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.
Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 9
- One And Five Sixteenthm
- 3 yo
- 5:35 PM (local)
|1||Proud Azteca (IN)||Francisco C. Torres||124||Michael J. Maker|
|2||Can'thelpbelieving (IRE)||Alan Garcia||118||H. Graham Motion|
|3||Global View (KY)||Drayden Van Dyke||124||Thomas F. Proctor|
|4||My Afleet (KY)||Leandro R. Goncalves||118||James L. Lawrence, II|
|5||Pumpkin Rumble (PA)||Victor Lebron||118||Richard R. Scherer|
|6||Woodfield Springs (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||118||George R. Arnold, II|
|7||Captain Dixie (KY)||Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.||118||Kellyn Gorder|
|8||Medal Count (KY)||Robby Albarado||118||Dale L. Romans|
|9||Laddie Boy (KY)||Malcolm Franklin||118||Chuck Peery|
|10||Rankhasprivileges (KY)||Juan C. Saez||118||Kenneth G. McPeek|
Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 7
- 2 yo
- 4:35 PM (local)
|1||Kutuzov (KY)||Antioco Murgia||120||Gennadi Dorochenko|
|2||Luck of the Kitten (KY)||Rafael Manuel Hernandez||120||Wesley A. Ward|
|3||La Macchina (KY)||Malcolm Franklin||118||Dale L. Romans|
|4||Reality (KY)||Alan Garcia||118||Kellyn Gorder|
|5||Big Big Easy (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||120||Steven M. Asmussen|
|6||Discreetly Yours (KY)||Juan C. Saez||120||William H. Fires|
|7||Skerkis (KY)||Robby Albarado||118||Kenneth G. McPeek|
|8||Croninthebarbarian (KY)||Leandro R. Goncalves||120||Garry W. Simms|
|9||Czar (KY)||Brice Blanc||118||Ben Colebrook|
|10||Bagpipes (KY)||Francisco C. Torres||120||Eric R. Reed|
Kentucky Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 8
- 2 yo Fillies
- 5:05 PM (local)
|1||To Be Determined (KY)||Rafael Manuel Hernandez||118||Wesley A. Ward|
|2||Late Spring (KY)||Brice Blanc||120||Victoria H. Oliver|
|3||Dark Rain (KY)||Calvin H. Borel||120||Ian R. Wilkes|
|4||Aunt Sherri (KY)||Alan Garcia||118||Thomas M. Amoss|
|5||Artistic Touch (KY)||Antioco Murgia||120||Gennadi Dorochenko|
|6||Emmajestic (KY)||Robby Albarado||120||Dale L. Romans|
|7||My Little Annas (IRE)||Juan C. Saez||118||Eduardo Caramori|
|8||So Cal (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||120||Steven M. Asmussen|
|9||Bella Ranger (KY)||Rafael Mojica, Jr.||118||Wayne M. Catalano|
|10||Simply Confection (KY)||Leandro R. Goncalves||120||William H. Fires|
|11||Nicky's Brown Miss (KY)||Charles C. Lopez||118||Savino A. Capilupi|
|12||Yarmorka (KY)||Victor Lebron||118||Gennadi Dorochenko|