Medal Count Returns to Turf at Kentucky Downs

Medal Count Returns to Turf at Kentucky Downs
Photo: Chad Harmon
Medal Count
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Spendthrift Farm's Medal Count, a close third in this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and one-for-one on turf, will return to the grass Sept. 6 for the inaugural $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs, which kicks off its five-day meet.

The 1 5/16-mile race recognizes the original name of the all-turf facility near the Tennessee border. There will be 10 races opening day, none with fewer than nine horses entered.

There are two other stakes on the card, both at seven furlongs: the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile and $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. Half the purse for all three stakes is for horses eligible to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

The Dale Romans-trained Medal Count, who broke his maiden on the dirt and won the grade III Transylvania Stakes on Polytrack, won an entry-level allowance test at Gulfstream Park in January in his only start on grass. He finished second in the grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on Polytrack and eighth after a troubled trip in the grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

In his previous start July 27, the 3-year-old Dynaformer colt finished well back in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I), which was easily won by Bayern on an uncontested lead. Medal Count's performance in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont and the fact he has won on the turf should make him the favorite versus nine other foes.

Robby Albarado, who has ridden Medal Count in seven of his 10 starts, gets a return call from post 8 at 118 pounds.

Glen Hill Farm's Global View, trained by Tom Proctor, and Brenda Tabraue and Jorge Herrera's Proud Azteca, trained by Mike Maker, have each won two stakes and are the 124-pound highweights in the Dueling Grounds Derby.

Global View, by Galileo, impressively won the American Turf Stakes (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs in early May and followed up with a second-place finish in the $500,000 Penn Mile later that month. He finished an even fourth in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) in his previous start. Drayden Van Dyke is named to ride from post 3.

Indiana-bred Proud Azteca, by Kitten's Joy  , won the English Channel Stakes at Gulfstream in June and followed up with a win and a second in Indiana-bred stakes company on the grass. He has raced seven times, all on turf, with three wins and three seconds. Francisco Torres has the call from post 1.

Though not a stakes winner, Albert Frassetto's Can'thelpbelieving has shown talent for trainer Graham Motion and rates a good chance off a July allowance race victory at 1 3/8 miles on the grass at Saratoga Race Course. The Irish-bred Duke of Marmalade colt will break from post 2 with Alan Garcia aboard at 118 pounds.

The Kentucky Downs Juvenile attracted 10 entrants, including impressive Ellis Park maiden winner Croninthebarbarian, a 2-year-old Stroll   colt trained by Gary Simms for owner Ol Memorial Stable. After a third-place finish in his debut at five furlongs on the dirt at Churchill, Croninthebarbarian easily won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden event at Ellis Park in a good 1:03.16 on a firm course.

Leando Goncalves is named to ride again from post 8 at 120 pounds.

In the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, Late Spring, another impressive maiden winner on the grass at Ellis Park, is one of 12 entered. Owned by G. Watts Humphrey and St. George Farm Racing, the Speightstown   filly won sharply from off the pace in 1:03. 72 for 5 1/2 furlongs on a firm course.

Brice Blanc is named to ride from post 2 at 120 pounds for trainer Victoria Oliver.

Dueling Grounds Derby

Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 9
  • STK
  • One And Five Sixteenthm
  • Turf
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:35 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWeightTrainer
1Proud Azteca (IN)Francisco C. Torres124Michael J. Maker
2Can'thelpbelieving (IRE)Alan Garcia118H. Graham Motion
3Global View (KY)Drayden Van Dyke124Thomas F. Proctor
4My Afleet (KY)Leandro R. Goncalves118James L. Lawrence, II
5Pumpkin Rumble (PA)Victor Lebron118Richard R. Scherer
6Woodfield Springs (KY)Julien R. Leparoux118George R. Arnold, II
7Captain Dixie (KY)Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.118Kellyn Gorder
8Medal Count (KY)Robby Albarado118Dale L. Romans
9Laddie Boy (KY)Malcolm Franklin118Chuck Peery
10Rankhasprivileges (KY)Juan C. Saez118Kenneth G. McPeek

Kentucky Downs Juvenile

Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 7
  • STK
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:35 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWeightTrainer
1Kutuzov (KY)Antioco Murgia120Gennadi Dorochenko
2Luck of the Kitten (KY)Rafael Manuel Hernandez120Wesley A. Ward
3La Macchina (KY)Malcolm Franklin118Dale L. Romans
4Reality (KY)Alan Garcia118Kellyn Gorder
5Big Big Easy (KY)Julien R. Leparoux120Steven M. Asmussen
6Discreetly Yours (KY)Juan C. Saez120William H. Fires
7Skerkis (KY)Robby Albarado118Kenneth G. McPeek
8Croninthebarbarian (KY)Leandro R. Goncalves120Garry W. Simms
9Czar (KY)Brice Blanc118Ben Colebrook
10Bagpipes (KY)Francisco C. Torres120Eric R. Reed

Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies S.

Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 8
  • STK
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 5:05 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWeightTrainer
1To Be Determined (KY)Rafael Manuel Hernandez118Wesley A. Ward
2Late Spring (KY)Brice Blanc120Victoria H. Oliver
3Dark Rain (KY)Calvin H. Borel120Ian R. Wilkes
4Aunt Sherri (KY)Alan Garcia118Thomas M. Amoss
5Artistic Touch (KY)Antioco Murgia120Gennadi Dorochenko
6Emmajestic (KY)Robby Albarado120Dale L. Romans
7My Little Annas (IRE)Juan C. Saez118Eduardo Caramori
8So Cal (KY)Julien R. Leparoux120Steven M. Asmussen
9Bella Ranger (KY)Rafael Mojica, Jr.118Wayne M. Catalano
10Simply Confection (KY)Leandro R. Goncalves120William H. Fires
11Nicky's Brown Miss (KY)Charles C. Lopez118Savino A. Capilupi
12Yarmorka (KY)Victor Lebron118Gennadi Dorochenko

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