Kentucky Downs Results Sept. 11, 2016

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9/11/2016
8:41 pm EDT

Dueling Grounds Derby, Oaks
Former Claimers Oscar Nominated, Try Your Luck Much the Best

By Dick Downey
@DowneyProfile
Photos by Reed Palmer/Kentucky Downs


Today's Headlines: Oscar Nominated and Try Your Luck, each claimed in its second start for $75,000, won the Dueling Grounds Derby and Dueling Grounds Oaks. Daddy's Boo and Cammack each earned automatic berths in the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.

Handle Record: Today's handle was $4,487,790.40, bringing the four-day, 40-race  total to $18,880,172.59. That eclipses last year's five-day, 48-race total of $16,887,188. The final day of the meet is Thursday.

Multiple winners. Jockeys: Florent Geroux again led the talented rider colony, this time with five wins, bringing his total to 11. Julien Leparoux had two wins. With Flavien Prat's victory, jockeys born in France won eight of today's races. Trainers: Mike Maker with three wins, including both stakes races, the Dueling Grounds Derby and the Dueling Grounds Oaks. Maker now has seven victories at the meet.

Race 1. Maiden Special Weight, Fillies and Mares 2YO, $130,000, 1 Mile
Winner: Joust, followed by Clearly Claire, Tapanel, English Dancer
Trainer: Christophe Clement
Jockey: Julien Lepraoux
Owner: Robert S. Evans
Payoffs: $3.60, $2.40, $2.40
Time: 1:38.31
Joust was sent off as the 4-5 favorite on turf rated good after rainfall the previous afternoon. He stalked Clearly Claire, pounced in the stretch and drew off. The son of War Front became another winner at the meet that last raced at Saratoga. Trainer Clement expanded his record to three wins from three starts at the meet.

Race 2. Allowance N1X/N2L, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $140,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
Winner: Scatter Gun, followed by Neilinger, Mo's Love and Sashay
Trainer: Neil Pessin
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Lothenbach Stables, Inc. (Robert J. Lothenbach)
Payoffs: $4.20, $2.80. $2.40
Time: 1:17.04
Scatter Gun quickly took the lead and didn't give it up. Guided by Florent Geroux, the race for first place was over soon, and a battle evolved for the second spot. Trainer Pessin brought Scatter Gun here last year when he won at odds of 2.4-1; today he was even money. It was the first start for Scatter Gun since last October. Trainer Pessin's father, Doc Pessin, was the first manager at this track when it was called Dueling Grounds.

Race 3. Maiden Special Weight, 2YO, $130,000, 1 Mile
Winner: Artful Union, followed by Mascarpone, Shareholder Value and Street Review
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Owner: New Direction Racing (Tom Childress)
Payoffs: $11.40, $6.60, $3.80
Time: 1:38.96, track upgraded to firm
The top two finishers were separated by a nose and the third finisher was a neck back at the wire. In one of those race track oddities, Mascarpone, who lagged well behind early, was led to the winner's circle where his picture was taken, then the placing judges declared Artful Union the winner, Mascarpone second. The photo shows the placing judges made the correct decision. Jockey Hernandez continued to perform well with his fifth win of the meet. Had the photo gone the other way, Robby Albarado, whose birthday is today, would have had his fifth win. As they say, that's horse racing.

Race 4. Allowance Optional Claiming $62,500 N2X/N3L, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $145,00, 1 Mile
Winner: Kitten's Roar, followed by Southern Gem, Impeached and Moon Medal
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Payoffs: $5.00, $3.00, $2.80
Time:  1:37.33
Jockey Geroux hugged the rail around the turn, then swung out to get the lead mid-stretch and inch away from a tough Southern Gem. It was Geroux's eighth win of the meet. He won 12 times last year. Trainer Maker registered his fifth win this meet -- he won eight times last year.

Race 5. Allowance Optional Claiming $62,500 N2X/N3L, 3YO & up, $145,00, 1 Mile
Winner: Bank Float, followed by Blarp, Taghleeb
Trainer: Arnaud Delacour
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Owner: Bruce C. Jackson Racing
Payoffs: $8.00. $4.60, $3.20
Time: 1:37.46
Bank Float won after a courageous, extended drive as he and Flavien Prat put away one challenger after another. This was jockey Prat's second win during his first meet at Kentucky Downs. Bank Float became the first horse at the meet to win after coming in from a race at Laurel Park

Race 6. Starter Allowance $25,000, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $75,000, One Mile 70 Yards
Winner: Daddy's Boo
Trainer: Larry Rivelli
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Patricia's Hope, LLC (Vince Foglia)
Payoffs: $5.20, $3.60, $2.60
Time: 1:42.10
A Saratoga graduate strikes again, as Daddy's Boo, eager to run throughout, collared the pacesetter leaving the turn. The race was as good as over at that point, and Florent Geroux won for the third time today. Daddy's Boo last raced at the Spa, the third winner today to do so. The win earned Daddy's Boo an automatic berth in the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.

Race 7. Starter Allowance $25,000, 3YO & up, $75,000, One Mile 70 Yards
Winner: Cammack, followed by Procurement, Halo Nation and Let Us Be Glad
Trainer: Chris Block
Jockey: Carlos Marquez, Jr.
Owner: Team Block (David Block)
Payoffs: $4.60, $3.20, $2.40
Time: 1:41.96
Cammack prompted the pace, took the lead in the turn and held off the late-running Procurement by less than a head. The Chicago-based owner and trainer Team Block is well-familiar with Kentucky Downs, having won the Kentucky Turf Cup in 2012 and 2014. Cammack, a veteran of the turf himself, won on the surface for the seventh time in 16 starts and for the eighth time in 21 career outings -- and it was his sixth straight win. By taking this race, Cammack an automatic berth in the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.

CONNECTIONS QUOTES

Carlos Marquez, Jr., winning jockey: “This horse, you can do whatever you want with him. He can go to the front or stalk. He’s so good right now, he’s King Kong. He’s won six in a row and was just a tick off the track record. He’s very game. If you’re going to beat him, you better go by him running because if not he’s going to dog you to the wire.”

Chris Block, winning trainer; “We had no idea what he was going to do coming back. Obviously by running for $25,000 a couple of times, I didn’t expect him to be on this kind of roll.”

David Block, winning owner: “It wasn’t hard to figure that one out. We don’t get that kind of opportunity too often. This is like winning a stakes for us, especially winning down here in Kentucky and competing at a higher level. So far we’ve done pretty well.”

Race 8.  Dueling Grounds Oaks, Fillies 3YO, $200,000, 1 5/16 Mile
Winner: Try Your Luck, followed by Taralena, Leafy Shade and Celestial Insight
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Out of This World Racing LLC (Stephanie Carroll)
Payoffs: $8.40, $3.60, $3.20
Time: 2:11.60
Try Your Luck, never far back, was asked at the top of the stretch and quickly separated herself from the pack. She galloped away to prevail by 7 1/2 lengths in one of the easiest of wins at a very competitive meet. Most recently, Try Your Luck won the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park but was disqualified to third. Today's victory was her third in 10 career starts. With a place and three shows on her resume as well, the honest filly has been off the board only once. By Lookin at Lucky out of Golden Sphinx, by Storm Cat, Try Your Luck was bred in Kentucky by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding. She was claimed by current ownership out of a $75,000 maiden claiming race, her second career start, at Gulfstream Park in February.

CONNECTIONS QUOTES

Florent Geroux: “We’ve been focused on this meet for a while. While some connections were focusing on Del Mar or Saratoga, Mike’s been focusing on this meet. You have to have luck to get in the (overfilled) maiden and allowance races, but with a stakes you pretty much know you’re going to get in.”

Justin Carroll of his wife's Out of This World racing: "I know Mike does a great job moving horses forward. We wanted a trainer based at Churchill but also running in Florida and Chicago and looked at his background. She’s had a couple though trips. The last three stakes we thought we could have won. When the jockeys came back they said, ‘Should have done this. Should have done that.’ It was just a matter of letting things open up in front of her and let her do her thing. We see more big things to come from her.”

Mike Maker, winning trainer: “He just called up, identified himself and said 'there’s a filly running in a few days at Gulfstream, would you claim her for us?’”

Race 9.  Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby, 3YO, $350,000, 1 5/16 Mile
Winner: Oscar Nominated
Trainer: Mike Maker
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Payoffs: $8.00, $4.60, $3.40
Time: 2:11.45
Florent Geroux rated Oscar Nominated in sixth place down the back while wide, stayed wide on the turn, came into the stretch three deep and bounded away. The victory underlined the fact that Oscar Nominated, who ran poorly in the Kentucky Derby this year, is indeed a very talented turf and synthetic horse. A son of Kitten's Joy, Oscar Nominated broke through in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on April 2 when, at 23-1 odds, he closed for the win and assured himself a spot in the Derby starting gate. The Ramsey's who stand Kitten's Joy, actually claimed Oscar Nominated for $75,000 last October out of a maiden claiming race at Belmont Park. Like Oaks winner Try Your Luck, the claim came in his second career start. He's now won almost $650,000. The colt is out of the Theatrical mare Devine Actress and was bred in Kentucky by Mrs. Jerry Amerman.

Trainer Maker, who was instrumental in the claim of Oscar Nominated, won his fourth stake at the Kentucky Downs meet with horses he claimed. This was his third win today and jockey Geroux's fifth.

CONNECTIONS QUOTES

Winning trainer Mike Maker: What's the secret of your claiming success?  “Having the money to claim them. It’s obviously a huge gamble. But no different than getting them out of the sale and you’re getting them for a little less. He’s been facing the best. I thought the competition was a little lighter than he’s been up against. Proud of his performance.”

Winning rider Florent Geroux: “Both of them (Oscar Nominated and Try Your Luck) were forwardly placed and had a nice stalking trip from the outside. Both of the horses just really liked the track and ran away. Very similar.”

Mark Partridge, manager of Ramsey Farm: “He’s just maturing. Every month goes by, he gets bigger, stronger. He must have been a light-maturing kind of horse. That’s probably why they put him in claiming race and gave us the opportunity to take him. But he’s just maturing every day, and he’ll be better next year.

Race 10. Maiden Special Weight, 3YO & up, $130,000, 1 Mile
Winner: Outlawed, followed by Collateral Kitten, Time Out and Itsthebourbontalkn
Trainer: George R. Arnold, II
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Owner: Ashbrook Farm (Glenn S. Bromagen)
Payoffs: $35.20, $19.80, $13.60
Time: 1:37.67
All one could find at the conclusion of this race was big numbers. For example, the 10 cent superfecta paid $3,482.18, and the favorite, Kabang, was nowhere to be found in the super hi-5, which will have a carryover on closing day of $7,387. The winner, Outlawed, came in from Ellis Park and broke through here with a much-improved effort in his fourth career start.