Trainer Dale Romans has always described long-term owner Frank Jones Jr. as a “father figure” and the duo look to the future with Tiz Mischief, a probable entrant for Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs.
“Frank has always supported me throughout my life,” Romans said. “This horse has a very bright future ahead of him. He’s still learning but is starting to really come together.”
Tiz Mischief, a 2-year-old colt by Into Mischief, rallied from last to break his maiden by one length on Oct. 7 at Keeneland.
“I definitely think he’s one of my better 2-year-olds for the future,” Romans said after Tiz Mischief breezed five furlongs in 1:01 Saturday at Churchill Downs. “He’s really impressed me so far in his career and I think we’ll take a shot with him in the Jockey Club.”
Jones, a former top client of Romans’ father Jerry, is the Vice President of the Kentucky HBPA and serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund as well as the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners.
“Frank Jones is the single most important person in my life to this day outside of my father, who died at (age) 57,” Romans said. “I was young when I took over the barn and Frank was there. Frank was there the day I was born. Dad and Frank were friends before of the two of them had two nickels to rub together. He’s had two trainers in all of the years he’s had racehorses and that was my father and me. Without him, I don’t know where I would be in life let alone horseracing.”
Romans and Jones are no strangers to major stakes races, most notably teaming up when Jones’ homebred Tapitsfly won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI) in 2009. Some of Jones’ other major horses include 2016 Preakness Stakes (GI) runner-up Cherry Wine, 2017 Regret Stakes (GIII) winner Sweeping Paddy, 2015 TaWee Stakes third-place finisher Flying Tipat, and 2009 Grand Canyon Handicap winner Lost Aptitude.
“He’s also one of the most important people to Kentucky racing that nobody really knows or talks about,” Romans said. “Between 30 years on the (Kentucky) HBPA board negotiating all the contracts and working with people like (former Churchill Downs Incorporated president and CEO) Tom Meeker or (Churchill Downs Incorporated Chief Executive Officer) Bill Carstanjen that see him as an equal to make racing better, to all of his years on the (Kentucky) Horse Racing Commission board, he’s always been up-to-date on things in the game and absolutely has been one of the biggest players to make Kentucky racing what it’s become.”
Tiz Mischief could be joined in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club by stablemate Promises Fulfilled, according to Romans.
The Kentucky Jockey Club shares the spotlight with the $200,000 Golden Rod (GII) on the Nov. 25 “Stars of Tomorrow II” program at Churchill Downs that features all 2-year-old races. The Kentucky Jockey Club will award points to the top four finishers on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
COLEBROOK BEGINS PLANNING LIMOUSINE LIBERAL’S 2018 CAMPAIGN – Katherine Ball’s homebred Limousine Liberal sailed to a 4 ¾-length victory in Saturday’s $81,545 Bet On Sunshine Overnight Stakes and trainer Ben Colebrook already has his mind on a 2018 campaign.
“I think this horse will excel even more in his 6-year-old campaign next year,” Colebrook said. “I think as sprinters enter their 6-year-old year they typically improve.”
Limousine Liberal, a 5-year-old gelded son of Successful Appeal, will receive time off at Ball’s farm for 30-45 days before returning to training in 2018.
“We all know how much he loves this track at Churchill and it’s really exciting that the Breeders’ Cup is here next year,” Colebrook said. “We’ll probably aim for the same campaign as we did this year with the ultimate goal the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.”
Earlier during the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, Limousine Liberal scored a 13-1 upset in the $500,000 Churchill Downs (Grade II) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, won the $100,000 Aristides (GIII) in June and the $70,893 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes in July.
Limousine Liberal banked $50,974 for his victory in the Bet On Sunshine and improved his record to 19-7-5-3—$985,661.
BIG EXCHANGE CRUSHES $16,000 CLAIMER BY 24 ¾ LENGTHS – Steve Landers Racing’s Big Exchange became only the fourth horse since 1976 to win by more than 20 lengths at Churchill Downs when he beat a field of five rivals in Saturday’s second race.
Big Exchange’s win margin of 24 ¾ lengths ties Outer Banks (May 7, 1998) with the largest winning distance of any horse at Churchill Downs since 1976.
The 3-year-old gelded son of Exchange Rate led wire-to-wire in the conditioned $16,000 claiming event and returned $3.60 for the win with jockey Corey Lanerie aboard. Big Exchange was claimed in a five-way shake by owner Gene Burkholder for trainer Kim Puhl.
Other horses to win by more than 20 lengths at Churchill Downs during that span were Capt. Bullet Bob (21 ¼ lengths) in a 2011 starter allowance race and Rachel Alexandra (20 ¼ lengths) in the 2009 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I).
LANERIE TIES MELANCON FOR FIFTH ALL-TIME AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Jockey Corey Lanerie recorded four wins on Saturday’s card at Churchill Downs to tie Larry Melancon for fifth in all-time wins beneath the Twin Spires with 914.
Lanerie, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Monday, has nine scheduled mounts on Sunday’s program. The Louisiana-native trails fourth-place Don Brumfield by 11 wins. The top three jockeys in all-time victories at Churchill Downs: Pat Day (2,482 wins), Calvin Borel (1,211), and Robby Albarado (1,148).
Lanerie begins racing Sunday with a 27-13 lead over Ricardo Santana Jr. and Julien Leparoux in the jockey standings with six days of racing remaining in the Fall Meet.
STAKES PROBABLES: Seven stakes races worth $1.48 million in purses headline a lucrative Thanksgiving week of racing at Churchill Downs. The following horses are probable entrants according to Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork:
$200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) (1 1/16 miles, to be run Nov. 25 for 2-year-olds): Bravazo, Diamond King, Enticed, Givemeaminit, Gotta Go, High North, Lone Sailor, Mr. Recio, O’Malley’s March, Peppered, and Quip. Possible: Arrival
$200,000 Golden Rod (GII) (1 1/16 miles, to be run Nov. 25 for 2-year-old fillies): Caroline The Great, Cash Out, Foxtrot Sally, Go Google Yourself, Monomoy Girl, Princess Warrior, Stronger Than Ever, and Sultry.
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.
MILESTONE WATCH – Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. began Sunday three wins away from 500 victories at Churchill Downs while Ricardo Santana Jr. was six wins away from 200. … 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 (196 wins). … Trainer Mike Maker was five wins away from 2,000 career victories.
KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER – The first pools of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered Nov. 23-26. The traditional pool with 23 individual wagering interests and an “all others” option will return, and so will the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which debuted in 2015 and requires bettors to wager on the winning sire for next year’s Kentucky Derby winner. The other Future Wager dates will be Feb. 9-11 (Pool 2), March 9-11 (Pool 3) and April 6-8 (Pool 4). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on March 9-11.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing begins Sunday with a first post of 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). The 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot has a carryover of $16,506 and will begin in Race 5 at 2:55 p.m. … Churchill Downs’ popular “Who’s the Champ?” Handicapping Contest will return Sunday. Interested participants can enter for $35 ($30 for TSC Elite members) for a chance to win the $1,000 cash voucher first prize by placing mythical $2 win and place bets on Races 3-8. Second place receives a $500 voucher and third place is worth a $200 voucher. Registration will take place Sunday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the Clubhouse second floor at the top of the Gate 17 escalators. … Racing resumes Wednesday-Sunday for the final week of racing at Churchill Downs in the 2017 calendar year with a first post of 1 p.m. There is a special 11:30 a.m. post on Thanksgiving Day for the 12-race program which includes the $200,000 Falls City Handicap (GII) and the $200,000 River City Handicap (GIII). Friday’s program features the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) and $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII). Two-year-olds headline Saturday’s “Stars of Tomorrow II” program with the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and $200,000 Golden Rod (GII) both stops on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and “Road to the Kentucky Oaks”, respectively. Racing concludes for the Fall Meet on Sunday, Nov. 26 with mandatory payouts in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot and $1 Super Hi 5. ... 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.