09/20/2013 12:33PM

Kentucky notes: Golden Soul to regroup after Kentucky Downs flop


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – His fans and critics had asked for class relief for Golden Soul, and that’s what they got this week when the 2013 Kentucky Derby runner-up dropped into first-level allowance company at Kentucky Downs.

Alas, that was no help either, although the undulating turf might have had something to do with another disappointing performance from the colt. With regular rider Robby Albarado aboard, Golden Soul was never a factor when finishing ninth, beaten seven lengths, in an $87,696 allowance race at 1 1/2 miles Wednesday at the south-central Kentucky track.

“He just didn’t handle the going,” trainer Dallas Stewart said the following morning at Churchill Downs. “He bobbled pretty noticeably over there at about the three-eighths pole when Robby asked him to go. After that, he just wasn’t into it. He came back a little banged up, so we’re just going to step back and regroup.”

It was the 10th career start, and the first on turf, for Golden Soul, the Charles Fipke homebred who now has been well beaten in all four starts since he ran second at 34-1 to Orb in the May 4 Derby. Before this latest outing, the colt ran ninth in the Belmont Stakes, seventh in the Haskell, and eighth in the Travers.

Napravnik wins five of first six

Rosie Napravnik won with five of her first six mounts Wednesday at Kentucky Downs, setting what is believed to be a track record for wins in a day, although the track has not maintained comprehensive records. In all, Napravnik won with five of nine mounts on the 13-race card.

One of the Napravnik winners was Moro Tap, who set a course record by finishing a mile and 70 yards in 1:43.45 over a very firm course. Moro Tap, a 3-year-old gray colt by Tapit, is trained by Mike Maker.

Kentucky Downs will wrap up its five-day meet Wednesday with another 13-race program, for which entries were released Friday.

Strong Mandate to work Sunday

Strong Mandate, the leading candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is scheduled to work Sunday morning at Churchill, said trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

This will be the second work for Strong Mandate since he captured the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga by 9 3/4 lengths earlier this month. The bay colt went a bullet half-mile on Sept. 13.

Blair wins with second starter

Jordan Blair won with just the second starter of his new training career when Van Gogo Girl upset the fourth race Wednesday at Kentucky Downs at nearly 12-1.

Based in Lexington, Ky., Blair worked for Mike Maker, Ken McPeek, and Michael Ann Ewing before taking out a trainer’s license.

Upcoming cards

Without so much as one allowance among the 10 races, the Sunday card surely ranks as one of the weaker ones at the 12-day September meet at Churchill.

First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern. After Sunday, the track goes dark for four days before the final three-day weekend of the meet commences Friday.