Art Collector targeting Churchill’s 7F Kelly’s Landing for comeback race

(Photo: Keeneland’s Grade 2 Blue Grass winner Art Collector shown winning last August’s $200,000 Ellis Park Derby under Brian Hernandez Jr. Coady Photography)

Today’s Churchill Downs barn notes penned by Kevin Kerstein:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sunday, June 13, 2021) Bruce Lunsford’s 2020 Blue Grass (Grade II)-winning homebred Art Collector will target the $110,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs on Friday, June 25 to begin his 4-year-old campaign, according to trainer Tommy Drury Jr.

    Art Collector has been on the sidelines since running eighth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) at Keeneland. The colt went to the farm in South Carolina following the Breeders’ Cup but has been back on the work tab at Churchill Downs for the last four weeks. The five-time winning son of Bernardini worked a half-mile in :50.60 on the turf Sunday at Churchill Downs with regular riderBrian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle.

    “He has some turf in his pedigree and actually broke his maiden on the grass. Today’s work was just to keep our options open,” Drury said. “We’re going to target the seven-furlong Kelly’s Landing on dirt as his comeback race and take things from there. We’re very fortunate to have a horse like this in our barn. He’s shown his talent last year and we’re very excited for what’s ahead this year.”

    The Kelly’s Landing is one of eight stakes on closing weekend of the 2021 Spring Meet that’s headlined by the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) on Saturday, June 26.

    Nominations to the Kelly’s Landing and the other stakes closed Saturday and will be available in the coming days on www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen.

COX BRIGADE WORK TOWARD POSSIBLE STARTS ON STEPHEN FOSTER DAY

It was a busy 48 hours on the Churchill Downs work tab with several top horses from champion trainerBrad Cox’s barn recording published workouts. Among his workers were multiple stakes winners Night Ops and Warrior’s Charge, who could both target the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) on June 26, according to Cox.

    Night Ops and Warrior’s Charge both worked Saturday morning. Owned by Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’, Night Ops cruised a half-mile in :48.40 while Steve Landers Racing’s Night Ops worked an easy half-mile in :49 earlier in the morning.

    A quartet of Cox stakes runners worked Sunday. The duo of Full of Run Racing and MadaketStablesDreamalildreamofu and The Elkstone Group’s Getridofwhatailesu breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40. Both horses could run in the $300,000 Fleur de Lis (GII), according to Cox.

    Later in the morning, Godolphin’s Adventuring and Steve Landers Racing’s Royal Prince worked a half-mile in :49 on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Adventuring is nominated to the $150,000 Tepinwhile Royal Prince could target the $150,000 War Chant, according to Cox.

    The 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series event for the $6 million Longines Classic (GI) on Nov. 6 at Del Mar. The likely headliner for the race isGodolphin’s multiple graded stakes winning colt Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh.

    Seven stakes are scheduled to be run on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The supporting races to the Stephen Foster are the $300,000 Wise Dan (GII), the $150,000 Bashford Manor (GIII), the $150,000 Debutante, the Fleur de Lis (GII), the Tepin and the War Chant.

    Nominations to all seven races closed Saturday and will be available in the coming days onwww.churchilldowns.com/horsemen.

DOWN THE STRETCH

Racing continued Sunday with a first post of 12:45 p.m. for the 10-race program. The card featured a $115,791 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 that spanned Races 5-10. … Following dark days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, racing will continue Thursday for the penultimate Twilight Thursday presented by Blue Moon of the Spring Meet. The evening of racing features $1 Blue Moon and domestic draft beer, food trucks and live music from Abby Hamilton. The first of eight races begins at 5 p.m. … For more information and to purchase tickets, visitwww.churchilldowns.com.

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Jennie Rees