Thursday’s Churchill Downs barn notes by Kevin Kerstein:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, May 16, 2019) – Charles Fipke’s Grade I-winning homebred Seeking the Soul remains on track for the $600,000 Stephen Foster presented by GE Appliances (GI) on Saturday, June 15 following an easy half-mile move in :49.60 Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs.
“We’re on track for the Foster,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “He’s a Grade I winner over this track and the Foster is in our backyard.”
Seeking the Soul, a 6-year-old son of Fipke’s stallion Perfect Soul (IRE), won the 2017 Clark Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs and, most recently, finished third in the Alysheba (GII) on Kentucky Oaks Day.
“Maybe he was a bit short in that race,” Stewart said. “I thought he ran a good third that day and I think can get better from that.”
Seeking the Soul began his 2019 campaign with a runner-up finish behind City of Light in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (GI) on Jan. 26. The six-time winner then traveled to Dubai for the $12 million Dubai World Cup (GI) but finished eighth.
Nominations for the Stephen Foster – a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) – close June 1.
CHURCHILL DOWNS RACING CLUB HEADED EAST FOR $100,000 TOM RIDGE AT PRESQUE ISLE – Churchill Downs Racing Club’s recent Keeneland allowance winner Distant Shore is headed to Presque Isle Downs for Monday’s $100,000 Tom Ridge Stakes, a six-furlong contest over the synthetic track for 3-year-olds.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Distant Shore has not finished worse than fourth in six-career starts and has banked $95,290 in earnings.
“This horse is so much fun to train for all of the club members,” Amoss said. “The Churchill Downs Racing Club gives fans a great look into Thoroughbred ownership through a ($500) club fee and allows them to enjoy the experience. Distant Shore has been great and his career is just starting.
“We looked at this race and thought it could be a good option with the distance and the fact he already ran second over the synthetic at Arlington (in the Arlington Washington Futurity). Presque Isle is also a sister track now to Churchill Downs so we get to keep it within the family.”
The Tom Ridge Stakes is Race 6 with a post time of 7:30 p.m. ET. Distant Shore will break from post No. 5 as the 9-2 morning line favorite in the field of 12.
The Churchill Downs Racing Club, which was inaugurated in the spring of 2016, is a low-cost, low-risk glimpse into the life of Thoroughbred ownership. Gary Palmisano represents the club’s interest and serves as a liaison for the club’s members. Benefits include regular e-mail updates on the horse, visits to the track in the early mornings and breakfast on select days to watch the horse train, trips to the paddock, watching the race in a group setting and hopefully experiencing the thrill of visiting the Woodford Reserve Winners’ Circle. Each member will receive free general admission for two to Churchill Downs in 2019, and invitations to exclusive Churchill Downs Racing Club events at the track
A few spots remain for the 2019 Churchill Downs Racing Club where Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas will train an unraced 2-year-old. Interested parties are invited to register online at www.churchilldowns.com/
There are more than 700 Churchill Downs Racing Club members and 60 have moved on to join other Thoroughbred ownership groups, according to Palmisano.
SOGLIO MADE TEPID 5-2 MORNING LINE FAVORITE FOR SATURDAY’S LOUISVILLE – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Soglio was made the slight 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisville Stakes (Grade III), a 1 ½-mile turf marathon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Mike Maker, Soglio was a former $50,000 claim and has since banked $294,950. The 5-year-old Scat Daddy gelding was the runner-up in the Jan. 26 W.L. McKnight Stakes (GII) at Gulfstream Park.
Among the competition for Soglio is defending Louisville champion Vettori Kin (BRZ). Trained by five-time Louisville winner KennyMcPeek, Vettori Kin is slated as the co-third choice on the morning line at 7-2.
The Louisville is carded as Race 9 at 4:55 p.m. (all times Eastern) on the 11-race program that also includes a simulcast of Preakness Day action from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Churchill Downs’ first race is 12:45 p.m.
The Louisville field from the rail out (with jockeys, trainers and morning line odds): Tiz a Slam (Steve Bahen, Roger Attfield, 3-1); Nessy(Julien Leparoux, Ian Wilkes, 4-1); Soglio (Shaun Bridgmohan, Maker, 5-2); Shahroze (IRE) (Chris Landeros, Graham Motion, 7-2); Strike the Flag (Channing Hill, Neil Howard, 20-1); Vettori Kin (BRZ) (James Graham, McPeek, 7-2); and Royal Artillery (Robby Albarado, Ignacio CorreasIV, 20-1).
The 144th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, goes as the 13th of 14 races at Pimlico at approximately 6:45 p.m. The race will be shown on television monitors throughout Churchill Downs, including the massive Big Board
MEET LEADERS – Jockeys Ricardo Santana Jr. and Gabriel Saez were tied atop the standings with 10 wins to begin racing Thursday at Churchill Downs. James Graham was on their heels in third with nine while Tyler Gaffalione and Corey Lanerie were tracking in fourth with eight wins. … Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen held a 9-6 win lead over Mike Maker in the trainer standings with Tom Amoss and Rusty Arnold in third with five wins. … Maggi Moss started the 2019 Spring Meet going 4-for-9 and led the owner standings by two wins over Calumet Farm, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Klaravich Stables, PTK LLC, Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Whitham Thoroughbreds.
ADVANCE WAGERING FOR PREAKNESS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY – Advance wagering on Saturday’s 144th Preakness Stakes (Grade I) at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore will be offered all day Friday at Churchill Downs.
Admission gates open Friday at 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and the first of nine races is 12:45 p.m. General admission is $5 (includes official program).
Friday’s feature race at Pimlico is the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (Grade II) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles. It goes as Race 11 at approximately 4:48 p.m. Similar to the Oaks/Derby Double, Pimlico will offer the Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness double, which requires bettors to pick the winners of both races.
The pageantry of the Preakness will be featured prominently at Churchill Downs on Saturday with the simulcast of the 1 3/16-mile race scheduled for 6:48 p.m. (all times Eastern) – which comes after the final live race at 5:58 p.m. Video and audio of the races from Pimlico will be shown on select television monitors throughout the facility, and between races on the massive Big Board when they don’t conflict with live action.
Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and the first of 11 live races is 12:45 p.m. General Admission is $7, reserved seating is $12 and reserved dining packages are $51. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets
DOWN THE STRETCH – Twilight Thursday will kick off the four-day racing week at Churchill Downs with a post time of 5 p.m. There was a $261,678 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot which covers Races 3-8. … Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) runner-up Liora returned to the work tab Thursday morning with a half-mile move in :49 prior to galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. Liora is expected to run in the June 8 Acorn (GI) at Belmont Park, according to trainer Wayne Catalano. … The turf rail will be in Lane 2 out 15 feet for racing this week at Churchill Downs. With the rail out, the field sizes on the turf are limited to 10 starters. … Twilight Thursday will feature live music on the Plaza stage plus $1 select domestic beers, $3 Blue Moon drafts, food trucks, lawn games and one-on-one expert wagering advice. … Friday is Senior Day at Churchill Downs where guests 60 and up can enjoy lunch and a day at the races in Millionaires Row for a discounted price. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The one-hour horse racing radio show is co-hosted by Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein and delivers a wide-ranging list of interesting guests, from jockeys, trainers, owners to well-informed handicappers and other industry insiders. Those outside the Louisville radio market can listen live online athttp://www.espnlouisville.com/ or via podcast on the station’s website or https://soundcloud.com/. … Sunday is Family Adventure Day presented by Kroger with more than 20 fun activities for kids 12 and under in the Plaza. This Sunday’s theme is “Play Sports!” and Louisville City FC stars will be in the Plaza to meet young fans: Napo Matsoso, Paco Craig and Chris Hubbard from 1-3 p.m. and Sunny Jane, George Davis, TimDobrowolski and Oscar Jiminez from 3-5 p.m. Young fans will enjoy having their photo taken with the Louisville Bats’ Buddy the Bat and Churchill Charlie. The day will also feature cheer and dance performances, yoga demonstrations and tennis lessons by the U.S. Tennis Association. Stick horse races, a petting zoo, mini pony rides, face painting, bounce houses, an obstacle course, corn hole, a bubble station and special area for children under 3 also will be featured. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 Sunday (children age 2 and under are free). Family Adventure Day special ticket packages include $48 for a Family Four Pack that includes four general admission tickets, four family meals or $64 for four box seats and four family meals. For more information, visit www.churchilldowns.com.