Klein Racing and Madaket Stables’ 2018 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) winner Will Call will hope to turn around his form as he takes on nine rivals in Saturday night’s $120,000-added Mighty Beau Overnight Stakes at five furlongs on Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course.
“As crazy as it may sound with not that much distance to cut back, I think he’ll actually do better going the five-eighths,” said trainer Brad Cox, who will shorten up Will Call after running his previous six starts at 5 ½ furlongs. “He’s the type of horse that needs some pace to run at and we’re hoping that we can find some in this race.”
Will Call was bred in Kentucky by Richard and Bert Klein. The Klein Family has been a part of racing at Churchill Downs since the early 1990s. Bert, who passed away in 2017 following a long illness, was a president of a bank in Louisville. His son, Richard, took over the ownership of their horses upon his passing. Richard’s mother, Elaine, was also heavily involved in horse racing until she passed away in 2013.
Aside from their horses, the Kleins were major supporters of opening the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. The Backside Learning Center helps to improve the lives of backstretch employees by providing many educational opportunities.
Richard Klein is scheduled to join “Inside Churchill Downs” Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7 to talk about his family’s legacy in horse racing and Will Call in Saturday’s Mighty Beau. Those outside of the Louisville area can listen to the one-hour horse racing program on www.espnlouisville.com.
Will Call’s regular rider, Shaun Bridgmohan, will once again have the riding assignment in the Mighty Beau and break from post position No. 3.
“Last time out (in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint) he was too close early to World of Trouble and I think that probably hurt him,” Bridgmohan said. “He needs a good pace to run at and if we can find that he’ll be back on his game. He’s been training really well every time I’ve worked him.”
Bridgmohan was aboard Will Call for his last breeze on Sunday where he worked a half-mile in :48.80 on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Cox recorded Will Call’s final quarter mile in :22.80.
The Mighty Beau, carded as Race 9 at approximately 10:11 p.m. (all times Eastern), is the first of two stakes events on Churchill Downs’ Downs After Dark Presented by Budweiser 11-race program. The card also features the $125,000 Aristides in Race 10 with a post time of 10:42 p.m. The first race is 6 p.m.
The Mighty Beau field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Elusive Mischief (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 20-1); Angaston (Brian Hernandez Jr., Lon Wiggins, 8-1); Will Call (Bridgmohan, Cox, 6-1); Om (David Cohen, Peter Miller, 6-1); Extravagant Kid (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 5-1); Morticia (Stewart Elliott, Rusty Arnold, 6-1); Texas Wedge (Florent Geroux, Miller, 20-1); Jazzy Times (Gabriel Saez, Wes Hawley, 20-1); Smart Remark (Corey Lanerie, Victoria Oliver, 6-1); and Bobby’s Wicked One (Miguel Mena, Al Stall Jr., 2-1).
In the Aristides, Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Windsor Boys Racing’s Hot Springs Stakes runner-up Share the Upside was made the 9-5 morning line favorite as he tops a competitive field of seven for the 31st-running of the six-furlong dash.
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, Share the Upside (9-4-3-1—$242,672) finished 1 ½ lengths behind multiple Grade I winner Whitmore in the March 9 Hot Springs Stakes. The 4-year-old gelding enters the Aristides off a 1 ½-length victory in a conditioned allowance race at Oaklawn on April 20.
The Aristides field from the rail out (with jockeys, trainers and morning line odds): Mr. Crow (Tyler Gaffalione, Ben Colebrook, 3-1); Control Stake (Miguel Mena, Greg Foley, 6-1); Share the Upside (Ricardo Santana Jr., Asmussen, 9-5); Zipp On By (Edgar Morales, Rey Hernandez, 20-1); Petrov (Jack Gilligan, Ron Moquett, 10-1); Wilbo (Corey Lanerie, Chris Hartman, 3-1); and Kowboy Karma (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 6-1). All horses will tote 120 pounds with the exception of Kowboy Karma who will carry 122 lbs.
LEPAROUX ON TOP OF JOCKEY STANDINGS FOLLOWING FIVE-WIN MONDAY – Jockey Julien Leparoux closed Memorial Day Weekend with a bang by making five trips to the Woodford Reserve Winner’s Circle to take the lead over Miguel Mena in the jockey standings 20-18 wins.
“Going into the card I thought I was very live on paper,” said Leparoux, a nine-time leading rider at Churchill Downs. “I was lucky enough they translated that form to the races. Anytime you can win a race at Churchill it’s good but to win five in one day makes it even better.”
Leparoux, 35, began his winning streak Sunday with a victory on Homefortheweekend in Race 2. Following a fifth-place effort in Race 3 aboard Barrier Island, Leparoux won with his last four mounts: Race 5 (Hooray for Harvey), Race 7 (Trick of the Tail), Race 8 (Whiskey Echo) and Race 9 (I Can Do Anything).
This marked the ninth time that Leparoux has won five or more races on a single day at Churchill Downs. He won with seven of nine mounts on Nov. 11, 2008 to equal legendary Pat Day’s track record. One year earlier, Leparoux won with six of nine mounts. Sunday marked the seventh time that Leparoux won five races on a day beneath the Twin Spires.
Leparoux has three scheduled mounts on Thursday’s eight-race card at Churchill Downs. The native of Oise, France is slated to ride Master Fencer in next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen began the four-day racing week with a 12-11 lead over Mike Maker in the trainer standings with Eddie Kenneally in third with nine wins. In the owner standings, Maggi Moss held a 5-4 margin over Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Multiple graded stakes winner Seeking the Soul continued his preparation for the $600,000 Stephen Foster presented by GE Appliances (GII) on June 15 with a five-furlong breeze in 1:00 Thursday morning at Churchill Downs with Emerson Chavez aboard for trainer Dallas Stewart. Nominations for the 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster close Saturday. … Racing is set to continue Thursday with Twilight Thursday presented by Blue Moon. The evening will feature eight races with a post time of 5 p.m. along with $1 Blue Moon drafts, $1 domestic draft beer, food trucks, lawn games, one-on-one expert betting advice and live music on the Plaza Stage by Justin Paul Lewis. … Saturday is Downs After Dark presented by Budweiser. The theme is a celebration of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary with “Peace, Love & Horse Racing” and guests are encouraged to wear tie-dye. Entertainment will feature Chicago-based jam band Mr. Blotto with original and classic 60s tunes, local DJ Matt Anthony, a retro fashion contest and more. Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 5 p.m. (Paddock Gate will open at noon for simulcast wagering). General Admission is $12, reserved seating is $27 and reserved dining packages are $69. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets. … Starting Friday, the VIP Gate, located between the Clubhouse and Paddock Gates, will be open for guests with pre-purchased admission tickets. … Simulcast wagering at Churchill Downs will be offered Wednesdays throughout the month of June, starting on June 5. Admission will be free on Wednesdays.