08/17/2012 4:40PM

Churchill Downs notes: Lanerie looking to Gulfstream

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Barbara D. Livingston
Corie Lanerie has ridden at Fair Grounds in winter months for most of his career.

Corey Lanerie might well be looking to hitch a ride on a Kentucky Derby contender by going to ride at Gulfstream Park after he leaves the Churchill Downs fall meet in late November, marking a major move from his traditional winter stomping grounds of Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Lanerie, who was easily the leading rider at Churchill in the spring and led the meet through last Sunday at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., said Friday that he is “90-percent sure” he will go to Gulfstream. He said the change is designed to find a Derby horse because “it’s a bigger league with more opportunities. Most of the big horses come out of there.” The 36-year-old Louisiana native has ridden winter months at Fair Grounds for most of his career. He has never ridden in the Derby.

Gulfstream, located in Hallandale Beach, Fla., will start its four-month meet Dec. 1 with the Claiming Crown series.

◗ Tyler Picklesimer is in the stewards’ stand at Ellis after completing his duties as racing secretary at Colonial Downs in Virginia for the fifth straight summer. Picklesimer, a longtime racing official at other Kentucky tracks, has replaced Patti Cooksey, who returns to her full-time job in public relations with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after working the first four weeks of the Ellis meet. The other Ellis stewards are Barbara Borden and Butch Becraft.

◗ Going into Friday action at Ellis, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. was just two wins away from hitting the 1,000-win mark. Hernandez, 26, is still reveling in good feelings after winning the first Grade 1 race of his career, the Aug. 4 Whitney at Saratoga aboard Fort Larned.

◗ Buff Bradley has one of the contenders in Fleur de Lilly in the feature of a nine-race Sunday card at Ellis, a $35,000 allowance at a mile on turf. A field of eight fillies and mares is entered. First post is 12:50 p.m. Central, with the featured sixth going at 3:10.

◗ Nelson Arroyo, the retired jockey turned agent, is now booking mounts for Gabriel Saez at Ellis. Saez will move next to Turfway and Kentucky Downs, where purses will reach record levels at the six-day meet next month. Arroyo also is working for Antonio Castanon, the older brother of fellow jockey Jesus Castanon.