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Churchill Downs notes: Salty Strike well-spotted in Friday's Dream Supreme
By Marty McGee
Among the attractions on an excellent Friday undercard is the $65,000 Dream Supreme, an overnight stakes slotted as the second of 12 races. Salty Strike, a winner in 4 of 8 starts this year, looks like the horse to beat in a field of seven fillies and mares going six furlongs.
“This looks like a really good spot for her,” said trainer Ken McPeek. “She didn’t run as well as we thought she would” when finishing third as the favorite in the Grade 2 Chilukki nearly three weeks ago, “but overall she’s had a great year, and she loves Churchill.”
Indeed, in eight career starts here, Salty Strike has posted 5 wins and 2 thirds.
Salty Strike will have Victor Lebron aboard when she breaks from post 4. Her chief threat could be Cheery, an up-and-coming 3-year-old seeking her fourth straight victory. Cheery, trained by the red-hot Al Stall Jr., will start from the outside post with Shaun Bridgmohan riding.
Three allowances (race 4, 9, 10) also serve as supporting races on the Clark program.
Cohen picking up better mounts
David Cohen is hoping to wrap up his first fall in Kentucky on a positive note with the mount on Frac Daddy, one of the major contenders for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Saturday. Frac Daddy, trained by McPeek, looked sensational in winning a two-turn maiden race by nearly 10 lengths here Nov. 3.
Cohen, 28, is among a handful of Churchill jockeys moving to Gulfstream for the winter. After a rough start at Kentucky Downs and Keeneland, where he had a lengthy losing streak before finishing 3 for 48, Cohen had six wins at the Churchill fall meet heading into the final five-day stretch. Until this fall, he had ridden almost exclusively on the East Coast during a riding career of eight-plus years.
Arroyo to make comeback at Turfway
Norberto Arroyo Jr. will return to riding on opening night of the Turfway Park meet, Nov. 29, according to his brother, jockey agent Nelson Arroyo.
Norberto Arroyo has not ridden since August 2009, when he was arrested on drug charges in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He has been granted a conditional jockey’s license by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and was hoping to ride at the Churchill meet, but that did not happen. Nelson Arroyo has moved to south Florida for the winter to work for Gabriel Saez.
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