11/09/2009 12:00AM

Romans off to sensational start

Justin N. Lane
Tapitsfly will be given time off following her Juvenile Fillies Turf victory.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A little more than a week into the Churchill Downs fall meet, the winningest horseman at Churchill Downs isn't a jockey but a trainer: Dale Romans.

Romans, whose juvenile filly, Tapitsfly, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last Friday at Santa Anita, has won seven races at Churchill through Sunday, more than co-leading riders Leandro Goncalves and Jon Court, whom have ridden six winners apiece.

In an illustration of how hot Romans has been, he has outpaced the riders despite having fewer starters than any of the top 11 riders have had mounts.

He is 7 for 17, good for a 41 percent win mark, and is three wins ahead of trainers Steve Asmussen and Eddie Kenneally, who have won four races apiece. "We had a lot of horses doing good and they got in the right spots," Romans said.

Some also ran out of their skin, perhaps none more so than Lost Aptitude, a 2-year-old colt that won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on turf over a stakes-quality field Sunday. He scored by 3 1/2 lengths, covering the distance in 1:42.44 - 1.41 seconds faster than 3-year-old Mr. All American ran in winning a second-level allowance for older horses later Sunday.

Lost Aptitude, a son of Aptitude owned by Mike Bruder and Frank Jones, earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance - higher than the 85 Beyer posted by Pounced in winning the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

"He's an awfully good horse," Romans said of Lost Aptitude. "I thought he was super impressive. He pressed a fast pace and finished strong."

He could return in the Grand Canyon overnight stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf on closing day, Nov. 28, Romans said, although he also has Romans Reward under consideration for that race and would prefer to keep the two apart. The latter won a maiden race at Churchill Downs on opening day, Nov. 1.

In the Grand Canyon, a Romans trainee would likely face one of the talented Kitten's Joy runners from the Mike Maker stable - with Maker mentioning Kera's Kitten, Dean's Kitten, and William's Kitten as candidates for that race.

Tapitsfly, meanwhile, came out of her Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies race in good condition, Romans said. No plans have been drawn up for her, other than some time off is likely in order. "She ran a lot this year for a 2-year-old," he said.

Worldly following brother's lead

When eventual millionaire Suave won his first race at Churchill Downs in the fall of 2003, he did so by the narrowest of margins, winning by a nose in a 1 1/16-mile race for juveniles.

Sunday afternoon nearly six years later, his younger brother, Worldly, replicated that performance - winning Sunday's eighth race, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds, also by a nose, showing the same grit as big brother Suave, a multiple graded stakes winner and currently a sire.

How much potential Worldly possesses remains to be seen. But he shares the same bloodlines as Suave, being by A.P. Indy out of Grade 1 Ashland winner Urbane.

His owner and trainer are the same, too. Worldly is a homebred owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Paul McGee.

McGee debating stakes options

The McGee-trained Demarcation, upset winner of Friday's Grade 3 Ack Ack Stakes, is expected to make his next start in either the River City or Clark Handicap, McGee said Sunday. Both races are at Churchill Downs on Friday, Nov. 27, the penultimate day of the fall meet, with the River City being a $100,000, Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile grass race and the Clark a $400,000, Grade 2, at 1 1/8 miles on dirt.

Demarcation dead-heated for the win in the River City Handicap last year.

McGee also has Dubious Miss as a potential Clark starter. He ran second behind eventual Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Furthest Land in the Kentucky Cup Classic before winning an allowance race last month at Keeneland in a Clark prep.

DeCarlo trying to build business

Jockey Chris DeCarlo has ridden infrequently at Churchill Downs this fall, with five mounts through Sunday. But he hopes to become a regular on this circuit for more than this fall meet.

After winning Saturday's Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained Malibu Prayer, he said "hopefully we'll lay some groundwork down because I want to come back in the springtime."

DeCarlo, 40, has ridden predominantly in Florida and New Jersey since his career began in 1985. The next year at age 17 he won the Haskell Stakes aboard Wise Times.

He has ridden often for Pletcher in recent years in New Jersey, while also riding for Pletcher elsewhere when Pletcher's regular jockey, John Velazquez, has been unavailable.

He has twice ridden in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 14th aboard Faultless Ensign in 1989 and seventh on pacesetting Join in the Dance this year.