• SATURDAY CROWD KEEPS KEENELAND ATTENDANCE ON A ROLL
• RAHYSTRADA, TEMERAINE SET FOR REMATCH IN THURSDAY’S SYCAMORE
• GALLOPING OUT
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten’s Dumplings spent the night at Keeneland Saturday after her neck victory in the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).
“She is going to stay over there a couple days,” trainer Mike Maker said Sunday morning from his home base at Louisville’s Trackside Training Center. “She came out of the race fine.”
Following the race, Ken Ramsey indicated that the three-time graded stakes winner would be pointed to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at 1¼ miles on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
“That would be a good option,” said Maker, who has not finalized shipping plans to California. “I am still enjoying yesterday.”
With two wins yesterday, both for the Ramseys, Maker scored his fifth victory of the meet to lead all trainers. He has entries in two races today.
Kitten’s Dumplings is a full sister to the Ramseys’ stakes-winning 2-year-old Granny Mc’s Kitten, who also is headed to the Breeders’ Cup. She is based in New York with trainer Chad Brown.
Brown was at Keeneland Saturday, where he sent out Martin S. Schwartz’s favored Alterite (FR) to run second. The filly came out of the race well, said Brown’s assistant Baldo Hernandez. Winner of the Garden City (G1) in her North American debut and her race prior to the QE II, Alterite is to return to New York today.
Trainer Barclay Tagg was happy with the performance of Caroline Thomas, who closed fast to finish third, beaten a neck and a half-length.
“She’s got a mile and a quarter written all over her, but there are no mile-and-a-quarter races except for the Breeders’ Cup and there are no mile and a quarter preps for that,” Tagg said. “Keeneland has a nice, long stretch that is great for her, but then it was great for the (Ken and Sarah) Ramsey filly (Kitten’s Dumplings), too.”
Tagg said Caroline Thomas would head to Gulfstream Park for the winter.
“If the (Grade 1) Matriarch (Dec. 1 at Betfair Hollywood Park) was a mile and a quarter (rather than a mile), I’d be tempted to ship her out there even though it is against older (horses),” Tagg said.
Josie Carroll, trainer of pace-setter Leigh Court, said the fourth-place finisher would remain at Keeneland for another day.
“I am going to talk it over with Mr. (Eugene) Melnyk, but she will get a little time off after a race like that,” Carroll said of Leigh Court, who was trying a mile and an eighth for the first time. “She ran her heart out. I could see at the eighth pole she was getting tired, but she fought back.”
Carroll is looking forward to 2014 with Leigh Court, who has won on dirt, turf and Polytrack.
“Her versatility is so nice,” Carroll said. “I think you will see a lot more of this filly when she gets older and grows up.”
Carroll indicated an early target in 2014 for Leigh Court could be the Jenny Wiley (G1) or Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3), both at 1 1/16 miles here in April.
Fifth-place finisher Say (IRE) was transported to nearby Ashford Stud after the race, according to farm manager Dermot Ryan. In an e-mail, Ryan said Say would remain at Ashford and be bred next year with the mating to be determined.
Trainer Wayne Catalano said I’m Already Sexy was fine the morning after her sixth-place finish.
“We had a good trip,” he said. “We had everything we needed. She just didn’t fire.”
Catalano said he’d talked to Anna Seitz of owner Hit The Board Stables to determine the filly’s immediate future.
Trainer Wesley Ward said Emotional Kitten, who finished seventh beaten only three lengths, came out of the race well.
“Looking at the odds, maybe we should have waited for the Grade 3 (the Pin Oak Valley View at 1 1/16 miles on Friday), where I don’t think she’d be 11-1,” Ward said. “But that’s after the fact. When you get an opportunity to run in a Grade 1 race when the horse is doing good, you take a shot.”
Also owned by the Ramseys, Emotional Kitten may head to Churchill Downs next with a possible target being the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 16, according to Ward.
RAHYSTRADA AND TEMERAINE SET FOR REMATCH IN THURSDAY’S SYCAMORE
Robert Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada and Niall Racing’s Temeraine, the 1-2 finishers in this summer’s Arlington Handicap (G3), head a field of nine entered Sunday for Thursday’s 19th running of the $100,000 Sycamore (G3) at 1½ miles on the turf.
The Sycamore will go as the eighth race on Thursday’s nine-race program with a post time of 4:49 p.m. (ET).
Trained by Byron Hughes, the 9-year-old Rahystrada, who has earned $1,381,750, has not raced since an 11th-place finish in the Arlington Million (G1). Leandro Goncalves will be aboard Thursday and break from post position six.
Temeraine, who is trained by Tom Proctor, finished fifth in the Arlington Million and in his most recent start won the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs. David Flores will have the mount Thursday and break from post position three.
The field for the Sycamore, from the inside out, is as follows: Eagle Poise (Joe Rocco Jr., 121 pounds), Reflecting (Robby Albarado, 121), Temeraine (Flores, 123), Olympic Thunder (BRZ) (Alan Garcia, 121), Suntracer (Shaun Bridgmohan, 121), Rahystrada (Goncalves, 121), Najjaar (James Graham, 121), Nutello (Mario Pino, 121) and Tricky Hat (CHI) (Rosie Napravnik, 121).
SATURDAY CROWD KEEPS KEENELAND ATTENDANCE ON A ROLL
The 32,717 fans at Keeneland on Saturday marked a single-day attendance record for the fall meet and the seventh-highest single-day attendance ever. It also marked back-to-back days of record attendance. On Friday, 22,807 fans were at Keeneland, the highest attendance for a Friday during the fall meet.
Through the first seven days of the 17-day fall meet, Keeneland has drawn a total of 132,172 fans for an average of 18,882, an increase of 11.3 percent over the same period last fall. On opening Saturday, Oct. 5, 27,849 fans enjoyed a full day of stakes racing despite heavy rains.
Keeneland has posted record total attendance for four consecutive race meets (2011 fall, 2012 spring and fall, 2013 spring).
Yesterday’s 10-race card featured the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), beautiful weather with temperatures in the upper 70s and a legion of football fans credited with enjoying the “Keeneland Double”: Thoroughbred racing in the afternoon and the University of Kentucky home football game in the evening.
Before 69,873 fans at Commonwealth Stadium, the University of Alabama, the two-time national champions and the No.1-ranked team this year, defeated Kentucky, putting a damper on an otherwise perfect day in Central Kentucky.
The Keeneland Double seemed to be especially popular in 2010 when UK hosted two night games against universities whose fans enjoy racing. On Oct. 16, 23,659 fans were at Keeneland, and 67,955 people watched UK upset the University of South Carolina.
On Oct. 23, 2010, the day UK played the University of Georgia, Keeneland recorded 23,318 fans, and 70,884 fans attended the football game at Commonwealth Stadium.
Keeneland’s All-Time Highest Single-Day On-Track Attendance
Attendance Date Feature Race
40,617 April 14, 2012 Toyota Blue Grass (G1)
37,161 April 13, 2013 Toyota Blue Grass (G1)
33,821 April 21, 2007 Coolmore Lexington (G2)
33,727 April 10, 2010 Toyota Blue Grass (G1)
33,680 April 18, 2009 Coolmore Lexington (G2)
33,621 April 16, 2005 Toyota Blue Grass (G1)
32,717 Oct. 12, 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1)
Brendan Walsh, former assistant to Eddie Kenneally, earned his first Keeneland victory when he sent out Patinack Farm’s Broadway Missile to win the first race Saturday. Ridden by David Flores, the 2-year-old Heatseeker (IRE) gelding won the 1 1/16-mile maiden claiming race on the main track by a half-length in 1:46.65.