11/17/2012 12:04PM

Churchill Downs notes: Brushed By a Star to debut for Kenneally in Falls City

Barbara D. Livingston
Brushed By a Star sold for $400,000 at the recent Keeneland sale. She will try to recoup some of her purchase price in Thursday's Grade 2 Falls City.

Brushed By a Star, purchased for $400,000 last week at the Keeneland November sale, will make her first start for new connections as the highweight in the Grade 2, $150,000 Falls City Handicap, the annual Thanksgiving feature.

Brushed By a Star, now trained by Eddie Kenneally, is being asked to shoulder 122 pounds in the 1 1/8-mile Falls City. Others likely to face her Thursday are Afleeting Lady, 119; Joyful Victory, 119; Arena Elvira, 118; Maristar, 114; and Aint She a Saint, 113.

The Falls City is the first of five graded stakes set for closing week of the 21-day fall meet. The others are the Clark on Friday, the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod on Saturday, and the River City on Sunday.

Entries for the Falls City were to be drawn Sunday. First post Thanksgiving Day is 11:30 a.m. Eastern, while the normal 12:40 p.m. post remains for all other remaining dates.

Hernandez changes his plans

In a swift reversal, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has decided that he won’t be riding at Gulfstream Park this winter after all. Hernandez said late Friday that after Churchill ends he will move instead to his longtime winter base at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, recanting his prior statement on Gulfstream.

“We just decided it’d be a better fit and that business would be easier to drum up,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez, 27, scored easily the greatest victory of his career earlier this month aboard Fort Larned in the BC Classic. Fort Larned will be based in south Florida with trainer Ian Wilkes this winter, and Hernandez will have the mount back whenever the horse makes his next start.

Clark introduces himself with a winner

Very few fans had heard of a trainer named Tom Clark before Friday. But Clark made folks sit up and take notice when sending out a first-time-starting 2-year-old named Lucky Tiz to win the sixth race here Friday at a $14.40 mutuel.

Clark, 53, is a native of Arizona who has worked the last several years as a well-traveled assistant to Wesley Ward. He now is based at the nearby Trackside training center with three horses.

“I’ve been on the track since I was 18,” he said. Daily Racing Form statistics show that Clark last trained on his own in 2002 and 2003, winning with 17 of 137 starters while racing mostly at Thistledown and Mountaineer.