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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

My Name Is Michael Feeling Better, Balance the Books OK with Post 2

3/22/2013

My Name is Michael was sent off the 8-5 favorite in his 2013 debut, the Grade II Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. The son of Macho Uno didn’t get the job done that day, but he was noticed due to his late gain to secure a third-place finish.

It was the first race for My Name Is Michael, formerly based at Woodbine, for trainer Bill Mott. Mott sends him out for the second time in the Grade III Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes.

“I thought it was a good race,” Mott said.  “The dirt hit him in the face with all the spray from the kickback there, but I thought he was finishing as well as anyone in the race.”

My Name is Michael developed “a little fever” after the race and missed some training. “We had been considering the Fountain of Youth, but we had to miss that one,” Mott said.

With Mott’s charge feeling better, another come-from-behind effort under Joel Rosario is anticipated.

“It’s not very easy to change a horse’s running style,” said Mott.

A 10-1 proposition on Mike Battaglia’s morning line, My Name is Michael will break from post 5 in the full field of 12.  The colt shipped to Turfway from South Florida on Thursday and gallops Friday morning.

Brown, Leparoux Aim for Two

Trainer Chad Brown, jockey Julien Leparoux, and the ownership combo of Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence will together attempt to capture the two biggest prizes on the rich Saturday card. The group has 7-2 morning line second choice Balance the Books in the Spiral and Corporate Culture at 8-1 in the Grade III Fathead Bourbonette Oaks.

The Spiral represents the 2013 debut for Balance the Books, who made all four of his 2012 starts on grass, including a third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. The son of Lemon Drop Kid was originally slated to start in the Palm Beach Stakes earlier this month, but a minor illness forced Brown to scrap those plans and await the Spiral.

Balance the Books will break from the rail, a factor the trainer said he'd let Leparoux figure out. But Brown doesn't see it as a disadvantage for the late runner.

“I don’t see the rail as a problem,” said Brown. “I’ll let Julien figure that out. He’s going to come from behind.  I’d rather start from there than the outside.”

Corporate Culture, a $180,000 purchase at Keeneland last year, ran well in two grass efforts at Belmont Park last year. Her third career start was a disappointing ninth-place finish as the favorite on New Year’s Day in the listed Ginger Brew Stakes, also on turf, at Gulfstream Park.

“We bought the filly at the Keeneland April sale, where she moved very well on the Polytrack,” said Brown. “In the Ginger Brew, she just never fired. She just never seemed to care for the Gulfstream turf course. She’s been training excellently, and if she handles the surface at Turfway, I think she can turn things around.”

Both Balance the Books and Corporate Culture arrived at Turfway Thursday and gallop Friday morning.

Mark Casse’s Uncaptured also arrived at Turfway Thursday and also gets acquainted with the track Friday morning.

Edited Turfway release
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