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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Seruni the One to Beat in Franklin-Simpson Mile


By Dick Downey

The Franklin Simpson Mile has drawn 10 quality runners, most of them with much turf experience, but none with any experience at Kentucky Downs. One of them may be a heavy favorite at post time.

From post 1, San Antone and Shaun Bridgmohan are the second choice at 7-2. San Antone comes into the race off a May layoff and could run the number it takes to win. But he'll have to beat Seruni, who could be heavily favored off his 9-5 morning line.

Seruni, to be ridden by Corey Lanerie, has three wins and seven board placings from nine efforts at the distance, and his overall turf record has him on the board 67% of the time. At the Churchill Downs summer meet, Seruni was second in the Grade II Firecracker, and most recently he finished third to Tapizar in the West Virginia Governor's Stakes, making him the one to beat on Saturday.

From the outside post 10, Global Power could loom large with Leandro Goncalves at the helm. Goncalves is a winner of over 1,200 races and purses totalling more than $23,000,000. Global Power sports a morning line of 9-2, making him the third choice. If recent form is any indication, he could set the pace, and he is capable of carrying his speed all the way.

In the middle of the field is Lil Bit O'Fun, with Eddie Martin, Jr. up. Martin knows the course and would be expected to make one late run with Lil Bit O'Fun. Connections undoubtedly hope that Global Power will have some company -- and hot early fractions -- on the front end. San Antone and Seruni are candidates to apply early pressure on the leader.

Bernie the Maestro, no relation to Sal the Barber in the Turf Dash, is another one that could mount a challenge during the early fractions. He is certainly a desirable commodity, having been claimed five times since March. Wow. Most recently, perennial Kentucky Downs competitors Ken and Sarah Ramsey picked up Bernie the Maestro for $35,000 and seek to pay for him and then some with the winner's share of the $75,000 purse. Bernie the Maestro will wave his baton off a 15-1 morning line.

A good name in the field is Ratatat, at 10-1, and he carries a three-race win skein into Franklin along with a propensity to take the lead -- adding more heat to the front-pace scenario. Trainer Ingrid Mason has been placing Ratatat very well -- he has five wins and two seconds in his last seven starts. He has the look of an improving horse now that he's found a home on turf. He's advanced from claiming ranks to allowance races -- and now gets a chance in a stake. He's won a third of his 21 starts with five other placings. Inosencio Diego, the regular rider, will be in Franklin on Saturday.

Not to overlook Depeche Chat, who, at 12-1, could also be in the early mix. Brian Hernandez, Jr. has the mount. Depeche Chat is another fairly recent convert to turf racing, and in his last five starts, he's won two allowances at Keeneland and Indiana Downs -- but he was seventh in the Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill. He had a clear lead but backed up early in the race.

The remaining entries in the field of 10 are:

--Uncle Brent, owned by Oaklawn Park magnate Charles Cella. Uncle Brent tried to climb on the Derby Trail last year. He ran a huge race at Oaklawn and was bought privately by Cella, but his career has been relatively disappointing. A 20-1 morning line, he will make only his second turf start. Ramon Vazquez will be in the irons.

--Calvin Borel will be aboard Taino, a 15-1 shot. Taino was most recently ridden by Goncalves, but we don't know if Goncalves took off him or was taken off. Either way, Taino will be in capable hands. Taino has one win from 10 starts on the grass.

--Stay Put makes his second start on turf for popular Louisville owners, the Klein family. Victor Lebron takes over for Vazquez. Stay Put won last time out, but he's an inconsistent type that will need things all his way to record the W.

The Franklin-Simpson Mile is race 7 on Saturday's nine-race card, with a local post time of 4:35 (5:35 ET). First post is 1:35 local time. The F-S Mile is sandwiched between the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash and the Kentucky Cup Ladies Classic. Each of the three races is worth $75,000.

Saturday, Race 7
Franklin-Simpson Mile Stakes
Purse: $75,000
Distance: One Mile
Surface: Turf
Post Time: 5:35 ET


Post Horse   ML Jockey Wt A/S M Trainer
1 San Antone (KY)   7-2 S. Bridgmohan 121 4/C L G. Arnold II
2 Uncle Brent (KY)   20-1 R. Vazquez 121 4/G L L. Whiting
3 Bernie the Maestro (FL)   15-1 D. Cohen 121 5/G L M. Maker
4 Seruni (KY)   9-5 C. Lanerie 123 5/G L P. Oliver
5 Lil Bit O'Fun (KY)   8-1 E. Martin Jr. 121 4/G L T. Proctor
6 Taino (KY)   15-1 C. Borel 121 5/G L J. Scott
7 Ratatat (KY)   10-1 I. Diego 121 4/G L I. Mason
8 Stay Put (KY)   12-1 V. Lebron 121 5/G L S. Margolis
9 Depeche Chat (FL)   12-1 B. Hernandez Jr. 121 4/G L G. Arnold II
10 Global Power (KY)   9-2 L.Goncalves 123 4/G L T. Amoss

Equipment Changes: 2 - Uncle Brent - Blinkers On

Owners: 1 - Ashbrook Farm (Glenn S. Bromagen); 2 - Charles J. Cella; 3 - Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey; 4 - G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. and St. George Farm Racing, LLC (Ian Banwell); 5 - Heider Family Stables, LLC (Charles Heider), John Kuehl and David Conway; 6 - Joan S. Scott, Frank Coniglio and Steve Ballou, et al.; 7 - Nicholson Thoroughbreds, Inc. (Frank Nicholson), Lou Ferruza and Ingrid Mason; 8 - Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein; 9 - Wind River Stables (Evan Trommer); 10 - Luch Racing Stables, Inc. (Laura Pavlish)

Breeders: 1 - Anne P. Turner; 2 - Westwind Farms; 3 - Sabine Stable; 4 - G. Watts Humphrey Jr., John P. Cline II& Robin P. Cline; 5 - Jim Conway; 6 - Everest Stables, Inc.; 7 - Harvey Clarke Racing Stable; 8 - Reklein Stables; 9 - Michelle L. Redding; 10 - Hidden Creek Farm

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