Churchill Spring Meet Winding Up
Category : News
Tue 25/06/2013 - 18:48 EDT
Superstar Wise Dan heads the expected field in the $150,000 Grade II Firecracker Handicap as Churchill Downs winds up its spring meet this coming weekend. With five straight Grade I victories, it’s expected the six-year-old son of Wiseman’s Ferry will be the heavy betting favorite, and will be assigned high weight of 128 lbs. – a factor in the final decision as to whether he will run. Wise Dan hasn’t lost a race in a year, a streak that includes the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile. The Firecracker will be run over 1 mile on the turf.
Juveniles strut their stuff in the Bashford
Also on tap for closing weekend at Churchill is the $100,000 Grade III Bashford Manor Stakes for two-year-olds going six furlongs on the dirt. As a possible preview of some of the “babies” likely to contest the Breeders’ Cup juvenile races in the fall, not to mention contenders on next year’s Kentucky Derby trail, the race features a number of horses shipping in from other tracks, as well as Churchill’s own D’cajun Cat who won his career debut by 5 ½ lengths under the Twin Spires on June 1, 2013.
Ramseys closing in on owners’ title
In a race of a different kind, Ken and Sarah Ramsey are taking aim at a record 19 owners’ titles at Churchill. Their cause was helped Sunday when they tied a 30-year-old record by scoring three wins on one race card, with victories by Smittenwithkitten, Gamekeeper, and Blues and Silvers. That upped their total to 27 wins and gave them a commanding 20-win lead in the owners’ standings. While live racing winds down for the summer in Kentucky, all tracks – and OTBs – will continue to give fans a chance to watch and wager on the ponies.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.