Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Keeneland Barn Notes Monday, October 3, 2011


FALLSTARS WEEKEND FIELDS TAKING SHAPE

With entries scheduled to be drawn Tuesday for Friday’s opening day of the 17-day Fall Meeting, fields are taking shape for Keeneland’s FallStars Weekend that features nine graded stakes – five of them Grade 1 – with six races being “Win and You’re In” tests for the 28th Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held November 4-5 at Churchill Downs.

Two graded stakes are slated for Friday, headlined by the 60th running of the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Topping the probable entrants on stakes coordinator Allison De Luca’s list are Grade 3 winners Flashy Lassie and Rocket Twentyone and undefeated two-time Woodbine stakes winner Tu Endie Wei.


Owned by Barry King and trained by Garry Simms, Flashy Lassie won the Debutante at Churchill Downs in June. Frank Fletcher’s Rocket Twentyone won the Arlington-Washington Lassie to remain perfect in two starts for trainer W.T. Howard. Tu Endie Wei is a homebred owned by Brereton Jones and trained by Reade Baker.

Other probables for the Alcibiades, which is a “Win and You’re In” race, include And Why Not, Ann of the Dance, Cheerleader, Egg Drop, Frolic’s Revenge, Heart of Destiny, M’Dearest, Mais Oui, New Wave, On Fire Baby, Princess Phoebe, Soonerette and Tavern On the Bay.

Also on Friday, Keeneland will present the 159th running of the $175,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) at six furlongs on the main track. The race is a “Win and You’re In” test for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run November 5.

Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite, winner of the Commonwealth (G2) here in the spring, tops the probables list that also includes Commonwealth runner-up Cool Bullet. Others considered likely to pass the entry box Tuesday are Flashpoint, Hamazing Destiny and Southern Style with either Comedero or Hollywood Hit considered as possible.

Three Grade 1 stakes, highlighted by the 26th running of the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, top Saturday’s 10-race card that features five stakes. The Shadwell Turf Mile is a “Win and You’re In” race for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on November 5.

Castleton Lyons Farm’s multiple Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti is slated to defend his Shadwell Turf Mile title against a field that is likely to include Keeneland Grade 1 turf winners Get Stormy and Court Vision. Other probables include Anak Nakal, Dance And Dance (IRE), Sidney’s Candy, Society’s Chairman, Tajaaweed and Wise Dan.

Also slated for a mile on the turf on Saturday is the 14th running of the $350,000 First Lady (G1) for fillies and mares.

Topping the list of probables are Team Block’s Never Retreat and Team Valor International’s Daveron (GER). Never Retreat has three Grade 2 victories among her four 2011 triumphs that include a victory in the Jenny Wiley here in the spring. Daveron is undefeated in three 2011 starts with her most recent score coming in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga in August.

Other probables include Bay to Bay, Category Seven, Cherokee Queen, Éclair de Lune (GER), Gypsy’s Warning (SAF), Snow Top Mountain and 2010 Jenny Wiley winner Wasted Tears.

Saturday’s third Grade 1 is the 98th running of the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at 1 1/16 miles on the main track for 2-year-olds. The race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Topping the probables are Jerry Namy’s Shared Property, winner of the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3), and Jeffrey Bloom’s Majestic City, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3) and most recently third from second on disqualification in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

Other Breeders’ Futurity probables are Dullahan, E Valentino, Gung Ho, Here Comes Frazier, I’ll Have Another, Indian Assault, Motor City, Optimizer, Shun, Space Race and Take Charge Indy.

Saturday’s other stakes are the 31st running of the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track, and the 15th running of the $150,000 Woodford (G3) at 5½ furlongs on the turf.

C R K Stables’ multiple sprint Grade 1 winner Switch and Pinnacle Racing Stable and Bill Kaplan’s Musical Romance, winner of the Presque Isle Masters (G2) in her most recent start and runner-up in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney, head the list of TCA probables. Others considered likely for the race, which is a “Win and You’re In” test for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), are Dances With Ashley, Devil by Design, Holiday for Kitten, I Knot, Indulgence and Promised Mandate.

Probables for the Woodford include A Diehl, Country Day, Despite the Odds, Goldzar, Great Attack, Perfect Officer, Streakin’ Mohican and Wekiva Wachee with Havelock, Keyite (ARG) and Uno Ducksy considered as possible.

The 56th running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track highlights Sunday’s 10-race card that also features the 21st running of the $150,000 Bourbon (G3) for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Probables for the Juddmonte Spinster, which rewards the winner a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1), are Aruna, Embur’s Song, It’s Tea Time, La Gran Bailadora, Pachattack, Protesting, Quiet Giant, Stars to Shine, Super Espresso, Tesoro de Amor, Well Monied and Zagora (FR).

Team Valor International’s State of Play, undefeated winner of the With Anticipation (G2) in his most recent start at Saratoga, tops the list of probables for the Bourbon along with Scott Heider and Michael Dahir’s Monastic, a half-brother to multiple grass stakes winner Keertana. Others considered likely for the Bourbon are Chalybeate Springs, Gold Megillah and Musical Flair.


WISE DAN SHOWS AFFINITY FOR GRASS WITH SHARP WORK

At this time last year, Wise Dan made a splash in the sprint ranks with a sharp victory in the Phoenix (G3) at Keeneland. Fast forward to the present and it is on the turf where Wise Dan is turning heads.

On Monday morning, Wise Dan worked a half-mile in :46.20 around the “dogs” over a firm turf course as a final tuneup for Saturday’s $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

“Holy smokes. He’s a different horse on grass,” trainer Charlie Lopresti said as Wise Dan finished his work with jockey Jon Court up.

“He went off easy and I had him coming home the last quarter in :22 and change.”

Clockers got Wise Dan going the opening quarter-mile in :24 and then galloping out five furlongs in :58.40.

Until this summer, Wise Dan never had trained on the grass

“I had not considered it before,” Lopresti said. “The only time he had been on grass was galloping up the hills at my farm. The only thing I ever said about him was I thought he’d be a better horse going long.”

Wise Dan was nominated to the Firecracker Handicap (G2) on July 4 on turf at Churchill Downs and a week before he got his first turf work at Churchill Downs with Court up.

“The first part of it, he was swapping leads and didn’t know what he was doing, but he came home in 23 seconds,” Lopresti said. “I talked it over with (owner) Morton (Fink) and we decided to take a shot.”

Wise Dan won the one-mile Firecracker by 2¾ lengths with Court aboard and a turf star was born.

“There were no mile turf races at Saratoga, so that’s why I didn’t take him there,” Lopresti said of Wise Dan, who is undefeated at the distance in three starts.”I took him up to Presque Isle (for the Mile on September 9) and that set him up perfect for this.”

The Shadwell Turf Mile is a “Win and You’re In” race for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run November 5 at Churchill Downs. Lopresti already has one horse headed that way in Woodbine Mile (G1) winner Turallure, who is scheduled to work on the main track here Tuesday morning.


DANCE AND DANCE BRINGS NORTH AMERICAN CAMPAIGN TO KEENELAND

Mohammed Rashid’s Dance And Dance (IRE) started on phase two of his North American campaign Monday morning by working a half-mile in :47.40 over the main track at Keeneland in preparation for Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

With exercise rider Jerry O’Dwyer up, Dance And Dance covered the first quarter-mile in :24.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.40.

“He does most of his training back home on synthetic surfaces and I felt it was a little bit too quick to work him on the grass here,” said trainer Edward Vaughn, who is based at Newmarket. “I’d say 90 percent of our training is on synthetic.”

The Shadwell Turf Mile will give the 37-year-old Vaughn a chance to saddle his first starter in the United States. He accompanied Dance And Dance to Woodbine, where he finished sixth behind Turallure in the Woodbine Mile (G1) under Jamie Spencer, who will have the riding assignment here Saturday.

“He was blocked in up there and had nowhere to run,” Vaughn said. “It is like his races at home. A paper there called him the unluckiest horse in England because he just seems to into trouble in all of his races.”

A winner of one of eight starts in 2011, Dance And Dance has been competitive in all races but one in which he missed the break and was rushed up before fading in a handicap at Sandown.

“He has come up through the ranks and he has probably improved 20 pounds this year,” Vaughn said. “It took him five starts to break his maiden and now he has carried up to 136 pounds in top handicaps and giving weight to some useful horses.”

Dance And Dance finished 1¾ lengths behind Turallure. He shipped to Keeneland on Wednesday from Woodbine.

“If he ran well there, we decided we would take on a two-race program with him in North America,” Vaughn said. “He is a 5-year-old gelding and we will keep on going forward with him as long as he is doing well.”

Vaughn will not have to wait long for a second Keeneland starter. Stars to Shine, a stakes winner at Woodbine this summer, is shipping in from Woodbine for Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1).

“I own 25 percent of her in the Grange House Partnership,” Vaughn said of Stars to Shine, who was trained at Woodbine by Mark Frostad. “We sent her to Canada because the money was so good.”


MUSICAL FLAIR ENJOYING KEENELAND

The 2¾-length victory by Musical Flair in the five-furlong Turf Dash Stakes at Calder Race Course on August 27 gave his connections the confidence to send him to Keeneland, where he will make his next start in Sunday’s $150,000 Bourbon (G3). The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-olds has been won by such horses as eventual champion Gio Ponti and eventual Grade 2 winner Interactif.

Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti own Musical Flair, a colt by Songandaprayer who is trained by Sal Santoro. The colt arrived at Keeneland two days ago and has been feeling good in the cool fall weather, said exercise rider Luis Cordero.

“He likes it here. It’s green,” Cordero said on Monday while walking Musical Flair after his bath. The colt tugged at the lead in an attempt to attempt to reach grass, but Cordero maintained a firm hold and reassured him, “It’s not going anywhere.”

Last year, Cordero was the exercise rider for undefeated Awesome Feather, who began her career at Calder, won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs and was named the champion 2-year-old filly. His cousin is Racing Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., who brought him to the United States from Puerto Rico in 1979. Luis Cordero began working in New York as a hot walker for Hall of Fame trainer Laz Barrera, and he rode for time.

On Monday, Cordero galloped Musical Flair two miles over the main track and said the colt is handling the Polytrack well. He said Jesus Rios, who has ridden Musical Flair in his last two races, will be aboard in the Bourbon. Entries for the race will be drawn on Thursday.


GALLOPING OUT

Several 2-year-olds working toward possible starts in weekend stakes put in main-track moves Monday morning. Shun, working in company with Cease, went a half-mile in :46.40 for trainer Al Stall Jr. for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity and Shared Property went five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer Tom Amoss. Monastic drilled five furlongs in :58.20 for trainer Tom Proctor as a prelude to the Bourbon.

Notable grass works around the “dogs” on a course listed as firm included Never Retreat (First Lady) in :50.40 for a half-mile, Askbut I Won’ttell (Rood & Riddle Dowager on October 23) 1:04.60 for five furlongs, Great Attack (Woodford), a bullet :59.60 for five-eighths and Keyite (ARG) a Woodford possibility, 1:00.40 for five furlongs.




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