Finley’sluckycharm’s owner Carl Moore described her $100,000 Chicago Handicap (Grade III) victory on Saturday at Churchill Downs as a “cake walk” and now the 4-year-old filly will target some of the best female sprinters in the country this summer at Saratoga Race Course.
“She’s great,” trainer Bret Calhoun said Sunday morning. “We’ll send her to Saratoga in a couple of weeks and aim for the (July 26) Honorable Miss and the (Aug. 26) Ballerina.”
Following Saturday’s 2 ¼-length victory in the Chicago Handicap, Finley’sluckycharm moved to a perfect six for six at Churchill Downs.
“It was great to keep her at home for these series of races,” Calhoun said. “We originally were going to point her to the Humana Distaff for her first start of the year but we got a little behind in her training. The (April 29) Roxelana was a perfect starting point for her. Leading up to the (May 27) Winning Colors I completely forgot the Chicago Handicap got moved to Churchill in June. So, I was really happy to be able to keep her home after the Winning Colors and not ship her around the country just yet.”
Finley’sluckycharm now has eight wins in 10 career starts with one runner-up finish and $403,368 in earnings.
The 4-year-old dark bay or brown filly is by Twirling Candy out of the Victory Gallop mare Day of Victory.
TOMLINSON EYEING SUMMER CAMPAIGN FOR IMPROVING JORDAN’S HENNY – Trainer Mike Tomlinson has been very pleased with Jordan’s Henny following her 12th-place finish in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and she’ll target stakes competition again in her next start.
Following the Kentucky Oaks, Tomlinson gave Erv Woolsey and Ralph Kinder’s homebred some class relief in a first-level-allowance race on June 3 at Churchill Downs and she cruised to a 7 ¼-length victory.
“She’s really been acting like a different filly around the barn,” Tomlinson said. “The Oaks was a tough race on her but the way she came back to win that allowance race really has us hoping for brighter things in her future. We needed to figure out what was best suited for her. That race made us believe she can hang with some other 3-year-old fillies in stakes competition. Right now we’re looking at the (July 6) $200,000 Iowa Oaks or (July 15) $200,000 Indiana Oaks.”
Jordan’s Henny breezed a half-mile in :49.20 Sunday morning with regular rider Joe Rocco Jr. aboard.
“She seems really happy right now,” Rocco said. “She was relaxed the entire time and stretched her legs well down the stretch.”
The 3-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes has a career record of 11-2-3-3 with $160,735 in earnings.
ROMANS CHASES MOTT TO BECOME CHURCHILL DOWNS’ ALL-TIME LEADING TRAINER – South Louisville native Dale Romans is on the verge of surpassing Hall of Fame horseman Bill Mott as the all-time leading trainer in races won at historic Churchill Downs. Romans will begin Sunday’s action trailing Mott, 701 wins to 698.
Romans has six horses entered in five races Sunday, while Mott has none entered.
Romans’ Sunday Entries
Race 1 (12:45 p.m.): #2 Silver Wraith (5-1)
Race 3 (1:43 p.m.): #3 Gurlin (5-2)
Race 4 (2:13 p.m.): #1 Little Irishdancer (8-1)
Race 4 (2:13 p.m.): #3 Prado Vision (7-2)
Race 6 (3:15 p.m.): #2 Blake’s Lucky Star (4-1)
Race 9 (4:51 p.m.): #2 Watch Me Whip (9-2)
FOLEY ON CUSP OF 400 VICTORIES AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Trainer Greg Foley is two wins away from 400 career victories at Churchill Downs following Zipperini’s 2 ¾-length maiden special weight victory Saturday.
“How many wins am I away from Dale (Romans),” Foley joked. “It would be really special to get this milestone. I think we’ll have a few chances before the end of the meet to get there.”
Foley, 59, began training on his own in 1981 and recorded his first victory at Fair Grounds.
“I grew up around racing,” Foley said. “I remember in the summer we’d go to River Downs with my dad (Dravo Foley). I groomed horses and learned a lot from him. I grew up on the backstretch with Dad. I’m incredibly proud of all the wins we’ve had here at home. Churchill has been good to me and I can’t thank all of our owners enough.”
Foley has six horses entered Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday at Churchill Downs: Cha Mono (Sunday, Race 5); Top Tiara (Wednesday, Race 5); Shamelessfi (Wednesday, Race 8); May Lily (Thursday, Race 5); Zapperini (Thursday, Race 8); and Samargo (Thursday, Race 9).
SUNSET STRETCH – Following Sunday’s 10-race program at Churchill Downs, there are only three days left at the 2017 Spring Meet. Closing week, which is billed as “Sunset Stretch”, will feature twilight racing on Wednesday and Thursday and “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” on Friday. Wednesday’s eight-race card and Thursday’s nine-race program have a first post of 5 p.m. (all times Eastern) and feature $1 draft beer, live music, food trucks and a Wagering 101 area. Downs After Dark closes out the 38-day Spring Meet with an 11-race program featuring the $100,000 Bashford Manor Presented by GE Appliances (Grade III), $100,000 Debutante Presented by Finlandia Vodka and the $65,000-added Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes. The theme for Downs After Dark is “Downs Does the Decades” as guests are encouraged to dress to their favorite decade’s attire.
DOWN THE STRETCH – There is a growing $126,075 jackpot carryover for the 20-cent minimum Single-6 Jackpot on Races 5-10 Sunday, which is scheduled to commence at 2:43 p.m. (all times Eastern) … The podcast of “Inside Churchill Downs” featuring interviews with trainer Dale Romans and clocker John Nichols is available at www.espnlouisville.com. The show, hosted by Churchill Downs’ Communications Department: John Asher, Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein, will be on a week’s hiatus but is scheduled to return Saturday, July 8. … The “Who’s the Champ? Handicapping Contest” returns 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 takes place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the Clubhouse second floor at the top of the Gate 17 escalators.