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Churchill Downs: Turallure looks to snap five-race losing streak in Thursday allowance
By Marty McGee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One year ago this week, Turallure was arguably the most respected turf horse in North America. As such, he was the 7-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the 2012 Kentucky Derby undercard.
Since the gates were sprung for that race, however, little has gone right for Turallure. He gave a subpar effort in that race and then another, after which trainer Charlie LoPresti gave the gray horse more than nine months between races because of bone bruising detected by nuclear scintigraphy.
Now 6, Turallure had a recent race over the Keeneland turf, finishing a disappointing sixth of seven under allowance conditions. LoPresti no longer wants the Woodford trophy for him – the Lexington-based trainer has his reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, pointing to that race – but just any trophy for a multiple graded stakes winner with a bankroll exceeding $1.3 million.
“We need him to get a win, period,” LoPresti said. “We need him to get his confidence back. He’s sound again. It’s just a matter of getting him back into racing shape and finding the right spot for him.”
To that end, and with that needed race behind him, Turallure figures to fare considerably better Thursday when starting from post 1 in a $61,000 classified allowance that anchors the 10-race Oaks eve card. Julien Leparoux has the mount back for this 1 1/16-mile turf race.
Eight others will try to deal Turallure his sixth straight defeat, most notably Air Support, who made all the running before settling for third in the same April 6 allowance in which Turallure ran sixth. Joel Rosario, who has had an extremely hot hand in recent weeks, will be aboard Air Support for trainer Shug McGaughey when breaking from post 4.
Others with major credentials include Keep Up (post 6, Miguel Mena), the winner of the Grade 3 River City here last fall, and Rahystrada (post 8, Rosie Napravnik), a grizzled 9-year-old with a $1.2 million bankroll.
One race earlier, Golden Ticket will have Rosario aboard when looking to restore a bit of lost luster in a $57,000, third-level allowance going a one-turn mile on the main track. Golden Ticket was a dead-heat winner of the Travers Stakes last summer.
First post Thursday is 12:45 p.m. Eastern. First post here Friday and Saturday is 10:30 a.m. There is no live racing here Sunday.
The Oaks eve program typically draws about 20,000 ontrack fans, although Churchill no longer releases attendance figures except for major race dates at its company-owned tracks.
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