Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Spring Meet Concludes on a High

All-sources wagering on Churchill Downs' abbreviated 27-date Spring Meet totaled $240.5 million, which was a 53.3% increase from the 32 days of racing that followed last year's Kentucky Derby. Additionally, the average daily handle was up 81.7% from $4.9 million one year ago to $8.9 million this season. Shortened to seven weeks from May 16-June 28, the 2020 meet was staged under strict government-sanctioned protocols and without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, Churchill Downs experienced four of the track's six largest non-Derby, Oaks or Breeders' Cup betting...

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Kentucky Derby Museum Kicks off Churchill Downs Tours

The Kentucky Derby Museum announced the addition of tours at Churchill Downs June 29. Following closure Mar. 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum reopened June 8 but was restricted from conducting tours at Churchill Downs due to health restrictions. For the first time, Churchill Downs is allowing Museum Guests to access The Mansion on two tours: Behind the Scenes and the Churchill Downs After-Hours Tours. The tours offer special access to non-public areas of Churchill Downs Racetrack, including the invitation-only venue called The Mansion. The museum will also...

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American Pharoah’s Harvey’s Lil Goil Takes the GIII Regret

On a day of stellar open-length graded performances under the Twin Spires on the dirt, Harvey's Lil Goil reminded us that the grass can be just as exciting as she gave a heart-stopping performance to win by a head. One of several in the field of 13 who already had black-type experience, the gray was prominent early and always up with the leaders, keenly tracking longshot Eve of War (Declaration of War) from the outside behind fractions of :23.26 and :47.48. Harvey's Lil Goil collared that one at the quarter...

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Easy Win for Tom’s d’Etat in the GII Stephen Foster

Tom's d'Etat made his case for one of the top older horses of 2020 with a blowout performance in Churchill's GII Stephen Foster S. coming on the heels of three straight wins, including in last November's GI Clark H. under the Twin Spires. Allowing longshot Pirate's Punch (Shanghai Bobby) to dictate terms through initial fractions of :23.89 and :48.13, the 7-year-old loomed menacingly just to his outside before overtaking the pacesetter on the far turn following six furlongs in 1:11.67. Two lengths in front turning for home, the 6-5 choice...

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Midnight Bisou Back to Her Best GII Fleur de Lis

Champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) was back to her best form Saturday at Churchill Downs, winning the GII Fleur de Lis H. with ease in her first start back on U.S. soil since finishing an ultra-game second in the Saudi Cup in February. GI Kentucky Oaks victress Serengeti Empress (Alternation) jetted straight to the lead, while favored Midnight Bisou bided her time back in mid-pack through a brisk :23.18 first quarter. Inched closer by Mike Smith, Midnight Bisou moved up into third, while still several lengths off the pacesetter, as...

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TDN Rising Star Cazadero takes the GIII Bashford Manor

Stonestreet Stables homebred Cazadero made good on his 'TDN Rising Star' tag with a dominant victory in the GIII Bashford Manor S. at Churchill Downs Saturday. Demolishing the field by 8 3/4 lengths in his five-panel unveiling beneath the Twin Spires May 29, the Steve Asmussen pupil was heavily favored to repeat in this first juvenile graded stakes of the season. Breaking sharply, Cazadero tracked from a two-wide fourth as longshot County Final (Oxbow) blazed through a :21.24 first quarter. Ranging up two wide on the far turn, the bay...

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Curlin Filly makes it two straight at Churchill Downs

6th-Churchill Downs, $79,465, Alw, 6-27, (NW1X), 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.74, ft. PARIS LIGHTS (f, 3, Curlin--Paris Bikini, by Bernardini), sent off the 3-5 choice, settled in a two-wide second behind Enjoyitwhilewecan (Quality Road) through splits of :24.56 and :48.59. Taking over approaching the quarter pole, the WinStar hombred was clear in upper stretch and rolled home a 3 1/4-length winner over the pacesetter. Subsequent to Paris Lights, dam Paris Bikini foaled Cousteau, a colt by Into Mischief, and a filly by Distorted Humor last season. She produced a colt...

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$875K Into Mischief Colt Graduates in Churchill Unveiling

4th-Churchill Downs, $80,750, Msw, 6-27, 2yo, 6f, 1:10.70, ft. WHISKEY DOUBLE (c, 2, Into Mischief--Lake Sebago {MSW, $243,225}, by Munnings), an $875,000 KEESEP buy, was sent off the 7-5 choice in this unveiling and settled in a stalking position as Medicine Tail (Kantharos) led through initial fractions of :21.81 and :45.78. Three wide turning for home, the Steve Asmussen trainee took aim in upper stretch and wore down the 7-2 shot late to score by 3/4 of a length. Windcracker (Super Saver) was third. The bay's dam is MSW Lake...

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June 27 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency PAIR OF WELL-BRED DEBUTANTES IN CHURCHILL OPENER 1st-CD, $79K, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:00p.m. The appropriately named LUCKY FIND (Uncle Mo), a $50,000 KEESEP buy from a deep Helen Groves family, makes her career bow in this spot for Glen Hill Farm and Tom Proctor. Out of MSW Tea Time (Pulpit), the bay hails from the family of dual champion Covfefe (Into Mischief) and Grade I winners Arch (Kris S.) and Acoma (Empire Maker). Robert and Lawana Low homebred Sea Garden (Curlin) also debuts in...

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Fabricate Becomes Second Winner for Speightster

FABRICATE (f, 2, Speightster--Counterfactual, by Scat Daddy) entered this debut off a best-of-20 half-mile in :48 2/5 in the mud here June 22 and was bet down to 5-2 from a 5-1 morning-line quote. Keeping tabs from third through a :21.89 first quarter, the dark bay split rivals as the half went in :45.16 and forged clear in mid-stretch. Stablemate Bahama Mischief (Into Mischief) tried to make a race of it in the end, but was too late, finishing a half-length back in second. Fabricate is the second winner for...

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Competitive Field Set for Regret

A full and competitive field of 13 sophomore fillies are set to line up at Churchill Downs Saturday for the GIII Regret S. Earning her diploma by eight lengths at second asking in France in December, Crystal Cliffs (Fr) (Canford Cliffs {Ire}) was privately purchased and transferred to U.S.-based conditioner Graham Motion. She captured her first race in these shores in a nine-panel Churchill allowance May 31. Dominga (Ghostzapper) looks to return to winning ways in this test after finishing sixth last time in the one-mile Tepin S. here. Prior...

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Tom Rides Hot Streak Into Foster

Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) has been on a streak over the last few months and is heavily favored on the morning-line to secure his fourth straight victory in Saturday's GII Stephen Foster S. at Churchill Downs, which grants the winner a spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Capturing a sloppy renewal of the GII Fayette S. at Keeneland in October, the bay followed suit with a decisive score in the track-and-trip GI Clark S. Nov. 29. He kicked off 2020 with a 3/4-length score in...

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