09/17/2010 2:30PM

Guillot plans to have 20 horses for Churchill fall meet

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Eric Guillot says Champagne d'Oro will prep for the Breeders’ Cup by facing older fillies and mares in the Oct. 9 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eric Guillot has consolidated a 20-horse stable at Churchill Downs, marking the first time the Louisiana-born trainer will have a sizable contingent of runners to compete on the Kentucky circuit.

Guillot, who had raced primarily in Southern California since 2006 before leaving earlier this year to move back east, has one of the top contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in Champagne d’Oro, the standout 3-year-old filly who won the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 1 Test in New York this year.

“With the Breeders’ Cup being there at Churchill this year, I thought it was the way to go,” Guillot, 48, said by phone this week while visiting two of his three sons in California. “We’ll race there through the end of the Churchill meet [Nov. 27], then head back to Santa Anita for the winter once they put the dirt track back in.”

Guillot, who has a full-service training center near Lafayette, La., and is a partner with Mike Moreno of Southern Equine in the former Parrish Hill Farm in Midway, Ky., said he intends to be active at the fall meets at Keeneland and Churchill. He is in the process of dispersing his cheaper stock that has been racing at Louisiana Downs through various means.

Champagne d’Oro, who won the Acorn on the June 5 Belmont Stakes undercard at nearly 40-1, will have her first local breeze next Saturday, Sept. 25, said Guillot. In her last start, she won the Test at Saratoga by 4 1/2 lengths. She will prep for the Breeders’ Cup by facing older fillies and mares in the Oct. 9 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland.

“We’ll run her the one time at Keeneland, and hopefully that’ll set us up,” said Guillot, whose previous graded winners include Santa Teresita, Salute the Sarge, Mi Sueno, and Show Me the Stage during a Thoroughbred career that began in 1992.

Meanwhile, the nearby Trackside Training Center is beginning to fill to a greater capacity than what has become typical in recent times. Guillot took the place of the Tim Glyshaw stable, which, like a number of other stables, would normally be at Churchill but has been moved to the 500-stall training center to help accommodate horses coming in for the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup. Capacity at Churchill is about 1,400 horses.

Blame set to work at Keeneland

Blame, the leading contender for the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, is scheduled to work again Sunday over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland in Lexington in preparation for the Oct. 2 race at Belmont Park.

Blame has had four workouts for trainer Al Stall Jr. since he defeated Quality Road in the Aug. 7 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, with the most recent being a six-furlong drill in 1:11.80, handily, at Keeneland last Sunday. Stall said the 4-year-old colt will work once more, on Sept. 26, before departing for New York on Sept. 30.

Secretariat Day at Turfway

Turfway Park will host “Secretariat Day,” next Saturday in anticipation of the upcoming release of the Disney movie, “Secretariat.” Ron Turcotte, who rode Secretariat to win the 1973 Triple Crown, will be on hand for autographs, as will retired jockey Otto Thorwarth, who plays Turcotte in certain scenes in the movie.

There will be other Secretariat themes throughout the day, including pass giveaways to the movie, which has its world premiere on Sept. 30 in Hollywood, Calif., and comes to theatres on Oct. 8.

◗ Turfway will host “Horses and Hope” for the third year during the live card Friday. The event raises funds and awareness for breast cancer research.

◗ Kentucky Downs will conclude its four-day fall meet with a nine-race card Monday. Back-to-back, first-level allowances (races 7 and 8) serve as co-features at the all-turf track in Franklin, Ky. First post is 1:30 p.m. Central.