(Jockey Luis Saez / Coady Media)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Darren Rogers & Kevin Kerstein:

DOWNS AFTER DARK ‘YACHT ROCK’ HIGHLIGHTS JAM-PACKED WEEK AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, June 12, 2024) – Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet rolls on for another action-packed five-day week, featuring competitive racing and a variety of events including Twilight Thursday, Military Appreciation Day on Friday, Downs After Dark: Yacht Rock on Saturday and Father’s Day on Sunday.

          The event-filled week is highlighted by the 10-race Downs After Dark program which will feature a late first post of 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). Fans can enjoy a summer-inspired night beneath the historic Twin Spires featuring signature drinks at the Q Mixers Beachside Party, live music from Monsters of Yacht and high-class racing including the $175,000 Chorleywood Overnight Stakes and $175,000 Monomoy Girl Overnight Stakes. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the entertainment beginning 5:30 p.m. with DJ K-Dogg. Attendees can also enjoy a roving photobooth, style contest and caricaturists. Guests are encouraged to dress in nautical chic ensemble.

          The special events kick off Thursday for another Twilight Thursday program with a late first post of 5 p.m. The evening includes $2 domestic beer at the East Paddock Bar, live music and local food trucks.

          In honor of Flag Day on Friday, all active military and retired veterans with a valid ID will receive free admission. The nine-race card starts at 12:45 p.m.

          Sunday is Father’s Day and dads will have plenty of horse racing action for their special day with 11 races beginning at 12:45 p.m.

The racing week began Wednesday with a nine-race program and first post of 12:45 p.m. The 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot swelled to $169,668 and spanned Races 4-9.

For more information about the Spring Meet and to purchase tickets, visit www.churchilldowns.com.

SAEZ RETURNS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS A TWO-TIME BELMONT STAKES WINNER – Jockey Luis Saez returned to the Churchill Downs riding colony Wednesday following his historic victory aboard Dornoch in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (Grade I) at Saratoga, his second victory in the last four runnings of the race.

          Saez, who was scheduled to ride three races on the Wednesday program at Churchill Downs, confidently guided Dornoch to a half-length score over Mindframe in Belmont Stakes. Saez, 32, previously won the race in 2021 aboard Essential Quality.

          “Dornoch is a very cool horse to ride,” Saez said. “My goal in the race was to break sharply and put him in a good position. In the Derby his race was essentially over after the break. We broke great in the Belmont and got in a good position early on. He’s a very game horse. When he gets pressure, he responds.

          “I told (trainer) Danny (Gargan) after the Derby that he could’ve had the winner. We drew the inside post and it was bad luck from there. I’m so happy for everyone involved that we were able to bounce back and a reward them in the Belmont.”

          Dornoch also rewarded his veteran trainer Gargan with his first victory in the Belmont. The Louisville native capped his big weekend Sunday at Churchill Downs when his trainee Society Man rallied for a 2 ½-length victory in the $400,000 Matt Winn (GIII).

          “What a weekend, it was so crazy and so much fun. I don’t know how to describe how I really feel,” Gargan said Monday on ‘At the Races with Steve Byk.’ “Society Man has really flown under the radar and is such a cool horse. I’m so happy for all the partners involved. For him to jump up and run that big of race, I’m just really pumped for everyone involved with him.”

          Saez began Wednesday’s card at Churchill Downs third in the jockey standings with 19 wins. He trailedJose Ortiz (27) and Tyler Gaffalione (25).

ACCOMPLISHED EUROPEAN BOLD ACT MADE SLIGHT 3-1 FAVORITE FOR SATURDAY’S $175,000 CHORLEYWOOD OVERNIGHT STAKES Godolphin’s homebred Bold Act (IRE) will attempt redemption from his recent defeat in the Louisville Stakes (Grade III) as the 3-1 morning line choice against a talented field of turf marathoners in Saturday’s $175,000 Chorleywood Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.

          Run at 1 3/8 miles on turf, the Chorleywood is the co-featured event of the “Downs After Dark” program along with the $175,000 Monomoy Girl Overnight Stakes. The Chorleywood will go as Race 7 of 11 with a post time of 9:05 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 6 p.m.

          Trained by Charlie Appleby, Bold Act will attempt to avenge his defeat to Sugoi three weeks ago in the Louisville Stakes as the heavy 3-5 favorite. The 4-year-old son of New Approach has won seven of 15 starts including a half-length score in the Woodford Reserve Cardinal Condition Stakes as a 3-year-old on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby. Later in his 3-year-old season, Bold Act shipped to North America for a gutsy three-quarters of a length victory in the Sycamore (GIII) at Keeneland. To begin the 2024 season, Bold Act was victorious when he comfortably defeated eight rivals by two lengths in the Dubai City of Gold (GII) at Meydan Racecourse. He will break from post 6 on Saturday night.

          Here is the field for the Chorleywood Overnight Stakes from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):

  • Wind Twist (Walter Rodriguez, Stephen Sandy, 30-1)
  • Webslinger (Jose Ortiz, Mark Casse, 4-1)
  • Tawny Port (Florent Geroux, Christophe Clement, 5-1)
  • Stone Age (IRE) (Brian Hernandez Jr., Pat Parente, 12-1)
  • Red Run (Luis Saez, Maker, 6-1)
  • Bold Act (Gaffalione, Appleby, 3-1)
  • King Curlin (Chris Emigh, Brittany Vanden Berg, 30-1)
  • Utah Beach (Luan Machado, Ignacio Correas IV, 8-1)
  • Winning Spirit (GER) (Joel Rosario, Christophe Clement, 12-1)
  • Sugoi (Julien Leparoux, Mike Maker, 5-1)
  • Anglophile (Declan Cannon, Brian Lynch, 12-1)

          The Chorleywood is named in honor of the Thoroughbred retirement farm located in nearby Prospect, Ky. in Oldham County. The 25.1-acre property was originally a Thoroughbred farm owned by George andJanet Falk, dubbed Sunny Acres Farm. The property is now owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated CEOBill Carstanjen, who partnered with the Thoroughbred transition program Second Stride to provide rehabilitation, retraining and committed adoptive homes to retired racehorses, broodmares and young Thoroughbreds not suited to the track. Chorleywood generally houses 16 transitioning Thoroughbreds at any one time and may serve 80 horses over a year.

DOWN THE STRETCH – Tickets for the 14-day September (Sept. 12-29) and 26-day Fall (Oct. 27-Dec. 1) racing meets at Churchill Downs went on sale Wednesday at noon (all times Eastern) athttps://www.churchilldowns.com/day-at-the-races/. Guests also may call (502) 636-4450 or emailgroupsales@kyderby.com. … Jockey Jose Ortiz served a one-day HISA whip violation Wednesday. He was scheduled to return to the saddle Thursday night. … “Inside Churchill Downs” returns to the airwaves Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN Louisville. The one-hour program will recap the Belmont Stakes card and look ahead to Saturday’s card at Churchill Downs with racing analyst Kaitlin Free. …  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.churchilldowns.com.