06/12/2013 2:26PM

Churchill Downs: Calhoun has strong pair in feature

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Reed Palmer Photography
Triumph and Song broke badly in his last start, chased a hot pace, and wound up fourth.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Four allowance races on a Friday card might be the norm at, say, Keeneland or Saratoga, but it’s something of a rarity at Churchill Downs.

The happy exception to that rule comes this Friday at Churchill, where a $57,000, third-level sprint anchors a solid 11-race twilight program that starts at 2:45 p.m. Eastern. The 6 1/2-furlong race is carded as the 10th.

Working backward from the feature, here’s a quick rundown of that quartet:

Race 10 (post 7:24 p.m.): Bret Calhoun is the dominant figure in this one with the uncoupled duo of Bull Dozer and Triumph and Song, who were assigned the two outside posts, respectively, in a field of seven older horses.

Bull Dozer was claimed out of his last start, a 1 3/4-length victory that came in a second-level optional claimer that happened to directly follow the 139th Kentucky Derby on May 4.

“We’re just hoping he can maintain his good form,” Calhoun said. As for Triumph and Song, he recovered from an awkward break to chase Gentlemen’s Bet through the fastest six furlongs of the spring meet (1:07.90) before settling for fourth.

“He was unfortunate to stumble so badly at the start,” Calhoun said.

Race 9 (6:54 p.m.): King Kid has had three bullet workouts as trainer Dale Romans tries to return the colt to his former promise in this $52,000, first-level sprint. King Kid won his career debut in November 2011 but lost seven in a row before being sidelined over the winter.

“We’ve always thought a lot of him, and I really liked the way he’s trained,” Romans said.

Other logical contenders include Strike One, a Derby Day maiden winner at 22-1 for Brendan Walsh.

Race 5 (4:50 p.m.): No Distinction, with Beyer Speed Figures of 100 and 93 in going through his maiden and first allowance conditions, rates a solid favorite in climbing the next rung up the class ladder into this $54,000, second-level sprint. Robby Albarado has the mount back on the 3-year-old colt for trainer Randy Morse.

Race 4 (4:18 p.m.): Starstruck, second as the 1-2 favorite for these same conditions May 19, figures as a huge choice again in this $54,000, second-level turf mile. Rosie Napravnik has the mount back for Calumet Farm and trainer Larry Jones. Only as many as six fillies and mares will start, assuming the race stays on grass.