Saturday, October 04, 2008
Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, October 3, 2008
CANTEEN FINDS WAY BACK TO OLD KENTUCKY HOME
One of the more intriguing entrants in Saturday’s 12th running of the $150,000 Woodford at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf is Arthur Hancock III’s Canteen.
Bred by Hancock and Stonerside Stable in Kentucky, the six-year-old son of 2000 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Fusaichi Pegasus has spent all of his 22-race career in California except for one trip east in 2005. In that race, he was sixth as a maiden in the Arkansas Derby (G2) won by Afleet Alex.
A half-brother to 1994 Kentucky Derby runner-up Strodes Creek, Canteen is now in the care of Rusty Arnold after having been in the barn of Neil Drysdale in California.
In his three most recent turf sprint starts, Canteen has posted two victories plus a fourth-place finish in the Kerlan Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park. Miguel Mena has the riding assignment Saturday and will break from post position 10 in the 12-horse field.
“He’s a big, strapping horse and he has done everything well in the month that I have had him,” Arnold said about Canteen. “Neil sent him to me in great shape, and I hope to keep him that way.”
Arnold also said that 2007 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Wicked Style “is on the farm. He had a little fracture that was non-displaced and we gave him the summer off. He is about a month from coming back.”
Wicked Style is owned by Ashbrook Farm.
CARRIAGE TRAIL HOPING TO CLOSE CAREER WITH A FLOURISH
An affinity for Keeneland’s Polytrack surface and the desire to grab a Grade 1 victory have brought Carriage Trail back to the Bluegrass for trainer Shug McGaughey.
“She just loves the Polytrack,” said Pam York, a McGaughey assistant who has been Carriage Trail’s regular morning partner since the five-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway arrived in the barn. “I don’t know what it is about the surface, but she loves it.”
Owned by Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable, Carriage Trail is one of three runners in the 11-horse Juddmonte Spinster (G1) field to have a stakes victory over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface. She won this spring’s Doubledogdare (G3) with Kent Desormeaux aboard. Desormeaux has the call again Sunday in the 1/18-mile test.
“I think they really want to get a Grade 1 on her resume before she is retired at the end of the year,” York said. “She is doing great. She had a good work before we left Belmont (1:00.17, fourth best of 36 at the five-furlong distance on Tuesday) and got here Wednesday.”
McGaughey has won the Spinster three times, second only to fellow Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, who took the fall fixture four times. McGaughey’s win came with Try Something New (1983), Dispute (1994) and Inside Information (1995).
VON HEMEL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SEMAPHORE MAN’S PHOENIX CHANCES
One Von Hemel name already appears in the Keeneland record books, and trainer Kelly Von Hemel hopes to double that total when he saddles Double Bogey Stable’s Semaphore Man in the 156th running of the Phoenix (G3) on Saturday.
Brother Donnie Von Hemel won the 2002 Valley View (G3) with Bedanken and the 2003 WinStar Galaxy (G2) with Bien Nicole.
Semaphore Man will be making his Keeneland debut and his second career start on Polytrack. A six-year-old son of Formal Gold, Semaphore Man ran sixth in his Polytrack debut in the Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park on September 13.
“There were a lot of things that went wrong in that race and it was his first start off a layoff,” Von Hemel said. “He worked well on the Polytrack all summer at Arlington Park and we are just throwing that race out. He had a good work at Hawthorne on Monday (1:00.80, the second-fastest move of 23 at the five-furlong distance) and the No. 12 post position is excellent for him. Usually he has draws the one or two.”
Semaphore Man has finished in the top three in 13 of 17 starts at the six-furlong distance of the Phoenix.
He has two stakes win this year, highlighted by the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint at Oaklawn Park in April that was his last start prior to the Marfa.
“The break was by design,” Von Hemel said. “We had a plan at the start of the year to run him five or six times, give him some time off and then come back in the fall. That was the plan and we have stuck to it.”
HARTY ARRIVES FOR REYNALDOTHEWIZARD’S TURN IN LANE’S END BREEDERS’ FUTURITY
Trainer Eoin Harty was at Keeneland on Friday morning to oversee the preparations of Reynaldothewizard, who will make his third career start against 10 rivals in Saturday’s $500,000 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1). The race awards the winner a berth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on October 25 at Santa Anita.
“I expect there to be ample speed in there, and hopefully we’ll be sitting behind that speed,” Harty said about the race. “These two-year-olds are stretching out for the first time, and it can be a little confusing for some of them.”
Reynaldothewizard, a son of Speightstown, races for Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum’s Zabeel Racing International. He won his career debut in July at Churchill Downs before running third in the Saratoga Special (G2) on August 14. Harty chose the Breeders’ Futurity as the colt’s next start to give him experience in a two-turn race and in a race over a synthetic surface.
Sold for $400,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Reynaldothewizard is the 4-1 second choice in the morning line for the Breeders’ Futurity. The 7-2 morning-line favorite is Advice, who was third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3).
SCHENK CONTRIBUTES TO NEW BOOK OF HISTORIC RACING PHOTOS
Cathy Schenk, head librarian at the Keeneland Library, assisted in the selection and compilation of rare and historic photographs of Thoroughbred racing that appear in the new book Best of the Widener Collection, released by Eclipse Press. Best of the Widener Collection is a showcase of never-before-published photography from a collection that resides at the Keeneland Library.
“In racing history, the collection is extremely important because it is a time period from 1890 to 1910,” Schenk said. “I’m not aware of any collection similar to that that is in one place and is so concentrated on the horse racing industry. It shows famous horse and people of the time and the whole lifestyle of the racetrack.
“For photographic research, when writers or publishers need illustrations of that time, I really wouldn’t know where else to send them.”
Best of the Widener Collection features more than 150 “best-of” photos selected from more than 1,000 photos in the collection mostly taken by John C. Hemment, one of Thoroughbred racing’s first great photographers. Subjects range from the great African-American jockey Isaac Murphy to racing stars Colin and Domino to celebrities such as Lillian Russell and Diamond Jim Brady.
Joseph E. Widener, an internationally known financier, Thoroughbred sportsman and philanthropist, was believed to have owned a complete collection of Hemment’s work. He gave the collection to prominent Lexington lawyer Gayle Mohney, who bequeathed it to The Blood-Horse. The collection, which is contained in seven albums, now resides at the Keeneland Library.
The Keeneland Library was established in 1939—three years after racing began at Keeneland—to help fulfill Keeneland’s mission of promoting and preserving the heritage of the Thoroughbred and the Thoroughbred industry. Since 2002, the Library has been located in a state-of-the building near the Keeneland Entertainment Center. In 2003, the Library received a Special Eclipse Award.
For more information about Best of the Widener Collection, visit http://www.widenenercollection.com. The book is available at local bookstores or from Exclusively Equine at http://www.exclusivelyequine.com.
OPENING WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS
Saturday, October 4 – Breakfast With the Works – Take a behind-the-scenes look at racing’s stars during Breakfast With the Works, from 7 – 8:30 a.m. Enjoy a Southern-style breakfast and free children’s activities. This Saturday, Keeneland will feature a paddock demonstration by Old Friends, a facility for retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Saturday Handicapping Seminars – Listen to expert handicappers trackside each Saturday during the meet, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 5 - Keeneland will simulcast four races, including the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Prix d’Opera, from Longchamp near Paris. Post time for the Prix d’Opera is 10 a.m., followed by the Arc at 10:40 a.m.
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