Thursday, April 30 2009


Mark Maronde, Dr. Johnny Mac Smith Join Keeneland Sales Staff


Lexington, KY (April 30, 2009) – Keeneland officials today announced two new additions to its sales staff – Mark Maronde as Sales Account Executive and Dr. Johnny Mac Smith DVM as a member of the yearling inspection team.

Maronde joins Keeneland from WinStar Farm, where he has worked in the bloodstock division since 2004. Maronde brings more than 20 years of experience in the Thoroughbred industry to his position at Keeneland, where he will assist in sales recruiting and marketing.





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Wednesday, April 29 2009


Keeneland September Yearling Sale Yields 13 Kentucky Derby Entrants


Lexington, KY (April 29, 2009) – The 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale has yielded 13 of the 20 horses entered today in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).

The group includes co-second choices on the morning line, Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Pioneerof the Nile and Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Dunkirk, who was sold for the sale-topping price of $3.7 million; Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Friesan Fire; Toyota Blue Grass (G1) winner General Quarters and runner-up Hold Me Back; and UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) winner Desert Party.





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Tuesday, April 28 2009


Keeneland Spring Meeting Attendance Third-Highest in Track History


Lexington, KY (April 27, 2009) – Keeneland concluded its 2009 spring race meeting, held April 3-24, with total attendance of 240,755, the third-highest in track history, and an increase in average daily on-track wagering.

Despite one less day of racing, total attendance for the 15-day meet was off just 1.2 percent from last year’s total of 243,606 for the 16-day meeting. The Keeneland record of 244,145 was set during the 2006 spring meeting.





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Saturday, April 25 2009


Keeneland Spring Meeting Produces Third-Highest Total Attendance


Lexington, KY (April 24, 2009) – Keeneland realized total attendance of 240,755 – the third-highest in track history – for its 2009 spring race meeting, held April 3-24.

Total attendance for the 15-day meet was off just 1.1 percent from last year’s total of 243,606 for the 16-day meeting. The Keeneland record of 244,145 was set during the 2006 spring meeting.





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Spice Route Scores Mild Upset In Fifth Third Elkhorn


Lexington, Ky. (April 24, 2009)—Spice Route (GB) won the $200,000, Grade 2 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes Friday at Keeneland, upsetting heavily favored Champs Elysees (GB) and spoiling the 10-year-old debut of multi-millionaire Better Talk Now.

The 5-year-old son of King’s Best took the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining in the 1 1/2-mile turf race under Rene Douglas en route to a two-length victory. Time for the race on the firm turf was 2:29.23.





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Friday, April 24 2009


Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 24, 2009


BETTER TALK NOW BEGINS NINTH SEASON IN CLOSING-DAY FIFTH THIRD ELKHORN

Trainer Graham Motion had to laugh when he told a story about Bushwood Stables LLC’s Better Talk Now.

“Somebody asked me yesterday if he’s retired,” Motion said, “and I said, ‘No, he’s running tomorrow.”





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Last to First, Winter View Wins Grey Goose Bewitch


Lexington, Ky. (April 23, 2009)—Winter View, who was still last with a quarter of a mile to go, closed with a flourish under jockey Julien Leparoux to win the $150,000, Grade 3 Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes Thursday at Keeneland.

The 5-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch caught the leaders with a sixteenth of a mile remaining in the 1 ½-mile turf race and finished two lengths in front of Communique.





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Thursday, April 23 2009


Curlin and Zenyatta Among Seven Keeneland Sale Graduates Named 2008 Kentucky-Bred Champions


Lexington, KY (April 23, 2009) – Two-time North American Horse of the Year Curlin and champion older female Zenyatta are among seven Keeneland sale alumni named 2008 Kentucky-bred champions by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

Curlin was retired in 2008 following a career that encompassed 11 wins in 16 starts, including seven Grade 1 stakes, and North America record earnings of more than $10.5 million. He earned honors as Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year and champion handicap horse. Zenyatta, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1), was named Kentucky-bred champion handicap mare.





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 23, 2009


FRANKEL SEES CHALLENGES FOR CHAMPS ELYSEES IN CLOSING-DAY FIFTH THIRD ELKHORN

Racing fans lamenting the early retirement of the stars of Thoroughbred racing are in for a real treat on Friday, closing day of Keeneland’s spring season. The ninth race is the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn (G2), a 1½-mile turf stakes that brings together a collection of older runners with a long list of accomplishments. Among them is Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Champs Elysees (GB), a two-time Grade 1 winner on turf who is the 2-1 morning line favorite.





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Wednesday, April 22 2009


Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 22, 2009


HOLD ME BACK AMONG HORSES SET TO LEAVE FOR CHURCHILL DOWNS

WinStar Farm LLC’s Hold Me Back, second in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on April 11, is scheduled to leave Keeneland on Wednesday for Churchill Downs and prepare for his next start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). In the morning, the Giant’s Causeway colt galloped over Keeneland’s main track with trainer Bill Mott’s assistant Leana Willaford aboard.

Elliott Walden, WinStar’s vice president and racing manager, said Hold Me Back would work at Churchill either on Sunday or Monday. That is the same schedule for WinStar’s Coolmore Lexington (G2) winner, Advice, a son of Chapel Royal who is trained by Todd Pletcher. Advice also is set to leave Keeneland for Churchill on Tuesday for a possible run in the Derby.





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Tuesday, April 21 2009


Keeneland Barn Notes—Tuesday, April 21, 2009


CHAMPS ELYSEES AMONG NOTABLES IN CLOSING-DAY FIFTH THIRD ELKHORN

Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Champs Elysees (GB), who is coming off a second-place finish to Einstein (BRZ) in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on March 7, will make his Keeneland debut in the 24th running of the Fifth Third Elkhorn (G2) on Friday, closing day of the spring meeting. The 6-year-old, who will be ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. for trainer Bobby Frankel, is the 124-pound highweight and will break from post 11 for the 1½ mile-turf race worth $200,000.

By Danehill, Champs Elysees is a full brother to champions Intercontinental (GB) and Banks Hill (GB) – just two of the accomplished members of his family. During her career, Intercontinental captured three Keeneland stakes: the Jenny Wiley (G3) in 2004 and 2005 and the WinStar Galaxy (G2) in 2005.





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Monday, April 20 2009


Parading Turns Ben Ali Into One-Horse Race


Lexington, Ky. (April 19, 2009)—Parading turned a highly competitive Ben Ali Stakes (G1) into a one-horse race Sunday at Keeneland, drawing away to a 7 ½-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile, $150,000 event for 4-year-olds and upward.

The 6-year-old son of Pulpit broke away from a three-horse battle for the lead midway down the backstretch, brought a substantial advantage into the stretch and then just drew away for his sixth career win.





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