10/25/2011 3:44PM

Churchill Downs: Juveniles in focus for opening card


While five of the 15 BC races are now for 2-year-olds with the addition of the Juvenile Sprint, a 100 percent emphasis will be placed on 2-year-olds when Churchill opens its fall meet Sunday with a Stars of Tomorrow program.

Eleven races are in the condition book for Sunday, led by the twin one-mile stakes, the Grade 2, $150,000 Pocahontas for fillies, and the Grade 3, $100,000 Iroquois for colts and geldings. Four allowance races and five maiden special weight races also are on tap, depending on the Thursday draw of entries.

Stars of Tomorrow programs have been staples of opening and closing weekend at the fall meet since 2005.

Ex-jock Sterling returns to training

Longtime jockey Larry Sterling Jr. recently returned to training and has an 11-horse stable split between Keeneland and the Highpoint training center. Seven of his horses are owned by the Bluegrass Hall of Brad Kelley.

Sterling, 42, said his “mind, body, and soul were falling apart” and he felt compelled to leave a riding career in which he rode 1,567 winners from 12,285 mounts. Sterling rode in 1986 and 1987, then trained from 1988-91 before riding again for 19 years, primarily in Chicago, before hanging up his tack last November.

Sterling rode War Emblem to victory in the Illinois Derby, his final prep prior to winning the 2002 Kentucky Derby.

Fayette Stakes has Derby look

As many as five horses who were unplaced in the last four runnings of the Kentucky Derby – including two winners of the Blue Grass Stakes – are among the prospective field for Saturday’s closing-day feature at Keeneland, the Grade 2, $150,000 Fayette Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack.

Those Derby also-rans are Anak Nakal, seventh in 2008; General Quarters (10th, 2009); Stately Victor (eighth, 2010); Mission Impazible (ninth, 2010); and Decisive Moment (14th, 2011).

General Quarters won the 2009 Blue Grass, and Stately Victor won the 2010 edition.

Ten to 12 3-year-olds and up are likely for the Fayette, for which entries were to be drawn Wednesday.

Kim Carroll’s leukemia in remission

Kim Carroll, who was diagnosed with a virulent form of leukemia last winter, has made remarkable progress in recent months, according to her husband, trainer David Carroll.

“Kim is in remission,” said David Carroll. “She has been working out, riding show horses, feeling better. We just had our 21-year anniversary and everything is better.”

Kim Carroll was a longtime exercise rider and assistant in the family stable until her illness.

David Carroll won the last race Sunday at Keeneland with a 13-1 shot named Point to the Wild.

“Winning always helps the family,” he said.