News - Videos - Blogs

Barn Notes: Sunday, Sept. 18

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/18/2011 #

In Today's Notes:Marketing Mix 'Probable' for Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup; Pucker Up Runner-Up Leaves Leigh Bentley Beaming Sunday; Trac N Jam Compromised by Traffic Problems; Don't Tell Sophia Victim of Rough Trip; Pucker Up Pacesetter Love Dare Headed Back to Louisiana

MARKETING MIX 'PROBABLE' FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP
Glen Hill Farm's Marketing Mix, who kissed her rivals goodbye at the quarter-pole in Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington, came out of her impressive effort in good order and is likely to go to Kentucky for her next run in Keeneland's Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Oct. 15.

That race, run over the Lexington lawn at nine furlongs, is shaping up as a possible confrontation between Marketing Mix and Phillips Racing Partnership's Winter Memories, who earned an equally eye-popping score in Saturday's Grade I Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park in New York.

"(Marketing Mix) came back beautiful," said her trainer Tom Proctor during training hours Sunday morning at the northwest Chicago oval. "She's a pretty good filly.

"We'll see, but I'd probably say the 'QEII' is next," Proctor said when asked about future plans for Marketing Mix. "The Pucker Up was a good race but there's a big difference in the two races. But I know two of 'em (Pucker Up) winners have won that (next) race – Chris Block's filly (Lothenbach Stables' Vacare in 2006) and Phil Sims' filly (Nelson McMakin's Hot Cha Cha) two years ago."

PUCKER UP RUNNER-UP LEAVES LEIGH BENTLEY BEAMING SUNDAY
Trainer Leigh Bentley took the high road and said nothing but good things when talking about the excellent runner-up performance of Green Lantern Stables' Sea Level Drive in Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up Stakes.

"She came out of her race yesterday just super," said Bentley, who was saddling her first stakes horse listed in her own name in Saturday's nine-furlong grass test for 3-year-old fillies. "She ate up everything last night and is still looking super this morning."

Although Sea Level Drive was dismissed at 25-1 in the Pucker Up, Bentley had anticipated a big run by her filly prior to Saturday's effort.

"I've said right along this is a very nice filly and she showed everyone how good she is yesterday," Bentley said. "She's just getting better every day. Her race yesterday was very exciting for me.

"Most likely, we'll take a look at that Keeneland race (the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup) for her next start," Bentley said about future plans for Sea Level Drive.

TRAC N JAM COMPROMISED BY TRAFFIC PROBLEMS
Jean and Ted Barlas and Mike Porcaro's Trac N Jam, fourth choice in the wagering for Saturday's Grade III Pucker Up but ninth under the wire, came out of the race in good order, trainer Andy Hansen said Sunday.

"She's fine this morning," Hansen said. "She was dragging the hot walker around this morning like she hadn't even run yesterday, and she really didn't. She never got a chance to run. She had a really rough trip yesterday and was forced to check several times.

"She'll get another chance to prove herself down the line," said Hansen of the filly who won the $125,000 Indiana Distaff July 13 and was fifth in Saratoga's Grade II Lake Placid on Aug. 21 in another traffic-troubled run. "She's going to be a good one.

"I would say we'll look for an allowance race at Keeneland to help her get her confidence back, although we'd probably have to run her against older horses and I'm not too thrilled about that," said Hansen. "Ultimately, I'd like to shoot for the (Grade III Pin Oak) Valley View (Stakes Oct. 21) with her down there. That's what I've got my eye on right now."

DON'T TELL SOPHIA VICTIM OF ROUGH TRIP
Phil Sims and Jerry Namy's Don't Tell Sophia, third choice of the fans in the Grade III Pucker Up wagering, finished an unlucky 13th after a rough trip but was doing well Sunday morning, according to trainer Sims.

"She came out fine," said Sims Sunday morning. "She just had a really rough trip yesterday. It was pretty disappointing. She had a horrible trip."

PUCKER UP PACESETTER LOVE DARE HEADED BACK TO LOUISIANA
Louisiana-based trainer Al Sider was already hauling Pete and Barb Horton's Love Dare back home to the Pelican State when reached Sunday morning during training hours.

"She was fading a little when she got brushed and then she just gave way," said Sider of his Pucker Up pacesetter. "I'm going to give her a little break and bring her back at Fair Grounds going a shorter distance. She'll do better at seven furlongs or a mile."