Meetyouathebrig stalked the early leaders from mid-pack and blew by the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $100,000 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) by 6 1/4 lengths on opening day of the Churchill Downs meet. Under Robby Albarado, the Elliott Walden-trained winner completed the mile in 1:36.44 on a fast track.
Gary and Mary West's Dollar Bill rebounded from a 10th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) to win the $218,800 Brown and Williamson Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) by 1 1/4 lengths Saturday on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. Racing on an off track for the first time, the 2-year-old son of Peaks and Valleys completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.18.
Under jockey Pat Day, Bordelaise defeated Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain by a nose in the $271,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. III) Thursday at Churchill Downs.
Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Surfside will face males, including Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner-up Aptitude, in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday at Churchill Downs.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Magna and Churchill have a common problem with short fields in California.
A partnership between Magna Entertainment, Greenwood Racing, and real estate investors Robert Baker and William Mack is pursuing the purchase of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. The partners are one of five groups that submitted formal bids late Friday for the nation's most lucrative OTB franchise. NYCOTB owns 68 betting parlors, three teletheaters, and four restaurant-sports pubs that generated a $1 billion handle last fiscal year.
Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.
WinStar Farm LLC's License Fee suffered a minor injury and will miss the Falls City Handicap (gr. III) Thursday at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile, Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain was assigned highweight of 122 pounds for the $250,000 race.
Fayette Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) winner Jadada worked five furlongs Saturday in preparation for Friday's Clark Handicap.
It was a family affair at Churchill Downs when James C. Routsong's Megan's Bluff won her third graded stakes in her last four starts.
A pair of D. Wayne Lukas-trained fillies topped the Churchill Downs work tab Thursday morning. Surfside went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 and Cash Deal went the same distance in :59. Also working at Churchill Thursday were three horses trained by Elliott Walden -- Brahms, Meetyouatthebrig, and Golden Temper.
Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Good Game heads a 12-horse field entered in the $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Saturday at Churchill Downs. Impending Bear, second in the Valley View, also returns in the Mrs. Revere, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Aptitude returned to the races at Churchill Downs Sunday, winning a 1 1/4-mile allowance race by 2 3/4 lengths.
Likely Breeders' Cup Distaff favorite Riboletta turned in her final major work with a five-furlong breeze in 1:00 3/5 under exercise rider Jose Cuevas Sunday after the renovation break. Also working Sunday were Nasty Storm, Dollar Bill, Raging Fever, Cindy's Hero, City Zip, Collect the Cash, and Crimplene.
Bet On Sunshine breezed the distance in 1:00 4/5 over a "fast" track Sunday in a move that came shortly after the mid-morning break for track maintenance. Also working were a trio of Todd Pletcher-trained horses, including Sprint hopefuls Trippi and More Than Ready.
Sir Micheal Stoute's Breeders' Cup duo of the Aga Kahn's Kalanisi (Turf) and Highclere's Petrushka (Filly & Mare Turf) were on the Churchill Downs turf course Sunday for what was scheduled to be a routine six-furlong work -- but little went according to plan. After three days of quiet canters and gallops over the grass course, Kalanisi unleashed a display of fractious and stubborn behavior worthy of the best of Classic contender Fusaichi Pegasus.
Chindi beat Smolderin Heart by 1 1/2 lengths in the $113,700 Ack Ack Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and older Sunday on opening day of the fall meet at Churchill Downs.
Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) winner Thunder Bertie, a Churchill Downs-based contender for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, worked a sharp five furlongs Saturday to complete her serious training for the race. Other juveniles working toward Breeders' Cup races were Macho Uno, Holiday Thunder, and Xtra Heat.
Carolyn Chapman and Theresa McArthur's Caller One completed his serious training for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint with a five-furlong breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs. Also working were Surfside, Lu Ravi, and Gander.
Lu Ravi and Super Quercus worked at Churchill Downs on Sunday in preparation for their respective Breeders' Cup races. On Saturday at Churchill, Caller One, Dollar Bill, and Thunder Bertie were on the track for morning works.
Churchill Downs' president Alex Waldrop will oversee all company operations in Kentucky. Former Ellis Park president Jeffery Smith will take over the transition of Arlington International Racecourse into the Churchill family, but remains head of Hoosier Park.
Churchill Downs is looking into expanding the number of possible wagering interests in the Kentucky Derby to 20, eliminating the need for horses to run as part of a mutuel field.
Boosted by strong off-track simulcast wagering and stable on-track attendance and handle, total wagering on the spring meet at Churchill Downs rose 18% to an all-time high of $507,477,692.
Edward Evans' 2-year-old homebred filly Gold Mover remained undefeated after winning the $112,300 Debutante Stakes Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Edward Evans' undefeated homebred filly Gold Fever will make her next start as the likely favorite in the 100th running of the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes.
Conserve saved just enough energy to hold off the late challenge from Riviera, winning the $287,000 Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap wire to wire.
Bet On Sunshine earned his fourth consecutive victory and broke the Churchill Downs course record for 6 1/2 furlongs in Saturday's $109,700 Aristides Handicap.
Churchill Downs Inc. and Duchossois Industries Inc., which owns Arlington International Racecourse, announced Friday an agreement in which the two entities will be merged.
An announcement is reportedly due today to confirm the acquisition of Arlington International by Churchill Downs.
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