New Arrivals Castledale, St Averil Go to Track
Updated: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 2:57 PM
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 2:55 PM
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale and Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) hero St Averil both arrived safely at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon from their home bases of Santa Anita and visited the Louisville oval's main track for the first time Tuesday.
At 5:45 a.m. Castledale, with regular exercise rider Joe Vaca aboard, jogged once around Churchill's main track with co-owner Frank Lyons watching.
"He's fine," Vaca said. "He shipped good and is a very happy horse today. I took him to the track and stood him there for a while to look around and he has the attitude that he thinks he owns the place."
Lyons, a former trainer who currently works as a horseracing analyst for TVG, was pleased with how well the Irish-bred son of Peintre Celebre shipped in, as well as his good behavior despite the thick swarm of the media.
"He definitely knows he's the man," Lyons said after Castledale stopped and stared for several seconds at the row of cameras focused directly at him.
According to Vaca, Castledale will gallop on Wednesday at 5:45 with trainer Jeff Mullins expected to arrive later that afternoon.
St Averil was scheduled to jog under the twin spires just after the break at 8:15, but trainer Rafael Becerra's flight was delayed getting in to Louisville. So with exercise rider Kevin Power aboard, trainer David Carroll, who also conditions horses for owner Stan Fulton, sent the son of Saint Ballado out to jog shortly before the track closed.
"I didn't even get to see him go," Becerra said. "They said he was good; schooled in the paddock good and liked the track well enough. I was really happy when they said it would be cool here this week; this horse loves the cool weather. We wouldn't be here at all if we didn't think he had the chance, but little things like the temperature are always helpful. Now he'll gallop tomorrow and up to Saturday."
Becerra traveled to Kentucky with his son, Rafael Jr., who serves as the barn's assistant/foreman and someday hopes to follow in his footsteps.
"He didn't say a word about coming," Becerra said. "Until he looked into the stall and saw he was gone. Then he said, "Dad, I want to go with you." He loves the horse so much, how could I say no?"
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