08/23/2011 4:03PM

Ravalo sets sights on Kennedy Road after Remington Park Sprint Cup win

Tom Keyser
Ravalo earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup.

Ravalo might be getting better with age. The Maryland-based gelding, who is 7, put up a Beyer Speed Figure of 98 on Saturday night, when he won the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup. He fought back for a half-length win over Captain Cherokee in the Oklahoma City race, while covering six furlongs in a sharp 1:08.20.

“That was one of his better performances,” said Donald Barr, who trains Ravalo for Lindy Redding. “It really was a good race for him.”

Barr said Ravalo was due back at his Laurel base Tuesday. He said a consideration for the horse’s next start is the Maryland track’s $150,000 DeFrancis Dash on Oct. 22. Ravalo last ran in that race in 2009, finishing second by a half-length to Vineyard Haven. Another race on Ravalo’s radar is the Grade 3, $150,000 Kennedy Road on Polytrack at Woodbine on Nov. 19.

“He did win that last year,” Barr said. “It was the first time we’d ever run him in Canada, and he ran very well on that racetrack. It was one of his better races, similar to the Remington race. We’d definitely like to try to make the Kennedy Road.”

Barr said there is one other race that could come into play for Ravalo. It’s the $250,000 Presque Mile at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 9.

“It’s a slim possibility,” Barr said. “That might be coming back at little quick. But he’s done well at Presque Isle. He likes that surface a lot. It is a mile, and we’ve thought about it some since he’ll rate now. We’ll see how he comes off this race. I don’t know if we’d go back that fast.”

Ravalo is a 12-time stakes winner and a son of Mutakddim. Overall, he has won 16 races and $1,121,522.

Old Bushmill eyes Louisiana Champions Day

Old Bushmill, a 3-year-old who defeated a deep field of older horses last Saturday in the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic at Louisiana Downs, has a longterm goal of making the Champions Day program at Fair Grounds on Dec. 10, trainer Morris Nicks said. The horse is targeting the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf Handicap.

“If I find something on the grass suitable to go in, we’ll probably run once before that,” Nicks said. “He’s the type of horse, he empties out pretty good after a race. But he runs good fresh.”

Old Bushmill was making his first start in more than six weeks in the Turf Classic, which was one of the richest races on the Louisiana Cup card of eight statebred stakes. He came into the 1 1/16-mile turf test off consecutive wins over the Louisiana Downs course, a maiden score May 14 and a first-level allowance July 4.

“He had to go forward and he did,” Nicks said. “He ran a big race. I was real proud of him.”

The field Old Bushmill defeated included his half-brother, seven-time stakes winner Ide Like a Double. Old Bushmill is a son of Epsom Derby winner North Light, a stallion who on Sunday had another stakes winner, Chips All In, who accounted for the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colo.

Old Bushmill, meanwhile, earned a career-high Beyer of 85 for his late-running win in the Turf Classic. Nicks, who is the leading trainer at Louisiana Downs, conditions the horse for Larry Johnson.

Football game inspires card at Remington

Remington Park is planning a handful of races restricted to Oklahoma- and Texas-breds on Oct. 8, the date of the Texas-Oklahoma football game, said Dan Fick, the track’s director of racing and racing secretary. He said the idea comes from the playbook of Corey Johnsen, the racetrack executive who had put on a similar show in honor of the college football rivalry when he was based at Lone Star Park near Dallas.

“We’ll split the fields between Oklahoma- and Texas-breds,” Fick said last week. “We still have to sit down and see what we’ve got on the grounds, but I presume we’ll run an allowance on the turf and on the dirt, probably a maiden special weight, a starter allowance, something along those lines.”

◗ Aide, a multiple stakes-placed runner who once romped by 19 lengths in an allowance at Churchill Downs, moves back to the main track in the featured third race Thursday at Louisiana Downs. The $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares will be run at one mile and 70 yards. Shane Sellers has the mount for trainer Al Stall Jr.

◗ Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico reported the Thoroughbred offerings at a mixed sale Sunday averaged $8,076 per lot, up 38 percent from $5,862 during the corresponding sale in 2010. The sale-topper for Thoroughbreds was a yearling filly by Dome. She brought $75,000 from William Hatchett.

◗ Fick said Don Thompson has joined the Remington racing office team as stakes coordinator. Thompson had served in the same capacity with Sam Houston Race Park.