sarah Ramsey of Nicholasville, Ky., who won five races. The couple was victorious in nine races during the Spring Meet to collect their 31st crown as Churchill Downs’ top owners. Overall, they’ve won 487 races beneath the Twin Spires to easily be the track’s all-time leading owners.

Racing Thursday-Sunday; First Race 12:45 p.m. Most Days Churchill Downs’ 11-day meet will be staged over three weekends through Sunday, Sept. 30 with racing on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The first race will be 12:45 p.m. daily (admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.) with the exception of a pair of 5 p.m. (gates at 4 p.m.) Twilight Thursdays and a 6 p.m. first post (gates at 5 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 29.

General admission to Churchill Downs is $3 ($1 for seniors age 60 and up) and $10 for Downs After Dark on Saturday, Sept. 29. Reserved box seats are $10 ($25 for Downs After Dark) and indoor dining options are $39 ($73 for Downs After Dark). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult (Downs After Dark policy: no one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult). Tickets can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets or by calling (502) 636-4400. For parking information, please visit: https://www.churchilldowns.com/visit/info/parking

Popular 5 p.m. ‘Twilight Thursdays’ Return With $1 Beer, Live Music, Food Trucks, Lawn GamesThe two Twilight Thursdays will feature $1 beer, live music (Sheryl Rouse Band on Sept. 20 and Roadie on Sept. 27), food trucks (Flavaville, Red Top Gourmet Hot Dogs, Zoom Zoom Yum, Mark’s Feed Store and Pollo), and lawn games (Snookball, Corn Hole and Giant Jenga) in Churchill Downs’ Plaza from 5-8 p.m.

Family Adventure Day Scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23 – Family Adventure Day Presented by Kroger is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23. Families are encouraged to bring the kids to Churchill Downs for a day of racing and family activities including pony rides, inflatables, petting zoo, stick horse races on the turf course, face painting and more. The theme is “Be Creative!” and special happenings include science activities from The Kentucky Science Center; arts and crafts with Side by Side Studio; a mobile recording studio with AMPED: The Academy of Music Production, Education and Development; practice printmaking basics with KMAC; and interaction with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Tickets for adults and children age 3 and up are just $8 when purchased online in advance at ChurchillDowns.com, and include unlimited access to all kid-friendly activities through 5 p.m. Churchill Downs is also offering a Family Four Pack that includes four Family Adventure Day tickets, four family meals in the Family Adventure Day area and two racing programs for only $44 (a $59 package includes reserved box seats).

Betting Menu Features 20-Cent Single 6 Jackpot The betting menu will be the same as recent meets and includes the 20-cent minimum “Single 6 Jackpot,” which is offered on the last six races each day with a low 15-percent takeout. The Single 6 Jackpot will be paid out only if there is a single winning wager with six winners placed at the required minimum bet value. If there are multiple winning wagers with six winners in the six-race sequence, 90 percent of the net money wagering into the pool will be paid out, and the remaining 10 percent will carry to the Single 6 Jackpot. If there are no tickets will all six winners, 100 percent of the pool will carry to the Single 6 Jackpot. There will be a mandatory payout on closing day.

STAKES CLOSINGS – Nominations to the Sept. 29 $200,000 Lukas Classic (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, $100,000 Ack Ack (GIII) for 3-year-olds and up at one mile, $100,000 Jefferson Cup for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the turf and $100,000 President of the UAE Cup (GI) for Arabian-breds at 1 1/16 miles close Saturday. To nominate visit: https://www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen/stakes/nomination-forms/

‘INSIDE CHURCHILL DOWNS’ CONTINUES FRIDAYS AT 6 P.M. – Inside Churchill Downs” airs Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN Louisville’s ESPN 680/105.7.

The weekly horse racing radio show is co-hosted by Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein, and delivers a wide-ranging list of interesting guests, from jockeys, trainers, owners to well-informed handicappers and other industry insiders. Those outside the Louisville radio market can listen live online at http://www.espnlouisville.com.

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