Trainer Joe Woodard, who has saddled seven consecutive winners at Churchill Downs, can tie the track record Thursday. With one more winner, Woodard would pull into a tie with Patrick Byrne, who saddled a record eight winners in a row in his remarkable spring of 1997. Woodard had two horses entered on Wednesday's card, but scratched both. He took the veteran Slider out of the second race and scratched Bahama Beau from the fifth race.
The trainer will have a pair of chances to tie Byrne's record on Thursday's racing card. He has two horses owned by Billy Hays, Native Bull, the 2-1 morning line favorite, and entrymate Peace and Joy, on the also-eligible list, entered in the 6th race, and 7-2 choice Quick Blend in the 7th.
Byrne's eight-race win streak at Churchill Downs was part of an overall nine-race winning string that started with a maiden victory by eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner and Horse of the Year Favorite Trick. His run at Churchill Downs included victories by Richter Scale in the Derby Trial (then a Grade III race) and a win by Favorite Trick in the WHAS-TV Stakes (now the Three Chimneys Juvenile).
Byrne had 17 starters during that spring meet and won with 14 of them.
Woodard extended his winning streak to seven with an upset victory in Sunday's second race by Hays' Cowboy Hardware ($15.20).
Woodard's other winners during his current streak include:
May 13 - Lehigh Grad ($4.80)
May 15 - Funky Pirate ($4.40)
May 19 - Soaring with Eagles ($8.20)
May 19 - Term in Office ($4.40)
May 19 - Dayton Flyer ($13.40)
May 21 - Mean Kisser ($3.20) Dale Romans and Robert Holthus are tied atop the "leading trainer" standings with eight wins apiece, but Woodard's surge has him sitting just one win off the leaders. He has started 12 horses in the meet and he has a 7-1-1 record to show for their efforts.
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