05/07/2009 11:00PM

Bold Start can end McPeek's bad luck


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ken McPeek is hoping the good times can resume. He has gone through enough bad stuff lately.

Two McPeek trainees recently died, and another was seriously injured. Rasberry Kiss, an unraced 2-year-old filly, was euthanized after a gruesome training accident during Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs. Nistle's Crunch, winner of the Commonwealth Stakes here last fall, was euthanized after suffering a broken pelvis in an accident in his stall at McPeek's farm in Lexington, Ky. And Theregoesjojo, a stakes-seasoned 3-year-old, is recovering at the Rood and Riddle equine clinic after sustaining a fractured skull in a freak occurrence when being walked on the shed row at the farm.

"It's been kind of rough around here lately," said McPeek.

A bit of salve to those wounds could come Sunday by way of a victory in the feature race at Churchill. McPeek will send out a prime contender in Bold Start, a 5-year-old with more than $425,000 in earnings, in the ninth of 10 races, a $58,800 allowance at six furlongs.

The last three times Bold Start ran in an allowance race, he earned a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure, so he figures to appreciate dropping out of stakes company for just the second time in nine races. In his three previous allowance tries, he posted 101, 101, and 104 Beyers.

"He sniffed around some big ones earlier in his career," said Ken McPeek, who trains Bold Start for Larry Carroll. "He's an old warhorse. I'm looking for a big race from him."

Bold Start, with Robby Albarado to ride from post 5, is one of six older horses entered in the Mother's Day feature. Knights Cross, a speedy 5-year-old drawn just to his inside, looks like the one to catch, while Vicarian, fresh from a layoff, could pose the most serious late threat.

Knights Cross, with Julien Leparoux riding for Eddie Kenneally, fought to the bitter end when second in his last start, an April 22 allowance sprint at Keeneland.

Vicarian, with Calvin Borel up for Ian Wilkes, was put away for the winter after rallying to be second in an overnight stakes at Churchill in November.

Normandy Shore, Ling Ling Qi, and Godolphin Gray complete the field.

As usual, the Churchill crowd will be filled with families out for Mother's Day with mom. First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern.