11/17/2010 2:12PM

Night time might be right time for Prove Yourself


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Maybe racing can come back in vogue like this, too. A “Mad About Plaid” theme is one that Churchill Downs officials are employing for the only evening card of the 21-day fall meet, and it’s an attempt to capture the fancies of a youthful market that sees plaid as retro-stylish.

Whereas older fans might have to dig deep in their closets to find appropriate attire, the hipper 20-somethings who will descend on Churchill should be all set. Regardless of how outlandish it might seem to some, the ontrack action will be unaffected, with two allowance races – one before dark, one after – serving as the featured fare.

The first allowance (race 2) is a $54,300, second-level turf sprint for fillies and mares in which Cauy’s Humor, a gray 4-year-old filly with Julien Leparoux to ride, should prove tough to beat. In two tries over the Churchill turf last spring, Cauy’s Humor registered a win and a second, and after finishing a creditable eighth in a rugged renewal of the Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland in her last start, she will be deserving of favoritism over the likes of Wildcat Heiress and Wicked Uno.

The second allowance (race 10) comes much deeper in the evening. It’s a $56,400, third-level turf route that drew an overflow of entries, with perhaps Ordination a lukewarm favorite over Whitley, Calimonco, Unbridle’s Dream, and Prove Yourself.

Prove Yourself has precedent for doing well under the Churchill lights, having finished a bang-up second at nearly 30-1 here June 11. “We’re hoping he’ll run big under the lights again,” his trainer, Ron Pelligrini, said with a chuckle.

Prove Yourself went 2 for 2 thereafter but is unraced since Aug. 27. “After his last race, his feet were bothering him a little,” said Pellegrini “But there haven’t been many races for him, and I’ve entered him three or four different times and couldn’t get him in. He runs well fresh anyhow.”

Unlike at the spring meet, when sultry conditions were the norm for four night cards, the temperature for Friday is supposed to dip into the low 40s after sundown.

General admission Friday is $10, up from the normal $3. The last race is scheduled for 9:36 p.m., but postrace festivities will continue in the paddock area until about 11.