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Friday, April 17 2009


Keeneland Receives Accreditation Following Review by NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Inspection


At a press conference today at Keeneland, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the Lexington, Ky., racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland is the second track to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs was accredited last week.

The accreditation of Keeneland was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application. Keeneland then hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met twice with the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers. It was led by Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing regulator Frank Lamb; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Portions of the review were also observed by Thompson.





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Afternoon Stroll Puts Nose In Front To Win Appalachian


Lexington, Ky. (April 16, 2009)—Afternoon Stroll stuck her nose in front at the finish Thursday at Keeneland to win the $100,000, Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The daughter of Stroll had the lead in midstretch, gave it up to Hot Cha Cha and then fought back to win in the final stride under Jamie Theriot. Time for the one mile on the turf was 1:37.67.





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 16, 2009


TWO TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNERS HEADLINE BEN ALI CAST OF SEVEN

For the first time in the 79 runnings of the Ben Ali (G3), two winners of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) will line up in the same starting gate.

This happens Sunday when Silverton Hill LLC’s Dominican, the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass winner, and Starlight Stable LLC, Donald Lucarelli and Paul Saylor’s Monba, the 2008 winner, face five other rivals in the 1 1/8-mile main-track event worth $150,000.





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Thursday, April 16 2009


British Kentucky Derby Hopeful Mafaaz Staying Here, Going to McLaughlin Barn


Lexington, KY (April 15, 2009) – Shadwell Stable’s Mafaaz (GB), eighth in Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1), will move from the Keeneland quarantine barn into the barn of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Thursday morning.

“I don’t know what their plans are for him, but the decision was made today that Neal McLaughlin will come by in the morning and take him to their barn,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. Neal McLaughlin is an assistant to his brother, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.





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Wednesday, April 15 2009


Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 15, 2009


SQUARE EDDIE HEADS FIELD OF 12 FOR SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON

J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, winner of last fall’s Grade 1 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity here, tops a field of 12 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 28th running of the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Square Eddie will break from post position eight under Edgar Prado and share top weight of 123 pounds with El Crespo. Prado took the 2003 running of the Coolmore Lexington aboard Scrimshaw.





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Tuesday, April 14, 2009


MISS ISELLA TOPS FIELD OF EIGHT FOR 15TH RUNNING OF DOUBLEDOGDARE

Domino Stud of Lexington Inc.’s Miss Isella, winner of last fall’s Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs, will carry high weight of 123 pounds and concede six pounds to her seven rivals in Friday’s 15th running of the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes (G3). The race is for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up and will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Trained by Ian Wilkes, Miss Isella will break from post position six and be ridden by Calvin Borel. In her first start since winning the Falls City, Miss Isella ran fourth in the Grade 3 Sabin at a mile at Gulfstream Park in February.





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Monday, April 13 2009


Keeneland Barn Notes—Monday, April. 13, 2009


HABAYA TOPS OVERFLOW FIELD OF 12 FOR THURSDAY’S APPALACHIAN

Shadwell Stable’s Habaya, winner of the Grade 3 Miesque at Hollywood Park on turf last year, will carry high weight of 123 pounds and concede from two to six pounds to her rivals in the 21st running of the Grade 3 Appalachian to be contested at a mile over the Keeneland turf course on Thursday.

Prior to her Miesque score, Habaya had run second in the JPMorgan Jessamine Chase here last October at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Habaya will be ridden by Alan Garcia and break from post position eight.






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Sunday, April 12 2009


General Quarters Pulls Upset In Toyota Blue Grass


Lexington, Ky. (April 11, 2009)—General Quarters, claimed for $20,000 less than a year ago by a 75-year-old retired high school principal, thrust himself into the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture Saturday at Keeneland with an upset victory in the $750,000, Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

Kept close to the early leaders by jockey Eibar Coa throughout the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, the son of Sky Mesa took command in midstretch and defeated Hold Me Back, the 2-1 favorite, by 1 ½ lengths. Massone finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third.






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Keeneland Barn Notes—Saturday, April 11


TOYOTA BLUE GRASS NOTES

A field of 11 horses will go postward today in the 85th running of the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). Biographical information on the connections of each entrant in the $750,000 race, as well as past performances, charts dating back to the first running of the race at Keeneland in 1937 and historical statistics on the race are available in the Toyota Blue Grass Media Guide.

Additional material, including videos of past races, is available at http://www.toyotabluegrassstakes.com.






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Friday, April 10 2009


Mr. Sidney Gives Kent Desormeaux Sweep Of Keeneland Stakes


Lexington, Ky. (April 10, 2009)—Mr. Sidney, a regally bred but lightly raced 5-year-old, won the $300,000, Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Friday at Keeneland to give jockey Kent Desormeaux his stakes second stakes victory of the stormy afternoon. Desormeaux finished with four wins for the day.

By Storm Cat out of A.P.Indy’s daughter Tomisue’s Delight, Mr. Sidney ran one mile in 1:41.84 on the turf course made “yielding” by a series of thunderstorms throughout the day.





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 10, 2009


WALDEN PLEASED WITH HOLD ME BACK

Standing under cover in the midst of intermittent showers on Friday morning at Keeneland, a crew from WinStar Farm, including co-owner Bill Casner, was laughing and smiling. WinStar owns Hold Me Back, the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) who is trained by Bill Mott.

“We’re excited,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s vice president and racing manager. “He (Hold Me Back) trained good this morning, galloped a mile and a half and looks great.”





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Thursday, April 09 2009


Informed Decision Edges Ventura In Vinery Madison Stakes


Lexington, Ky. (April 9, 2009)— Informed Decision returned from a 5 ½-month layoff Thursday at Keeneland to upset heavily favored Ventura in the $300,000, Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes.

Ventura, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner, took the lead in deep stretch under jockey Garrett Gomez but Informed Decision and John Velazquez rallied in the final 100 yards of the seven-furlong race for a head victory.





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