• EIGHT FILLIES DEEMED LIKELY FOR SATURDAY’S QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP
• HOMEBRED ZIP CASH BACK COULD GIVE McCAULEYS BREEDERS’ CUP SHOT
• REWARDS APLENTY ON MAKE-A-WISH DAY
• FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
• 2012 FALL MEET LEADERS
The top three finishers from the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap, Inspired, Bounding Bi and Sensible Lady, are signed on for a rematch in Friday’s 16th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County to be contested at 5½ furlongs on the grass.
The Buffalo Trace Franklin County, won last year by Wild About Marie, will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:21 p.m. (ET) post time. First post time Friday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Allen Iwinski and owned by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds, Inspired led all the way to win the five-furlong Turf Amazon by a length on September 3 at Parx. Junior Alvarado retains the mount on Inspired, who will break from post position two.
Y-Lo Racing Stables’ Bounding Bi and Three Lyons Racing’s Sensible Lady finished a nose apart in the Parx race. James Graham picks up the mount on Bounding Bi, who will break from post position four, with Xavier Perez retaining the mount on Sensible Lady, who will break from post position eight.
The field for the Buffalo Trace Franklin County, from the inside out, is as follows: Plus One (Paco Lopez, 118 pounds), Inspired (Junior Alvarado, 122), Georgie’s Angel (Robby Albarado, 118), Bounding Bi (James Graham, 120), Well Deserved (Corey Lanerie, 120), Yournotthebossofme (Leandro Goncalves, 120), You Need Me (Joe Rocco Jr., 120), Sensible Lady (Xavier Perez, 120), Speedacious (Miguel Mena, 120), Maple Forest (John Velazquez, 120), Madame Giry (Eddie Castro, 122) and Taty’s Gold (Constantino Roman, 120). Also eligibles: Formal Plan (Greta Kuntzweiler, 120) and Classy Zip (Paco Lopez, 120).
EIGHT FILLIES DEEMED LIKELY FOR SATURDAY’S QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP
Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman expects at least eight names with the possibility of a couple more to be in the entry box Wednesday for Saturday’s 29th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for 3-year-old fillies.
Heading the probable entries are Martin Schwartz’s Samitar (GB), winner of the Garden City (G1) in her most recent start, and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the 2011 Darley Alcibiades (G1) on Polytrack and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) plus this summer’s Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga.
Other likely entries include Darley Stable’s Better Lucky; G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and the Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust-2008’s Centre Court; Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Dayatthespa; Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade; Richard Santulli’s Tannery (IRE) and Spendthrift Farm’s Treasured Up.
HOMEBRED ZIP CASH BACK COULD GIVE McCAULEYS BREEDERS’ CUP SHOT
Ron McCauley has participated in one Breeders’ Cup as a co-owner, but on Thursday he could earn a full ride back to Santa Anita should his Zip Cash Back win the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3).
“He was a part owner in Lethal Heat, who ran in the Ladies’ Classic (G1) in 2009,” said Tevis McCauley, son of the owner and trainer of Zip Cash Back. “She didn’t do very well (finishing seventh to Zenyatta), but that was the year Zenyatta never left California and she spent the summer and fall racing against her.”
At this stage of the game, on paper at least, there appears to be no Zenyattas among the rivals Zip Cash Back will face in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run November 2 at Santa Anita.
“She is doing really well,” Tevis McCauley said after Zip Cash Back completed her morning exercise on the training track. “She has trained well here since her last race.”
Zip Cash Back finished second to JPMorgan Chase Jessamine rival Oscar Party in her most recent start at Kentucky Downs on September 15 in the seven-furlong Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies.
Zip Cash Back worked a best-of-33 five furlongs in :59.80 on the main track here September 29 and added a five-eighths work in 1:01.20 on the main track last Friday.
Zip Cash Back is a homebred daughter of City Zip out of the Tactical Cat mare Miss Holiday Inn. The impact of a Breeders’ Cup horse is not lost on McCauley.
“It would be huge to take her to the Breeders’ Cup as a homebred,” Tevis McCauley said. “It would be special as we are growing our broodmare band.”
Zip Cash Back has posted a record of 5-2-1-0 that includes a victory in the Tippett Stakes at Delaware Park at 5½ furlongs. Thursday’s 1 1/16-mile test will be the first for Zip Cash Back going around two turns.
“The two turns is a bit of a concern because the mare was a sprinter,” Tevis McCauley said. “We’ll just see what happens.”
REWARDS APLENTY ON MAKE-A-WISH DAY
Keeneland has days on which it schedules prestigious races worth a lot of money, but no day is more rewarding than Make-A-Wish Day, which will be held on Wednesday. Since 2008, Keeneland and members of the Thoroughbred industry have teamed up to grant the wishes of children from Central Kentucky who are battling life-threatening medical conditions.
Keeneland partners to host Make-A-Wish Day with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Casner Racing, Coolmore Farm/Ashford Stud, Darley, Dixiana Farm, Gainesway, Lane’s End Farm, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Shadwell Farm and Three Chimneys Farm.
As guests of honor at Keeneland, the Wish Children and their families will enjoy a VIP afternoon at the track highlighted by lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour. Wish Families will meet jockeys in the Paddock and watch a race from the winner’s circle. A Wish Child will present the trophy for the race named after his/her sponsoring farm.
Meanwhile, fans will have the opportunity to help grant a 10th wish by placing a donation into the “Wishing Well” that will be set up just outside the Paddock.
This marks the second year of involvement in Make-A-Wish Day for Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, whose Wish Child, 7-year-old Olivia, wants to swim with dolphins. Rood & Riddle has presented Olivia a gift bag that included a big stuffed horse and horse-related items from around the area. Tomorrow morning, she will visit the veterinary facility, where she’ll be able to meet admirers and love on some horses.
In 1982, Dr. Tom Riddle and Dr. Bill Rood founded Rood & Riddle, which since 2005 has sponsored the Fall Meet’s $125,000 Dowager. The 1½-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mare will be renewed on October 21.
“If you talk to any of the partners, especially Dad or Dr. Rood, they always talk about how blessed we’ve been and how much the horse industry has given us,” said Rood’s son, Alex, the firm’s public relations and marketing specialist. “We love to give back. It’s a huge part of what we do, and it’s one of our biggest pushes.”
Being involved in Make-A-Wish Day helps fulfill that mission.
“I’ve been blown away by Make-A-Wish and the whole thing that they do,” Alex said, “so the day should be a lot of fun.”
FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Wednesday, October 10
Keeneland Handicapping Contest. Place a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland races 3-9. Entry fee is $10 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. Limit three entries per person. First 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form.
Make-A-Wish Day. Local Thoroughbred farms team up with Keeneland to grant wishes for nine area children. Children and their families are treated to a VIP afternoon at the races, and will make a trophy presentation following each of the day’s races.
Friday, October 12
College Scholarship Day. Full-time college students receive free general admission and the chance to win one of ten $1,000 scholarships awarded after each race. Registration will take place in Keeneland’s College Zone in the North Terrace, which features music, free snacks and prize drawings. The first 1,000 students to register for a scholarship receive a Keeneland College Scholarship Day T-shirt courtesy of Kennedy Book Store and a hat from Vineyard Vines.
Buffalo Trace Distillery Sweepstakes. Enter to win a VIP Distillery Experience. The first 1,500 fans who register will receive a Buffalo Trace Distillery drawstring backpack.
Friday Pick 4, presented by TVG. Guaranteed pool of $200,000.
Friday Happy Hour. Start the weekend with live music and simulcast wagering in the Paddock beginning after Keeneland’s final live race at 5:53 p.m. (ET)
2012 KEENELAND FALL MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Sunday, October 7)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Julien Leparoux 19 5 3 2 $364,233
Javier Castellano 12 3 1 0 $198,889
Jose Lezcano 9 2 2 1 $814,272
Rajiv Maragh 11 2 1 1 $469,461
John Velazquez 11 2 1 0 $353,628
Shaun Bridgmohan 9 2 0 2 $ 80,083
Corey Lanerie 12 2 0 0 $ 52,967
11 jockeys are tied with 1 win each.
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 11 3 1 0 $274,605
Todd Pletcher 19 3 0 0 $514,099
Charles Lopresti 3 2 0 0 $465,767
21 trainers are tied with 1 win each.