05/29/2012 1:43PM

Churchill Downs: Kobiskie following his goal


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dane Kobiskie has the focus and determination of a Marine. Medically discharged from that service branch in 1999 after breaking a leg outside of training, Kobiskie, now 33, has used those qualities to succeed as a trainer, first in Maryland and now in Kentucky.

“The goal from day one was to become a trainer,” said Kobiskie, who rode briefly as a jockey at Churchill Downs and Ellis Park in 2005 before moving to Maryland, where he began his training career in 2008.

Kobiskie, a native of Kansas, is making his mark this spring at Churchill, where through last weekend he had won with 5 of his 15 starters. Having quickly climbed the ladder in Maryland to become the leading trainer there, he eventually wants to make Kentucky his permanent circuit. He currently trains privately for the PTK stable of Paula Haughey but ultimately would like to go public.

“I’m not sure when that will happen,” he said. “I know I want to be in Kentucky. I have property here and I plan on building a cabin here.”

Saturday night’s all right

The first of three Saturday-night programs in June comes this weekend when a trio of Grade 3, $100,000 stakes will be featured as Churchill continues to remake its “Downs After Dark” programs. The subsequent nights are set for June 16 and June 30, with the first of those also coinciding with big-time racing as Stephen Foster night.

The stakes to be run this Saturday are the Aristides for older male sprinters, the Winning Colors for older female sprinters, and the Mint Julep, for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf. Entries were to be taken Wednesday.

With the onset of the Saturday-night cards, there are no more paddock concerts following the Friday cards that will continue to start at 2:45 p.m. The theme for the first Saturday is “Remix,” which is explained by the marketing department as music “a little bit urban, a little bit ‘80s.”

Two riders pulling away

Shaun Bridgmohan and Corey Lanerie are starting to separate themselves from the field in the race for leading rider at the spring meet.

Lanerie rode a career-high six winners from just seven mounts Sunday, making for the 11th time in track history that a jockey won six races. That huge day gave Lanerie a 23-22 lead over Bridgmohan going into Monday action – and then Bridgmohan promptly rode four winners to Lanerie’s one on Monday to retake the lead, 26-24. Miguel Mena and Calvin Borel are next with 17 wins each.

The six-win day by Lanerie was one short of the Churchill record of seven, set by Pat Day in June 1984 and equaled in November 2008 by Julien Leparoux.

◗ Spots are still available in the annual horsemen’s golf outing, renamed the Buck Wheat Memorial Golf Scramble in honor of the late horsemen’s relations director at Churchill. The event is set for Monday at Glenmary Country Club, with proceeds going to further horsemen’s education programs at the Backside Learning Center. More information is available at www.derbymuseum.org/backsidelc.