Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Positively,
a recent maiden winner at Churchill Downs, drilled a bullet three
furlongs beneath the Twin Spires in :35.20 Sunday morning for trainer Pat Byrne in his last major training move prior to Saturday’s $100,000-added Bashford Manor (Grade III).
The 111th running of the Bashford Manor for 2-year-olds
will be contested at six furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs.
It will be the featured event on the final “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program of the Spring Meet.
Working prior to the renovation break on the fast main track,
Positively recorded the quickest three-eighths work of the day and
galloped out four furlongs in :48 and five furlongs in 1:01.40.
“It was perfect,” Byrne said. “It’ll be a tough race, but he’s on his
game. We’re in good shape and he should like the extra distance.”
A bay son of Distorted Humor, Positively is a half-brother to Malibu
Moon, one of America’s leading sires. The colt was purchased privately
by the Sandfords for $200,000 after he failed to meet his reserve price
at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Also working toward the Bashford Manor on Sunday was Donegal Racing’s Roman’s Avenue, a winner in his racing debut at Churchill Downs on May 27. A dark bay or brown son of 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner Street Sense, Roman’s Avenue breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Dale Romans. It was the second fastest of 19 five furlongs works on Sunday.
Entries for the Bashford Manor are to be taken Wednesday and Churchill Downs officials are currently expecting a field of nine.
Horses believed by Churchill Downs officials to be pointing to the Bashford Manor include Circle Unbroken (trained by Garry Simms), Go Jack Go (Ralph Martinez), Good Tickled (Darrin Miller), I’m Boundtoscore, Positively (Byrne), Praetorian Prefect (John Paul Pucek), Roman’s Avenue (Romans) and Special Jo (Steve Asmussen).
Trainer Wayne Lukas is expected to enter Hightail or Red Wings for owner Bluegrass Hall LLC.