Trainer Doug O’Neill, who began the week at Santa Anita winning at a 37% clip for the Oak Tree meet, has also done well this year with horses in the first race after he has claimed them.
One horse he hasn’t been able to win with since claiming him for $40,000 on May 31 is Macward.
A 7-year-old gelded son of Sharp Victor, Macward has failed in five starts for O’Neill, continuing a losing streak that began in 2002 for former trainer Ian Jory. In fact, since the beginning of last year, Macward has lost 18 of 19.
Perhaps, a shorter trip and a return to turf will be the recipe for success for the chestnut, who was bred in California by Marvin Malmuth. Macward is one of 10 scheduled to go about 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass in today’s seventh.
From the inside out, the rest of the field includes Onebigbag, McManus, I’mallwilly, Slew’s Prince, Fly and Eagle, California Goal, Memo To Russ, Clover Situation and Beau Soleil.
Beau Soleil will be making his first start on turf and first since an easy maiden victory at Del Mar on Aug. 8. He has trained well in the interim and capped off his preparation with a 57 3/5 work Friday.
Race of the day: Eugene’s Third Son, second in the Arkansas Derby on April 12 at Oaklawn Park, makes his comeback for trainer Pat Byrne in today’s eighth at Churchill Downs. Shane Sellers will ride the 3-year-old Indian Charlie colt in the $48,800 allowance at seven furlongs.
One for the road: Tabacchi drops out of the Grade I Futurity and shortens to six furlongs in today’s eighth at Aqueduct. The 2-year-old son of Horse Chestnut gets a significant jockey change to Edgar Prado in the $47,000 allowance.
Exotically speaking: A trifecta in the sixth keying Wild Card Deck on top with I Can Cook and Slew’s Pot Of Gold in the two hole and all in the third spot.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/65. Money: Previous day/meet total: $15/$354.80. Total money bet: $402.