06/02/2009 12:00AM

Pure Clan coming back in Mint Julep

Benoit & Associates
Pure Clan will be the starting highweight in the Mint Julep for trainer Bob Holthus.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Pure Clan will make her first start since the Breeders' Cup when she returns to action Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $100,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap.

"I'm eager to get her going again," said Bob Holthus, who trains the millionaire filly for a partnership that includes her breeder, Lewis Lakin, and the IEAH syndicate. "She's the best filly I've ever had."

By trailing throughout in the Oct. 24 BC Filly and Mare Turf, Pure Clan failed to finish as high as third for the first time in 11 career starts. Among her four career stakes victories was a rallying score last July in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

Pure Clan will carry 122 pounds as the starting highweight in the Grade 3 Mint Julep, for which entries were to be drawn Wednesday. Acoma, assigned 120 pounds, figures to challenge her for favoritism in what shapes up as a competitive 33rd running of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Holthus, who has been training for nearly 57 years, said he hopes the Mint Julep will serve as a useful prep for the main midyear goal for Pure Clan, the Grade 1 Bevery D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 8.

The Mint Julep will anchor a live Saturday card that will be run in its entirety prior to the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes.

Borel to rode Researcher in Stephen Foster

Calvin Borel will ride Researcher in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 13, according to agent Jerry Hissam.

Researcher, a winner in 10 of 17 starts, is trained by Jeff Runco at Charles Town, where the 5-year-old gelding upset Commentator in the $615,000 Charles Town Classic in his most recent start, April 18.

Researcher figures as a longshot in the Grade 1 Foster, especially when matched up against the likes of Einstein, who had another sharp workout here Sunday morning. Einstein went five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.40 and is scheduled for his final prerace workout this coming Sunday, said trainer Helen Pitts.

Borel won the Foster in 2006 with 91-1 shot Seek Gold, easily the longest-priced winner in the 27-year history of the race.

One Caroline sidelined with minor injury

One Caroline, the 4-year-old filly who opened her career with five straight wins before finishing second to Miss Isella as the odds-on favorite in the May 1 Louisville Distaff at Churchill, has been sidelined after exiting a Friday workout at Keeneland with a minor injury, said trainer Rusty Arnold.

One Caroline will be out of training for about 60 days, said Arnold, adding that he hoped she could return in time for the Churchill fall meet in November.

One Caroline, a speedy gray by Unbridled's Song, won the Grade 3 Sabin and Grade 2 Rampart at Gulfstream Park last winter for Arnold and owner G. Watts Humphrey Jr. She was being pointed to the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap on June 13.

Wiggins back in the winner's circle

Hal Wiggins was back in a familiar position when he fully extended his arm to put a hand on the flank of a first-time starter named Brassy Boy following the seventh race here Friday. Wiggins was in the Churchill winner's circle - his first trip there since he greeted Rachel Alexandra following the filly's record 20 1/4-length victory in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks.

"That's how they pose with their winners in the old Southwest," said a smiling Wiggins.

Brassy Boy, a 2-year-old colt by Storm and a Half, is owned by Millsap Stables, a longtime client for Wiggins. Another longtime client, Dolph Morrison, bred and co-owned Rachel Alexandra before she was sold six days after the Oaks. She won the Preakness in her only subsequent start.

* Julien Leparoux put a little more breathing room between himself and Borel atop the Churchill jockey standings by riding six winners during his two days of action here last weekend. Into Thursday, Leparoux led by a 39-35 count.

* Tara Murty, who incurred several injuries in an early-morning automobile accident May 25 just yards outside the stable gate, was back to work Sunday at the Nick Zito stable.

* The pick-six carryover into the Thursday card is $13,528. The wager is offered on the last six races daily.