Lovell hopes to cap stakes double with Just Might in Mighty Beau

June 4, 2021

Miller records first victory aboard Bethy Thursday at Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Trainer Michelle Lovell is hoping Griffon Farm’s homebred Just Might can return to his top form and cap a 72-hour stakes double in Saturday’s $110,000 Mighty Beau Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Lovell made the difficult decision to stay in Louisville on Thursday and continued to oversee her stable at Churchill Downs while assistant Chad Mouton traveled to New York with her fellow turf sprint specialist Change of Control to compete in the $200,000 Intercontinental Stakes (Grade III). The classy 5-year-old mare rallied from just off the pace for a 1 ½-length victory.

“This mare has been incredibly special to us,” Lovell said. “She tries so hard every time she runs and has been in top form this year. Colby (Hernandez) got her into a great spot early and she was able to relax behind the pace. Into the stretch, it looked like Colby had a ton of horse and when she was able to get outside, she really showed her stride late. That was a great win for everyone involved.”

Just Might, a four-time winner from 25 starts, who is also co-owned and bred by Lovell, was installed as the 9-2 third choice on Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for Saturday’s Mighty Beau.

“He ran some of his best races over the winter at Fair Grounds,” Lovell said. “We’ve run him the last couple years against some graded-type fields, including in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (GI). I think he matches up well with Saturday’s field and hopefully this race gives him a confidence boost heading into the summer.”

Hernandez, who collected his first career graded stakes win aboard Change of Control in the Intercontinental, returned to Kentucky on Friday and is slated to ride Just Might in the Mighty Beau from post No. 2. 

Just Might won the last two runnings of the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds. Typically run at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, this year’s edition was switched to the dirt due to inclement weather. The son of Justin Phillip entered the Mighty Beau with solid career record of 25-4-7-6 with purse earnings of $333,533.

“I’ve been partners with Dr. (RobertGriffon for many years and this horse is very special to us,” Lovell said. “He’s like family to me and I’ve trained for him nearly my entire career.”

The complete field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):

1. Smart Remark (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver, 15-1)

2. Just Might (Hernandez, Lovell, 9-2)

3. Carotari (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch, 4-1)

4. Johnny Unleashed (Gerardo Corrales, Eric Foster, 12-1)

5. High Crime (James Graham, Darrin Miller, 10-1)

6. The Connector (Francisco Arrieta, Mark Hoffman, 12-1)

7. Classy John (Corey Lanerie, Dallas Stewart, 4-1)

8. Verb (Mitchell Murrill, Keith Desormeaux, 10-1)

9. Elusive Mischief (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 15-1

10. Totally Boss (Brian Hernandez Jr., Rusty Arnold, 3-1)      

The Might Beau, run at five furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course, is slated as Race 11 with a post time of 5:58 p.m. First post for the 11-race program is 12:45 p.m. Fans are invited to stay after the finale to watch the 153rd running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (GI) on the Big Board. Post time for the Belmont is 6:49 p.m.

Miller records first victory aboard Bethy Thursday at Churchill Downs

Jockey Chase Miller, the 27-year-old son of trainer Darrin Miller, recorded his first-career victory Thursday evening aboard Bethy in Race 4 at Churchill Downs. 

Owned by Silverton Hill, and trained by Miller’s father, Bethy cruised to a 3 ¼-length win as the 4-5 post time favorite. 

Bethy was Miller’s 10th mount in his young career. He moved to Kentucky at an early age and attended Oldham County High School. Miller began to work for his father and eventually was an exercise rider for Steve AsmussenTodd Pletcher and, in more recent years, George Weaver

Miller’s career in the saddle began in 2012 at Delaware Park where he rode in three races. He worked the past several years as an exercise rider until he once again pursued his dream to ride races. He was named on one horse Friday for his father and two Sunday for trainers Genevieve Londono and Jason Cook

DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Friday at Churchill Downs for a nine-race program at 12:45 p.m. There was an $11,557 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 in Races 4-9. … Jockey Tyler Gaffalione continued his charge at the Spring Meet leading jockey and held a commanding 33-21 win lead over Florent Geroux. Trainer Brad Coxled all conditioners with 14 wins over Tom Amoss and Mike Maker’s 10 victories.Juddmote’s five wins topped the owner standings. … “Inside Churchill Downs” airs Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7 The one-hour horse racing talk show will get fans ready for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes card along with the 11-race card at Churchill Downs. Those outside the Louisville area can listen on www.espnlouisville.com.

Churchill Downs Press Release

Photo: Just Might (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography) 

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