Edited from a Churchill Downs release
Epsom Oaks Winner Casual Look Solid In Turf Work
William S. Farish's Casual Look
, winner of England's classic Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) and third in her American debut in Keeneland's Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. I), tuned up for her Churchill Downs debut with a solid work on the turf on Tuesday. Casual Look, now trained by Neil Howard, breezed six furlongs around the "dogs" over "good" turf in 1:17.40. Annie Finney was in the irons for the move that was the morning's only work of the distance. Trainer Neil Howard loved the way the 3-year-old daughter of Red Ransom finished in her final quarter mile, which he timed in about :24, and is very pleased with the way she has acclimated to her new surroundings in Kentucky.
"It's been a really smooth transition," said Howard. "You try to do a lot of the same things that the other trainer did, but she is going to be in a different type of scenario now. So you want to gradually blend into the new training and racing, but so far she's done great."
Casual Look was trained in England by Andrew Balding and came to the United States and Howard's barn with a record of 2-2-3 in 11 races and earnings of $599,874. Her race in the Queen Elizabeth, in which she came flying in the stretch to finish third, was a strong effort and Howard said her next race would come at Churchill Downs in either the $150,000-added Mrs. Revere (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies on turf at 1 1/16-miles on Nov. 15 or the $150,000-added Cardinal (gr. III) for fillies and mares 3-&-up at 1 1/8-miles on the grass on Nov. 22.
"We're getting closer to making that decision," said Howard. "I thought that turning back from two or three mile-and-a-half races in a row (in Europe) to a mile-and-an-eighth at Keeneland in a tough race like that, she ran very well. That was a big change. That was almost like she was running in a sprint and she rose to the occasion real nice."
Howard said that, if all goes well in her race at Churchill Downs and in her training, Farish plans a campaign at four for his Epsom Oaks winner. If she develops in any fashion similar to Farish's last English import, leading Horse of the Year contender Mineshaft, Howard can look forward to another interesting year.
"That was an unbelievable experience for Mr. Farish, having won the Epsom Oaks with her," Howard said. "But they felt that, in light of what was there for her (in England) next year, they thought that coming back here might be better for her."
Take Charge Lady Tops Nominees For Churchill Distaff
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady
, a two-time winner of Keeneland's Spinster (gr. I) and runner-up in the 2002 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), heads a list of 27 fillies and mares nominated to the 18th running of the $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Nov. 8. The daughter of Dehere finished sixth to Adoration in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), but McPeek said on Wednesday that the 4-year-old filly would likely run at Churchill Downs during the "Fall Festival of Racing" and that she is "possible" for the CD Distaff.
Other notable nominees to the one-mile Churchill Downs Distaff include Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) winner Awesome Humor; Dogwood (gr. III) winner Golden Marlin and runner-up Double Scoop; Raven Run (gr. III) winner Yell; and stakes winners My Trusty Cat, Lead Story, Lakenheath, Bauhauser, Miss Lodi and Reason To Talk. The complete list of nominees to the Churchill Downs Distaff is available in PDF format at www.churchilldowns.com. Click on the link to the Distaff under "CDSN Special Events."