Updated on 09/16/2011 7:11AM

Simon is 'live' again


LEXINGTON, Ky. - If nothing else, Charles "Chuck" Simon learned well. A longtime former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, Simon has demonstrated with his work - not his words - that his horses can run with anyone's.

"That's the way 'The Chief' does things, and the way I prefer to conduct my business, too," said Simon, referring to Jerkens's nickname and silent-but-strong demeanor. Simon worked for Jerkens for 5 1/2 years.

Next month, it will have been three years since Simon began making Kentucky his primary base. A Saratoga Springs, N.Y., native who graduated from the University of Arizona racing industry program, Simon, 34, has a stable of nearly 40 horses currently split between Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

Although his stable recently struggled through a forgettable winter when split between Fair Grounds and Gulfstream, he is "live" again, having won with four of his first seven starters at the Keeneland spring meet.

Rising to the occasion at Keeneland has become a rite of spring and fall for Simon. In three of the past four Keeneland meets, his win percentage has been

50 percent or better. He was 4 for 8 at both the 2000 fall and 2001 spring meets.

"Given a choice, I'd rather do well during the spring, summer, and fall than in the winter," said Simon. "I've got quite a few recycled horses, since my turnover hasn't been that high. The horses get tired."

His main clients, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, account for about half of his active runners. He already has won races at this meet with No Deadline, Nothing Left, Fast City, and Metatonia. He also had No More Chads as a contender in the Forerunner Stakes on Wednesday, and will lead off the Thursday card with an old favorite, El Ballezano, who figures to be the favorite under Pat Day in the first race.

"I got him almost as soon as got here to Kentucky, when he was a 2-year-old," said Simon. "He's not what he used to be, but he should be tough for $15,000."

Carry-in items banned at Oaks, Derby

Churchill Downs Tuesday released a price list for items to be sold at the track on Kentucky Oaks and Derby days, May 3 and 4. Patrons will be banned from bringing in many normally permitted items, such as bottled water, ice, soft drinks, and a variety of supplies, because of stringent security.

Such items will be sold, however, in conjunction with Thornton Oil Corp., a regional gasoline and convenience store chain. Two massive Thornton's Quick Cafe and Market tents will operate in the infield. Expanded retail facilities also will be available to grandstand and clubhouse customers on both days.

Prices for all items will be "within pennies" of the retail prices for the same items at Thornton's stores located outside the track, Churchill said in the release. For example, a 20-ounce soft drink or bottled water will cost $1.25, and a bag of ice will be $1.50.

Churchill announced last month that the tight security will be implemented primarily because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Lexington to attract about 10

Easyfromthegitgo, Ethan Man, and Officer are the most notable runners pointed toward Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, the richest race here this week.

About 10 3-year-olds are likely for the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Lexington, which will be televised on a delayed basis on ESPN2. The one-hour broadcast begins at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Pompeii nearing 2002 debut

Pompeii, winner of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign last summer at Saratoga, is very close to her 2002 debut after working five furlongs Tuesday at Churchill in 1:01.20.

A 5-year-old Broad Brush mare owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Elliott Walden, Pompeii, has not raced since finishing 11th and last in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last October.