Monday, September 29, 2008
Keeneland Barn Notes - Monday, September 29, 2008
FALLSTARS WEEKEND STAKES TAKING SHAPE
An interesting blend of graded stakes winners with past Keeneland success and possible luminaries of the future is expected to grace the track for FallStars Weekend. The event, which includes nine stakes worth $3.4 million, kicks off the 17-day fall meet that runs through October 25.
Five of the stakes are Grade 1 events and six of the stakes are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series whereby the winning horses automatically qualify for the corresponding division race in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held October 24 and 25 at Santa Anita.
According to stakes coordinator Tyler Picklesimer, the Darley Alcibiades, which is a “Win and You’re In” race, may lure the undefeated Mani Bhavan. Owned by Puglisi Racing LLC and TYB Stable, the Steve Klesaris trainee is three-for-three with stakes victories coming at Saratoga in the Adirondack (G2) and Spinaway (G1).
Other possibles for the race include Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) runner-up Quite the Lady and undefeated Saratoga maiden winners Be Smart and Devotee.
The First Lady may attract Frank Calabrese’s champion Dreaming of Anna, who also is nominated to Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1). Considered as probable are Grade 1 winners Rutherienne, who won this spring’s Grade 2 Jenny Wiley here, and Forever Together. Multi-Grade 1 winner Precious Kitten is a possible for the First Lady. Entries will be drawn Tuesday.
Topping Saturday’s card that features five stakes are the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile and the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity. Both are “Win and You’re In” races.
Rahy’s Attorney, winner of the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in his most recent start, tops the list of probables for the Shadwell Turf Mile. Another probable is multi-graded stakes winner Thorn Song with two-time Bernard Baruch (G2) winner Shakis considered as possible.
Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) winner Terrain tops the list of probables for the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity. Also considered as likely for the Breeders’ Futurity are Saratoga maiden winners Majestic Blue and Pioneerof the Nile along with impressive Churchill Downs maiden winner Reynoldothewizard, who ran third as the favorite in the Saratoga Special (G2) in his most recent start.
Also on Saturday, defending champion Wild Gams heads the list of probables for the 28th running of the Thoroughbred Club of America (G3) at six furlongs on the main track. Other probables for the “Win and You’re In” sprint include Indyanne, who has won four of five career starts, multiple graded stakes winner Any Limit, and the Tom Amoss-trained duo of Graeme Six and Ride Em Cowgirl.
The 156th running of the Phoenix (G3) at six furlongs on the main track on Saturday may lure Pat O’Brien Handicap (G2) winner Lewis Michael. Considered as probable for the race are Greeley’s Conquest, Legal Move, Pictural and Semaphore Man.
Smart Enough and Fort Prado, the 2-3 finishers in this spring’s Shakertown (G3) behind Mr. Nightlinger top the list of possibles for the 12th running of the Woodford at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf, also on Saturday. Entries for Saturday’s stakes will be taken Wednesday.
Sunday’s card features the weekend’s final two “Win and You’re In” events: the 53rd running of the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares three-years-old and up at a mile and an eighth on the main track, and the 18th running of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon (G3) for two-year-olds going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.
In addition to the possible appearance of Dreaming of Anna, the list of probables for the Juddmonte Spinster includes 2008 Ashland (G1) winner Little Belle, Doubledogdare (G3) winner Carriage Trail and 2007 Beldame (G1) winner Unbridled Belle.
Last year’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon produced the winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in Nownownow, who finished second to Gio Ponti at Keeneland. Topping this year’s list of probables is Giant Oak, who is undefeated in two starts for trainer Chris Block.
LOVELACE COMES LONG WAY FORSHADWELL TURF MILE RUN
Hamed Suhail’s Lovelace (GB) has brought his world traveler status to the Bluegrass for a shot in Saturday’s 23rd running of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
“He arrived here Friday and spend two days in quarantine and by Sunday, he was itching to get out,” said Justin Buckham, assistant to trainer Mark Johnston.
After a morning of light exercise Sunday morning on the main track, Lovelace galloped on the training track Monday morning just across the road from the quarantine barn.
“He has settled in nicely. Traveling is no problem for him,” Buckham said. “He ran in Germany on September 2 and five days later he was at Longchamp (in France).”
Lovelace also has had a stop in Singapore this year and Royston Ffrench, who rode him in Singapore, is scheduled to be aboard Saturday in the Shadwell Turf Mile. The race will offer the winner a berth in the October 25 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.
A four-year-old son of Royal Applause (GB), Lovelace has won two of nine starts in 2008 highlighted by a Group 2 victory in Germany over a course rated as “yielding.”
“He likes it better when it is firm,” Buckham said. “At Longchamp, it had rained the day before and it was drying it the day of the race and still a bit sticky.”
Chances are good the Keeneland turf course will be firm Saturday as little or no rain is forecast for the Central Kentucky area this week.
“We are quietly confident that he will run a huge race,” Buckham said.
MR. NIGHTLINGER WORKS TOWARD BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
With regular rider Jamie Theriot up, Shakertown (G3) winner Mr. Nightlinger worked five furlongs around the “dogs” in 1:01 Monday morning as he continued preparations for an anticipated run in the inaugural running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on October 25 at Santa Anita.
A four-year-old son of Indian Charlie, Mr. Nightlinger is owned by Carl Moore Management LLC and the Martin Racing Stable. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Mr. Nightlinger is riding a five-race win streak that began with the Shakertown at Keeneland in April.
“He’s as strong as ever,” said Theriot, who has been aboard for all five of the front-running victories in grass sprints.
Dennis “Peaches” Geier, assistant to Calhoun, said Mr. Nightlinger likely would work at least one more time at Keeneland before shipping to Santa Anita three or four days before the Breeders’ Cup.
Also working under Geier’s eyes for Calhoun was Richard Davis’ Storm Mesa, a two-time graded stakes winner who is being pointed toward the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on October 11. Working in blinkers under jockey Miguel Mena, Storm Mesa covered five furlongs in 1:02.
“I don’t usually work her in blinkers, but I wanted to get a better work in her because this is probably her last one before she races,” Geier said. “I thought both of them worked very well.”
Grade 1 winner Golden Doc A will run in the Indiana Oaks (G3) on Friday at Hoosier Park, said trainer Greg Fox, who is handling the filly for her California-based trainer, Barry Abrams. Based on her performance in that race, Fox said Golden Doc A could make her next start in Keeneland's Lexus Raven Run (G2) on October 18. At Keeneland in April, the Unusual Heat filly was second in the Stonerside Beaumont (G2).
$200,000 FRIDAY PICK 4 RETURNS,
$150,000 PICK 6 OPENING SATURDAY
Keeneland kicks off the fall meet with its popular late Friday Pick 4 on races 7-10. The Pick 4 is offered each Friday during the race meet and features a $200,000-guaranteed pool. A $150,000-guaranteed Pick 6 will be presented on Saturday, October 4.
Both wagers are sponsored by TVG.
Other fan favorites returning for the fall are the 50-cent Pick 4 and Trifecta wagers, the 10-cent Superfecta and the Super High Five. The Super High Five, offered on the final Keeneland race each day, requires fans to select the first five finishers in exact order. If there are no winners, the pool carries over to the next day’s race card. The minimum wager is $1.
Every Friday and Saturday, weather permitting, a mutuel tent will be open just inside the Gate 2 entrance. The tent will provide mutuel windows, program sales and TV monitors for the convenience of tailgating patrons.
KEENELAND TO SIMULCAST ARC ON SUNDAY
Keeneland will simulcast the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Prix d’Opera, both Group 1 stakes from Longchamp racecourse near Paris, on Sunday, October 5. The Arc, a French classic for three-year-olds and up, is the season-ending middle-distance challenge.
A total of four races will be simulcast from Longchamp, opening with the Prix d’Opera at 10 a.m., followed by the Arc at 10:40 a.m.
OPENING WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, October 3 - Darley Alcibiades Giveaway - The first 3,000 patrons with paid admission receive a free Darley umbrella.
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 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.
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Media inquiries should be directed to Amy Gregory at 859 288-4376 or Jim Williams at 859 288-4220.
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