11/18/2011 5:02PM

Churchill: Motor City will skip Kentucky Jockey Club


Motor City, winner of the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes on opening day of the Churchill fall meet, will bypass the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes next Saturday, said trainer Ian Wilkes.

“After he came out of his work [Tuesday], I just wasn’t quite happy with him,” said Wilkes. “He’s run five times already this year, so he’s done enough. We’ll take him down to Palm Meadows and get him ready for next year.”

Motor City, a gelding by 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, was third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and eighth in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland before rallying up the rail under Calvin Borel to win the one-mile Iroquois by three-quarters of a length. The Lantern Hill Farm of Suzi Shoemaker is the owner.

Wilkes still has Timely Tally, a maiden winner at Keeneland, for the 1 1/16-mile KJC. Borel will ride.

Other prospects for the Grade 2, $150,000 KJC Stakes include Atigun, Gemologist, Mr. Prankster, Optimizer, and Vee One Rotate.

The filly counterpart to the KJC, the Golden Rod Stakes, also is set for Saturday as part of the second Stars of Tomorrow program of the meet.

Small field likely for Falls City

The traditional Thanksgiving Day feature, the Falls City Handicap, has tended to draw small fields of fillies and mares for recent renewals, and that looks like the case again this year. The Grade 2, $175,000 race got just 17 nominations, led by the defending champion, Dundalk Dust. Some of the other more accomplished prospects include Afleeting Lady, Arena Elvira, Juanita, Masked Maiden, and Ravi’s Song.

Thursday entries will be drawn Sunday.

Here Comes Frazier recuperating

Here Comes Frazier, the 2-year-old colt who crashed through the rail when leading the Bourbon Stakes last month on the Keeneland turf, continues to heal from the hock injury and other fractures he sustained. The colt has been discharged from the Rood and Riddle equine hospital and is recuperating in Lexington at the Magdalena Farm of trainer Ken McPeek.

“He’s stable, very alert, and is being hand-grazed twice a day,” said McPeek. “I don’t think he’ll ever run again, but thankfully it looks like he’s going to make it.”

Hernandez clicking with non-favorites

Brian Hernandez Jr. finally rode a favorite – and won, as he has been doing quite a bit at this meet. Hernandez, trailing only Julien Leparoux and Corey Lanerie atop the jockey standings as this meet starts winding down, won the second race Thursday aboard Reputah the Beautah ($3). The filly was the only favorite ridden by Hernandez from his first 45 mounts at the meet.

Hernandez, 26, has been winning aboard longshots with regularity, helping to give him a $2 return on investment of $5.40 with 10 wins from his first 45 mounts.

◗ Ready’s Rocket, who stopped suddenly when finishing last in his latest start Nov. 10, displaced his palate in that race and should be ready to go again in a starter-allowance on closing day, Nov. 27, said trainer Tim Glyshaw. Ready’s Rocket, an 8-year-old gelding, has 10 career victories at Churchill.