Champali's Future Could Include Turf Racing

Now that his veteran stakes winner Champali has returned to the winner's circle, trainer Greg Foley is looking toward a future on both the main track and the turf course for his 4-year-old star.

Lloyd Madison Farm's son of Glitterman led throughout in a rainstorm to score a measured 1 1/4-length victory on Wednesday in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs. The victory snapped a five-race losing streak for Champali, who had not won since his impressive victory in the Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs nearly a year earlier. He had returned from a six-month break with a good runner-up effort against a tough allowance group on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) day.

"He ran good on Derby Day," said Foley. "The race back didn't hurt him, that's for sure. I thought he won pretty handy yesterday."

The win, which was the eighth in 16 races and pushed his career earnings to $494,586, left Foley looking at future options for Champali, which include races on both the dirt and the turf. He said the colt would be nominated to both the Aristides Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at 6 1/2-furlongs on
the main track on June 19 and the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at one mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course on July 3.

Champali finished a close fourth in a Churchill Downs allowance race in November that marked his turf debut and the final start of his 3-year-old season. Foley felt the lone turf outing was strong enough to give him another chance on the surface down the road.

"It was a good race," said Foley. "He was tired and tailing off and (Craig Perret) rode him for me that day and he told me again that other day that I sure shouldn't be afraid to run him back on the grass because he likes it."