05/08/2008 11:00PM

Mr. Nightlinger earns a vacation


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Bret Calhoun is in the midst of drawing up plans for Mr. Nightlinger, Orphan Brigade, and Sumfun, all of whom won significant races for the barn in the span of two days earlier this month. Mr. Nightlinger captured the Grade 3 Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks undercard May 2. A day later, Orphan Brigade won a $35,000 turf sprint allowance feature at Lone Star Park and Sumfun took the $50,000 Route 66 Stakes at six furlongs on dirt at Will Rogers Downs.

Mr. Nightlinger has made two starts in turf sprints, and has won both races. His first score came in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland on April 13. One start later, he took the Aegon.

"Right now, we're going to look to give him six to eight weeks before we run him back," said Calhoun, who trains the horse for Carl Moore Management and Martin Racing Stable. "We've got things targeted later in the summer."

Calhoun said the first major objective is the $200,000 Arlington Sprint, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds and up to be run at Arlington Park on Aug. 23. Down the road, Calhoun said Mr. Nightlinger would be considered for the $250,000 Turf Monster Handicap at five furlongs on turf at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 1.

Sumfun and Orphan Brigade are also owned by Carl Moore Management,. Sumfun won the Route 66 in a sharp time of 1:08.20. It was his second straight win following an allowance score at Lone Star on April 13. He has several options on the horizon, said Calhoun.

"That's his third stakes that he's won on the road, so he looks like one I can ship a little bit," he said. "We shipped him into New Mexico some last year, and there's some races at Louisiana Downs. I wouldn't be surprised if he showed up in Louisiana or New Mexico."

Orphan Brigade is being pointed for the $50,000 Ford Express at Lone Star on May 16, said Calhoun. His win was one of four consecutive races that Calhoun won at Lone Star on May 3.

First winner for stallion Cuvee

Trainer Steve Asmussen, who trained Grade 1 winner Cuvee, sent out a nice-looking winner from the stallion's first crop Thursday night at Lone Star. Border Cuvee won his debut in the fifth race, a maiden special weight for Texas-breds. The colt is believed to be the first winner for Cuvee, according to an official at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky., where the stallion stands.

Border Cuvee was away sharply in the 4 1/2-furlong race, withstood pace pressure along the rail, then put away more experienced colts in the stretch for a three-length win. Asmussen said in some ways, Border Cuvee reminds him of Cuvee.

"In the fact that he's all class," he said. "He's just really calm and he's never made a mistake. He does anything you ask him. He ran very professional. He's a nice horse."

Cuvee possessed brilliant speed and flaunted it when he won the Grade 1 Futurity at Belmont Park, the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at Saratoga, and the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill as a 2-year-old of 2003. All told, he earned $402,044.

Asmussen said next-race plans are yet to be determined for Border Cuvee, who was bred and is owned by his father, Keith Asmussen.

Timely Reflection sold, heading to Prairie

Timely Reflection, who won the $50,000 Richland Hills Farms Stakes at Lone Star on April 26, has been sold privately in a recently completed deal, according to Jay Etheridge, the bloodstock agent who handled the transaction. Keith Hooker and Darwin Olson purchased the filly from Ward Stables.

Wilson Brown is the new trainer of Timely Reflection, who won the Richland Hills Farms for trainer Bret Calhoun. Brown said the filly could make her next start in the $50,000 Panthers Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on June 7 at Prairie Meadows.

Timely Reflection won at six furlongs in the Richland Hills to earn a career-best Beyer Figure of 88. Her other career stakes win came at a mile on turf, in the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial at Louisiana Downs.

"The filly can run short, she can run long, she runs on dirt, and she runs on grass," said Brown. "Her form is very good."

Timely Reflection is a daughter of Yankee Victor.

* Retired Hall of Fame rider Pat Day is scheduled to be the keynote speaker during a racetrack chaplaincy gala at Retama Park on Thursday.

* Temperamental Miss and Blue Angel are the chief players in the featured eighth race Sunday, an optional $45,000 claimer for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf.

* Bonny Brown, who is the nation's only female racetrack bugler, will make a guest appearance at Lone Star on Sunday. She has long been affiliated with Arlington Park.