04/29/2011 4:29PM

Churchill Downs: Winslow Homer sidelined again

Barbara D. Livingston
Winslow Homer, with Robby Albarado up, wins the Curlin at Saratogs

The oft-injured Winslow Homer, whose career has been punctuated by promising efforts and then lengthy absences, is on the sidelines again and will miss next week’s Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs, trainer Larry Jones said Friday morning.

“We sent him over to Rood and Riddle in Lexington, and their theory was that we should back off because of his suspensories,” Jones said. “So we’re going to pass the Alysheba.”

Jones took over as Winslow Homer’s trainer this year and raced him at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. Winslow Homer previously had been trained by Tony Dutrow.

Another Jones trainee, the older female No Such Word, is also going to have her next start delayed because of a minor ankle injury, Jones said. No Such Word had a stellar 2010 when under the care of Jones’s wife, Cindy, who swapped the main and assistant roles with her husband when he returned from a self-imposed retirement.

Jones still has two excellent chances in Derby Week stakes, most notably with Joyful Victory in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday. On Sunday, Jones said, Joyful Victory will work in company with the older female Payton d’Oro, who is scheduled to run on Friday in the La Troienne Stakes against 2010 champion 3-year-old filly, Blind Luck, last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner.

◗ With the Saturday opener running late into the night, Churchill will not have live racing here Sunday. Instead, Tuesday has been restored as the start of Derby week, with first post set for 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

Two allowances will highlight a 10-race Tuesday program. A number of top jockeys who will ride at other tracks following the Derby have mounts on the card, including Rafael Bejarano, Javier Castellano, Garrett Gomez, Rajiv Maragh, Rosie Napravnik, and John Velazquez.

Two allowances also anchor a 10-race Wednesday card.

◗ Churchill has announced that Jordin Sparks, the 2007 winner of American Idol, will sing the national anthem before the Derby. The performance will follow the Woodford Reserve at about 5:10 p.m. Eastern and will be part of the live NBC Sports broadcast.

An instrumental version of the national anthem will be played earlier in the day for the ontrack crowd by the Fort Knox Army Band.

– additional reporting by Marty McGee