05/25/2012 11:59AM

Churchill Downs: Southern Parkway back quick after throwing jockey


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It isn’t often that Rusty Arnold runs a horse back in nine days – but it isn’t often that he has one throw his jockey at the start as the favorite, either.

A 3-year-old gelding named Southern Parkway did just that May 18 on the Churchill Downs turf course, spilling Jesus Castanon when stumbling badly at the break. The only one hurt was Castanon, who suffered fractures in two small bones in his left hand and is sidelined for about a month as a result.

Southern Parkway will have a chance to set things right Sunday when part of a well-matched field in the second of two allowances that close out a 10-race program at Churchill. First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern, with the last race going at 5:25.

“I’ve hardly ever run one back this quick,” Arnold said early Friday from Keeneland. “He fell on his head out of the gate, and obviously the worst part was Jesus getting hurt. He ran around the track, they caught him, and he came back fine. Probably in a perfect world, I’d have waited longer to run back, but you never know about these grass races sometimes. They won’t fill or you won’t get in or they’ll rain off the turf. So if we had skipped this, it might’ve been another two months before we got a race to suit him.

“He came back acting good with no injuries, and I gave him two days off before I galloped him again. He acts just fine and has been into the feed tub. We’re in a little bit of uncharted waters, but we’re going to send him down there again and give it a try.”

A son of the noted grass sire and 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, Southern Parkway ran second at Gulfstream Park and third at Keeneland in similar grass allowances leading up to his gross misstep as the 5-2 favorite in the May 18 race.

Corey Lanerie replaces Castanon aboard Southern Parkway in post 7 in the $55,300, first-level allowance scheduled as a two-turn mile.

Other contenders in an oversubscribed Sunday finale include Enduring Star, a West Point Thoroughbreds 4-year-old with very competitive Beyer Speed Figures; Positive Side, second for this same condition in a two-back Keeneland turf race for trainer Scooter Hughes; and Chalice, second in a similar race here May 3. In all, 14 were entered, but only as many as 12 will run.

Some 30 minutes earlier, Thermal Cat will try to follow up on Beyers of 102 and 93 when making his third career start in race 9, a $55,300, first-level allowance sprint. Trained by Wayne Catalano, Thermal Cat figures as a solid favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds.

After Sunday, racing will be held here on a Monday for the only time at this meet because of the Memorial Day holiday. After a two-day break, action resumes Thursday.