05/11/2012 11:34AM

Churchill Downs: Amoss prefers turf sprint at home to stakes on road for Sum of All Parts


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be horseplayers – except when you want them to take you to the track for a nice Mother’s Day brunch and hopefully tout you on a couple of winners.

Tom Amoss, whose 86-year-old mother allowed him to grow up to be a horse trainer, says he wishes he could spend the day with her, but he has business to tend to at Churchill Downs.

“We always go home [to New Orleans] to see her on Fourth of July weekend, so that’s what we’ll do again this year,” said Amoss.

Amid one of the more festive days of the Churchill spring meet, when hundreds of families turn out for brunch with mom, Amoss may have the best horse in the best race, a $58,000, second-level allowance scheduled for five furlongs on the turf.

Sum of the Parts, an impressive last-out winner over the Keeneland Polytrack, is the Amoss trainee who likely will come favored, regardless of whether the race stays on turf or has to be moved to the main track because of weather.

“I’d say we’re very probable to stay in, even if it rains,” said Amoss. “There’s some grass in his pedigree on the dam’s side, so either way I think we’ll be okay. We’ve entered him in a Tuesday night stake at Presque Isle,” referring to the $100,000 Tom Ridge, “but I like this spot better, and we’re more than likely to just stay here.”

Sum of the Parts began his career in auspicious fashion here one year ago Monday with a stylish victory that earned him the favorite’s role in the Bashford Manor Stakes. But he lost that race, then three more, leading Amoss to put him up for the winter prior to that smashing return last month at Keeneland.

Sum of the Parts, with Leandro Goncalves to ride, was assigned post 5 in the ninth of 10 Sunday races. Eleven 3-year-olds and upward were entered, although two of those, Temp and Phillippe, will start only if the race is transferred to the main track.

Probably the top threats to Sum of the Parts are all drawn to his inside: City Cool (post 2, Shaun Bridgmohan), who likely needed his last race at Oaklawn Park; Heir Joe (post 3, Calvin Borel), a consistent 5-year-old with nine in-money finishes from 12 career starts; and Ballyclough (post 4, Manny Cruz), also a sharp last-out winner over the Keeneland Poly.

The ninth-race feature is the only allowance on a 10-race card that starts at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

Churchill actively advertises its Mother’s Day brunch in the local market, with the Skye Terrace buffet going for $48 for adults and $28 for children. This also is the first Sunday for “Family Fun Day,” with a variety of special activities for children in the Paddock Pavilion.

After Sunday, Churchill goes dark for three days before another four-day race week resumes Thursday.