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McPeek's BC Runners Eye Churchill Stakes

Golden Ticket 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Trainer Kenny McPeek is planning an assault on the remaining stakes races in the Churchill Downs Fall Meet that could include his top performers from last week’s Breeders’ Cup Championships at Santa Anita.

Rosalind, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), and Golden Ticket, runner-up in the Dirt Mile (GI), are listed as “possible” starters in stakes races run during the three-day Thanksgiving weekend that wraps up the 25-day meet. But if McPeek opts to send those horses to races in other locales, his stable will be well-represented during the final three weeks of the meet.

Rosalind and Golden Ticket are getting a few days on McPeek’s Magdalena Farm before they return to the track to train for races that will likely be their final starts of 2013.

Landaluce Educe Stables’ Rosalind has a record of 1-1-2 in four starts following her fast-closing third-place run behind Ria Antonia and She’s A Tiger, who finished in the reverse order before the latter was disqualified and placed second. The daughter of Broken Vow rallied from last in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies to lose by just over a half-length.

She won at first asking in an Aug. 2 maiden race at Ellis Park, then finished third to Untapable in Churchill Downs’ Pocahontas (GII) and runner-up to My Conquestadory in the Darley Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland.

McPeek said Rosalind could run in the $175,000-added Golden Rod (GII) on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” card on Nov. 30, but said the $500,000 Hollywood Starlet (GI) on Dec. 7 remains an option.

Nominations have already closed for the latter, but McPeek could make Rosalind a supplemental entry for $10,000 at the time of entry. That path worked last year when he won the race with Magdelena Racing’s Pure Fun.

“We still think that the juvenile filly (championship) might be wide open,” McPeek said. “We think that if enough good ones hook up in the Starlet, there’s a chance that the winner of that race could be the champion.”

She’s A Tiger is among the 194 2-year-old fillies nominated to run in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet.

Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Golden Ticket, runner-up to Goldencents in the Dirt Mile, could be headed for a rematch with that rival in Aqueduct’s $500,000-added Cigar Mile (GI) on Nov. 30.     

“It’s not definite, but that’s where we’re leaning,” McPeek said.  “We think he’s really good at a mile and if all goes smoothly, we’ll head that way.”

McPeek said the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) on Nov. 29 is also a possible spot for the next outing for Golden Ticket, who dead-heated with Alpha to win the 2012 Travers (GI) and was runner-up to 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned in this year’s Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs.

“We would like another Grade I for him,” McPeek said. “But we’re not ruling out the race here. We’ll nominate him.”

Regardless of final decisions regarding Rosalind and Golden Ticket, McPeek’s team will be busy in Churchill Downs’ remaining stakes events of 2013, beginning with planned runs by Haras Old Friends’ Regret (GIII) and Virginia Oaks (GII) runner-up Praia in next Saturday’s $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (GII), a co-feature on the only “Downs After Dark” night racing program of the fall. McPeek plans to run a pair that night in the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (GIII) in Magdalena Racing and Diamond M Stable’s Virginia Derby (GII) winner War Dancer and Magic City’s Frac Daddy, who ran 16th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) but has turf allowance wins at Saratoga and Keeneland since the first Saturday in May.

Preston Stable LLC’s Flashy American, winner of Churchill Downs’ Locust Grove and fourth to eventual Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) winner Beholder in her most recent start in the Zenyatta (GI) at Santa Anita, is set to run in the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap on Thanksgiving Day.

Along with a possible run by Rosalind, McPeek is pointing Bal Mar Equine’s Street Sense filly Streethomealabama to the Golden Rod. She recently scored her first win in six career starts in an Oct. 23 maiden race over synthetic Polytrack at Keeneland.

Arctic Slope, owned by John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable and third to We Miss Artie in the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) over Polytrack at Keeneland after breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs in September, is tentatively set for the $175,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) on the Nov. 30 “Stars of Tomorrow II” program. The status of the son of Van Nistelrooy for the KJC could depend on his performance this weekend in a strong 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race. That race is scheduled as Race 7 on Saturday at Churchill Downs.


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