Racing News

Empress of Midway, Now Co-Owned by Pitino, Works; In Tune, Room Service Out / Longines Kentucky Update, Friday, April 25

| Churchill Downs | 04/26/2014 #
  • Empress of Midway breezed for trainer Doug O'Neill (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

  • In Tune, suffering from a sore shin, is out of the Kentucky Oaks (Reed Palmer, CD)

  • Room Service (outside) will skip the Oaks and focus on grass races (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

UNTAPABLE (No. 1) – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Angel Garcia before the Friday morning renovation break for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Rosie Napravnik will have the mount on Untapable in the 140th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).

SUGAR SHOCK (No. 2) – On Cloud Nine’s Sugar Shock came out of her Thursday half-mile work in :48.40 “100 percent,” trainer Doug Anderson said.

Anderson said Sugar Shock would jog two miles Saturday morning.

Calvin Borel, who was aboard for the work, has the Oaks mount.

FASHION PLATE (No. 3) – Arnold Zetcher and Michael Tabor’s Fashion Plate, winner of the Las Virgenes (GI) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI) in her  two most recent starts, is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Santa Anita according  to trainer Simon Callaghan.

IN TUNE/MY MISS SOPHIA (No. 4)/GOT LUCKY (No. 6) – Trainer Todd Pletcher ruled Wertheimer and Frere’s undefeated In Tune out of the 140th Kentucky Oaks because of sore shins.

Pletcher said the filly would go to the farm for six weeks of rest.

Pletcher’s remaining Oaks hopefuls, Mathis Stable’s My Miss Sophia and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Philip Steinberg’s Got Lucky, galloped after the morning renovation break with Humberto Zamora on My Miss Sophia and Amy Mulen on Got Lucky.

Pletcher also confirmed riding assignments for the Oaks. Javier Castellano will be on My Miss Sophia and John Velazquez will be on Got Lucky. Both fillies are scheduled to work Saturday.

ROSALIND (No. 5) – Landaluce Educe Stables’  Rosalind, dead-heat winner of the Ashland Stakes  (GI),  galloped after  the renovation break with  exercise  rider Danny Ramsey on board.

Conditioned by Kenny McPeek, Rosalind is scheduled to breeze Saturday morning, weather permitting. Joel Rosario has the mount in the Oaks.

ROOM SERVICE/AURELIA’S BELLE (No. 7) – James Miller’s Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) winner Aurelia’s Belle walked the morning after working seven furlongs in company with Room Service in 1:28.60.

Wayne Catalano, who trains both fillies, confirmed that Mary and Gary West’s Room Service has been withdrawn from consideration for the Kentucky Oaks.

Well, we decided not to run Room Service,” Catalano said. “She’s worked OK on the dirt, but not as good as she is on the grass. We made a decision to wait for a grass race.”

The Edgewood on Friday is a possibility for Room Service, Catalano said.

Aurelia’s Belle finished in the money at Gulfstream Park in all three of her dirt starts – third in the Old Hat (GIII), second in the Forward Gal (GII) and third in the Davona Dale (GII).

“She’s been over the dirt a few times at Gulfstream, and she handled it very well,” Catalano said. “We’re happy with the way she’s done on the dirt. She worked very well on it. She’s run well on it. We’re going to take a shot.”

RIA ANTONIA (No. 8) – Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia jogged once around before the morning renovation break with Jorge Alvarez up for trainer Bob Baffert.

KISS MOON (No. 9) – Carl Pollard’s Kiss Moon galloped 1 ½ miles after the morning renovation break under Otto Thorwarth.

Trainer David Vance said Victor Espinoza has picked up the mount on Kiss Moon in the Oaks and that the filly would work Sunday.

“She’ll breeze Sunday rain or shine,” Vance said. “Actually, I would not mind seeing it a little wet.”

FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD (No. 10) – The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer Jr.’s Fiftyshadesofgold worked a half-mile in :48.40 on her own before 6:30 over a fast track with exercise rider Sara Escudero aboard.

It was the third work here for the Bret Calhoun trainee since she finished second in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) on March 29. Escudero has been aboard for all three works.

Calhoun, who has been at the Ocala sales, is expected to be here Saturday. Fiftyshadesofgold is under consideration for the Eight Belles (GIII) as well as the Oaks.

UNBRIDLED FOREVER (No. 11) – Charles Fipke’s third-place finisher in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) Unbridled Forever walked the morning after working five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.80.

Unbridled Forever came out of her work well and will return to the track Saturday, trainer Dallas Stewart said. “She’ll jog; she’ll jog early.”

THANK YOU MARYLOU (No. 12) – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s third-place finisher in the Ashland (GI) Thank You Marylou galloped Friday under exercise Joel Barrientos for trainer Mike Maker.

Maker said Thank You Marylou will work Saturday morning.

Maker said that Connie Apostelos’ Shanon Nicole is not under consideration for the Oaks even though she has accumulated enough points to be among  the top 14.

EMPRESS OF MIDWAY (No. 13) – Daniel Kramer’s Empress of Midway worked a half-mile in :49.80 under exercise rider Humberto Gomez for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Working on her own after the break, Empress of Midway posted fractions of :12.60, :25.20, :37.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.80, six furlongs in 1:15.80 and seven-eighths in 1:30.

“That was super,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O’Neill. “We were not looking for a fast work. We just wanted her to be comfortable and gallop out well.”

One interested onlooker was University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, who stopped by Churchill Downs before heading out on a recruiting trip.

“He just bought in on her,” Sisterson said. “He’s a part owner.”

No rider has been confirmed on Empress of Midway.

JOINT RETURN – Main Line Racing Stable’s Joint Return, winner of the Calder Oaks in her most recent start, is not under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks according to trainer John Servis. Joint Return had accumulated enough points to be among the Top 14.

Click here to link to a PDF copy of the Friday, April 25 Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks Update.

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