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Amoss holds strong hand in 2yo stakes with Curly Jack, Hoosier Philly

(Saturday’s stakes advances by Churchill Downs’ publicity department. Coady Photography photos of Curly Jack, shown above winning Iroquois, and the gray Hoosier Philly taking the Rags to Riches)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022) – Michael McLaughlin’s $300,000 Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) winner Curly Jack headlines a field of nine 2-year-old colts that were entered in Saturday’s 96th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), a “Prep Season” race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

          The Kentucky Jockey Club, run at 1 1/16 miles, will award the Top 5 finishers points on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale towards a spot in the starting gate for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).

          First post Saturday is 1 p.m. and the 12-race program features all 2-year-old races as part of “Stars of Tomorrow II.” The Kentucky Jockey Club will go as Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). The card also will include the $400,000 Golden Rod (GII), $200,000 Ed Brown and $200,000 Fern Creek.

          Curly Jack began his march on the Road to the Kentucky Derby when he scored a 10-1 upset win in the Sept. 17 Iroquois. The son of Good Magic made his debut at Churchill Downs on June 2 where he drew away to a four-length maiden special weight victory under jockey Colby Hernandez. In his first stakes try, Curly Jack finished fifth, beaten 5 ¾ lengths, in the $175,000 Sanford (GIII) at Saratoga. The Tom Amoss trainee returned in the $125,000 Ellis Park Juvenile where he was narrowly defeated by Top Recruit. In his last start, Curly Jack attempted Grade I glory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) but finished fifth. Jockey Edgar Morales will be in the irons for the Kentucky Jockey Club and the duo will break from the rail.

          Another stakes winner that was entered in the Kentucky Jockey Club is Gatsas StablesR.A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld’s $120,000 Awad winner Freedom Trail. Trained by John Terranova, who won the 2014 Kentucky Jockey Club with El Kabeir, Freedom Trail has raced exclusively on the turf in his first two starts. He broke his maiden on Sept. 25 during the Belmont meeting at Aqueduct and returned for a three-quarters of a length score in the 1 1/16-mile Awad. The son of Collected will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post No. 6.

          Trainer Kenny McPeek has won two of the last four runnings of the Kentucky Jockey Club with Signalman (2018) and Smile Happy (2021). The veteran conditioner entered two colts in this year’s contest: Fern Circle Stables and Magdalena Racing’s maiden special weight winnerDenington and Dixiana Farms’ Street Sense (GIII) runner-up Hayes Strike. Denington will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. from post 3 while Hayes Strike will break from post 7 withRafael Bejarano

          Other top horses entered the Kentucky Jockey Club include Albaugh Family Stables and Castleton Lyons 5 ¼-length maiden special weight winner Cyclone Mischief and Gold Square’s debut winner Instant Coffee.

          Here is the complete field for the Kentucky Jockey Club from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Curly Jack (Morales, Amoss); Western Ghent (Mickaelle Michel, D. Wayne Lukas); Denington (Hernandez, McPeek); Gigante (Corey Lanerie, Steve Asmussen); Red Route One(Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); Freedom Trail (Geroux, Terranova); Hayes Strike (Bejarano, McPeek); Instant Coffee (Luis Saez, Cox); and Cyclone Mischief (Joe Talamo, Dale Romans).

          Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ Stars of Tomorrow programs have helped launch the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 Grade I winners led by Horse of the Year champions Gun Runner (2017) and Rachel Alexandra (2009); Kentucky Derby winners Super Saver (2010) and Mandaloun (2021); and Longines Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra (2009), Believe You Can (2012), Monomoy Girl (2018) and Secret Oath(2022).

          All of Saturday’s action at Churchill Downs will air on FanDuel TV.

Wagering is available for the Stars of Tomorrow II program on www.twinspires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

UNDEFEATED HOOSIER PHILLY TOPS SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $400,000 GOLDEN ROD – Gold Standard Racing’s undefeated Hoosier Philly headlines a field of 10 2-year-old fillies that were entered in Saturday’s $400,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.

          The 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod is the next stop on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The Top 5 finishers of the race will receive points based on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale in their attempt to qualify for the first Friday in May.

Hoosier Philly, Edgar Morales up, winning Rags to Riches. Coady Photography

          The Golden Rod will go as Race 10 of 12 on the special “Stars of Tomorrow II” program that features all 2-year-old races. First post is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). The other featured events on the card include the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), $200,000 Ed Brown and $200,000 Fern Creek.

          Trained by Tom Amoss, Hoosier Philly dominated her six rivals in the $200,000 Rags to Riches by 7 ½ lengths under jockey Edgar Morales. The gray daughter of Into Mischief began to garner the attention of many onlookers during her morning training prior to her debut where she was bet down to even-money favoritism and scored by 1 ¾ lengths in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight contest. On Nov. 10, Hoosier Philly had her most serious preparation toward the Golden Rod when clipped five furlongs in :58.20 at Churchill Downs. Hoosier Philly and Morales will break from post No. 4.

          One of Hoosier Philly’s rivals that entered the Golden Rod was Godolphin’s Pretty Mischievous. The undefeated daughter of Into Mischief is a perfect 2-for-2 and, like Hoosier Philly, both of her victories come at Churchill Downs. Pretty Mischievous broke her maiden Sept. 18 by 2 ¼ lengths and returned Oct. 30 where she splashed to a 1 ¾-length allowance win over the “sloppy” racetrack. Pretty Mischievous has been well backed in both of her starts. She was the 2-1 favorite in her debut against 11 rivals and was heavily bet to 1-5 against five fillies in her allowance win. Churchill Downs’ leading rider Tyler Gaffalione will retain the mount from the rail.

          Here is the complete field for the Golden Rod from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Pretty Mischievous (Gaffalione, Walsh); Mustang Lady (Rafael Bejarano, Troy Newton);American Rockette (Florent Geroux, Bill Mott); Hoosier Philly (Morales, Amoss); Black Forest(Gerardo Corrales, Fausto Gutierrez); Knockyoursocksoff (Julien Leparoux, Chris Block); T Max(Jack Gilligan, Will Walden); Pure Pauline (Ricardo Santana Jr., Todd Pletcher); Take Charge Briana (Luis Saez, D. Wayne Lukas); and Defining Purpose (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek).

MYRTLEWOOD STAKES WINNER KEY OF LIFE HEADS FIELD OF SEVEN IN $200,000 FERN CREEK – Flurry Racing Stables and Hoffman Family Racing’s three-time winning filly Key of Life tops a field of seven that were entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Fern Creek, one of four stakes events on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program at Churchill Downs.

The 6 ½-furlong Fern Creek will go as Race 7 of 12 with a post time of 3:57 p.m. (all times Eastern). The spectacular day of racing features the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) (Race 11) and $400,000 Golden Rod (GII) (Race 10). The open-company counterpart to the Fern Creek, the six-furlong $200,000 Ed Brown, will go as Race 9.

Trained by Brad Cox, Key of Life scored her most notable victory one month ago at Keeneland where she dominated nine rivals by 6 ¾ lengths in the $200,000 Myrtlewood. The daughter of Mo Town began her career June 25 at Churchill Downs when she finished third as the 2-5 favorite. She returned seven weeks later to break her maiden on Arlington Million Day at Churchill Downs in August and followed that win on Oct. 7 with a 6 ¼-length allowance score at Keeneland. Key of Life will be ridden in the Fern Creek by Florent Geroux from post No. 3. 

          Chief among her competitors in the Fern Creek is Ashbrook Farm and Upland Flats Racing’s 10-length debut winner Red Carpet Ready. Trained by Rusty Arnold II, Red Carpet Ready dominated 11 rivals in a maiden special weight contest over the “sloppy” going on Stars of Tomorrow I at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Oscar Performance earned a stout 91 Brisnet Speed Rating for her win and rewarded her backers with a $2 win mutuel of $75.98. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will once again have the mount from post 6.

          Another impressive maiden winner that was entered in the Fern Creek is Scott DilworthRandy and Susan Andrews’ Twirled. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Twirled won by eight lengths at second asking Oct. 22 at Keeneland. Twirled will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post 4.

          Here is the complete field for the Fern Creek from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):Baytown Lovely (Jack Gilligan, Paul McEntee); The Great Maybe (Luis Saez, Cherie DeVaux); Key of Life (Geroux, Cox); Twirled (Gaffalione, Asmussen); Tell Me When (Gerardo Corrales, Tim Hamm); and Red Carpet Ready (Hernandez, Arnold).

FROSTED DEPARTURE CUTS BACK TO ONE-TURN IN $200,000 ED BROWN – C&H Racing and Magdalena Racing’s two-time winner Frosted Departure will return to a sprint for Saturday’s second running of the $200,000 Ed Brown Stakes.

          The 6 ½-furlong Ed Brown was carded as Race 9 of 12 with a post time of 4:57 p.m. (all times Eastern). The “Stars of Tomorrow II” program is highlighted by the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), $400,000 Golden Rod (GII) and $200,000 Fern Creek. First post is 1 p.m.

          Trained by Kenny McPeek, Frosted Departure broke his maiden at second asking at Ellis Park by 3 ¾ lengths. Frosted Departure’s most notable victory came Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs where he dominated a seven-furlong first-level allowance contest by 9 ¼ lengths and earned a 93 Brisnet Speed Rating. In his next two starts, Frosted Departure unsuccessfully tested two-turns in the $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) and $200,000 Street Sense (GIII). He’ll be ridden in the Ed Brown by Brian Hernandez Jr. from post No. 4.

          Here is the complete field for the Ed Brown from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):Accident (Edgar Morales, Tommy Short); Bourbon Bash (Mitchell Murrill, D. Wayne Lukas);Mr Bob (Luis Saez, Robert Falcone Jr.); Frosted Departure (Hernandez, McPeek); Powerful(Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); Top Recruit (Gerardo Corrales, Mike Maker); andMounsieur Coco (Florent Geroux, Fausto Gutierrez).

KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER RICH STRIKE TABBED AS 2-1 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN CLARK – RED-TR Racing’s Kentucky Derby (Grade I) hero Rich Strike was made the 2-1 morning line favorite in Friday’s 148th running of the $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare (GI).

          The 1 1/8-mile Clark, which has run every year since 1875 at Churchill Downs, will go as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post for the “Black Friday” card is 1 p.m. and will also feature the 31st running of the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) in Race 10.

          Rich Strike arrived at Churchill Downs Tuesday and had an easy gallop early Wednesday morning for trainer Eric Reed

          Chief among his rivals in the Clark are trainer Brad Cox’s duo of West Will Power and Fulsome, the 1-2 finishers in the $350,000 Fayette (GIII) at Keeneland.

          “Both of these horses are doing well out of the Fayette and worked well here at Churchill last weekend,” Cox said. “I think Fulsome will need a pace setup for his best effort. There looks to be a little bit more speed in this race than the Fayette. Luis (Saez) on West Will Power will ask him to run out of the gate and get some early position. Fulsome does his thing and will sit right off of them. We’re attacking the race with one horse who likes to be close and one that will sit right off of it.”

          Here is the complete field for the Clark from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Proxy (Joel Rosario, Mike Stidham, 7-2); Trademark (Martin Garcia, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Injunction (Rafael Bejarano, Carlo Vaccarezza, 6-1); Rich Strike (Leon, Reed, 2-1); Fulsome (Florent Geroux, Cox, 6-1); Last Samurai (Tyler Gaffalione, D. Wayne Lukas, 20-1); and West Will Power (Saez, Cox, 5-2).

          Wagering is available for the Clark on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.

KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 2 OPENS THURSDAY – Fans will have their second of six opportunities to bet on the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) Thursday-Sunday where Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Forte was made the 10-1 individual betting favorite while the pari-mutuel field of “All Other Colts and Geldings” from the 2020 foal crop not listed within the 38 individual betting interests was tabbed as the heavy 3-5 choice.

The four-day pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, will open Thursday at noon (all times Eastern) and close Sunday at 6 p.m. Pool 2 will run concurrent with the lone Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, where fans can bet horses sired by 39 individual sires and an option for “All Others” that were not listed. Horses from the 2020 foal crop sired by Uncle Mo are the 4-1 morning line favorite followed by Violence (6-1), Arrogate (8-1) and Into Mischief (8-1). All Other Sires is listed at 6-1.

In the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Forte, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, has won four of five career starts and is a three-time Grade I winner with his other victories coming in the Breeders’ Futurity and the Hopeful (GI). The talented son of Violence has already banked $1,595,150 and is the heavy favorite to become champion 2-year-old.

Wagering has been suspended on #17 Frank’s Honor because of an injury, according to trainer Kenny McPeek.

Other intriguing prospects that were included in the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are Winchell Thoroughbreds’ dazzling maiden special weight winner Extra Anejo(15-1); Spendthrift FarmSteve Landers RacingMartin SchwartzMichael DubbTenStrike RacingJim BakkeTitletown Racing StablesKueber RacingBig Easy Racing and Winners Win’s undefeated allowance winner Giant Mischief (25-1); Breeders’ Futurity narrow runner-up Loggins (40-1); and Rodeo Creek Racing’s Champagne (GI) winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) fourth-place runner Blazing Sevens.

As was the case last year, Pool 2 will assume that horses under the care of trainers suspended from competing in the 2023 Kentucky Derby will not be under consideration. Instead, they are included within the pari-mutuel field.

In total, there are 14 new entrants in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager: BromleyCapture the FlagCascaisChampions DreamCorona BoltDeningtonDisarmExpect More, Giant Mischief, HalLitigateNavy ManPractical Move and Recruiter.

Here is the complete field with morning line odds: #1 Awesome Strong (80-1); #2 Blazing Sevens (30-1); #3 Bromley (99-1); #4 Capture the Flag (99-1); #5 Cascais (99-1); #6 Champions Dream (99-1); #7 Corona Bolt (80-1); #8 Curly Jack (80-1); #9 Cyclone Mischief (99-1); #10 Denington (99-1); #11 Disarm (80-1); #12 Echo Again (50-1); #13 Expect More (99-1); #14 Extra Anejo (15-1); #15 Forbidden Secret (99-1); #16 Forte (10-1); #17 Frank’s Honor (99-1); #18 Full Moon Madness (99-1); #19 General Jim (80-1); #20 Giant Mischief (25-1); #21 Gulfport (75-1); #22 Hal (99-1); #23 Hit Show (80-1); #24 Instant Coffee (80-1); #25 Joking Way (99-1); #26 Litigate (99-1); #27 Loggins (40-1); #28 Mr. Ripple (99-1); #29 Navy Man (99-1); #30 Practical Move (99-1); #31 Recruiter (99-1); #32 Rocket Can (99-1); #33 Signator (60-1); #34 Tapit’s Conquest (99-1); #35 Ten Days Later (60-1); #36 Tuskegee Airmen (99-1); #37 Verifying (80-1); #38 Victory Formation (80-1); #39 “All Fillies from the 2020 Foal Crop (80-1); and #40 All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2020 Foal Crop (3-5).

Fans will have the opportunity to see some of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 entrants run Saturday at Churchill Downs for Stars of Tomorrow II which features exclusively 2-year-old races. The featured event is the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), worth 10 points to the winning horse on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

In the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, horses sired by Uncle Mo were made favorite. To date, some of Uncle Mo’s top earners (through Nov. 17) are Gulfport ($336,530), Mo Strike($183,710) and Arabian Knight ($86,025).

In last year’s Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, “All Other Sires,” which included eventual Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice), closed as the 7-2 favorite. 

Here is the complete field for the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager with morning line odds: #1 American Pharoah (80-1); #2 Arrogate (8-1); #3 Bernardini (50-1); #4 Bolt d’Oro (60-1); #5 Cairo Prince (80-1); #6 Candy Ride (ARG) (80-1); #7 City of Light (80-1); #8 Classic Empire (80-1); #9 Cloud Computing (80-1); #10 Constitution (80-1); #11 Curlin (60-1); #12 Empire Maker (80-1); #13 Flatter (80-1); #14 Ghostzapper (60-1); #15 Girvin (60-1); #16Good Magic (60-1); #17 Gun Runner (10-1); #18 Hard Spun (80-1); #19 Into Mischief (8-1); #20 Justify (40-1); #21 Malibu Moon (60-1); #22 Medaglia d’Oro (80-1); #23 Mendelssohn(80-1); #24 More Than Ready (80-1); #25 Not This Time (80-1); #26 Nyquist (80-1); #27 Pioneerof the Nile (99-1); #28 Practical Joke (80-1); #29 Quality Road (20-1); #30 Runhappy(50-1); #31 Sharp Azteca (80-1); #32 Speightstown (60-1); #33 Street Sense (80-1); #34 Tapit(40-1); #35 Uncle Mo (4-1); #36 Union Rags (99-1); #37 Violence (6-1); #38 War Front (80-1); #39 West Coast (80-1); #40 All Other Sires (6-1). 

All told, there are six Future Wager pools scheduled in advance of the 2023 Kentucky Derby: Pool 1 ran Nov. 1-3; Nov. 24-27 (Pool 2); Jan. 20-22 (Pool 3); Feb. 10-12 (Pool 4); March 10-12 (Pool 5); and March 30-April 1 (Pool 6). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 on March 10-12.

A record total of $2,060,691 was bet on future wagers for the 2022 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager or Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s four-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby or Oaks, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.          

          More information, Brisnet.com past performances and real-time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available before the pool opens Thursday online at https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager.

DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Wednesday at Churchill Downs with a first post of 1 p.m. There was a $22,220 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 that spanned Races 5-10. … We’ve received reports from the North Pole that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting guests at Churchill Downs Friday-Saturday. It’s also been reported that Santa loves to place a bet onwww.TwinSpires.com. … Chefs from Levy Restaurants will begin cooking Thanksgiving dinner Thursday at 1 a.m. There will be more than 8,000 turkey dinners served Thursday, the largest gathering in the region. Dining tickets are sold out but general admission and box seating is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.  

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.