Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Friday, August 30, 2013

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/30/2013 #
  • Flower Spell winning the Meafara Stakes. (Four Footed Fotos)

In Today’s Notes: Flower Spell Enjoys Break, Points to Stakes; Four Mid-America Alums Loom Large in Del Mar Derby; Winning JackPOT High-5 Ticket Sold in Colorado; Reminder: Friday First Post 2 p.m. in September

Flower Spell, a three-time winner at the 2013 Arlington International Racecourse meet in four starts, is getting some justifiable rest and relaxation, according to trainer Ingrid Mason.  “She’s doing really well right now.  We are giving her two months off.  There is not a lot going on at Arlington for a filly like her right now and she needed some time,” her conditioner reported. 

The sizable filly won two five-furlong turf allowances this meet in addition to a dazzling route of her fellow 3-year-old fillies in the $65,000 Meafara Stakes in June.  Four weeks after the Meafara, she cut all of the fractions in the Grade III Chicago Handicap against her elders and ran a credible fifth, beaten 3¼ lengths. 

“She hasn’t had a chance to get into the sunshine and be a horse, and they all need that.  These horses aren’t machines and I think a common mistake with training is not giving them time to be horses.  She’s been training pretty much nonstop since she was a 2-year-old,” Mason explained.

Owned by the partnership of Mason, Dare to Dream Stable and Little Bear Racing Stable, the daughter of Flower Alley should get back to work shortly.  “I’m giving her 30 days to sort of transition back into training and we will start training her at Keeneland.  With a filly like her, we’ll point toward stakes races.”

Mason is also markedly excited about the phenomenally named juvenile in her barn Storm Viper.  Third in a tough maiden special weight over 5½ furlongs in his Aug. 24 debut, the son of solid stallion Stormy Atlantic could have a bright future for joint owners Mason and 1-2-5 Racing Stable. 

“He’s the best 2-year-old I have so far,” remarked Mason.  “He has a lot of growing up to do and I think he will keep developing.  He’s a Louisiana-bred and there’s a stakes down there in December that we’ll focus on.  First, there’s a race (at Arlington) on the 15th – a maiden special weight.”

The class of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple will be on display on the other side of the country on Sunday in Del Mar’s Grade II Del Mar Derby.  A race popular enough to be split into two divisions, the Del Mar Derby has been won by two subsequent Breeders’ Cup Mile winners – Da Hoss and Val Royal. 

In this year’s runnings, the winners of two of Arlington’s three Mid-America Triple legs will face off in the same division.  WinStar Farm’s General Election, a winner of the roughly run Grade III Arlington Classic on May 25, and Team Valor International’s Infinite Magic, victor in the Grade III American Derby on July 13, will start from posts three and five, respectively.  The horse they both beat into second, Admiral Kitten, returned with a new jockey (Rosie Napravnik) and a more aggressive closing kick to nail down the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 17 to complete the series. 

Also in that same division will be Terry Hamilton’s Dorsett, who comes off an impressive win in the Aug. 3 Mystic Lake Derby.  Prior to that facile victory, the son of Artie Schiller ran fifth after a premature move in the American Derby and third in the Arlington Classic. 

Earlier in the card will be the first division of the Del Mar Derby, which includes Glen Hill Farm’s Procurement, who ran respectably but was outkicked in both the Arlington Classic and American Derby for trainer Tom Proctor, finishing fifth and fourth, respectively.  A stakes winner in California earlier this year in Santa Anita’s $75,000 La Puente Stakes, Procurement could return to form in a division that includes tough stakes winners Redwood Kitten and Chief Havoc. 

Arlington’s $1 JackPOT High-5 was solved on Thursday when a customer at Southern Colorado Gaming and Event Center (aka Pueblo Greyhound Park) cashed for $87,548 when he held the sole winning ticket on the 3-10-11-6-2 combination.  The race winner, Cashmere Muffin ridden by James Graham, went off at odds of more than 25-1 and paid $52.80.  The JackPOT High-5, a $1 wager requiring a bettor to select the first five finishers in order, was last hit on Aug. 3 and heading into the Thursday card had developed a 13-card jackpot carryover of $68,381.  The pool will start anew Friday.

The jackpot is only paid out when there is a single winning ticket, otherwise 50 percent of the day’s net pool is paid out to those ticket holders with the correct combination, with the remaining 50 percent carried over to the next racing program and added to any existing carryover.  If nobody correctly selects the first five finishers, the entire net pool is carried over to the next program and added to any existing carryover.

Introduced last season, the JackPOT High-5 was a quick hit with fans and paid an Arlington-record $1,115,184.20 on June 10, 2012, after going unsolved for 23 racing days.

Fans are reminded that beginning next Friday, Sept. 6, post time for the first race will be 2 p.m. Central time for the remainder of the 2013 racing season in order to be able to comfortably present a full nine-race program before sunset.