11/06/2009 12:00AM

Meet's top apprentice so far looking north for the winter

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LOUISVILE, Ky. - Jockey Freddie Lenclud plans to try to make it in the Big Apple this winter.

Lenclud, the leading apprentice rider at the Churchill Downs fall meet, said Wednesday that he would shift his tack to New York after the Churchill Downs meet concludes Nov. 28.

"I hope to go to Aqueduct when this meet ends," Lenclud said. "They run five days a week there to only three days at Turfway Park. New York in the winter is a good place for a bug rider."

Lenclud, a 22-year-old native of France, has been good to his backers this fall at Churchill Downs, winning two races Wednesday, with Talk to Nick ($16) and Golden Country ($48.80), before adding another victory Thursday on Lacie Slew ($24.80).

Those three winners - from just 11 mounts heading into Friday's card - placed him in a three-way tie for third in the rider standings, along with Jesus Castanon and Leandro Goncalves. Robby Albarado led the standings with five winners and Calvin Borel had four winners. Also heading into Friday, Lenclud had the highest win percentage of any rider with two or more wins at the meet.

His two winners on Wednesday were his first at Churchill Downs.

"It was exciting," he said.

Debut winner fooled public

Although Lenclud's winners have paid handsomely this meet, not even he has ridden a 98-1 shot to victory here - something Dean Mernagh did in piloting Jerry Barry Jack to an upset debut victory for trainer Phillip Jones in the seventh race Thursday.

A 3-year-old son of Wild Wonder, Jerry Barry Jack ($198.80) was ignored by the betting public, having shown only one work at Victory Haven Training Center in his past performances. And although three late workouts were announced, including a half-mile gate workout in 51 seconds Oct. 31, none was fast enough to inspire much support.

Jerry Barry Jack then proceeded to run like a horse who deserved to be 9-5, not 98-1. He pressed the pace on the outside, took over leaving the turn, and turned back a stretch bid from Pedrolino to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He raced seven furlongs in 1:23.36.

For his trainer, Phillip Jones, the win was his first since 2002, and his first starter since 2004.

"I thought he'd run good," Jones said. "I didn't think about his price."

Jones, 64, who bred Jerry Barry Jack and owns him with Jeff Walling, said he hasn't run any horses in recent years, because he has been juggling family life and his kids going off to college. Even now, he works as a truck driver for UPS, training "part-time," as he describes it. He hopes to retire from UPS next year.

Oh, and for those that were wondering, "I had a little on him," Jones said of betting Jerry Barry Jack.

Desormeaux put on warning

Churchill Downs stewards issued a warning to jockey Kent Desormeaux for not riding Valse Autriche aggressively all the way to the finish in the last race this past Sunday. If a similar occurrence takes place this meet, he could be fined or suspended, chief steward John Veitch said.

Valse Autriche, trained by Bill Mott and owned by Haras Santa Maria de Araras, raced in second much of the running Sunday's 11th race, a $46,000 maiden race on grass, before being edged for the place on the finish line by the late-running Apple Charlotte. She finished third, a nose behind the runner-up.

Replays show Desormeaux whipping Valse Autriche left- and right-handed during early stretch, but not over the final sixteenth of a mile. She finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.