• GYPSY ROBIN COULD EXTEND PERFECT KEENELAND RECORD IN SATURDAY’S TCA
• RELOAD, HUNGRY ISLAND GIVE McGAUGHEY 1-2 PUNCH FOR WEEKEND
• FIELD OF 10 POSSIBLE FOR JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE
• RECENT KEENELAND STAKES WINNERS DOT NOMINATIONS FOR THIRD-WEEK STAKES
• GALLOPING OUT
Sir Robert Ogden’s Amazonas (IRE) had an easy blowout through the stretch under exercise rider Alice Haynes in preparation for Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1).
“She just had a little blow and we did what we wanted,” said Andrew Stringer, assistant to trainer Edward Dunlop. “We didn’t want to blow the race the day before.”
Speaking Friday morning on “At the Races” of Great Britain, Dunlop said, “She was also (nominated to) the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on the Polytrack on Sunday, and we were deliberating for a very long time about which race to run in. We’ve opted for the Saturday race and obviously there is another European filly in there, in the Aidan O’Brien-trained Say (IRE), who ran third in a Group 1 in Ireland.
“We need to improve on all ratings. She runs on Lasix, which every horse in the race does. She’s travelled over extremely well and if she’s not quite good enough she can run in a Grade 3 (the Pin Oak Valley View) at Keeneland in a fortnight’s time.
“She needs to improve but she’s got the right profile. She’s lightly raced, she’s tough and she can quicken but these are proper fillies. She’s probably not a true Group 1 filly in Europe, but we’ve gone to America because we thought it might be slightly easier. If she’s not good enough then we have the fall back of the Grade 3. She’s a stakes winner but we’d like to make her a group winner.”
GYPSY ROBIN COULD EXTEND PERFECT KEENELAND RECORD IN SATURDAY’S TCA
Gypsy Robin will put her unblemished record at Keeneland on the line Saturday when she takes on champion Groupie Doll and four others in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at six furlongs on the main track.
Gypsy Robin was purchased privately last November after winning the seven-furlong Lexus Raven Run (G2) by four lengths. In her other Keeneland starts, she broke her maiden at first asking by 7½ lengths in April 2011 and came back the following spring to win the Beaumont (G2) by three lengths over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet.
Owned by A J L Productions, Jungle Racing and William Strauss, Gypsy Robin did not return to the races until July at Del Mar for new trainer Mike Puype, who had her based at Betfair Hollywood Park, which has an all-weather track.
“After we purchased her, she was not traveling the way we liked and we gave her some time off,” said Ward Brookfield, who has worked for Puype for three years and is Gypsy Robin’s exercise rider. “You could feel the difference when she came back.”
After a fourth-place finish in a salty allowance race at Del Mar, Gypsy Robin won the C.E.R.F. Stakes on Del Mar’s closing day, Sept. 4. That set Gypsy Robin up for a return to Kentucky.
“This race was the plan all along,” Brookfield said. “She is going to be in the (Keeneland November Breeding Stock) sale. If she wins Saturday, she goes back to California for the Breeders’ Cup. If not, she will stay here for the sale.”
Garrett Gomez will ride Gypsy Robin for the first time Saturday in the TCA, which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
RELOAD, HUNGRY ISLAND GIVE McGAUGHEY 1-2 PUNCH FOR WEEKEND
One of the most impressive performances of the Keeneland spring meet was turned in by the Phipps Stable’s Reload when he won a six-furlong allowance race by a widening 6¾ lengths.
“He ran the race of his life here last spring,” said Robbie Medina, assistant to trainer Shug McGaughey. “When they train well on Polytrack and run well on it, you keep a race like the Phoenix in the back of your mind.”
The spring allowance victory came in the first start on Polytrack for Reload, who will make his second start on the surface this afternoon in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3). Reload will break from post position three and be ridden by John Velazquez.
“After he won here, we took him back to New York and he ran well in the slop,” Medina said. “After he didn’t run so well in a couple of stakes, we eased off a little bit. He has trained well lately and if he runs back to that spring race, he can be competitive.”
Another spring allowance winner returning for the McGaughey barn this weekend is Emory Hamilton’s Hungry Island, who runs in Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1).
Third in the First Lady last year, Hungry Island comes into Saturday’s race off a runner-up effort in the Noble Damsel (G3) at Belmont Park going a mile.
“She has been doing really well and her last start was good,” Medina said. “She runs well here and she has been knocking on the door of getting a Grade 1 win. Maybe the door will open for her tomorrow.”
FIELD OF 10 POSSIBLE FOR JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE
Entries will be taken Saturday for the 23rd running of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), and as many as 10 two-year-old fillies are expected to pass the entry box for the 1 1/16-mile turf test on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine is the final “Win and You’re In” race of the meet for this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita. Wednesday’s winner earns a spot in the gate for the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 1.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Lien On Kitten, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, heads the list of possible entries compiled by the Keeneland racing office. Other probable starters include Candy Kitty, Courtesan, Kitten Kaboodle, Runway Giant and Zinzay with possible entrants being Albhlin, Bern Legacy, Room Service and Shanon Nicole.
RECENT KEENELAND STAKES WINNERS DOT NOMINATIONS FOR THIRD-WEEK STAKES
Ciao Bella Luna, winner of the Beaumont (G2) here this spring, is one of the marquee names among 39 nominations for the 15th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on the main track on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Among other names of note nominated to the race that was won last year by Gypsy Robin are Lighthouse Bay, winner of the Prioress (G1), and Pure Fun, winner of last fall’s Hollywood Starlet (G1). …
Unbelievable Dream, winner of this spring’s Appalachian (G3), is one of 42 3-year-old fillies nominated to the 23rd running of the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) to be run Friday, Oct. 18 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Also among the nominees are the 2-3 finishers from the one-mile Appalachian, Overheard and Eden Prairie, as well as Summer of Fun, who was third in last fall’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) here and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. …
Angel Terrace, winner of the 2012 Valley View, is one of 31 nominees to the 22nd running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager for fillies and mares at 1½ miles on the turf scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20.
Included in the nominees is Strathnaver (GB), winner of this spring’s Bewitch (G3), which is the spring counterpart to the Rood & Riddle Dowager. …
The male equivalent of the Rood & Riddle Dowager is the 19th running of the $100,000 Sycamore (G3) scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17. The race drew 35 nominations headed by Hyper, winner of the Bowling Green (G2) last month at Belmont Park.
One of the most prominent names among the nominees is Lea, winner of last fall’s Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs. In his past two turf starts, Lea has chased 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan, finishing second in both the Firecracker (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Fourstardave (G2) at Saratoga.
Nutmeg Stable’s Madame Giry and Dan Considine and Steve Snowden’s Sweet Cassiopeia, winners of the two most recent grass sprint stakes for fillies and mares, are the top names under consideration for next Friday’s 17th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County at 5½ furlongs.
Madame Giry, winner of last year’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County, has won her past two starts for trainer Cam Gambolati. Sweet Cassiopeia, trained by Bill Connelly, won the Giant’s Causeway this spring.
Others under consideration for the race for which entries will be taken Tuesday are Bounding Bi, Making Waves, Mosaicist (IRE), Ms Anna Destiny, New Wave, Silverette, Spun Cap, To My Valentine (FR) and Trippin’ Along. Considered as possible by the Keeneland racing office are Jan’s Perfect Star, Jewel of a Cat and Lignite.