Veteran jockey Corey Lanerie leapt back into contention to defend his Fall Meet leading rider title at Churchill Downs with a four-win day on Thursday to put him two wins behind Edgar Morales in the standings with three days and 36 races remaining.
“Days like (Thursday) make you want to keep riding no matter how many races you ride,” Lanerie said. “I wanted to keep riding. It’s fun when you have the right horses to get the job done.”
Lanerie, a 16-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, trailed Morales 18-16 wins to begin Friday’s 12-race program. The 44-year-old native of Lafayette, La. has won the last six Fall Meet riding titles.
On Thursday’s program, Lanerie guided home Undrafted in the fifth race and followed that with three wins in the last four races, including a victory aboard English Affair in the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (Grade III).
Spring Meet leading rider Brian Hernandez Jr. began Friday with 15 victories in the rider standings to rank third. Tyler Gaffalione’s 14 wins were in fourth while Florent Geroux and Ricardo Santana Jr. were tied for fifth with 12 wins each.
The Fall Meet leading trainer’s race was just as competitive as the jockey’s race as Dallas Stewart held a slim 9-8 win margin over Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen to start Friday’s action. There was a five-way tie for third between Tom Amoss, Brad Cox, Mike Maker, Kenny McPeek and Ian Wilkes with six victories each.
G M B Racing and Loooch Racing Stables continued to battle it out at the top of the owner’s standings with four wins, each. Calumet Farm, Juddmonte Farms and Alex and JoAnn Lieblong were tied for third with three wins.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVNEILE RUNNER-UP KNICKS GO INSTALLED AS 2-1 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN SATURDAY’S KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB – The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) runner-up Knicks Go was made the slight 2-1 morning line favorite when he faces 13 promising 2-year-old rivals in Saturday’s 92nd running of the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile race is the co-headliner on the penultimate day of the 21-date Fall Meet. Billed as “Stars of Tomorrow II,” each of the 12 races is exclusively for 2-year-olds that may have aspirations of trail-blazing their way to next spring’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).
Knicks Go, a speedy son of Paynter, led wire-to-wire in the Oct. 6 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland at odds of 70-1. The Maryland-bred, owned by KRA Stud Farm and trained by Ben Colebrook, finished 2 ¼ lengths behind the Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at odds of 40-1.
Chief among Knicks Go’s competitors in the Jockey Club is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile third-place finisher Signalman, who is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line for owners Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen and Magdalena Racing and trainer Kenny McPeek. Signalman finished one length behind Knicks Go in the Juvenile after breaking from post 14 and rallying from 10 lengths off the early pace.
The complete field for the Kentucky Jockey Club from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Signalman (Hernandez, McPeek, 5-2); Tracksmith (Adam Beschizza, Joe Sharp, 20-1); Manny Wah (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano, 20-1); Dunph (Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Maker, 6-1); Plus Que Parfait (Julien Leparoux, Brendan Walsh, 20-1); Blue Steel (Robby Albarado, Dale Romans, 15-1); Limonite (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 20-1); Royal Urn (Leonel Reyes, Michelle Nihei, 30--1); Current (Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher, 15-1); Roiland (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 20-1); Mick’s Star (Corey Lanerie, Amoss, 30-1); King for a Day (John Velazquez, Pletcher, 8-1); Knicks Go (Jiminez, Colebrook, 2-1); Topper T (Florent Geroux, Bill Mott, 20-1). Also Eligible should any early scratches occur: Everfast (Albarado, Romans, 30-1); and Kentucky Allstar (Santana, Maker, 30-1).
Earlier in the card, Three Chimneys Farm and Fern Circle Stables’ Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I) runner-up Restless Rider will challenge seven 2-year-old fillies as the 7-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s 75th running of the $200,000 Golden Rod (GII).
Trained by Kenny McPeek, Restless Rider scored an ultra-impressive 11 ¼ length win in the Debutante Stakes in late June at Churchill Downs and a 2 ½-length score in the Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland in October prior to her runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The field for Golden Rod from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Gold Credit (John Velazquez, Ignacio Correas IV, 8-1); High Regard (Corey Lanerie, Vicki Oliver, 15-1); Reflect (Tyler Gaffalione, Keith Desormeaux, 12-1); Champagne Anyone (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 10-1); Restless Rider (Hernandez, McPeek, 7-5); Liora (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano, 12-1); Princess Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Wilkes, 8-1); Break Curfew (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown, 9-5).
The Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod are both Road to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks point series races, respectively. The Top 4 finishers in each race will be awarded points on 10-4-2-1 scale. The Golden Rod goes as Race 9 at 4:57 p.m. (all times Eastern). The co-featured $200,000 Kentucky Jockey (GII), which attracted 14 colts and geldings, is Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. First post is 1 p.m.
CHURCHILL DOWNS, FAIR GROUNDS TO OFFER ‘FLEUR DE LIS’ PICK 4 SATURDAY – Churchill Downs Racetrack and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots have teamed to offer horseplayers a cross-track Pick 4 on Saturday.
Billed as the “Fleur de Lis Pick 4,” bettors will be required to pick the winners of four races late Saturday afternoon: two races at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. and two stakes events at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. – the $200,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) for 2-year-old fillies and $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) for 2-year-olds.
The minimum wager on the Fleur de Lis Pick 4 is 50 cents.
Here’s the sequence for the inaugural Fleur de Lis Pick 4, which features 40 entries (plus two also-eligibles):
Leg 1: Fair Grounds Race 7 (4:35 p.m. ET)
Leg 2: Churchill Downs Race 9 (4:57 p.m. ET)
Leg 3: Fair Grounds Race 9 (5:35 p.m. ET)
Leg 4: Churchill Downs Race 11 (5:56 p.m. ET)
The series starts at 4:35 p.m. ET with a $41,000 maiden special weight over one mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds that attracted nine 2-year-olds. The second leg is the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod, which drew eight entries led by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Restless Rider. Third in the order is a competitive third-level allowance/optional claiming race at Fair Grounds over 1 1/16 miles on the Stall Turf Course with nine older horses. The fourth and final leg of the sequence at 5:56 p.m. ET is the challenging 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club, which lured 16 entries in the maximum field of 14 including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Knicks Go.
Fair Grounds will serve as host of the Fleur de Lis Pick 4.
The Fleur de Lis is a symbol that is deeply ingrained in the history of both Louisville and New Orleans and has traditionally been used to represent French royalty. The English translation for the French “fleur-de-lis” is flower of the lily.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE CHAMP GAME WINNER OPENS AS INDIVIDUAL FAVORITE IN FIRST DERBY FUTURE WAGER; POPULAR ‘ALL OTHERS’ OVERALL FAVORITE – Through the first day of wagering on Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, the popular “All Other 3-year-olds” option opened as the odds-on 4-5 favorite over second choice Game Winner at 7-1.
The pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, will close Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
Other horses taking early action include impressive maiden special weight winner No. 3 Coliseum (10-1), Best Pal winner No. 9 Instagrand (15-1) and Street Sense Stakes winner No. 8 Improbable (21-1).
Pool 1 past performances courtesy of Brisnet: http://www.brisnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Derby19Future1.pdf
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered concurrently with the fourth annual Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which provides bettors with a unique opportunity to wager on select breeding stars and their entire crop of juveniles with the hope of winning next year’s Kentucky Derby.
“All Other Sires” finished Thursday as the 7-2 favorite over all offspring sired by Candy Ride (ARG) at odds of 9-2. The pool for the Sire Future Wager will close Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Last year, Justify was unraced at the time of the first Future Wagers and paid $4.40 to win the Derby as part of the “All Other 3-Year-olds” pari-mutuel field. However, a bet on his sire Scat Daddy returned $54.80 at odds of 26-1 in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager.
Sire Future Wager past performances courtesy of Brisnet: http://www.brisnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/DerbyFuture19SirePPs.pdf
Dates for the remaining 2019 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks future pools are Feb. 8-10 (Pool 2), March 8-10 (Pool 3) and April 5-7 (Pool 4). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on March 8-10.
Wagering on both pools is available on track as well as TwinSpires.com and other simulcast outlets throughout the country. For more information visit: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager
DOWN THE STRETCH – There was a massive $196,438 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot to begin Friday’s card. The Single 6 sequence began in Race 7 at 2:24 p.m. There also is a $6,414 carryover in the Super Hi 5 which will go as Race 12 at 6:24 p.m.