06/10/2010 11:00PM

Wealth to Me tries for two in a row


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Bill Ford said he and his longtime client Robert Mondun have fielded offers for a promising 3-year-old named Wealth to Me, but nothing has gotten done. So five weeks after Ford and Mondun got quite a thrill -- and scare -- when Wealth to Me won at first asking at 19-1, the gelding will represent the same connections when he returns to action by stepping up into the allowance ranks at Churchill Downs.

Wealth to Me made a huge move on the far turn to enter contention in his May 9 debut at Churchill, but after outnodding the odds-on favorite, Raven Hawk, in a torrid stretch duel, he had to survive a lengthy review by the stewards following a jockey's objection before being declared the official winner.

"We went on a fishing trip for a couple weeks after that," a still-pleased Ford said recently.

Duly regrouped at the Trackside training center since that nose triumph, Wealth to Me will face six others in the eighth of 10 Sunday races at Churchill, a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles. Miguel Mena has the mount back on Wealth to Me, a homebred Tapit gelding who will break from the outside post.

Apart and Zimmer, two last-out maiden winners in the slop, figure as the top challengers to Wealth to Me.

Apart, an Adele Dilschneider homebred, will break from post 2 with Alex Solis up after winning off by 7 1/2 lengths a month ago. Zimmer will have Corey Lanerie aboard from post 6 after registering a 2 1/4-length triumph when equipped with blinkers for the first time on the May 1 Kentucky Derby undercard.

* Race 9 on Sunday's card is a second-level optional $75,000 claiming race for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. Valentine Fever, entered for the claiming tag, is the most accomplished of nine starters.

* Clearly, the rash of big races here this weekend has temporarily emptied the Churchill stakes cupboard. There will be a two-week gap until the next stakes is run here: the Grade 3 Debutante on June 26. Until then, overnight stakes or high-end allowances will serve as daily features.

First post Sunday is 12:45 p.m. Eastern. After a three-day break, live racing resumes Thursday.