William “Buff” Bradley and Carl Hurst’s The Player is slated to make his 4-year-old debut in the $ 65,000-added Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes on closing night of Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet, Friday, June 30.
The Kelly’s Landing is one of three stakes races on the prime-time racing program billed as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka.”
The Player, who is trained by Bradley, has been sidelined since a runner-up finish in last year’s Indiana Derby (GII).
“He’s really been doing well,” Bradley said. “We entered him last week in a race that didn’t fill but this spot will be fine for him.”
Prior to his runner-up in the Indiana Derby, The Player brought attention to many after an impressive 5 ½-length maiden victory on May 14, 2016. Three weeks later, the son of Street Hero closed from just off the pace to defeat six rivals by 1 ½ lengths in a first-level allowance race.
“He ran a great race in the Indiana Derby (last July),” Bradley said. “He was only narrowly defeated by Cupid. We are all excited around the barn to get him back to the races.”
The Player is the talk of the shedrow in the Bradley barn with an animated personality not usually shown by a racehorse.
“He’s such a funny horse around the barn,” Bradley said. “He literally acts like a dog sometimes. He sits in his stall, which you don’t see a horse do. We also bred him with my father and as he grew up he’s always had quite the personality. One of the funny things he does is lie down in his stall with his head sticking out below the webbing to make sure he isn’t missing anything walking by him.”
The Player has a career record of 5-2-2-0 with $ 172,442 in earnings.
Nominations for the Kelly’s Landing close Saturday.
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