Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Trainer Dale Romans issued an upbeat bulletin on Monday morning about
several of his newly turned 3-year-olds. Spendthrift Farm’s Medal Count
rallied strongly to dead-heat for the win in an allowance on the
Gulfstream grass on January 12 in his turf debut, and the versatile son
of Dynaformer will likely test his credentials on the main track next
“He’s doing good,” Romans said. “I’m sure that we’ll go back to the
dirt in a stakes somewhere, I’m just not sure where yet.”
A $360,000 yearling purchase, Medal Count aired in his debut on the
Ellis Park dirt before finishing fifth on Polytrack in the Bourbon
Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. The big bay colt disappointed Romans when he
ran up the track in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on November 2 at Santa
Anita, but the Kentucky native remains convinced of Medal Count’s
“He has a lot of room to improve,” Romans said after the colt’s win. “He has all the natural talent in the world.”
Romans also offered progress reports on a trio of colts owned by
Donegal Racing. Cleburne and Smart Cover completed the $500.00 exacta
for the syndicate in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill on September
7, only to be sidelined thereafter. Culprit broke his maiden in his
third start on October 27, but faded to eighth in the Kentucky Jockey
Club Stakes (G2) on November 30.
“They’re coming along well,” Romans said. “All three of them are
doing good and are pointing in the right direction. We just have to
speed it up a little.”
Culprit, a son of Street Sense, has recorded three five-furlong
workouts since arriving at Gulfstream in mid-December.
“He’s not far from a race—he’s probably one work away,” Romans noted.
Cleburne was forced to miss the Breeders’ Cup with an injury.
“He cracked his shin a little bit; it was very minor,” Romans said.
“He’s back in training and he’ll be on the worktab soon.”
Smart Cover sustained a saucer fracture after the Iroquois.
“He’s been training a little longer (than Cleburne) and he’ll be breezing in the next week or so,” Romans added.