05/21/2013 12:20PM

Churchill Downs notes: Moquett enjoys four-win week

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Gentlemen’s Bet earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for his allowance win Friday and might run in the Grade 3 Aristides on June 1.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – If every week was like the last one, life would be very easy indeed for Ron Moquett. Moquett won four races last week, including a pair of high-end allowances at Churchill.

“I love when a plan comes together,” said Moquett, 41.

Livi Makenzie won a third-level allowance Thursday, Gentlemen’s Bet won a third-level allowance Friday, and Graceful Rage won a maiden special weight race Sunday.

Gentlemen’s Bet was particularly impressive in finishing six furlongs in 1:07.90 and earning a 107 Beyer Speed Figure. Moquett said the 4-year-old colt is a possibility to run back here June 1 in the Grade 3 Aristides at six furlongs.

Moquett also won a lower-level claiming race Friday night at Indiana Downs with Don’tgetmestarted. In all, he went 4 for 8 for the week.

Oklahoma on their mind

A handful of horsemen racing at Churchill Downs have close ties to Oklahoma, where a tornado caused widespread devastation Monday.

Steve Asmussen, Steve Hobby, and Randy Morse all have years of experience at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, but none can match Donnie K. Von Hemel, who is as closely identified with Oklahoma racing as anyone.

Von Hemel, stabled at Churchill with a full barn for the first time in years, is the all-time leading trainer at Remington and a member of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He has been closely monitoring the tragic events in his adopted home state.

“First and foremost is the concern we all have with the loss of life in Moore [Okla.], with the grade school and all,” Von Hemel said Tuesday at Churchill. “It’s just terrible. We’re all trying to come to grips with it. Obviously, our thoughts are with everyone affected there. My family and friends live to the northwest of Oklahoma City, and the tornadoes hit more to the south. I do know that some of my colleagues with racehorses have been impacted ... We’re all very concerned for them.”

New face in jockey colony

Trainer Wesley Ward has been known to befriend and support apprentice riders with very little experience. So, when Ward named Joao Moreira to ride a 2-year-old filly named She’s Coal Fired in the third race Thursday at Churchill, the initial inclination was to believe it was just another new bugboy.

That would be wrong. Moreira, a native of Brazil, has been the dominant jockey in recent seasons in Singapore and won a prestigious international jockeys’ competition in December in Hong Kong.

“He’s a serious talent, a phenom,” Ward said Tuesday. “A friend of mine told me Moreira wants to try riding in the United States, so he’s supposed to be here in the next couple of days. I’m going to name him on some 2-year-olds and on Judy the Beauty in the Winning Colors on Monday.”

Moreira began his career in 2000 in Sao Paolo, where he rode for about eight years before competing in several other countries and eventually moving to Singapore.

Grade 3 races on tap

The first six-figure stakes here since the May 4 Kentucky Derby will be held Saturday, when the Grade 3, $100,000 Louisville Handicap is run at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Entries were to be drawn Wednesday.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Winning Colors, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares featuring Judy the Beauty and Burban, will help close out the holiday weekend Monday.

The anchor of a Friday twilight card is a third-level main-track route carded as the 10th of 11 races.

Stall savors Treasured Up’s win

Despite the sixth-place finish by Departing in the Preakness, Saturday wasn’t a total loss for Al Stall Jr.

An hour or so before the Preakness, Stall watched happily via simulcast from Pimlico as Treasured Up won the Churchill feature, the Keertana overnight stakes at 1 3/8 miles on turf.

Treasured Up, a 4-year-old by Medaglia d’Oro, earned a career-high 90 Beyer Speed Figure in defeating a solid group of fillies and mares. She is owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes.

◗ Entering this week, Shaun Bridgmohan continues to lead the jockey standings with 24 wins, six more than Corey Lanerie. Mike Maker leads all trainers with 11 wins, two more than Asmussen.