09/21/2013 12:09PM

Churchill Downs: Mylute being freshened for a winter campaign

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mylute will get the rest of the fall off and point to a winter campaign.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – To little surprise, the standout 3-year-old Mylute is finished for the year and is being rested for several months until being brought back for a winter campaign as a 4-year-old.

Mylute ran second in the Louisiana Derby, fifth in the Kentucky Derby, and third in the Preakness before finishing eighth, beaten nearly 20 lengths, in his final start this year, the July 27 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

“He actually bled in that race, and he’d never done that before,” said Todd Quast, general manager and farm trainer for Ocala, Fla.-based Gold Mark Farm, which co-owns Mylute with the Whisper Hill Farm of Mandy Pope. “It was his first subpar race.”

Mylute returned to training at his Churchill Downs base with Tom Amoss after the Jim Dandy and actually breezed once, going a half-mile on Aug. 16. But Amoss and Quast agreed shortly thereafter that the colt needed time off, and he was vanned to Ocala.

“He’d run 12 times in 14 months and we just thought it was time,” Quast said. “It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get one of those graded wins next to his name this year, but hopefully he’ll come back better than ever at 4. Right now, he’s just getting some well-earned R and R at the farm. We’re planning to send him back to Tom at Fair Grounds in mid-November, and hopefully, he’ll be ready to run in some of the bigger handicaps early in the year.”

Mylute, a gray Kentucky-bred colt by Midnight Lute, remains eligible for second-level allowance conditions with a record of 2-3-3 from 12 career starts. He has earned $590,695.

Wise Dan is key to Shadwell

Trainer Charlie LoPresti reiterated this week that he will wait a while before deciding whether to run Wise Dan in the Oct. 5 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland or train the superstar gelding up to the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

LoPresti conceded he is leaning in favor of going in the Shadwell but is hesitant to fully commit in the aftermath of Wise Dan’s course-record victory in the Woodbine Mile on Sept. 15.

“I just want to see how he came out of this last race in Canada,” he said. “We’ve got the luxury of taking a little time to make up our minds. I do know a lot of the fans here at Keeneland would like to see him run.”

Entries will be taken Oct. 2 for the Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Mile, the richest race of the 17-day Keeneland fall meet. Last year, Wise Dan swept the Woodbine Mile, Shadwell Mile, and BC Mile in being voted Horse of the Year. The 6-year-old gelding has won his last nine races, including all five this year.

Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman said the composition of the Shadwell field will be determined to a large extent by whether Wise Dan runs or not.

“Obviously, I don’t think too many people want to run against him,” Huffman said.

The Shadwell is one of nine graded stakes on the three-day FallStars Weekend that opens the meet Oct. 4-6.

◗ First place in the handicapping contest held last Wednesday at Kentucky Downs went to Michael Sussman of Park City, Utah. Sussman could have accepted a $5,000 cash prize but instead will have an expenses-paid trip and a berth in the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita.

◗ Kentucky Downs ends its five-day meet with a 13-race card Wednesday, with first post set for 12:35 p.m. Central.