09/25/2013 1:10PM

Churchill Downs: Sprinter Ultimate Class finds a spot in two-turn race

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Tom Keyser
Stretching out to a mile on the turf, Ultimate Class is one of the program favorites in a well-matched and oversubscribed field of fillies and mares in the ninth race, the lone allowance race on a 10-race Friday card.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The presence of a mare named Ultimate Class in the Friday feature at Churchill Downs came not by design but by way of necessity.

“There just haven’t been any other spots for her,” said Mike Tomlinson, who trains Ultimate Class for the Patricia’s Hope LLC of Chicago-area businessman Vinny Foglia. “The Arlington races weren’t filling, she wasn’t eligible for anything at Kentucky Downs, and they didn’t card any turf sprints here at Churchill this meet.”

Stretching out to a mile on the turf, Ultimate Class is one of the program favorites in a well-matched and oversubscribed field of fillies and mares in the ninth race, the lone allowance race on a 10-race Friday card. Ultimate Class is in for a $62,500 claiming option in a race otherwise governed by a second-level allowance condition.

“She’s already won going the distance if you go back on her form and actually has quite a bit of experience going long,” said Tomlinson, a 59-year-old former baseball player at Oklahoma State University. “I’m really not all that concerned about the two turns.”

Ultimate Class will have Miguel Mena aboard when breaking from post 6 in a field that will be limited to 10, assuming the race stays on grass. Twelve are entered.

Ultimate Class was claimed for $25,000 by Foglia and Tomlinson at Gulfstream Park in February, all of which also holds true for Burn the Mortgage, another turf specialist who won last Friday at Churchill when also in for a $62,500 option.

“We finally got him to run up to his potential,” noted Tomlinson about Burn the Mortgage, adding the 4-year-old colt likely will run next in the $75,000 Carey Memorial at Hawthorne on Oct. 12.

Other chief threats in the Friday feature include Piracicaba (post 4, Robby Albarado), an intriguing Irish-bred who has raced exclusively in France; Poetic Kid (post 5, Channing Hill), whose trainer, Wayne Catalano, has been exceptionally hot in recent weeks; and Annabird (post 3, Antonio Castanon), a sharp last-out winner at Kentucky Downs.

Current meet leaders

Entering the final three-day weekend of the 12-day meet, Shaun Bridgmohan and Corey Lanerie were tied atop the jockey standings with 13 wins each. Bridgmohan was the leading rider at the spring meet.

The trainers’ race was just as tight among leaders Steve Asmussen (6), Dale Romans (6), and Steve Margolis (5).