05/22/2012 1:45PM

Churchill Downs: Bouquet Booth out to end losing streak


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Steve Margolis admits to being a little frustrated by the tough luck Bouquet Booth keeps having. Mired in a winless streak that dates to January 2011, Bouquet Booth returned from her latest race with a glue-on horseshoe that had come apart and surely made the filly uncomfortable during a seventh-place finish in a turf allowance on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs.

“It was weird,” said Margolis, who trains Bouquet Booth for Right Time Racing LLC. “It didn’t really hurt her, but it could have. It’s like it separated on her foot, and it could’ve taken part of her hoof wall off if we weren’t so lucky. It looked like she bobbled in the race, but she came back fine, so it’s on to the next one.”

That next race comes Thursday in a well-matched feature at Churchill, a $60,600, third-level allowance at six furlongs. Bouquet Booth, with Shaun Bridgmohan to ride, was assigned post 3 in a field of eight fillies and mares ready to go in the seventh of nine races. A 4-year-old daughter of Flower Alley - the same sire as that of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another – Bouquet Booth has gone winless in her last eight races, but Margolis believes the filly is sitting on a big effort.

“We’ve put blinkers on her since that last race, and she’s really trained well in them,” he said. “She ran good at Fair Grounds off the layoff” when second in a Feb. 24 dirt sprint at the New Orleans track, “and then she seemed to struggle over the Polytrack at Keeneland. Then there was her last race with the shoe. So we think with the blinkers on and moving back to a dirt sprint, she might really fire this time.”

Bouquet Booth is one of a handful likely to draw support. The others include Cascadilla Falls, a stakes-seasoned 4-year-old trained by Bill Mott; Rattlin Gypsy, one of three fillies in this race entered for an $80,000 claiming option; Sharp Tongue Lady, a consistent sort who was second to the highly regarded Speedacious for this same condition on opening night of the Churchill spring meet; and Grand Illumination, a two-back allowance winner also trained by Margolis (but uncoupled for wagering purposes).

The feature is one of three allowances on a solid Thursday card. The other two are first-level events with $55,300 purses, with race 3 likely to have Prince Silver a solid favorite in a field of six older sprinters, and race 8 pitting an oversubscribed field of older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the Thursday card starts at 12:45 p.m. Eastern, with the feature going at 4:59. The Friday card continues the track’s twilight series with 2:45 p.m. post times and a concert following the races.