11/18/2010 12:22PM

Gomez could return for Mrs. Revere mount on Saturday

Barbara D. Livingston
Garrett Gomez celebrates his Breeders' Cup Classic victory aboard Blame.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Garrett Gomez is named to ride one horse Saturday at Churchill Downs “and might feel well enough” to fulfill the mount, according to Ron Anderson, agent for the star jockey.

Gomez, who has been sidelined since winning the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill on Nov. 6 aboard Blame, was scheduled to see Dr. Dan Capen, his orthopedic specialist, again Thursday in Los Angeles to determine whether he can return earlier than had been projected. Anderson said earlier this week that Gomez was targeting Nov. 28 as a return date.

“Three days ago, Garrett didn’t think he’d be able to ride for a while,” Anderson said Thursday. “But by [Wednesday], he was like, ‘Maybe I can.’ I’m 80 percent sure he can ride this weekend and 100 percent sure by next Wednesday,” when the final week of the Churchill fall meet begins.

Gomez is named to ride Snow Top Mountain for trainer Tom Proctor in the $175,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes on Saturday at Churchill. Proctor said that if Gomez does not ride, Rosemary Homeister Jr. will get the mount.

Gomez, a two-time Eclispe Award winner and a four-time winner of the Bill Shoemaker Award, injured his shoulder in a Nov. 4 spill at Churchill but still was able to fulfill most of his mounts the next two days, including all eight in the Breeders’ Cup.

Anderson said Gomez will ride “maybe three or four a day” next Wednesday through Saturday and that he already has calls for Proctor, Todd Pletcher, Al Stall Jr., and Dale Romans, including calls in several key stakes. Gomez then will begin riding at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28, which is closing day at Churchill.

Farewell for Mine That Bird

Churchill and the owners of Mine That Bird are hoping to stage a public farewell to the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner sometime during closing week. The 4-year-old gelding was recently retired by owners Leonard Blach and Mark Allen after his form tailed off badly.

Churchill spokesman John Asher said Mine That Bird most likely will be paraded before the public between races on one of the final cards of the meet, perhaps Nov. 26, 27, or 28. Blach and Allen, who will be on hand, plan to van the gelding back to their New Mexico home soon afterward.

Mine That Bird, trained by Chip Woolley, won the Derby at 50-1 to become the second longest-priced winner in race history.

Kuntzweiler ends Churchill drought

Jockey Greta Kuntzweiler had ridden 28 winners at other racetracks since returning from a 4 1/2-year layoff but had gone winless this year from 33 mounts at her home track, Churchill, including an excruciating nose defeat aboard Happiness Is in the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap in July.

Kuntzweiler was happy to finally break that drought when riding Wealth to Me to a 1 1/2-length victory Wednesday in the ninth-race feature, a 1 1/2-mile allowance transferred from turf to the main track. Kuntzweiler, 35, returned to riding in June after dealing with substance-abuse problems.

◗ Michael Baze earned his first Churchill victory aboard Darkest Hour in the fourth race Wednesday. Baze, 23, was the leading rider at Arlington Park this summer and rode seven winners at the Keeneland meet in October.

◗ Veteran trainer Forrest Kaelin is serving a 10-day suspension for a second violation of a Lasix overage for one of his runners. The penalty ends Wednesday for Kaelin, who will head to Tampa Bay Downs after the Churchill meet ends.