06/05/2012 12:24PM

Churchill Downs: Lanerie, Bridgmohan face off again


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Quite a few recent races at Churchill Downs have come down to Corey Lanerie aboard one favorite and Shaun Bridgmohan on the other. That seems to be the case with the $59,800 feature on Thursday, when Lanerie has the call on Uptown Bertie and Bridgmohan gets the ride on Tapit Dancer.

Lanerie, who rode six winners here May 27 and another four on Sunday, said he is thriving on the friendly competition between him and Bridgmohan. Into Thursday, with 23 of 39 programs in the books, Lanerie had surged away to a 37-28 lead over Bridgmohan atop the jockey standings, with Miguel Mena and Calvin Borel next with 19 wins.

“It’s a blast,” said Lanerie. “I’m loving my job. Shaun’s a great guy and a great rider. It seems like whoever gets their rides in, gets lucky in the entries the rest of the way, that’s who’ll probably be leading rider.”

Uptown Bertie, a homebred 3-year-old trained by Steve Margolis for the Klein family, was assigned post 4 in a field of seven fillies and mares entered in the eighth of nine Thursday races, a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles. After taking seven tries to win a maiden race, Uptown Bertie was a good second in her first crack at this condition in her most recent outing on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks undercard.

Tapit Dancer, trained by Steve Asmussen for Kirk and Judy Robison, was assigned the outside post as she stretches out slightly from a May 12 race, a one-turn mile in which she was a decent third. In her lone win from 12 starts, Tapit Dancer romped over the Churchill main track, getting a 75 Beyer Speed Figure, a number she has approximated on numerous occasions and would seem likely to get her close again Thursday.

Other contenders in the feature include Malibu Holiday (post 5, Borel to ride), trying to find her niche since winning a maiden race over the Aqueduct inner track in January, and Reason to Medal (post 6, Brian Hernandez Jr.), an impressive three-back winner at Keeneland now stretching out off a series of six-furlong races.

Rounding out the cast in the lone allowance of the day are Cal Dela Casa, Distorted Alice, and Time Counts.

There are carryovers in both the $2 pick six ($12,230, races 4-9) and $1 super high five ($8,932, race 9) after neither was hit Sunday. First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern.