06/01/2013 12:58PM

Churchill Downs notes: Plans for new fall meeting nearly set


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When live racing resumes Thursday at Churchill Downs, there will be four weeks remaining at the spring meet.

That’s also what Churchill will run here in September for the first time: a four-week meet, albeit on a three-day schedule (as opposed to four in the spring).

Churchill spokesman John Asher said Saturday that a release of the full schedule for the September meet, including stakes, is imminent. The novel 12-day meet will run Fridays through Sundays from Sept. 6-29, with the stakes schedule highlighted by traditional 2-year-old events the Pocahontas and Iroquois. Both of those races have been enhanced as Win and You’re In races toward the Breeders’ Cup. Two Saturday night programs already are on the schedule for Sept. 7 and 28.

The scaled-down fall meet will replace dates formerly run by Turfway Park in northern Kentucky. Turfway has seen its business levels fall off steadily in recent years.

Hanna without horses, out of business

Trainer Clark Hanna, who had operated a public stable for the last 11 years, is out of the business and living in the Fern Creek area of Louisville after “making it through” some health issues, he said this week.

“I ran out of clients, pure and simple,” Hanna said. “I’d like to get back in the game, but it’s hard when you don’t have any horses.”

Hanna, 45, did his best work with Wise River, who earned $499,337 and won the 2008 Carey Memorial at Hawthorne and the 2010 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park; A.U. Miner, a two-time winner of the 1 1/2-mile Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing; and Maximus Ruler, runner-up in the 2010 Lecomte at Fair Grounds.

In all, Hanna won 59 races. Before starting his own stable, he served a lengthy apprenticeship as a stablehand and assistant to various trainers, including Pete Vestal and Carl Bowman.

Miz Ida ready for Mint Julep Handicap

Miz Ida, a four-time stakes winner last year at 3, will be among the favorites for the Grade 3, $100,000 Mint Julep Handicap, the feature here next Saturday. Thirty-one fillies and mares are nominated to the 1 1/16-mile turf race, for which entries will be drawn Wednesday.

Miz Ida ran second in a May 12 allowance prep off a nearly six-month layoff and has had two breezes since then, including one Thursday over the turf.

“We’re ready to go,” trainer Steve Margolis said.

The full Saturday card will be run prior to the simulcast of the 145th Belmont Stakes.

◗ Havelock, headed to a Group 1 event at Royal Ascot, had his first breeze since finishing fifth in the May 4 Twin Spires Turf Sprint when going an easy half-mile Friday in 52.60 seconds over the Churchill main track. Trainer Darrin Miller said Havelock, a 6-year-old Maryland-bred gelding with earnings of nearly $530,000, will be flown June 16 to England, where he will run in the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee on June 22.

◗ Treasury Bill had his second local work since coming under the care of Wayne Catalano when breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Friday. The 3-year-old colt is being pointed to the Matt Winn Stakes on the June 15 Stephen Foster program.

Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
This change had to be made. What if Fairplex was the only track open in California in September? What if Finger Lakes was the only track in New York during September? September is too important of a horse racing month for Turfway to be the only track running in September in Kentucky. As it was all the good Kentucky based horses and trainers left Kentucky when CD and Kee aren't running. We can't have that. Turfway screwed itself up. Churchill didn't do it.
Bryan Rice More than 1 year ago
CD is not trying to put Turfway out. Its a Kentucky circuit racing agenda to have a track running at all times. Now Turfway is the "red headed step child" of racing in Kentucky. The "Beulah Park of the Bluegrass", I'm sad to see it being a long time TP fan, but it is what it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CDI seems more interested in putting other tracks out of business than running their own. Their hit list includes, Hollywood Park, which they sold to a land company, they are trying to run Turfway out, and in Chicago they are trying to run Hawthorne out. Not good for horseplayers if one company owns everything.