• SENSIBLE LADY, EXTRAVAGANZA HEAD FIELD OF 10 FOR SATURDAY’S GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
• HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE MARKS POLYTRACK RETURN FOR INGLORIOUS
• SUCCESSFUL DAN TO MAKE 2013 DEBUT IN SUNDAY’S BEN ALI
• IT’S A RECALL! GENERAL ELECTION GETS CHANCE TO MAKE AMENDS IN COOLMORE LEXINGTON
• VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH TEAM VALOR’S BARRY IRWIN, TRAINER KEN McPEEK
• UPCOMING SPRING MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
• KEENELAND SPRING MEET LEADERS
Magdalena Racing’s Pure Fun, seeking to pick up qualifying points for the 139th Kentucky Oaks (G1), will take on 10 males in Saturday’s 32nd running of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The Coolmore Lexington will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. (ET) post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
A total of 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by YUM! Brands (G1) (20-8-4-2) is available in the Coolmore Lexington, and those points also can be applied to the Kentucky Oaks. Pure Fun has 20 points toward the Oaks, which is right on the cutoff line for the Oaks that is limited to 14 starters.
Trained by Ken McPeek, Pure Fun closed her 2012 campaign with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1). In her 2013 debut, the daughter of Pure Prize finished third in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) on March 23 at Turfway Park.
Rosie Napravnik will have the riding assignment Saturday on Pure Fun, who will break from post position 11.
Not only could Pure Fun earn a spot in the Oaks, a position in the Kentucky Derby starting gate also may be available to the winner.
The Kentucky Derby is limited to the top 20 point-earners who pass the entry box and the current cut line is 20 points. Three horses have 20 points and the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races.
The Coolmore Lexington winner would earn $120,000 and move past Code West ($90,000) and Tiz a Minister ($81,000) on the Derby leaderboard.
Top challengers to Pure Fun are a couple of colts who chased leading Kentucky Derby contender Orb in Florida, Cerro (IRE) and Pick of the Litter.
Team Valor International’s Cerro has not raced since finishing sixth behind Orb in the Besilu Stables’ Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). Trained by Graham Motion, the Mr. Greeley colt will break from post position eight and be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Carolyn Vogel’s Pick of the Litter finished sixth in the Besilu Stables’ Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 in his most recent start. Trained by Dale Romans, the son of Kitten’s Joy will be ridden by Jesus Castanon and break from post position two.
Supplemented to the race was Brittlyn Stable’s Sunbean, who finished eighth in a nightmarish trip in the Louisiana derby (G2) on March 30. Now trained by Mike Maker, the Brahms colt will break from post position six under Gary Stevens.
The field for the Coolmore Lexington, from the rail out, is as follows: Winning Cause (Julien Leparoux, 118 pounds), Pick of the Litter (Castanon, 118), River Rocks (James Graham, 118), Hip Four Sixtynine (Gabriel Saez, 118), Where’s Dominic (Edgar Prado, 118), Sunbean (Stevens, 120), Examen (Garrett Gomez, 118), Cerro (IRE) (Rosario, 118), Wings of Fortune (Calvin Borel, 118), General Election (Joe Rocco Jr., 118) and Pure Fun (Napravnik, 118).
SENSIBLE LADY, EXTRAVAGANZA HEAD FIELD OF 10 FOR SATURDAY’S GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
Four-time turf sprint stakes winner Sensible Lady and Happy Ticket Stakes winner Extravaganza headline a field of 10 fillies and mares entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 17th running of the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes at 5½ furlongs on the grass.
The Giant’s Causeway will go as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 4:42 p.m. post time.
Owned by Jeff Heslup and Matt Lyons, Sensible Lady will make her 2013 debut on Saturday. Trained by Tim Salzman, Sensible Lady finished third in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes here in October in her most recent start. Rosie Napravnik has the mount on the four-year-old daughter of Street Sense, who will break from post position five.
Stone Farm’s Extravaganza has won her past two starts at Fair Grounds: one against allowance company and the Happy Ticket. Ninth in the Giant’s Causeway last year, the six-year-old Elusive Quality mare will break from post position two and be ridden by Richard Eramia for trainer Michael Stidham.
The field for the Giant’s Causeway, from the inside out, is as follows: Rosa Salvaje (Alex Solis, 118 pounds), Extravaganza (Eramia, 120), Holiday Soiree (Francisco Torres, 118), Sally Sally (Oriana Rossi, 118), Sensible Lady (Napravnik, 118), Formal Plan (Chris Landeros, 118), Sounds of the City (Julien Leparoux, 118), Spun Cap (Joel Rosario, 118), Sweet Cassiopeia (Joe Rocco Jr., 118) and Kiss in the Forest (James Graham, 118).
HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE MARKS POLYTRACK RETURN FOR INGLORIOUS
The leading earner in Friday’s $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) is Donver Stable’s Canadian champion Inglorious, who has earned more than $1.4 million in her career -- $600,000 of which is thanks to her win in the 2011 Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine. The Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare, a 1 1/6-mile race for fillies and mares, four-year-olds and up, marks the return to Polytrack for Inglorious, who scored five wins on the surface at two and three.
“She’s excelled on Polytrack, so certainly we wanted to get her back on it,” trainer Josie Carroll said about the five-year-old daughter of Hennessy who races for Vern and Donna Dubinsky’s Donver Stable.
In 2012, Inglorious opened the season at Keeneland, running second to Marketing Mix in an allowance race on turf. Marketing Miss won their next two meetings, both on turf at Woodbine, including the Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) in July. Inglorious did not race again for five months.
“There was no major injury,” Carroll said. “She just really got herself jarred up (in the Dance Smartly), and we decided to give her a little time off.”
Inglorious returned in December and was third in the Bayakoa Handicap (G2) over the all-weather track at Betfair Hollywood Park. In February, she finished third to Channel Lady in the Suwannee River Stakes (G3) on turf at Gulfstream Park.
“When we ran her at Gulfstream, that was going to be a decisive moment for the owners – whether she still wanted to perform at that level,” Carroll said.
That was enough to convince Inglorious’ connections to send her to Keeneland, and Carroll said, “She’s training very strongly here.”
Inglorious drew the three post in the field of eight for the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. Last Saturday, Leparoux was aboard Inglorious when she worked five furlongs in 1:03.
SUCCESSFUL DAN TO MAKE 2013 DEBUT IN SUNDAY’S BEN ALI
“He’s going. He’s cleared for takeoff,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said Wednesday morning, confirming that Morton Fink’s Successful Dan would make his return to the races in Sunday’s 83rd running of the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (G3).
Sidelined by a ligament strain in his left front ankle, Successful Dan has not raced since running second to Fort Larned in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) on June 30.
Now a seven-year-old, Successful Dan has won all four of his starts on the main track at Keeneland, including the Fayette Stakes (G2) in 2010. A half-brother to 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan, the Successful Appeal gelding worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 on Monday in his ninth work of the year here.
Entries for the Ben Ali will be taken Thursday.
IT’S A RECALL! GENERAL ELECTION GETS CHANCE TO MAKE AMENDS IN COOLMORE LEXINGTON
WinStar Farm’s General Election will get another shot at stakes company on Saturday when he goes postward in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3).
General Election won the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park in his stakes debut, but then finished 10th in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3) behind Black Onyx.
“We are just drawing a line through the Spiral,” trainer Kellyn Gorder said. “In the Battaglia, the race set up perfect, but in the Spiral, the kickback (from the Polytrack) was really flying aand he was getting it in his face for the first six or seven furlongs. He never got a break from it.”
General Election worked a half-mile in :48.40 on Sunday in his second work since the Spiral.
“He has had a couple of good works here, so we decided to take a shot,” Gorder said.
Gorder also has horses stabled at Churchill Downs including Bourbon Courage, winner of last year’s Super Derby (G2) and placed in five other graded stakes.
“He is probably going to go in the Alysheba,” Gorder said of the $300,000 Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles on May 3. “We were tempted by the Charles Town race, but we are going to wait.”
The $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (G2) is Saturday at 1 1/8 miles.
VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH TEAM VALOR’S BARRY IRWIN, TRAINER KEN McPEEK AVAILABLE
Video interviews conducted by sports broadcaster Tom Leach with Team Valor International’s Barry Irwin and trainer Ken McPeek are available by clicking on the following links:
Team Valor International’s Barry Irwin talks about Cerro (IRE), entered in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3); and
Trainer Ken McPeek discusses Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner Java’s War and the filly Pure Fun, entered in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3).
UPCOMING SPRING MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Thursday, April 18 - Saturday, April 20
Budweiser Clydesdales. On Wednesday through Friday, fans can have their photo taken with a member of the world-famous team from noon – 1 p.m. at the South Grandstand entrance (weather permitting). On April 20, the Budweiser Clydesdales will appear on Keeneland’s main track between races.
Friday, April 19
Jockey Autograph Signing. Meet retired jockeys, including Pat Day, Jean Cruguet, John Oldham and Patti Cooksey, and current Keeneland riders from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. adjacent to the paddock. Jockeys will sign photos of the current jockey colony, posters and hats to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on races 7-10.
Friday Happy Hour. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the final race to enjoy live music and simulcast wagering at Happy Hour in the Mezzanine Bar.
Friday, April 19 - Sunday, April 21
The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show by Dorfman Pacific from 11 a.m –6 p.m.
Saturday, April 20
Sunrise Trackside offers activities for the entire family beginning at 7 a.m. with Breakfast With the Works, featuring a Southern-style
breakfast and trackside commentary on Thoroughbreds as they train until 8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); a demonstration in the paddock featuring millionaire and multiple graded stakes winner Arson Squad, a resident of Old Friends equine retirement facility (8:45 a.m.); walking tours of Keeneland (8:30-10:30 a.m.); photos with legendary bugler George “Bucky” Sallee in the paddock (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.); a trackside handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m.); and a Q&A session with a Keeneland jockey in the paddock (12:05 p.m.).
Tailgating on “The Hill.” Watch and wager on Keeneland’s live racing from the tailgate lot. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill features a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A concert by the Bluegrass band Town Mountain will be featured.
Sunday, April 21
Military Appreciation Day Presented by Windstream. Active and inactive members of the military and their families receive free general admission with a military ID at any pass gate. The North Terrace will be transformed into the Military Family Zone with free food, live music and activities. Because April is the Month of the Military Child, Keeneland will have special giveaways and activities for children in the Military Family Zone from noon-4 p.m.
KEENELAND 2013 SPRING MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Sunday, April 14)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Joel Rosario 46 14 3 5 $516,370
Julien Leparoux 41 8 8 7 $1,049,776
Alan Garcia 28 7 3 1 $381,963
Javier Castellano 22 5 3 3 $324,484
Edgar Prado 19 5 3 2 $282,046
Rosie Napravnik 39 4 7 7 $277,689
Corey Lanerie 53 3 10 8 $234,763
Jesus Castanon 19 3 3 1 $ 94,494
Shaun Bridgmohan 37 2 3 6 $160,586
Miguel Mena 22 2 2 2 $ 99,225
Roberto Morales 15 2 2 0 $ 60,885
Joseph Rocco Jr. 22 2 1 3 $ 80,646
Gary Stevens 10 2 0 1 $ 56,563
John Velazquez 4 2 0 0 $ 93,248
16 jockeys tied with 1 win each.
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 37 9 6 2 $292,642
H. Graham Motion 17 5 4 3 $344,966
Ken McPeek 22 5 3 1 $627,200
Wesley Ward 22 5 1 3 $172,357
Mark Casse 27 4 2 0 $170,640
Shug McGaughey 11 4 2 1 $239,422
Todd Pletcher 8 3 1 2 $364,948
Jonathan Sheppard 4 3 0 0 $105,923
George Arnold II 10 2 1 2 $245,344
Charlie LoPresti 8 2 1 0 $238,187
Eddie Kenneally 6 2 0 1 $ 61,545
33 trainers tied with 1 win each.