Albaugh Family Stables’ Free Drop Billy and Hollywood Star are receiving a brief freshening at trainer Dale Romans’ Lexington, Ky. farm following their disappointing efforts in last Saturday’s $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) at Del Mar.
“They’re both on the farm in Lexington for a bit,” Romans said. “They’ll get a break and then return to the track this winter.”
Free Drop Billy, the second-choice in the wagering at 7-1, finished a disappointing ninth in the Juvenile while stable mate Hollywood Star finished sixth at odds of 36-1.
The duo is two-thirds of Albaugh Family Stables’ blossoming 2-year-old contingent that also includes Ellis Park Juvenile winner Dak Attack. The 2-year-old son of Ghostzapper has been in light training at Churchill Downs since early September.
“Dak had a sore shin at the end of the summer,” Romans said. “With his type of injury I didn’t want to stop on it completely because we wanted to continue the blood flow. I’ve been monitoring it closely every week with x-rays and we’ve been using the vibrating plate to help heal the injury. He’s been galloping really well the last few weeks and didn’t miss too much time training. He should return to the work tab soon.”
The next stop on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” is Churchill Downs’ $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Romans, 51, is considering Frank Jones’ Tiz Mischief for the 1 1/16-mile race. The 2-year-old Into Mischief colt broke his maiden Oct. 7 at Keeneland after he rallied from eight lengths off the early pace.
“He’s looked great training,” Romans said. “His maiden race came back really productive after (third-place finisher) Arrival broke his maiden (Wednesday) at Churchill. It would be awesome for Frank to win the Jockey Club. He’s been like a father to me since I was young and has supported Kentucky racing for many years.”
CASSE WEIGHS OPTIONS FOR IMPROVING MAIDEN-WINNER ARRIVAL – John Oxley, Gainesway Farm, Helen Alexander and Stuart Huston’s Arrival, an impressive 3 ¾-length maiden winner at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, could make his next start in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) on Nov. 25, according to trainer Mark Casse.
“I thought he ran really well (Wednesday),” Casse said. “The track wasn’t playing too fast and his time came back well. I’d say right now he’s possible for the Jockey Club.
“I had a conversation with Mr. Oxley (Wednesday) night about that race and we’re going to wait to see how Get the Facts runs Friday and make a better decision then.”
Get the Facts, an Oxley homebred, is entered in Friday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs, a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance for 2-year-olds. The son of Tapit is the 4-1 co-second choice on the morning line with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Arrival, an $800,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, is the half-brother to 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Bayern. Arrival broke his maiden Wednesday in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight while clocking 1:45.07 under Leparoux. The Kentucky-bred gray or roan colt led wire-to-wire and returned $7.60 to win.
FREE ONLINE BRISNET PAST PERFORMANCES FOR CHURCHILL DOWNS; NEW BRISNET BETTING GUIDE DEBUTS ON-TRACK – Throughout Churchill Downs’ 21-day Fall Meet, Brisnet.com is offering horseplayers complimentary past performances for each day’s races at the Louisville, Ky. racetrack. To download the free Churchill Downs past performances online, guests can visit: https://www.brisnet.com/product/past-performances/FPP.
Additionally, Brisnet.com has introduced an excellent new product for on-track guests at Churchill Downs. The Brisnet.com Betting Guide features informative Brisnet.com Premium Past Performances for four-to-eight different racetracks around the country in a bound book with high-quality paper. The book will retail for only $5, which means the new product will be significantly cheaper for Churchill Downs’ guests compared to previously-offered past performance products. It also will have better quality and more targeted content for horseplayers.
The new Brisnet.com Betting Guide is available at program stands and other distribution locations throughout Churchill Downs.
MR. MISUNDERSTOOD IS 4-5 FAVE FOR SATURDAY’S COMMONWEALTH TURF – Flurry Racing Stables’ Mr. Misunderstood, who will attempt to remain unbeaten on turf, was made the early 4-5 favorite on Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for Saturday’s 14th running of the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Mr. Misunderstood drew post 6 in the field of eight 3-year-olds, and jockey Florent Geroux has the return call to ride.
The field for the 1 1/16-mile Commonwealth Turf field from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Sharm El Sheikh (Ricardo Santana Jr., 50-1); My Bariley (Fernando De La Cruz, 15-1); Mr Cub (Joe Rocco Jr., 6-1); Parlor (Julien Leparoux, 6-1); Gorgeous Kitten (Corey Lanerie, 8-1); Mr. Misunderstood (Geroux, 4-5); Tiz a Slam (Robby Albarado, 8-1); and Giant Payday (Chris Landeros, 5-1).
Free Brisnet.com past performances for Saturday’s card and every racing program for Churchill Downs are available online at https://www.brisnet.com/product/past-performances/FPP.
The Commonwealth Turf will go as Race 10 on Saturday’s 11-race program with a scheduled post time of 5:36 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first race is 1 p.m.
STAKES CLOSINGS – Nominations for several Thanksgiving Week stakes races close Saturday at midnight:
$100,000 River City Handicap (GIII) (Nov. 23, 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up)
$200,000 Falls City Handicap (GII) (Nov. 23, 1 1/8 miles on dirt for fillies and mares)
$200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) (Nov. 24, 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies)
$500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) (Nov. 24, 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds and up)
$200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) (Nov. 25, 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds)
$200,000 Golden Rod (GII) (Nov. 25, 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3-year-old fillies)
Horseman can nominate online by visiting https://www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen/stakes/nomination-forms/ or can call Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork at (502) 636-3806.
ROMANS VS. MOTT – Dale Romans, a 51-year-old native of South Louisville, began Thursday just two wins away from surpassing Hall of Famer Bill Mott as the all-time leading trainer in races won at Churchill Downs – a record that 64-year-old Mott has held for 31 years. Mott leads Romans 702-701 wins at Churchill Downs.
Romans Entries: Miss Katie Bug (Thursday, Race 3); Mizz Tutu (Friday, Race 2); Little Irishdancer (Friday, Race 3); King Zachary (Friday, Race 7); and Coach Rocks (Saturday Race 7).
Mott Entries: Richmond Street (Thursday, Race 9); Ecru (Friday, Race 7); Border Force (Friday, Race 10); and Love Mo (Saturday, Race 7).
MILESTONE WATCH – Along with the heated-battle between Dale Romans and Bill Mott for the all-time leading trainer honors at Churchill Downs, trainer Greg Foley (399) is one win away from 400 career victories beneath the historic Twin Spires while trainer Ian Wilkes is targeting 200 career victories at Churchill Downs (195 wins).
DOWN THE STRETCH – There is a $39,552 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot entering Thursday’s race card. The wager begins in Race 5 with a scheduled post time of 3 p.m. (all times Eastern). … A Veteran’s Day tradition continues. Military Appreciation Day at Churchill Downs will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, and all United States veterans and active military will receive free general admission with proof of identification. Additionally, men and women who served American in the military can spend a day at the races with family and friends in the track’s Skye Terrace for just $29 per person – a nearly 25-percent discount – by calling (502) 636-4450. The package includes admission, a race day program, Chef’s Table buffet and soft beverages. … Churchill Downs’ popular “Who’s the Champ?” Handicapping Contest will return 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 will take place Sunday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the Clubhouse second floor at the top of the Gate 17 escalators. … Reserved seating for Thanksgiving Day is going fast. Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs has been a Louisville tradition since 1969. More than 7,000 turkey dinners with all the trimmings – the largest number anywhere in the region – will be served on Thursday, Nov. 23, and fans will enjoy 12 races beginning early at 11:30 a.m. Dining packages start at $70 ($27 for children age 2-12) which includes admission, a racing program, reserved seat and a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast. … The delicious “Stakes and Eggs” brunch special returns every Sunday during the Fall Meet in the Stakes Room. The special $45 package for adults and $22 package for children includes a seat in the Stakes Room on the fourth floor of the Clubhouse and all-you-can-eat access to the brunch menu. … The 50/50 charitable gaming raffle is back for the Fall Meet. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards charitable organizations that benefit from the Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that helps support the critical work of nonprofits in our industry, make a difference in important public health programs and provide meaningful opportunities in art and education. Visit www.derbygives.com to purchase tickets and for more information.