Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Sunday, June 30, 2013

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/30/2013 #
  • Cozze Up Lady

In Today’s Notes: Cozze Up Lady Exits Chicago Win Well, Aubby K Suffers Abrasions; Defending Meet Champion Torres Pulls a Saturday Hat Trick

Martin Racing, Morgan Thoroughbred, Westwind Property and Farfellow Farm’s Cozze Up Lady exited her win in Saturday’s featured Grade III $150,000 Chicago Handicap with little issue, according to trainer Bret Calhoun. “She came out of it good.  She is still at Arlington, but will return to her base at Churchill very soon,” reported trainer Calhoun.   

Coming out of three impressive races in Kentucky, including wins in both a two-turn turf race and a one-turn Polytrack sprint, the daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Cozzene was sent off as the 4-1 third choice in the field of nine fillies and mares over seven Polytrack furlongs.  The gritty mare won despite a tough trip.  “I thought we’d be closer.  Fractions were hot and Miguel called a good audible – he had more confidence than I did and had a lot of horse,” Calhoun said.  “We had quite a bit of traffic problems and I was quite concerned.  I was very happy the way she ran.  She overcame traffic problems and got out and won.”

As far as what is in store for the lightly raced 4-year-old, Calhoun and company will be looking for more of the same.  “We’ve been targeting this race.  We’ll look over options the next few days and try to keep her on synthetics and turf from 6½-furlongs to a mile,” the conditioner concluded.

Coudelaria Jessica’s Queen’s Award exited her runner-up finish in good order, according to trainer Eduardo Caramori.  “She came back fine.  She’s a difficult filly to ride.  Kent (Desormeaux) did a great job.  She has a short burst of speed and you have to use it the right way.  Yesterday she was outside and couldn’t cover up.  She used a little more early speed and when she made the lead she couldn’t sustain,” the trainer reported.  “It was a good effort.  We are looking for a graded stakes win, but so is everyone else.  She’s a stakes filly – she proved that.”

The 6-year-old mare who outran her 10-1 odds to lose by less than a length will be given time and aimed toward the early fall.  “She normally runs better with space between races.  We may run her at Presque Isle (Grade II $400,000 Presque Isle Masters Stakes) at 6½ furlongs in September,” Caramori reported. 

Race favorite Aubby K exited her loss at 8-5 favoritism with valid excuses, according to trainer Ralph Nicks. “She has quite a few cuts and abrasions, including above her hock,” the trainer reported.  “But, she’ll live to see another day.”

Making her first start on a synthetic surface, the Grade I-winning stalker was a little farther back usual back in fifth early behind the rapid pace of Flower Spell.  “I think that just had to do with the surface,” said Nicks.  As far as where and when she got cut, “I don’t know where she got cut up/stepped on, but that definitely compromised her finish some.  I’m not sure she loved the Polytrack – probably not – but the cuts are what hurt her most.”  The James C. Spence-homebred daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense will be aimed toward the Grade I $500,000 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 23. 

The aforementioned Flower Spell, a massive 17-hand 3-year-old filly taking on her elders for the first time, broke through the gate prior to the race – suffering some minor cuts above her eyes and on her right hind leg – and had to be reloaded.  The chestnut Ingrid Mason-trained charge displayed flashy speed through a half in :45.04 – with a second quarter .40 faster than her first until giving way in the final sixteenth to lose by three lengths in her first attempt at seven furlongs. 

“She came back perfect and scoped clean.  She’s very healthy and I’m very happy with that.  She just can’t go seven furlongs yet.   Breaking out of the gate didn’t help either.  I’ve never seen a horse win after doing that – it definitely takes energy out of a horse.  I’m thankful to the gate crew for taking care of her,” said Mason, who also co-owns the filly with Dare to Dream Stable and Little Bear Racing Stable.  

“She is kind of a slow learner.   I honestly believe she could go seven furlongs if she tried it again.  That’s how she’s programmed.  She needed the first try.  Still, I believe she’s a three-quarter horse.   She could have beaten those fillies going six furlongs,” Mason continued.  “She’s very athletic and has a ton of ability, but it takes her a few tries to really get good at something.”

As far as the promising filly’s future, the conditioner has a lot of options.  The daughter of Flower Alley has won on all three surfaces and has proven she can compete with older mares.  “Maybe there will be a small overnight stakes on the turf going five and a half (furlongs) or something,” said Mason.

Defending Arlington International Racecourse champion jockey Francisco Torres is back on the right track, as evidenced by a hat trick on Saturday.  “It feels really great,” said the veteran jockey.  “It started off slow, but as you noticed it’s picked up for me.”

After five weeks with only two wins, Torres has scored with eight rides in his last two weeks.  The only other jockey to equal that amount is current leading jockey Florent Geroux. It’s a long meet and wide open jockeys race,” said the jockey who won the meet title with 100 wins in 2012.