Trainer Brad Cox’s duo of Lexington Stakes (Grade III) winner Owendale and allowance winner Warrior’s Charge, along with trainer Kenny McPeek’s Blue Grass Stakes (GII) third-place finisher Signalman, are scheduled to breeze Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the second jewel of the Triple Crown – the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI) on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.
All three horses are likely to breeze within the first two sets of training around 5:30 a.m., according to their respective trainers.
A total of seven contenders for the Preakness are based at Churchill Downs including a trio of runners from the Kentucky Derby: Improbable (fourth), War of Will (seventh) and Bodexpress (13th).
Oaklawn Invitational winner Laughing Fox, based in Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38, is also a likely entrant for the Preakness.
CALHOUN TARGETS SUMMER RACES FOR DERBY ‘BUZZ HORSE’ BY MY STANDARDS – Trainer Bret Calhoun quickly became the talk of the backstretch with how well his Louisiana Derby (GII) winner By My Standards was training towards the Kentucky Derby. Following an 11th-place finish in the Derby that included losing several lengths at the break, Calhoun stated he will “back off” By My Standards for a couple of weeks and eye a summer campaign.
“It was quite the whirlwind the last few weeks,” Calhoun said. “I think I’m going to back off on him for a little bit and we’ll see what kind of options we have during the summer for him.”
Even though Calhoun experienced some bad luck in the Derby, he didn’t walk away from the weekend empty handed as stablemate Mr. Money stormed home to a victory in the Pat Day Mile (GIII).
“I know the Preakness was talked about with Mr. Money but there are too many races later on in the year that I didn’t want to rush into anything crazy like that with him,” Calhoun said. “We’ll target the Matt Winn, which is a mile-and-a-sixteenth and a solid next step after running one-turn in the Pat Day Mile. We know he can run well at one turn and if we rushed him coming back in two weeks and increased his distance to 1 3/16 miles, it may be too much for him to handle so quickly. If the Matt Winn works out well for him, then we have plenty of options in the summer at two turns.”
The $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) is part of a nighttime stakes bonanza at Churchill Downs on Saturday, June 15 that also includes the $150,000 Regret (GIII), $250,000 Wise Dan (GII), $250,000 Fleur de Lis (GII) and the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII).
CHELSEY COADY READIES FOR FIRST CHURCHILL DOWNS STARTER – Trainer Chelsey Coady rode her first pony, Ginger, before she could walk. Now, the 25-year-old Ocala, Fla.-native eyes her first starter as a trainer beneath the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs on Saturday.
“It’s been a pretty fun ride so far,” said Coady, the former assistant to trainer Buff Bradley. “We’re just getting things started and having a lot of fun along the way. That’s what it’s all about.”
Coady entered 5-year-old gelding Overcame in Race 5 Saturday – a $16,000 claiming event for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs. Overcame, a former $10,000 claim by Coady, is 9-2 on the morning line.
Coady has been around horses her entire life. After growing up in Ocala, Coady moved to Kentucky and worked for Bradley for seven years as an exercise rider and assistant trainer before leaving to train on her own in late 2018.
“I think the most challenging part about becoming a trainer is finding clients willing to give someone new a chance,” Coady said. “It just takes a little bit of luck and persistence but I think we’re on the right track.”
Coady is married to Churchill Downs track photographer Kurtis Coady and the two recently moved to a farm in Fisherville, Ky. about 30 minutes east of Louisville.
“Farm life is awesome,” Coady said. “About 18 years ago I actually traded for my first Thoroughbred, who is ironically enough named Cody. He is on the farm now and I get to still ride him on the trails near our house. I used to pony him at Churchill Downs for the longest time and now he is enjoying his retirement at our farm.”
Saturday will mark Coady’s sixth-career start. Her previous five came at Oaklawn and included two seconds and a third-place finish.
For more information about Coady’s racing stable, visit: https://www.facebook.com/CoadyRacing.
ABYSSINIAN MADE 3-1 FAVORITE IN SATURDAY’S MAMZELLE – Hat Creek Racing’s Abyssinian was made the 3-1 favorite for Saturday’s first running of the $100,000-added Mamzelle Overnight Stakes – a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Abyssinian won her grass debut by 6 ¾ lengths at Gulfstream Park in February and enters the Mamzelle off a third-place finish against the boys in the Palisades Turf Sprint at Keeneland on April 4. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount.
Ward also entered Limestone Turf Sprint third-place finisher Chelsea Cloisters (7-2 morning line, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.) and Cincinnati Trophy Stakes winner Iva (12-1, Julio Garcia) in the Mamzelle.
The Mamzelle, which attracted a field of 13, will go as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern) post time. First post time Saturday is 12:45 p.m.
The field for the Mamzelle, with riders, weights and morning line odds from the rail out: Iva (Garcia, 120, 12-1), Raintree Starlet (Miguel Mena, 120, 20-1), Morissette (Adam Beschizza, 118, 30-1), Kim K (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118, 20-1), Chelsea Cloisters (Hernandez Jr., 118, 7-2), Shesomajestic (Stewart Elliott, 118, 20-1), Catherinethegreat (Julien Leparoux, 118, 8-1), Change of Control (Gabriel Saez, 118, 30-1), Abyssinian (Gaffalione, 118, 3-1), Midnight Fantasy (Erik Barbaran, 120, 8-1), Queen of Bermuda (IRE) (Chris Landeros, 123, 6-1), Play On (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120, 9-2) and Old and Costly (Edgar Morales, 118, 50-1).
DOWN THE STRETCH – There is a $146,097 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot for Friday’s program. The sequence begins in Race 4. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Fridays throughout the Spring Meet at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The weekly one-hour horse racing radio show is co-hosted by Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein, and delivers a wide-ranging list of interesting guests, from jockeys, trainers, owners to well-informed handicappers and other industry insiders. Those outside the Louisville radio market can listen live online at http://www.espnlouisville.com/ or via podcast on the station’s website or https://soundcloud.com/.