09/22/2013 1:26PM

Churchill Downs: Fort Larned to face six in Homecoming Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
Fort Larned will use Saturday's Homecoming Classic as his final prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 2.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fort Larned was assigned post 5 in a field of seven older horses for the inaugural running of the $175,000 Homecoming Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race to be run Saturday night on a Downs After Dark card at Churchill Downs.

Fort Larned, the winner of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic, figures to be a heavy favorite in the Homecoming as he makes his final start before returning to Santa Anita for the 2013 renewal of the $5 million BC Classic on Nov. 2.

Before dawn Monday, Fort Larned had his final pre-race breeze, going five furlongs in 1:02.40 over a fast Churchill track with regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard.

The Homecoming lost a bit of steam over the weekend when trainer Charlie LoPresti said he would not enter Successful Dan, as he had been considering. LoPresti said he will wait instead for the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes on Oct. 26 at Keeneland for the 7-year-old gelding. LoPresti still will have Windswept in the Homecoming.

The Homecoming, the richest and only newly created stakes at the new September meet at Churchill, is carded as the seventh of 11 Saturday races. First post is 6 p.m. Eastern, with the Homecoming set for 9:05. HRTV will have live coverage.

From the rail, this is the field: Pool Play, Windswept, Golden Ticket, Prayer for Relief, Fort Larned, Worldly, and Agent Di Nozzo.

Under allowance conditions, Fort Larned will be the 125-pound highweight. Prayer for Relief will carry 123, and the rest tote 121.

Directly following the Homecoming is the Grade 3, $100,000 Jefferson Cup (race 8, 9:39) for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf. A well-matched field of nine is entered, including the uncoupled Graham Motion pair of Rapscallion and Tate’s Landing.

Churchill officials announced Sunday that a $100,000 pool guarantee will be in effect for the late pick four (races 8-11) on the Downs After Dark card.

The Homecoming and Jefferson Cup anchor the second-to-last program of a 12-day meet, with next Sunday being closing day. The 17-day Keeneland fall meet starts Oct. 4.

Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
Ft. Larned is old news, that Hernandez fell off the Horse. No way in hell I'm doing that on a $5,000,00 winner. I know he did not do it on purpose, but geez guy , the first rule is don't fall off the horse. I predicted it would be downhill for that Horse since The horse to watch out for is the Travers winner. He's getting better each race, He made the Philly race look easy.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
5 Thousand, huh? I got 5 Thousand that says Larry Mahan woulda got tossed that day.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
I think Fort Larned has not been the same since the Jockey fell off. Right now he's 100% a throwout come breeder's cup day
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
100% throw out Ok
Jason Kassa More than 1 year ago
Good opportunity to get back in the groove for Fort Larned.
Harvey Hochberg More than 1 year ago
Track reports should contain info about jockeys who fall on Saturday,and do not ride on Sunday.Fans are concerned and interested.How is Joe Rocco Jr. doing??
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Check the Kentucky Downs article for a note about Rocco Jr.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
What I posted earlier did not deserved to be taken off. Good bye DRF. It was fun.
papajoe Santiago More than 1 year ago
these little fields of 6 horses are not worth playing
edb More than 1 year ago
Backwheel and hope for a bomb. Needs this race badly to get into racing shape. Has been shaky for a Classic winner.
Two400 More than 1 year ago
Good to know Fort Larned is prepared for his uncompetitive, and unbettable walkover on Saturday.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
yeah keep thinking that way. a horse that has run one good race out of his last four and was scratched lame the week of the last race he was entered in, and now ducks any real competition in the JCG to race in what is merely a work out to see if he can even make the classic is a walkover winner? I wouldn't touch this horse with a ten foot pole and will be betting against every way possible.
Two400 More than 1 year ago
He dumped his jockey in the Gulfstream H. He ran an okay race at Oaklawn, just got compromised by pace. At Saratoga, he broke slowly and was beaten to the lead, which he needs. There is no way he loses this race.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
the horse never really was a favorite of the bettors. Maybe that's for a good reason.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
good upset play. Ft. Larned closing speed was never the greatest, it was good enough and now he looks slower at the finish, . he peaked perfectly for the breeder's cup last year. if he is challenged early he's beat
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
How is Successful Dan not going to the Breeders Cup Classic? He is top 10 older horse in nation and caught sloppy track last time, he would love 1 1/4 miles? I don't get it
Perl More than 1 year ago
I know you're a big fan of Successful Dan, bro, but he is 7 years old and he has run 15 races in his entire career. He obviously has major physical infirmities.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I think the stem cell repair on his suspensory may be suspect and need some TLC. That's my guess. The sloppy track may have aggrevated it.
Perl More than 1 year ago
btw, I should add that I really like this horse as well, but I think those two Saratoga efforts probably wiped him out for the year. Otherwise of course they would point him to the BCC.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I agree with the comments below and would like to add that Santa Anita really doesn't play into his style. I think he would be 10 plus out of it early there and would need a total melt down.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
That's LoPresti doing right by the horse... leave it at that.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
This should be a walk over, this horse will still be dangerous classic, keep him off your ticket is risky
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
i am not too sure. In a way it seems smart to take the easy spot and go from 1 1/8 to Classic distance. But being my skeptical self, Wilkes has Neck and Neck ready to race again. And I thought this race might be his tightener for Clarke. Instead its Fort Larned prep for Classic. His hind end may be more suspect than we are being told. Ill watch closely and not wager. My $$ will be on Orb Saturday and Flat Out.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Question if Orb wins, and I expect him to win Saturday, will he be second choice on M/l in the classic. I say dude will be 9/5. Maybe fort larned will be second choice out of respect
Jarod Blade More than 1 year ago
Orb will be 15-1 in the classic and should be 50-1. 2nd choice, seriously?
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
If orb wins gold cup, if you think he will be 15-1, wow show me a horse that won triple crown race then gold cup and wsd 15-1. If you find it I will tip my hat. Read the post please . IF ORB WINS SATURDAY. KEYWORD IF.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Orb has no chance in the BCC unless it rains.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
So if orb wins saturday and that is if. If 100-1 shot can win he has a chance. If gold cuo is on fast track. He still has no chance? One thing I know about classic and derby never say say never
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
If he beats Cross Traffic, Flat Out, Gunfighter, and Palace Malice in JCGC..I think he will be around 5-1 to 10-1 in classic with Dude,Fort Larned,Paynter,MMM all in gate with him. IF.....
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
He jerked himself in a bad bad way getting up off of his nose. I think this Gold Cup is one that Mott would really like to win.