Churchill Downs

From TDN Look: While the Horses are Away

It's three days before Christmas, a time when most young Americans can be found lounging on the couch binging on Netflix and cookies, but Merlin Cano is busy on the backside of Churchill Downs. Most of the trainers have already packed up and headed for warmer climates. A few trucks roll by carrying used straw or unused hay, remnants of the hive of activity this backstretch was just a few weeks ago. All is quiet for now, but Merlin knows there is still much to be done. Merlin is a...

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Mike Anderson Named President of Churchill Downs Racetrack

Mike Anderson has been named the 14th President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Tuesday. Anderson brings to the role 24 years of leadership experience at CDI, having recently served as Vice President of Operations, where he led the planning, construction and opening of over $300 million in capital projects across CDI's properties. He joined CDI in 1996 as Controller and has held a number of roles with the Company, including Vice President of Corporate Finance, Investor Relations, Risk Management and Treasurer. Anderson will report to Bill Mudd,...

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Asmussen Honored with KY Thoroughbred Owners’ Warner Jones Horseman of the Year Award

Steve Asmussen--who this year became Churchill Downs' all-time win leader and only the second trainer to achieve 9,000 career victories--is the 2020 recipient of the Louisville-based Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners' Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award. The award recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to Kentucky racing and sharing the passion exemplified by Jones, who spent 50 years on the Churchill Downs board, including eight as chairman during the iconic track's resurgence. Warner Jones--the first and so far only breeder of a Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup...

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The Week in Review: For Plesa, a Bittersweet Ending to Calder Saga

From a racing standpoint, there could not have been a more appropriate way for Calder to go out. There when the track ran its first ever race in 1971, trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. won the last race run at the track that had been rebranded as Gulfstream Park West. Plesa won for the 1,326th time at Calder/GPW Saturday when Diligent (Temple City) won the final race that will ever be run at the South Florida racetrack. "I didn't ask anybody to put me in the last race. It just happened....

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Laoban Colt Graduates in Kentucky Jockey Club

Keepmeinmind (Laoban) entered Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. a maiden, but with board finishes in each of his three previous appearances, including two at Grade I level. The bay colt, last for the opening 6 1/2 furlongs, came with a barnstorming finish to graduate in style, earning 10 points towards next year's GI Kentucky Derby in the process. Favored at 2-1, Keepmeinmind was clearly last into stride and was taken in hand by David Cohen, as Smiley Sobotka (Brody's Cause) set the pace at the fence from Oncoming Train...

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Into Mischief ‘Rising Star’ Makes it Two-for-Two at Churchill

Juddmonte homebred Mandaloun (c, 2, Into Mischief--Brooch, by Empire Maker) overcame an eventful trip to graduate at first asking at Keeneland Oct. 24, good for 'TDN Rising Star' honors, and stayed perfect in an optional claimer at Churchill Downs Saturday. The even-money favorite kept the early leaders within his scope from his outside draw from fourth. The handsome bay was under a ride on the far turn, began to respond with a three-wide move, and kept on coming in the stretch to reel in Twilight Blue (Air Force Blue) and...

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Travel Column Becomes First Graded Winner for Frosted in Golden Rod

Travel Column (Frosted) endured a checkered passage--to say the least--in Saturday's GII Golden Rod S. at Churchill Downs, but showed a fair bit of courage to hit the wire first. A half-step slow out of the gates and pinched back soon after, Travel Column was last to make the clubhouse turn and was taken hold of by Florent Geroux as Farsighted (Bernardini) took them along at a sensible clip. The $850,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga acquisition was slipped a bit of rein at about midway and improved her position into midfield and...

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Nov. 29 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency BROWN UNVEILS JUDDMONTE BLUEBLOOD 5th-AQU, $80K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, 1:46p.m. Juddmonte homebred PRECIPITATE (Pioneerof the Nile) makes her career bow for trainer Chad Brown. Her dam is a half-sister to champion Close Hatches (First Defence), who is the dam of MGSW & MGISP Tacitus (Tapit); and to SW & MGISP Lockdown (First Defence). The dark bay prepped for this with a best-of-188 half-mile in :48 flat over the Belmont training track Nov. 22. Michael Trombetta unveils a half-sister to last year's GI Breeders'...

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Bodexpress Springs the Upset in the Clark

Bodexpress (Bodemeister) has had an unconventional career, running in the GI Florida Derby, GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. last year--and throwing his rider at the start of the latter--as a maiden. Placing in a trio of stakes since then, the bay finally earned his black-type badge Friday at the highest level with an 11-1 upset in Churchill's GI Clark H. Away alertly, Bodexpress pressed from second early as 155-1 shot Phantom Currency (Goldencents) clocked opening splits of :23.39 and :47.94. Headed by Mr. Freeze (To Honor and Serve)...

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Saturday’s Insights: Pricey Uncle Mo Colt Debuts at Big A

Sponsored by Alex Nichols 6th-Aqueduct, $80k, Msw, 2yo, 6f, post time: 2:15 p.m. ET Bob LaPenta, Gainesway and Bridlewood Farm's ALL MO (Uncle Mo) debuts for trainer Jonathan Thomas. The $450,000 KEENOV weanling turned $900,000 KEESEP yearling is a half to stakes winner and graded placed Fusaichi Red (Fusaichi Pegasus). TJCIS PPs 4th-Churchill, $85k, Msw, 2yo, 1 1/16m, post time: 2:27 p.m. ET Andrew Farm and For the People Racing's BUGLE OF WAR (War Front), a $400,000 KEESEP yearling, debuts for trainer Eddie Kenneally. The colt is out of Group...

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‘Fury’ Looking For Redemption in Kentucky JC

Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm's King Fury (Curlin) is undefeated in two prior starts at Churchill Downs and tries to annex his first graded victory in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. A debut winner at the Louisville oval in September, the chestnut was eighth in Keeneland's GI Breeders' Futurity S. Oct. 3 before bouncing back to score in the Oct. 25 Street Sense S. Last time out, the 2-year-old finished seventh under Brian Hernandez Jr. in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 6. "He's 2-for-2 at Churchill...

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This Side Up: A Second Track to the Twin Spires

They keep telling us not to get ahead of ourselves, with all the promising news on vaccines. But however tough the winter still to come, we can surely now glimpse some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. And perhaps it's not too ambitious even to start envisaging times and places when we might finally be able to pause, and look around, and savor anew those rituals of teeming color and vitality we now understand to be so integral to human fulfilment. Like, maybe--whisper it--the first Saturday in...

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