Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Saturday, September 17, 2016

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/17/2016 #
  • Mongol Bull (R) (Four Footed Fotos)

  • Mongol Bull Comes Out on Top in Kentucky
  • Rain Won’t Keep Lapinski from Grade I Start

MONGOL BULL COMES OUT ON TOP IN KENTUCKY

Bradlee Rainwater’s Mongol Bull, a 6-year-old son of Hard Spun, notched a win on the final day of the Kentucky Downs meeting. Based at Arlington International Racecourse for the summer, the multiple graded-stakes-placed gelding was coming off two races in which he lost a photo at the wire at Ellis Park and Arlington. He proved not to need the extra ground he received in Kentucky, instead leading by two lengths as they entered the stretch and finishing strong to win by 3¼ lengths. It was his first win of the season.

“He came out of the race fine, he’s doing well,” Rainwater said. “We will probably wait a week, see how he’s doing and then start looking for his next race.”

One possibility is a start in the Grade III Woodford Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 8. Mongol Bull finished second by half a length in the 2014 edition behind Group I winner No Nay Never.

“That’s the race we’re leaning to,” Rainwater commented. “The [short turnaround] is a concern. We will nominate him, but if it doesn’t look like he’s ready in time we will wait and look for something else.”

“It would be different if he was stabled down there, but shipping around takes a little more out of them.”

Mongol Bull was claimed by Rainwater from Ganbat Enebish in 2013, who purchased him as a yearling for $22,000 at the Keeneland September sale. In 2014 he won four races, three going short on the grass at Arlington, before his second-place finish in the Woodford. He finished third in the Grade III Parx Dash Handicap last summer. The hard-trying runner began his 2016 season in May with an off-the-board finish in the Grade III Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs off a long layoff but came back to run second in the Honor the Hero Stakes at Canterbury in his next start.

RAIN WON’T KEEP LAPINSKI FROM GRADE I START

Godolphin Racing’s debut winner Lapinski will face up to 13 rivals in the Grade I Natalma Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, Sept. 18. The 2-year-old daughter of Street Cry (IRE) came from well off the pace in her first start at Arlington International Racecourse to secure victory by a nose in the five-furlong turf maiden. Trainer Mike Stidham was very pleased with the effort, and shows no hesitation about her chances in stretching out to a mile while taking a big step up in class.

“We’re very happy with how she’s progressed and very excited for the race,” Stidham said.

Though the Toronto track will be receiving rainstorms the afternoon and night before the race, and Sunday’s conditions are unknown, Stidham doesn’t have any immediate concerns about his filly racing on a softer course.

“The only way we wouldn’t run is if it rained so hard it became unsafe. Even if they got enough rain to take it off the turf, I would still run her on the Tapeta.”