Monday, April 13 2009

Keeneland Barn Notes—Monday, April. 13, 2009


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


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

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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


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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Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 9, 2009


Shadwell Stable’s Mafaaz (GB), who will race Saturday in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in his Amerian debut, visited the starting gate Thursday morning at Keeneland and then galloped a mile and a quarter under exercise rider Miguel Moya.

“He just walked in the there and backed right out,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. “We just wanted him to get used to the gate here and let the gate personnel see him.

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War Kill Edges Selva In Beaumont

Lexington, Ky. (April 8, 2009)—War Kill scored a narrow victory over Selva in the $150,000, Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes Wednesday to give jockey Julien Leparoux his fourth win of the afternoon.

It was a two-horse race for more than half of the seven furlong, 184 feet race with no more than a half length separating the first two finishers as heavily favored Evita Argentina trailed the six-horse field.

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Wednesday, April 08 2009

Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 8, 2009


With trainer Darrin Miller up, Silverton Hill LLC’s Cliffy’s Future worked three furlongs in :36.40 and galloped out a half-mile in :49 on Wednesday morning at Keeneland.

“It was a nice work,” Miller said of Cliffy’s Future, who won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park on March 21 in his most recent start. “He felt good. I just wanted to see him stretch out through the lane and that is what he did.”

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Keeneland Overnight for Saturday, April 11

Stakes Closing April 8

The Appalachian Stakes is a grade III race for 3yo fillies going 1 mile over the turf. The purse is $100,000; the nom fee is $100

The Doubledogdare Stakes is a Grade III for fillies and mares 4yo & up going 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland's Polytrack. Purse is $100,000; nom fee is $100.

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Field of 11 for Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1)

Hold Me Back, Undefeated Charitable Man and English Invader Mafaaz Headline Field of 11 for Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1)

Lexington, KY (April 8, 2009) – WinStar Farm LLC’s Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane’s End (G2), Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s undefeated Charitable Man and Hamdan al Maktoum’s Mafaaz (GB), winner of the Kentucky Derby Challenge at Kempton Park in England last month, headline a field of 11 horses entered for Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.

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Smart Strike Colt Brings $475,000 on Tuesday at Keeneland

Lexington, KY (April 7, 2008) – A colt by Smart Strike brought a final bid of $475,000 from trainer Bob Baffert to top the second and final session of Keeneland’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Baffert said he purchased the colt, out of the Belong to Me mare Private Feeling, for Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman and Karl Watson. He was consigned by Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, agent.

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