(Jockey Julien Leparoux / Coady Photography)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Veteran jockey Julien Leparoux has been on a roll to start the September Meet at Churchill Downs where he recorded four wins from just nine starts over the first three days of the 14-day stand. The 39-year-old French-born rider recorded three wins Friday and added a victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Pocahontas (GIII) aboard the Kenny McPeek-trained Fun and Feisty.
“My agent (Frank Lyons) and I have been working hard and we noticed business starting to pick up to end the Spring Meet and it continued at Saratoga this summer and into this meet at Churchill,” Leparoux said. “It’s nice to be able to ride for barns like Kenny (McPeek) and nice fillies like Fun and Feisty.”
Leparoux took his talents to New York this summer where he nabbed eight victories from 55 starts at Saratoga. Prior to the Saratoga meeting, Leparoux scored a 26-1 upset victory in the $1 million Belmont Derby (GI) aboard Classic Causeway. Following his stint at Saratoga the father of two tallied four wins at the abbreviated seven-day Kentucky Downs meeting.
On Friday, Leparoux enjoyed a three-win day aboard a duo of Ian Wilkes-trained allowance winners Liberty M D and Meister along with the Ron Moquett-trained claimer Lake Tahoe.
Leparoux is scheduled to remain busy through next several days of racing at Churchill Downs with four mounts Sunday, three Wednesday and two Thursday.
Overall, Leparoux is the No. 5 ranked rider in Churchill Downs history with 1,011 victories. He trails Pat Day (2,482), Calvin Borel (1,232), Robby Albarado (1,192) and Corey Lanerie (1,178).
STAKES PROBABLES – Churchill Downs will host a quartet of stakes events Saturday night as part of Downs After Dark. The 6 p.m. card will be drawn Wednesday and feature the $275,000 Dogwood Stakes (GIII), $275,000 Bourbon Trail, $275,000 Harrods Creek and $160,000 Seneca Overnight Stakes. Here are the early probable entrants, according to Churchill Downs’ Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork:
- The $275,000 Dogwood Stakes (GIII): Colorful Mischief (Todd Pletcher); Gunning (Kenny McPeek); Last Leaf (Eddie Kenneally); and Tarabi (Cherie DeVaux).
- The $275,000 Bourbon Trail: Big Blue Line (Paul McGee); Creative Minister (Kenny McPeek); Gilded Age (Bill Mott); Home Brew (Brad Cox); Rattle N Roll (McPeek); Saint Tapit (Todd Pletcher); Steal Sunshine (Bobby Dibona); and Warrior Johny (Phil Bauer).
- The $275,000 Harrods Creek: Double Thunder (Todd Pletcher); Editorial Comment (Kenny McPeek); and Strava (Dallas Stewart).
- The $160,000 Seneca Overnight Stakes: Cocktail Moments (Kenny McPeek); Falconet (Todd Pletcher); Skratch Kat (Phil Bauer); Turnerloose (Brad Cox); and Valentina Day (Ben Colebrook).
DOWNS AFTER DARK: FIESTA UNDER THE SPIRES ON SATURDAY – The final Downs After Dark of the year will take place Saturday as Churchill Downs presents a night full of thrilling horse racing and a Latin-inspired celebration of live music, dance and art for “Fiesta Under the Spires.”
Event highlights include music from DJ Roberton (5:30-8 p.m.) and Kentucky Salsa Allstars (8:30-11:20 p.m.); salsa lessons in the Plaza from Louisville Salsa Underground (6:45-7:40 p.m.); strolling mariachi performances by Mariachi Alegre; and a showcase of Latin artists including Claudia Hernandez, Mercedes Harn and Andy Perez.
Admission gates will open at 5 p.m. and the 11-race program will be conducted between 6-11:10 p.m.
General admission to Downs After Dark is $14 and includes an official program. Guests under the age of 18 will only be admitted to the track if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Limited premium dining packages are available starting at $82 per person. Outdoor-third floor box seats are on sale for $17 per person. Reserved seating can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Sunday beneath the historic Twin Spires with a 10-race program that got underway at 12:45 p.m. There was a $40,512 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 jackpot and a $15,343 carryover in the $1 Super HI 5. … Trainer Rusty Arnold II was two wins away from 400 at Churchill Downs. The veteran horseman had two entries in Races 7 and 9. … Owner Cliff Love was back at trainer Michelle Lovell’s barn Sunday morning and reported Saratoga Special (GII) winner Damon’s Moundwas doing well after his disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iroquois. “He got caught up on the lead and really Gabe (Saez) had no other options,” Love said. “He was fired up and ready to go. Hopefully next time he’s a little more relaxed. We’ll live to fight another day and any option is on the table. It’s completely up to Michelle.” Love owns Damon’s Mound with his wife, Michele, who 16 months ago received a double lung transplant and was able to attend the races with him Saturday. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will return to the airwaves Friday, Sept. 23. The one-hour program will air on ESPN 680/105.7 and stream live on the station’s website at www.espnlouisville.com. … For more information about the Churchill Downs September Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.