Steve Landers Racing’s Fayette Stakes (Grade II) winner Leofric has not finished worse than fourth throughout his 13-race career but the flashy gray son of Candy Ride (ARG) is hoping to breakthrough for his first Grade I victory in Friday’s $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) – the premier race of the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
“He’s just been so consistent throughout his career,” trainer Brad Cox said. “He’s gotten better with age. He tries hard every time and gives you everything he’s got. He’s the type of horse that can be tactically placed wherever you need him in the race.”
Leofric (13-7-1-3—$650,340) rallied from just off of Prime Attraction in the Fayette to prevail by a head. The 5-year-old led wire-to-wire in the West Virginia Governor’s Cup (GIII) in early August at Mountaineer before his third-place finish in the Woodword Stakes (GI) – his first attempt at a Grade I victory.
Leofric was made the 3-1 co-second choice on Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for the Clark Handicap along with Fayette third Prime Attraction. Seeking the Soul, the defending Clark champion, was slated at 8-5 on the morning line.
The 1 1/8-mile Clark heads a duo of stakes races on the 12-race “Black Friday” card on the day after Thanksgiving that is traditionally the most popular racing day of Churchill Downs’ Fall Meet. The main event is scheduled as the 11th race on the Friday program at 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern) that also features the 28th running of the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) for 3-year-old fillies on turf. Post time for Friday’s first race is 1 p.m.
The complete Clark Handicap field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Prime Attraction (Kent Desormeaux, James Cassidy, 120 pounds, 3-1); Hence (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 118, 12-1); Seeking the Soul (John Velazquez, Dallas Stewart, 123, 8-5); Hawaakom (Joe Rocco Jr., Wes Hawley, 116, 15-1); Leofric (Florent Geroux, Cox, 121, 3-1); Bravazo (Joel Rosario, D. Wayne Lukas, 118, 9-2); Storm Advisory (Albin Jiminez, Anthony Quartarolo, 114, 30-1); and Sightforsoreeyes (Tyler Gaffalione, Quartarolo, 115, 30-1).
Like the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), the Clark Handicap was run for the first time in 1875’s inaugural racing meet at Churchill Downs, which was then known as the Louisville Jockey Club. The Clark, the Derby and the Oaks have been run each year without interruption since their debuts.
One race prior to the Clark, Pebbles Stakes winner Stella di Camelot (IRE) was made the 2-1 morning line favorite for the 28th running of the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII). Stella di Camelot previously ran in France with Gianluca Bietolini prior to her being transferred to trainer Chad Brown’s care in the spring.
The complete field for the Mrs. Revere, run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Lessons From Avery (Edgar Morales, Charlie LoPresti, 30-1); High Tech (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 15-1); Angel of Mischief (Tyler Gaffalione, Norm Casse, 15-1); Kabella (Declan Cannon, Danny Peitz, 20-1); Cool Beans (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 4-1); Princess Warrior (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 7-2); Over Thinking (Corey Lanerie, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Get Explicit (Ricardo Santana Jr., Barbara Minshall, 6-1); Divine Queen (Calvin Borel, Buff Bradley, 20-1); Stella di Camelot (IRE) (Joel Rosario, Brown, 2-1); Arabella Bella (Albin Jiminez, Mikhail Yanakov, 50-1); and Dark Artist (Trevor McCarthy, Jane Cibell, 8-1). All jockeys are assigned 118 pounds.
The race is named as a tribute to the highly competitive filly Mrs. Revere, who collected a total of four Churchill Downs stakes during a two-year local reign from 1984-85. Mrs. Revere collected three of those stakes during her 3-year-old season, thus providing the appropriate name for this stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf. Mrs. Revere was owned by the partnership of Dr. Hiram Polk and Dr. David Richardson.
CHEF DANIELSON AND TEAM READY FOR THANKSGIVING TRADITION AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – With more than 3,000 pounds of turkey ready to be carved, alongside all of the fixings, Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs has been a Louisville, Ky. tradition for nearly a half-century.
“It’s probably our busiest day of the year outside of Derby Week and the Breeders’ Cup,” said Levy Restaurants’ David Danielson, the Executive Chef at Churchill Downs. “We start preparing the meal months in advance to ensure we have enough food to serve everyone attending. Since we have to order so much food, especially turkeys, we have to start planning our shipments months ahead of time.”
Danielson, alongside a team of several hundred chefs, will begin cooking the Thanksgiving meal early Thursday around 1 a.m. The menu, according to Danielson, consists of preparing nearly 3,200 pounds of turkey, 2,400 pounds of spiral ham, 2,500 pounds of red potatoes, 2,200 pounds of sweet potatoes, 1,000 pounds of butter, 2,700 pounds of green beans, 1,000 pies and 700 pounds of cranberry jelly.
“By Wednesday most of the items are prepped and ready to cook,” Danielson said. “This is one of my favorite times of the year at the track because of how many families come out to enjoy Thanksgiving together.”
The first year that Churchill Downs raced on Thanksgiving Day was 1969. Around 8,000 turkey dinners will be served with all the trimmings, making it the largest number anywhere in the region.
Thursday’s first race begins early at 11:30 a.m. EST. The 12-race card includes the $200,000 Falls City Handicap (Grade II) and $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (Grade III), and wraps up at 4:50 p.m.
FIRST DERBY FUTURE WAGER OF YEAR OPENS THURSDAY; BAFFERT HAS SEVEN PROSPECTS – Seven horses conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer and five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, are among the 24 betting interests in Pool 1 of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which kicks off a four-day run at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day.
Unbeaten Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) winner Game Winner heads the Baffert arsenal and is the 8-1 individual favorite on veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia’s morning line. The pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” is expected to be the overall first-pool favorite for the 21st consecutive year and Battaglia projects it to close as the 7-5 choice.
Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 field (with trainer and morning line odds): #1 Cairo Cat (Kenny McPeek, 30-1); #2 Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey, 20-1); #3 Coliseum (Bob Baffert, 15-1); #4 Dunph (Mike Maker, 30-1); #5 Epic Dreamer (Kelly Breen, 50-1); #6 Game Winner (Baffert, 8-1); #7 Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer, 30-1); #8 Improbable (Baffert, 10-1); #9 Instagrand (Hollendorfer, 10-1); #10 King for a Day (Todd Pletcher, 50-1); #11 Knicks Go (Ben Colebrook, 20-1); #12 Magic On Tap (Baffert, 30-1); #13 Maximus Mischief (Robert “Butch” Reid Jr., 30-1); #14 Mucho (Bill Mott, 50-1); #15 Mucho Gusto (Baffert, 20-1); #16 Network Effect (Chad Brown, 30-1); #17 Preamble (Rodolphe Brisset, 50-1); #18 Roadster (Baffert, 30-1); #19 Signalman (McPeek, 50-1); #20 Tale of the Union (Baffert, 30-1); #21 Uncle Benny (Jason Servis, 50-1); #22 Vekoma (George Weaver, 30-1); #23 “All 3-Year-Old Fillies” (30-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” (7-5).
New to Pool 1 this year is an option for bettors to wager on “All 3-Year-Old Fillies,” which is projected by Battaglia to close at odds of 30-1.
The pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, opens Thursday and will close Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
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.
Offspring sired by Candy Ride (ARG) and Into Mischief are 6-1 on the morning line for the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. Candy Ride (ARG)’s top Derby prospects include Game Winner and Nashua (GIII) victor Vekoma. Into Mischief is the sire of Best Pal (GII) champ Instagrand and unbeaten Parx-based Maximus Mischief.
Here’s the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager field (with breeding farm and morning line odds): #1 Bernardini (Darley, 30-1); #2 Cairo Prince (Airdrie Stud, 30-1); #3 Candy Ride (ARG) (Lane’s End, 6-1); #4 City Zip (deceased, 10-1); #5 Curlin (Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, 10-1); #6 Ghostzapper (Adena Springs, 30-1); #7 Giant’s Causeway (deceased, 30-1); #8 Into Mischief (Spendthrift Farm, 6-1); #9 Malibu Moon (Spendthrift Farm, 30-1); #10 Medaglia d’Oro (Darley, 15-1); #11 More Than Ready (WinStar Farm, 30-1); #12 Orb (Claiborne Farm, 30-1); #13 Pioneerof the Nile (WinStar Farm, 15-1); #14 Quality Road (Lane’s End, 15-1); #15 Scat Daddy (deceased, 15-1); #16 Speightstown (WinStar Farm, 50-1); #17 Tapit (Gainesway, 10-1); #18 Tiznow (WinStar Farm, 30-1); #19 Uncle Mo (Ashford Stud, 30-1); #20 Union Rags (Lane’s End, 30-1); #21 Violence (Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, 30-1); #22 War Front (Claiborne Farm, 30-1); #23 Will Take Charge (Three Chimneys Farm, 30-1); and #24 “All Other Sires” (5-1).
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.
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
Pool 1 past performances courtesy of Brisnet: http://www.brisnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Derby19Future1.pdf
Sire Future Wager past performances courtesy of Brisnet: http://www.brisnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/DerbyFuture19SirePPs.pdf
THANKSGIVING WEEK STAKES – The fields for Churchill Downs stakes races on Thanksgiving weekend have been drawn:
Thursday, Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving Day)
Falls City Handicap – from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Divine Miss Grey (Tyler Gaffalione, Danny Gargan, 122 pounds, 3-5); Mannerly (Julien Leparoux, Brendan Walsh, 117, 6-1); Dutch Parrot (Ricardo Santana Jr., Will VanMeter, 116, 12-1); Skeptic (Brian Hernandez Jr., Rusty Arnold II, 116, 12-1); Dreamcall (Albarado, Asmussen, 119, 6-1); Prado’s Sweet Ride (Florent Geroux, Chris Block, 118, 10-1); Honor Ride (Corey Lanerie, Grant Forster, 114, 20-1); Red Dane (Edgar Morales, Charlie LoPresti, 116, 10-1).
Cardinal Handicap – from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weights and morning line odds): I Remember Mama (Brian Hernandez Jr., Tommy Drury, 118 pounds, 5-2); Amboseli (Florent Geroux, James Cassidy, 117, 8-1); Space Cadet (Rafael Mojica Jr., Sam Logsdon, 113, 12-1); Coachwhip (Ricardo Santana Jr., Jack Sisterson, 116, 8-1); English Affair (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold II, 117, 5-1); Lipstick City (Tyler Gaffalione, David Fawkes, 116. 10-1); Unbridled Escape (Jose Betancourt, Kelly Lynn Deiter, 114, 30-1); Coco Channel (Edgar Morales, Charlie LoPresti, 114, 10-1); La Manta Gris (Declan Cannon, Arnold, 116, 6-1); Bonnie Arch (Landeros, Wilkes, 118, 4-1).
Friday, Nov. 22 (Black Friday)
Clark Handicap – from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, assigned weight and morning line odds): Prime Attraction (Kent Desormeaux, James Cassidy, 120 pounds, 3-1); Hence (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 118, 12-1); Seeking the Soul (John Velazquez, Dallas Stewart, 123, 8-5); Hawaakom (Joe Rocco Jr., Wes Hawley, 116, 15-1); Leofric (Florent Geroux, Cox, 121, 3-1); Bravazo (Joel Rosario, D. Wayne Lukas, 118, 9-2); Storm Advisory (Albin Jiminez, Anthony Quartarolo, 114, 30-1); and Sightforsoreeyes (Tyler Gaffalione, Quartarolo, 115, 30-1).
Mrs. Revere – from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Lessons From Avery (Edgar Morales, Charlie LoPresti, 30-1); High Tech (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 15-1); Angel of Mischief (Tyler Gaffalione, Norm Casse, 15-1); Kabella (Declan Cannon, Danny Peitz, 20-1); Cool Beans (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 4-1); Princess Warrior (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 7-2); Over Thinking (Corey Lanerie, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Get Explicit (Ricardo Santana Jr., Barbara Minshall, 6-1); Divine Queen (Calvin Borel, Buff Bradley, 20-1); Stella di Camelot (IRE) (Joel Rosario, Brown, 2-1); Arabella Bella (Albin Jiminez, Mikhail Yanakov, 50-1); and Dark Artist (Trevor McCarthy, Jane Cibell, 8-1).
Saturday, Nov. 24 (Stars of Tomorrow II)
Kentucky Jockey Club – from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Signalman (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Tracksmith (Adam Beschizza, Joe Sharp); Manny Wah (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano); Dunph (Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Maker); Plus Que Parfait (Julien Leparoux, Brendan Walsh); Blue Steel (Robby Albarado, Dale Romans); Limonite (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Royal Urn (Leonel Reyes, Michelle Nihei); Current (Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher); Roiland (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss); Mick’s Star (Corey Lanerie, Amoss); King for a Day (John Velazquez, Pletcher); Knicks Go (Albin Jiminez, Ben Colebrook); Topper T (Florent Geroux, Bill Mott). Also Eligible should any early scratches occur: Everfast (Albarado, Romans); and Kentucky Allstar (Santana, Maker).
Golden Rod – from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Gold Credit (John Velazquez, Ignacio Correas IV); High Regard (Corey Lanerie, Vicki Oliver); Reflect (Tyler Gaffalione, Keith Desormeaux); Champagne Anyone (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes); Restless Rider (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Liora (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano); Princess Causeway (Julien Leparoux, Wilkes); Break Curfew (Javier Castellano, Chad Brown).
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.
MEET LEADERS – With five days remaining in the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs, Edgar Morales held a 17-14 win lead over Spring Meet leading rider Brian Hernandez Jr. Jockeys Tyler Gaffalione, Florent Geroux, Corey Lanerie and Ricardo Santana Jr. are all tied for third with 11 wins. … Trainer Dallas Stewart held an 8-6 win lead over Steve Asmussen, Brad Cox, Kenny McPeek and Ian Wilkes. Stewart is in search of his first training title at Churchill Downs. … G M B Racing and Loooch Racing Stables are tied atop the owner’s standings with four wins, each. Juddmonte Farms and Alex and JoAnn Lieblong are tied for third with three victories.
DOWN THE STRETCH – There was a $181,423 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot to begin Wednesday’s card. The Single 6 sequence began in Race 5 at 3:03 p.m. (all times Eastern). … Trainer Dale Romans began Wednesday five wins away from 2,000 career victories and had eight entries Wednesday-Friday.