Michael Langford's Carve returns to Churchill Downs riding a three-race winning streak and will face only four older runners in the one-mile Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) Sept. 6 under the Twin Spires. The $100,000 Ack Ack goes as race four on the 11-race program that features a pair of graded stakes for juveniles. Churchill Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 4
Carve, who will tote highweight of 120 pounds in the one-turn Ack Ack, began his streak June 14 with a 3 3/4-length score at the trip in an allowance/optional claimer on Stephen Foster Day. Two weeks later he fought off Right to Vote to win the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) over a sloppy track in Iowa then shipped to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort where he won the 1 1/16-mile West Virginia Governor's Stakes in a photo Aug. 2. The last two wins have come with Jesus Castanon aboard.
"He was my first graded stakes winner," trainer Brad Cox told the Churchill Downs press team. "He's been big for our barn. It was a big accomplishment to get that first graded win and it was a nice purse. His last race at Mountaineer was a big effort as well."
By First Samurai —Apt, by A.P. Indy, Carve was bred by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. He made his first start for them but was claimed by trainer Steve Asmussen for Langford for $30,000 out of his debut in January 2013 at Oaklawn Park. Since then he's earned $671,931.
Carve shared the photo finish in the Cornhusker with Right to Vote and will share the starting gate with him in the Ack Ack. B J D Thoroughbred's 5-year-old gelding headed Southwest after his trip to Iowa and ran second, beaten a half-length by Code West, in the Governors Cup Aug. 16 at Remington Park.
The Ron Moquett-trained Right to Vote has made seven of his 23 career starts at Churchill Downs. Bred by Gulf Coast Farms and Pollock Farms, Right to Vote is by Political Force out of the Tough Knight mare What a Knight. Earlier this year Right to Vote won the Essex Handicap going 1 1/16-miles at Oaklawn and the Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes at the same trip at Prairie Meadows.
Fan favorite Flashback may get a trip to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) with a good effort in the Ack Ack. The lightly-raced 4-year-old son of Tapit has been favored in all six of his starts, all coming on the West Coast. A winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) while on the Kentucky Derby Trail last year for Gary and Mary West, he hasn't faced the starter since a fourth-place effort in Santa Anita Park's opening day Malibu Stakes (gr. I) last December. He brings a pair of works over the local surface to the Ack Ack.
Classy Bradester will make his presence felt in the Ack Ack. Sporting the highest last-out BRIS speed figure of 127 off a second-place effort in the Monmouth Cup (gr. II), Joseph Sutton's Lion Heart colt will break from the outside post and tote 119 pounds.
A winner of the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) earlier this year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Bradester has made his last five starts in graded company. He fired a bullet :59 3/5 five-furlong work last Friday for trainer Eddie Kenneally while prepping for the Ack Ack.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Flashback (KY) Shaun Bridgmohan 118 Wayne M. Catalano - 2 2Right to Vote (KY) Ricardo Santana, Jr. 118 Ron Moquett - 3 3Politicallycorrect (KY) Joel Rosario 116 Wesley A. Ward - 4 4Carve (KY) Jesus Lopez Castanon 120 Brad H. Cox - 5 5Bradester (KY) Corey J. Lanerie 119 Eddie Kenneally -
Churchill Downs, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 4