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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Keeneland Barn Notes—Sunday April 19, 2009


On Sunday around 7 a.m. as light rain fell, trainer Larry Jones on his pony, Pal, accompanied Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Friesan Fire and jockey Gabriel Saez to Keeneland’s main track for the colt’s final work at Keeneland before he heads to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Jones galloped alongside Friesan Fire and Saez before turning the colt loose for his one-mile work, timed in 1:39.60.

As the colt was rounding the final turn, a huge plane at Blue Grass Airport across Versailles Road took off with a thunderous roar, distracting a few observers but apparently not bothering Friesan Fire. Clockers caught Friesan Fire’s eighth-mile splits in :13.52, :12.41, :12.44, :12.63, :12.50, :12.48, 11:91 and 12.00.

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Sunday, April 19 2009

Advice Enters Derby Picture with Coolmore Lexington Win

Lexington, Ky. (April 18, 2009)—Advice put himself in the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture Saturday at Keeneland with a come-from-behind victory in the $300,000, Grade 2 Lexington Stakes, the last major steppingstone to the Run for the Roses.

Still last with a half-mile remaining in the 1 1/16-mile race, he rallied between horses on the turn under Garrett Gomez and caught heavily favored Square Eddie in the final sixteenth for the one-length win. The final time on the fast Polytrack was 1:43.33.

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Keeneland Saturday Crowd Second-Largest in Track History

Lexington, KY (April 18, 2009) – A crowd of 33,680 – the second-largest in Keeneland history – turned out Saturday, April 18, for Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) Day.

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Keeneland Barn Notes—Saturday, April 18, 2009


Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire is scheduled to work a mile at Keeneland on Sunday with jockey Gabriel Saez aboard.

“This will kind of be like his scrimmage for the Derby,” trainer Larry Jones said of the work that is scheduled for 7 a.m.

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Friday, April 17 2009

Indescribable, Desormeaux Team To Win Doubledogdare

Lexington, Ky. (April 17, 2009)—Indescribable returned from a five-month layoff to win the $100,000, Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes Friday at Keeneland.

The 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap took the lead from pacesetter Awesome Ashey with a quarter of a mile remaining and gradually pulled away to a 2 ¼-length victory.

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Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 17, 2009


West Point Thoroughbreds’ Justwhistledixie tuned up for an expected run in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) by working five furlongs in 1:00 in company with stablemate Fitz Just Right on Friday morning at Keeneland.

“She was doing so good that we gave her an easy half-mile in :50 last week,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “Today we gave her company and she did it in hand. I just didn’t want her to do anything crazy like :45 (for a half).”

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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


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


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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