06/24/2008 11:00PM

Theriot taking momentum to Saratoga


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Jockey Jamie Theriot is riding his recent hot streak at Churchill Downs all the way to Saratoga.

Theriot, who at one point during the current Churchill meet won with 9 of 10 mounts, including 6 in a row, "wants to give Saratoga a try," said agent Fred Aime. "We feel like we've built quite a bit of momentum and business, and this looks like a good time for Jamie to go up there and see what he can do."

Theriot won with his final mount on June 15, a Sunday, then won the first two races when racing resumed on June 18. After one losing mount, he won with his next four rides, marking just the 11th time in Churchill history a jockey has won as many as six races on a card. He then won with his first two mounts on June 19, giving him six in a row over a two-day period.

Three other Churchill jockeys will ride regularly at Saratoga, where the 36-meet runs July 23 through Sept. 1 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Those riders are Robby Albarado, Julien Leparoux, and Shaun Bridgmohan.

Theriot, 29, was a top rider at tracks in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas before moving his tack to Kentucky in April 2007. He had his first mount in a Triple Crown race when he rode Kentucky Bear to a sixth-place finish in the Preakness last month.

Trujillo hits the road

Elvis Trujillo came late and left early. Trujillo began his Churchill meet in an auspicious manner on May 17, winning with all three of his mounts, but left far more quietly, having compiled a record of 10 wins from 77 mounts.

Since June 13, Trujillo had ridden just twice at Churchill, getting one mount each on June 18 and 19. His last win at Churchill came June 5.

Otherwise, Trujillo has been all over the map lately. He rode June 14 at Calder; on June 15 at Woodbine; last Saturday at Colonial Downs; last Sunday at Woodbine; and Wednesday at Suffolk Downs. He will ride at Monmouth Park in New Jersey until about July 17, said his agent, Cliff Collier, after which he will move north to ride the full meet at Saratoga.

Debutante has 10

A field of 10 2-year-old fillies, all but one of them entered off a win, has been entered for the Saturday feature, the 108th running of the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes at six furlongs.

The only starter in the $100,000 Debutante not entered off a win might well end up being the favorite: Garden District, a Todd Pletcher-trained filly who finished second against males in the May 1 Kentucky Stakes, the only prior stakes for 2-year-olds at the spring meet.

Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has won the Debutante four times, including each of the last three runnings, will be represented by Simplify and Songtress, both impressive winners in their first and only starts.

Racing academy has second starter

Matthew Straight will become the second graduate of the North American Racing Academy to ride in a parimutuel race when he has two mounts on the Friday card here.

Straight, 22, will ride Bali Warrior in the eighth race and Miss Sara K in the 11th. Straight, from East Greenbush, N.Y., follows Jessica Oldham Stith, who became the first academy graduate to compete professionally, finishing fifth in a June 17 race at River Downs.

The racing academy is operated in Lexington, Ky., by retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who in 2002 relocated with his family from California to establish the school.

Keyed Entry heads day's richest race

The richest race on an 11-race Friday card at Churchill, the third, drew a field of five older horses, with the most recognizable name belonging to Keyed Entry, the last-place finisher in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The 6 1/2-furlong race, which carries a $50,400 purse, also has Vicarian, Officer Rocket, and Bold Start as contenders.

A $43,100 entry-level allowance occupies the customary race-10 feature slot on the Friday card, which carries a first post of 2:45 p.m. Eastern.