(Bango / Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Tamaroak Partners’ four-time stakes winner Bango tops a competitive field of eight older males that entered Saturday’s $300,000 Bet On Sunshine at Churchill Downs.

Run at six furlongs, the 13th running of the Bet On Sunshine was carded as Race 10 of 11 at 7:20 p.m. (all times Eastern). Saturday’s first race is 1:45 p.m.

Trained by Greg Foley, Bango has recorded six of his eight lifetime wins beneath the Twin Spires. The homebred son of Congrats won the $110,000 Kelly’s Landing during the Spring Meet and most recently finished third in the $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society. Jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. has the mount from post position No. 4.

Also entered in the Bet On Sunshine is WSS Racing and 4 G Racing’s speedy six-time winner Mucho. Trained by John Ortiz and ridden by Reylu Gutierrez, Mucho won the $100,000 Challedon Stakes at Pimlico on July 31. The 5-year-old son of Blame was the third-place finisher last out in the $250,000 Phoenix (Grade II) at Keeneland. A former $80,000 claim for Ortiz, Mucho will break from post 8.

The complete field for the Bet On Sunshine from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Necker Island (Mitchell Murrill, Chris Hartman); Long Weekend (James Graham, Tom Amoss); Vertical Threat (Adam Beschizza, Richard Baltas); Bango (Pedroza, Foley); Rough Entry (Brian Hernandez Jr., Rohan Crichton); Atoka (Rafael Bejarano, D. Wayne Lukas); Sir Alfred James (John McKee, Lynn Cash); and Mucho (Gutierrez, Ortiz).

Churchill Downs will simulcast the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Del Mar on Friday and Saturday.  

The simulcast of the 10-race “Future Stars Friday” card from Del Mar will begin at 2:55 p.m. and the Breeders’ Cup will cover Races 6-10 (5:50-8:30 p.m.). Championship Saturday’s 12-race program at Del Mar will commence at 1:15 p.m. with the Breeders’ Cup on Races 4-12 (Breeders’ Cup starts at 3:05 p.m.). It will culminate with the $6 million Longines Classic (GI) at 8:40 p.m.

RACING INDUSTRY REMEMBERS MENA – Friends and colleagues from across the horse racing industry continue to share stories of jockey Miguel Mena, who tragically passed away Sunday evening in an accident on I-64 in Louisville.

Mena was a fixture around the racetrack and spent nearly every morning breezing horses for different trainers. Away from the racetrack, the 34-year-old native of Peru would constantly update his social media pages with photos of his family, including two young daughters Naelah and Montserrat. Along with his two daughters, Mena leaves behind his wife, April, and many friends and family.

Here are some memories that were shared of Mena:

  • Jason Barkley (trainer): “I don’t know that I can put into words what Miguel Mena has meant to us from Day 1. He was such a great person to be around and always smiling when he came to work. I was proud to have him ride for us and I was lucky enough to be his friend.”
  • Declan Carroll (jockey) – “I’ve been lucky to know (Mena) my entire life. He was a special person and words can’t describe how much he’ll be missed.”
  • Wayne Catalano (trainer): “Miguel was a wonderful young man. He came in cheerful. He was an unbelievable kid and great rider. I feel for his family and two young girls. They were his everything.”
  • Emerson Chavez (exercise rider) – “I have so many good memories and stories to count – each one holds extraordinary value to me. … I’d like to thank him for welcoming me to my arrival in this country and offering me selfless friendship. … I’m devastated, sad and can’t understand everything that happened. … Seeing so many people disgraced by his sudden departure only makes me confirm the magnificent person he was.”
  • Florent Geroux (jockey): “I lost more than a friend – a true brother. He’ll never be able to be replaced.”
  • Tim Hanisch (agent): “I really enjoyed working with him. We had a good business relationship together but we were friends outside the track. He was one of my favorite people from the racetrack. He always had a smile on his face and was in a good mood. We’d get dinner together a lot in New Orleans at Fair Grounds. I thought a lot of him as a rider and a person. He had a really severe injury (in 2018) and admired what he showed to come back from something like that.”
  • Colby Hernandez (jockey): “Miguel was not just a friend to me, he was family. There are no words that I can ever say to express our relationship. We rode for a lot of the same people and worked together almost every morning and afternoon. Things will never be the same.”
  • Brian Hernandez Jr. (jockey): “We are all just going through it together. We all lost such a good friend. Miguel was always in such in a good mood. He knew how to read the racing form so well. I spent the last 15 years sitting next in jocks room. It’s just really hard knowing we won’t see him in that room again. … There are no words, post or pictures that can describe the honor, respect or love I have for Miguel. I truly loved the friendship we had.”
  • Michelle Lovell (trainer): “I will always cherish the memory of us winning my first graded stakes race together. He rode a brilliant race. He’s a person I’ll never forget.”
  • John Ortiz (trainer): “We lost a great friend. He was a wonderful father, husband and just a great person in general. It has been an absolute honor to have worked with him. We at Ortiz Racing send our deepest condolences to Miguel’s family. He will be missed by many and especially by all of us here.”
  • Dale Romans (trainer): “He was such a good person. I don’t know anybody who had a bad word to say about Miguel.”
  • Jose Santos Jr. (agent): “Over the past two years I had the fortune to work side by side with Miguel. He was one of the most likable guys I had been around. I think a lot of us who knew Miguel felt the same way. I eternally appreciate all of the opportunities he gave me and I will never forget what we accomplished.”
  • Al Stall Jr. (trainer): “There was no question his talent. He caught everyone’s eye at an early age. I noticed him at Churchill in the early 2000s. The size of the race didn’t bother him at all.”

Churchill Downs will hold a moment of silence following Race 5 Wednesday (approximately 3:03 p.m.). Those who are unable to attend can view the ceremony on “America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 or through the simulcast channel on the Churchill Downs LIVE app.

TV SCHEDULE – Racing at Churchill Downs is scheduled to air Wednesday – Sunday on “America’s Day at the Races” on the Fox Sports family of networks. Below is the current TV schedule:

  • Wednesday: 1-6 p.m. (FS2)
  • Thursday: 1-6 p.m. (FS2)
  • Friday: 12:30-7:30 p.m. (FS2)
  • Saturday: 12-6 p.m. (FS2)
  • Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (FS2) | 3:30-6 p.m. (FS1)

DOWN THE STRETCH – There were no winning tickets in Sunday’s 20-cent Derby City 6. There was a $44,019 carryover in the sequence Wednesday that spanned Races 5-10. The Super Hi 5 had a carryover of $2,221.