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Churchill Downs: Mr. Misunderstood making 2019 debut Thursday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 22, 2019)Flurry Racing Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Misunderstood is set to return from a seven-month layoff in a $104,000 conditioned allowance contest Thursday evening at Churchill Downs.

Mr. Misunderstood (left) captured Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 River City Handicap in his last start last fall. Coady Photography

Trained by Brad Cox, Mr. Misunderstood has not been seen since his gutsy half-length score in the Nov. 17 River City Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old gelded son of Archarcharch is a perfect 4-for-4 over the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs.

“This will be a good spot to get him back started this year,” owner Staton Flurry said. “We hope he returns to his old self and this race will kick start his year.”

Named after the Eric Church hit song and album, Mr. Misunderstood originally was listed as a possible entrant to defend his title in the $250,000 Wise Dan (GII) last Saturday but Cox opted for Thursday’s race instead. Mr. Misunderstood, who has been regularly training at Churchill Downs since April, breezed an easy half-mile in :50.20 Saturday at 5:30 a.m.

“That’s exactly the work we were looking for,”assistant trainer Jorje Abrego said. “Nice and easy. He’s ready to run.”

First post Thursday is 5 p.m. and Mr. Misunderstood will head to the post in Race 2, run at 1 1/8-miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, at 5:29 p.m. The field of six older horses, plus one main track only contender, includes Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s five-time winner Soglio and Mr. Misunderstood’s stablemate, Steve Landers Racing’s stakes winner Big Changes.

Mr. Misunderstood is listed at 4-5 on the morning line and will be ridden by Florent Geroux.

IMPRESSIVE 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY FRANK’S ROCKETTE CRUISES IN DEBUT BY 8 ¾ LENGTHSFrank Fletcher Racing Operation’s precocious 2-year-old filly Frank’s Rockette cruised to an 8 ¾-length debut score in Race 1 Friday and earned an impressive 93 Brisnet speed rating.

Frank’s Rockette winning a Churchill Downs maiden race by almost nine lengths. Coady Photography

Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Bill Mott, Frank’s Rockette tracked from just off of the early pace in the five-furlong maiden special weight contest before taking over in the stretch and winning under a hand ride with a final time of :57.27. Frank’s Rockette recorded the ninth fastest 2-year-old five-furlong clocking at Churchill Downs in the last 50 years, according to Brisnet.com. Frank’s Rockette’s 93 speed rating is the seventh fastest 2-year-old rating in 2019.

“She was headed on the van to Saratoga at the eighth pole,” Mott’s locally-based assistant Kenny McCarthy joked. “She’ll actually be headed up to Bill’s string at Saratoga Sunday along with (Fleur de Lis winner) Elate. Those type of horses are a lot of fun to be around. Bill’s 100 percent with his 2-year-old starters this year. We’ll see if we can keep that percentage that high.”

Frank’s Rockette rewarded her backers at odds of 5-2 and returned $7.60.


Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.