10/31/2010 1:50PM

Churchill: Curlin and Rachel reprised


It all looked really familiar: Robby Albarado, wearing the gold and burgundy silks of Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable, was in the Churchill Downs winner's circle with trainer Steve Asmussen. The reason: a horse that had just run really fast, a la Curlin, the 2007-08 HOY for which Albarado was the regular jock. A first-timing 2-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly named Hailey d'Oro ($4) had just crushed 10 other maidens when making her first start in a six-furlong main-track race, finishing in a rapid 1:12.51 over a fast track. Asmussen and Jackson, of course, made their mark in '09 with HOY Rachel Alexandra (also by Medaglia d'Oro), for whom C.Borel was the regular rider.

Hailey d'Oro, a $650k purchase earlier this year, was the second winning fave in as many races on the fall-meet opener at Churchill, where chilly but sunny weather has greeted what must be a late-arriving Halloween crowd. The opener went to the 2-1 fave, Sober Living, with Tony Farina up for Garry Simms in the only claiming race of a "Stars of Tomorrow" program.

Albarado also won the 3rd race of the day aboard Niji's Grand Girl ($8.40), who outfought Victoria's Wildcat in a long stretch drive to narrowly prevail.

There are 20 MTP for the 4th, and Badleroibrown (#8), a first-timer for Team Valor and W.Catalano, is the early 4-5 favorite in a field of 10 MSW turfers. Albarado has the mount.