Churchill Downs

Report: Arlington Employees Receive Layoff Notices

According to a report in Chicago's Daily Herald newspaper, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the owner of Arlington Park, has sent official notices to employees informing them they will be laid off 14 days after the final day of the meet, which is Sept. 25. CDI has not committed to racing beyond the end of this meet and has put the track up for sale. The layoff notices are a discouraging development after CDI applied for 2022 Illinois racing dates. A date request is not binding and does not have to...

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Bradshaw Raises Money for Derby Museum

NFL legend Terry Bradshaw's Bourbon Dinner at the Kentucky Derby Museum raised $32,246 to benefit the museum Thursday night. "Terry Bradshaw gained another fan this week--the Kentucky Derby Museum," said Patrick Armstrong, President & CEO of the Museum. "But not just for his superstar status. Terry showed up for us in a big way. He donated his time, shared his bourbon with our guests, and had everyone laughing and smiling the whole night. What you see on TV is what you get in person. It was a great night for...

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Letter to the Editor: Time for Horse Racing to Exhale

by Armen Antonian, Ph.D. Horse racing is stuck: stuck in the winter of 2019. Stuck at my home track at Santa Anita. That Santa Anita winter meet saw 37 horses euthanized and the meet stopped for a time due to horse safety concerns. California Senator Dianne Feinstein admonished the track publicly and Governor Gavin Newsom called horse racing "archaic."  There was real fear among Santa Anita officials for the continuation of horse racing in California. The events at Santa Anita were a trauma that reverberated around the U.S. racing world....

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Jockey Club to Court: Baffert Alone Bears Responsibility for Banishments

The Jockey Club (TJC) on Wednesday told the judge in Bob Baffert's federal lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that in deciding whether or not to lift the trainer's banishment from Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct, it is imperative to consider the larger issue that tracks should be entitled to bar anyone "credibly responsible for the administration of medication resulting in a substance violation" in order to "protect the health and safety of the sport's participants." Using a "friend of the court" brief, which is a legal document...

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The Week in Review: A Throwback, Letruska is Horse-of-the-Year Material

Apparently, trainer Fausto Gutierrez, whose main base is in Mexico, didn't get the memo. Top U.S. horses just don't run back in three weeks or start four times over the span of 85 days. They don't go from track to track and take on all challengers. Owned by St. George Stable, Letruska (Super Saver) is doing what just isn't done anymore. Coming back in three weeks after winning the GI Ogden Phipps S., Letruska romped Saturday at Churchill Downs in the GII Fleur de Lis S., winning by 5 3/4...

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Maxfield Reigns Supreme in Stephen Foster

Godolphin homebred Maxfield (Street Sense) put on a show at Churchill Downs yet again with a dazzling victory in the GII Stephen Foster S., a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Running off the fence early, the 2-5 chalk settled in sixth as longshots Empty Tomb (Speightstown) and Sprawl (City Zip) duked it out through opening splits of :23.33 and :46.88. Making an eye-catching move up the outside on the backstretch run, the dark bay swiftly picked off rivals, flying up to take charge at the...

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Super Saver Colt Last to First in Bashford Manor

Double Thunder put an exclamation point on what was already a great day for both his trainer Todd Pletcher and sire Super Saver with a decisive score in the GIII Bashford Manor S. at Churchill Downs. Just 15 minutes prior, Pletcher, who was also celebrating his birthday Saturday, won the GII Mother Goose S. at his Belmont base with Zaajel (Street Sense). Also, four races earlier at Churchill, Super Saver's Letruska took the GII Fleur de Lis S. The gray broke fine, but backed out of it immediately to trail...

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Unified Filly All Business in Debutante

Behave Virginia (Unified), the first winner for Unified when dueling free and airing on debut beneath the Twin Spires May 28, became her freshman sire's first stakes winner in Saturday's $150,000 Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. The 4-1 chance bobbled slightly at the start and sat behind the leaders in an inside fourth. She split horses as they turned for home and ran to the money to stay perfect. The winner's dam, a $25,000 purchase by Arif Kurtel at the 2019 KEENOV Sale, had a colt by Tamarkuz in 2020....

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Letruksa Runs 'Em Off Their Feet in Fleur de Lis

Entering this test on the back of a pair of Grade I wins, Letruska (Super Saver) was installed as the overwhelming favorite at 4-5 and more than justified those odds, running an overmatched field off their feet in Churchill's GII Fleur de Lis S. This event was a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff in November at Del Mar. Veering right a bit exiting her outside post, Letruska went straight to the front under Jose Ortiz and clocked opening splits of :24.533 and :48.19 with Antoinette...

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Gaffalione Secures Fourth Straight Churchill Riding Title

With one day of racing remaining at the spring meet, jockey Tyler Gaffalione secured his fourth-straight title at Churchill Downs and fifth overall. Through 37 days of racing, the 26-year-old recorded 47 wins from 215 starters. He led second-place Ricardo Santana, Jr. by 17 wins at the end of Friday's card. "We've been extremely fortunate to ride some top-class horses this meet," Gaffalione said. "It's been a wild meet overall but very successful. I'm very grateful to everyone who helped me get to this point." Following Saturday's closing day card,...

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June 26 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency MOTT SADDLES ANOTHER INTO MISCHIEF 'ROCKET' 2nd-CD, $100K, Msw, 2yo, 6f, 1:14p.m. Frank Fletcher and Bill Mott have enjoyed success with offspring of Into Mischief in the past with MGSW Frank's Rockette and they debut a son of that super sire here in ROCKET ONE. The $600,000 KEESEP acquisition is a half to GSP Dancing Belle (First Samurai). Their dam is a half to MGSW and millionaire Last Gunfighter (First Samurai) and dual graded winner Tiger Moth (Street Sense). TJCIS PPs   PRICEY NOT THIS...

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Maxfield the One to Beat in Stephen Foster

The talented Maxfield (Street Sense) headlines a field of nine slated for Saturday's GII Stephen Foster S. at Churchill Downs, a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. After suffering his first career defeat finishing third in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 6, the Godolphin homebred got back on track with a strong performance in Churchill's GII Alysheba S. on the GI Kentucky Oaks undercard. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Twinspires Kentucky Cup Classic S. winner Visitant (Ghostzapper) in second that day and another...

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