Churchill Downs Racing Club’s Warrior’s Club, winner of the inaugural $200,000 Spendthrift Stallion Stakes on Oct. 30, continued to impress Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on Wednesday morning when the 2-year-old colt recorded a half-mile breeze at Churchill Downs in :47.60 – the second fastest of 22 workouts at the distance.
The son of Warrior’s Reward recorded fractions of :12.60 and :24 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.80.
“The work was really well,” Lukas said. “The time was a bit quicker than I had anticipated but I found out later that the track was fast and there were about five or six :47-and-changes. I was pleased with it. We’re wanting to keep him on edge and he just continues to impress everybody.”
A possible next target is the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) at 1 1/16 miles on Saturday, Nov. 26.
“I think that his best races are probably still in front of him,” Lukas said. “He continues every week to get us a little bit higher on him. It’s amazing to think that we bought different horses in the sale and now the Racing Club horse is catching all the attention in the barn but that’s great because we’re making a lot more people happy than we had anticipated.”
Last time out, Warrior’s Reward took the 200 members of the Churchill Downs Racing Club on the ride of a lifetime when he won the Spendthrift Stallion Stakes on Opening Day of the Fall Meet. Lukas is hopeful that Warrior’s Club can give the club’s members an even greater thrill at the graded stakes level.
“That might be in the outfield, but this horse continues to improve,” Lukas said. “We have a statement that we make in our organization that we treat them all like champions until they disappoint us so we’ll do that. We’ll treat him like a champion until he tells us different.”
Lukas also reports that Zayat Stables LLC’s My Sweet Stella, a 2 ¾-length winner of a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 20, is likely to enter the $200,000 Golden Rod (GII), which also will be run Nov. 26.
Also targeting the Kentucky Jockey Club is Street Sense Overnight Stakes winner McCraken, who breezed five furlongs in :59.80 Tuesday morning for trainer Ian Wilkes.
“Everything was good,” Wilkes said. “What’s the old saying? ‘It was perfect.’”
FIELDS FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND STAKES TAKE EARLY SHAPE – Churchill Downs assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator Dan Bork has given an early indication as to who he expects to enter Churchill Downs’ seven stakes races over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The following are possible starters:
- $200,000 Falls City Handicap (Grade II), a 1 1/8-mile event for fillies and mares on Thursday, Nov. 24: Birdatthewire, She Mabee Wild, Sweetgrass and Walkabout.
- $100,000 River City Handicap (GIII), a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up on Thursday, Nov. 24: Dujac and Heart to Heart.
- $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI), 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and up on Friday, Nov. 25: Bird Song, Hawaakom, Noble Bird, Prayer For Relief and Shaman Ghost.
- $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII), a 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies on Friday, Nov. 25: Caren, Mom’s On Strike and Quidura.
- $80,000-added Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares on Friday, Nov. 25: Athena, I’m a Looker and Moiety.
- $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), a 1 1/16-mile event for 2-year-olds on Saturday, Nov. 26: Just Move On, McCraken, Silent Decree and Warrior’s Club.
- $200,000 Golden Rod (GII), a 1 1/16-mile event for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday, Nov. 26: Lovely Bernadette, My Sweet Stella and Valadorna.
ILLUSION ARITST LOUISIANA BOUND FOLLOWING SUNDAY ALLOWANCE WIN – Steve Landers Racing LLC’s undefeated 3-year-old filly Illussion Artist will likely face fellow Louisiana-bred fillies in Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes on Dec. 10, following an allowance victory at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
“That’s what we’re pointing for,” trainer Brad Cox said. “Hopefully at some point down the road maybe she’ll be able to step out and compete against open company and some good horses, but she’s a developing filly.”
The daughter of Drosselmeyer is now a spotless 3-for-3 with each triumph over a different surface. Prior to her win at Churchill Downs on Sunday, she romped in her career debut at Indiana Grand on Sept. 7 which she won by 7 ½ lengths, and followed that decisive effort with an allowance victory at Keeneland on Oct. 13.