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Churchill Downs notes: Funny Proposition likely to run in Molly Pitcher
By Marty McGee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Mark Casse is still mulling his options with Funny Proposition in the wake of the filly’s victory over two-time champion Royal Delta in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs.
“I still don’t know what we’re going to do,” Casse said Tuesday, three days after Funny Proposition led throughout in a five-length score over Royal Delta. “She doesn’t like synthetic, and she doesn’t seem to want a deep, heavy track.”
Casse said the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 28 is a logical next step, with the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita being a long-term goal.
“I do think that track at Santa Anita is something she’d really do well over,” he said.
Meanwhile, Casse was elated with the big effort given Saturday by Uncaptured in his head defeat to Code West in the Grade 3 Matt Winn.
“My gosh, that was a tough race,” Casse said. “We probably win if the colt doesn’t switch over to his left lead for about six strides inside the sixteenth pole, but the winner was dead game.”
Uncaptured probably goes next in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on dirt at Fort Erie on July 30, Casse said. The Prince of Wales is the second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown.
Short rest for Successful Dan?
Trainer Charlie LoPresti said Tuesday from Keeneland that Successful Dan, fourth behind Fort Larned in the Stephen Foster Handicap on Saturday night, is an outside possibility to run right back in the June 29 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows but is more likely to be sent to Saratoga for the Aug. 3 Whitney Handicap.
“He came back out of it in good shape,” LoPresti said. “Obviously, we were disappointed Saturday night. He was just kind of bobbling and fumbling all the way around there, although I don’t know if anybody could’ve beaten Fort Larned the way he ran.”
LoPresti confirmed Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year, for the June 29 Firecracker Handicap, meaning the Churchill racing office may have a hard time scaring up a decent field for that one-mile turf race. The connections of two top would-be contenders, Lea and Silver Max, have said unequivocally that they will not run against Wise Dan.
Teardrop likely Debutante favorite
At least 10 2-year-old fillies were expected when entries were taken Wednesday for the lone stakes here this weekend, the $100,000 Debutante on Saturday night.
Teardrop, an impressive first-out winner for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Steve Asmussen, is the likely favorite in the six-furlong Debutante.
Wesley Ward has three fillies nominated and briefly considered having Mike Smith come in to ride one, but Ward apparently has decided not to run any of them.
The Debutante anchors a Downs After Dark program with a “Boots, Brew & BBQ” theme.
Memorable Father’s Day for Bradley
Sunday was a memorable Father’s Day for trainer Buff Bradley, who has three children with wife Kim. Bradley bookended the 10-race card, winning the first with Bella Ragazzo ($24.40) and the 10th with Courtmaster ($131.40).
Bradley said his day was made complete by having his 82-year-old father, Fred, on hand with his family. “It was his first day at the races since we ran Groupie Doll last year, so that was great,” Buff Bradley said.
Groupie Doll, the 2012 Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter, is training toward her 5-year-old debut. She and Brass Hat are by far the most successful horses bred and owned by the Bradleys.
On Fire Baby returns to barn
On Fire Baby rejoined the Gary Hartlage stable Monday at Churchill after spending almost a week at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., for observation and treatment.
On Fire Baby spiked a high temperature early last week, forcing her to miss a much-anticipated run in the Fleur de Lis. Hartlage said he will allow the 4-year-old filly to settle back in before making any decisions about how to proceed.
Mr. Besilu disappoints in debut
Champion Royal Delta wasn’t the only disappointment for owner Benjamin Leon of Besilu Stable and Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott on Saturday night. They also watched glumly as Mr. Besilu, a $4.2 million yearling purchase, trailed for much of his long-delayed career debut before finishing seventh, beaten 11 1/2 lengths, in a one-mile maiden race.
Mr. Besilu, a 4-year-old by A.P. Indy, reportedly suffered a soft-tissue injury early in his career, accounting for him taking so long to make it to the races.
◗ With just eight of 38 days left at the spring meet, Shaun Bridgmohan continues to lead the jockey standings with 44 wins, followed by Corey Lanerie (34) and Rosie Napravnik (31). Among trainers, Mike Maker leads Asmussen, 27-24, while Ken and Sarah Ramsey are a shoo-in for leading owner with 23 wins.
At least run him in the Whitney too, Successful Dan is getting a little too old to hang in the Grade 1's.
Firecracker for Wise Dan...what a joke?? Might as well run him in an optional allowance.
- 1.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM
- 2.Posted 12/02/2013 12:25PM
- 3.Posted 12/01/2013 06:53PM
- 4.Posted 12/01/2013 08:25PM
- 5.Posted 11/30/2013 05:05PM