05/26/2009 11:00PM

Borel winning in bunches

Barbara D. Livingston
Calvin Borel has been white-hot at Churchill Downs recently, winning 14 of 25 races.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When the Belmont Stakes is run in a little more than a week, Calvin Borel has a chance to become the first jockey ever to sweep the Triple Crown on different horses. Knowing the context and magnitude of such an opportunity might have some jockeys sitting on the proverbial pins and needles, but not Borel.

No, not at all. Borel just goes about his business as always, getting up before dawn six days a week to work horses for longtime clients while riding races in the afternoons at Churchill Downs, where he went on an incredible tear last weekend, riding 14 winners during a span of just 25 races.

While the major storylines for the June 6 Belmont remain whether Rachel Alexandra will even run and which horse Borel will ride, the jockey is otherwise occupied by that daily regimen of work and winning. His recent hot streak encompassed five-win days both Saturday and Monday. It began with the last race on Friday, when he won aboard Expect Validity, and continued through the ninth race Monday on Heavenly Chorus. He rode in one more race after that, finishing fifth in the Winning Colors Stakes on Tiz to Dream.

Borel's surge has made for an interesting race atop the jockey standings. Into Friday action at Churchill, Borel trailed Julien Leparoux by just one winner, 33-32. While Borel will ride here Friday through Sunday, Leparoux will miss the Saturday card when traveling to New York to ride Magical Affair for trainer Michael Matz in the $150,000 Sands Point on the Belmont Park turf.

Leparoux, who had his own five-win day here Friday, enjoyed a highly profitable out-of-town journey Monday at Lone Star Park, winning three stakes on the Millions Day card, including the $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on It's a Bird.

Good-sized fields for Saturday card

Big fields will provide an exception to the prevailing rule Saturday at Churchill, where a pair of Grade 3, $100,000 stakes will anchor an 11-race card. Nine 3-year-old fillies are entered in the one-mile Dogwood Stakes (race 8), and 11 older horses will go in the six-furlong Aristides (race 10).

The likely favorites for the Dogwood are Luster and Lady's Laughter, while the Aristides is an extremely well-matched race that drew stakes-proven sprinters Vicarian, Sok Sok, Semaphore Man, Premium Wine, and Bold Start.

In all, 108 horses are entered on the Saturday card, including six also-eligibles.

Albarado closing in on 4,000

The timing might be right for one trainer who just hit the 1,000-win milestone to give a jockey a leg up in his quest for a 4,000th win Friday.

Ken McPeek, who sent out the 1,000th winner of his career when Old Man Buck took the eighth race here Monday, will team with jockey Robby Albarado on three occasions Friday: Princess Buddha in the second race, Dabeed in the seventh, and Peruvian Hero in the ninth.

Albarado enters Friday needing just two wins to hit the 4,000 mark.

Admission $10 for night racing

The locals have read the fine print and are starting to grumble. Churchill will charge $10 general admission for the three night programs to be held later in the meet, and although officials have said there will be a more upbeat and considerably different atmosphere, including live entertainment, everyday fans are not happy about ponying up $10 just to get in. Normally, admission is $3.

A Churchill spokesman said Wednesday that Twin Spires members and seniors still will be admitted for $1 and all passes will be honored as usual. Also, a pass for all three night programs will be available for $15.

The first night programs (post time 6 p.m. Eastern) in track history are set for June 19, June 26, and July 2.

Zito assistant injured in car accident

Tara Murty, who has been overseeing the local string of the Nick Zito stable, is expected to make a full recovery after being injured in an automobile accident on her way to work Monday morning at about 5:30 a.m.

Murty's sports utility vehicle collided with an ambulance at the corner of Fourth and Central Avenues. She was hospitalized after sustaining a fractured vertebra below the neck, a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, and a slight concussion.

* Churchill has added a third pick four to its wagering menu, effective Friday. The middle pick four will be available daily on races 4-7.

* Sheila Basile, an owner and breeder and the widow of trainer Tony Basile, died last week at age 84.