A busy morning of works on a glorious autumn morning at Churchill Downs included a serious training move by a filly who is racing royalty on the track’s grounds: a five-furlong move by Brereton Jones’ Believe You Can
, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I).
Jockey Rosie Napravnik, who became the first woman to ride an Oaks winner when she guided Believe You Can home in last year’s renewal, was in the irons as the homebred daughter of Proud Citizen covered the distance over a fast surface in 1:00.20.
The move ranked as the third-fastest of 49 at the distance and trainer Larry Jones said he hopes to run Believe You Can in the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII), a 1 1/8-mile race for older fillies and mares and the traditional centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Day celebration on Thursday, Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.
“We’re trying for the Falls City,” Jones said. “We’ll probably need at least one more work.”
Believe You Can last competed in the Grade I Ogden Phipps Handicap on May 27 at Belmont Park. She finished last in a field of six under jockey John Velazquez. It was a very disappointing race for Jones because his Joyful Victory, ridden that day by Napravnik, ran fifth.
“We haven’t figured that one out,” Jones said of the disappointing Phipps run. “She never got untracked. But it was also a bad race for Joyful Victory, so I don’t know if we shipped too close to the race, because both horses ran almost identical races.
“Both horses got a layoff after that and Joyful Victory came back really good, so we’re expecting this one to do that, too.”
The work by Joyful Victory was also notable for Napravnik, as her appearance at Churchill Downs was the first for the 25-year-old jockey since Sunday. She had suffered this week from body soreness that is attributable to a pair of mishaps. Napravnik was thrown from a mount at the start of a race on the Oct. 27 opening day of the Churchill Downs Fall Meet, then was shaken up late last week in a traffic mishap in Louisville before she travelled to Southern California for the Breeders’ Cup.
Napravnik is scheduled to ride five mounts on Saturday, including a ride aboard Phipps Stable’s Abaco in the 40th running of the $100,000-added Cardinal Handicap (GIII), which is scheduled as the eighth of the day’s 10 races.