'Gray Ghost' Returns to Churchill Friday

(from Churchill Downs release)
A field of 10 horses, all colored in a shade of gray or roan, has been entered for Churchill Downs' second running of "The Gray Ghost," a highlight of Friday's Halloween racing card.

Along with "The Gray Ghost" and a scheduled on-track visit by the "Headless Horseman," the Friday program includes a Halloween treat for Thoroughbred fans in its featured ninth race.

That 1 1/16-mile allowance event for older fillies and mares on the turf has attracted a stakes-quality field that includes stakes winners Quick Tip, San Dare and Reason To Talk.

The "Gray Ghost," created as a Halloween racing feature in 2002 by racing secretary Doug Bredar, is a one-mile starter allowance race that is limited to gray and roan horses that have competed for a claiming price of $10,000 or less in 2002. The race, which carries a purse of $26,000, is scheduled as the fourth event on a 10-race card.

Billy Hays' Artistic Design is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the "Gray Ghost." The 4-year-old Silver Ghost gelding has a 3-2-0 record in six races this year and is coming off a victory in a six-furlong race for $25,000 claiming horses at Turfway Park in September. Artistic Design is trained by Joe Woodard and will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez.

William S. Farish's Quick Tip, winner of the 2003 Cardinal Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the featured "Floral Park," a $64,600 turf race at 1 1/16-miles for fillies & mares ages 3 & up. David Mounts' San Dare, winner of a pair of grade III races on turf last winter at Gulfstream Park, is the 3-1 second choice. Reason to Talk (9-2) won the Dade Turf Classic at Ellis Park.