• ANGEL TERRACE FACES NINE RIVALS IN SUNDAY’S ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER
• PIN OAK VALLY VIEW STARTER NELLIE CASHMAN THRIVES ON GRASS AND DISTANCE
• TRAINER HENDRICKSON EYES KEENELAND RACING RETURN
• GALLOPING OUT
• FALL MEET LEADERS
With nearly a quarter of an inch of rain overnight and a forecast for more that materialized Thursday morning, there were no grass works at Keeneland, which meant reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan had his morning exercise on the training track rather than working toward the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
“It will depend on the weather, but I may work him tomorrow or Saturday,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said. “The racing office has said I can work on the turf any day I want, and I have that option to work him on the main track like I did last year before the Breeders’ Cup.”
Wise Dan, a homebred racing for Mort Fink, had his nine-race win streak snapped Oct. 5 in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), which was moved off the turf because of heavy rain.
“He was just a little mad after that race,” LoPresti said. “But he is doing great and training well and I couldn’t be any happier with him.”
ANGEL TERRACE FACES NINE RIVALS IN SUNDAY’S ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER
Augustin Stable’s Angel Terrace, winner of last year’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3) here, will take on nine rivals in Sunday’s 22nd running of the Rood & Riddle Dowager for fillies and mares going 1½ miles on the turf.
The Rood & Riddle Dowager will go as the eighth race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:49 p.m. (ET) post time.
Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Angel Terrace enters the Rood & Riddle Dowager off a third-place finish in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon on Sept. 7. Rosie Napravnik has the mount on Angel Terrace and will break from post position four.
Among Angel Terrace’s rivals Sunday is Juddmonte Farms’ Preferential (GB), who finished second in the race at Kentucky Downs. Trained by Bill Mott, Preferential began her career in Europe, where she was a stakes winner last year. Leandro Goncalves has the mount and will break from post position two.
The field for the Rood & Riddle Dowager, from the inside out, is as follows: Cash for Clunkers (Joe Rocco Jr.), Preferential (GB) (Goncalves), Janicellaine (IRE) (Javier Castellano), Angel Terrace (Napravnik), I’m Your Luv (Corey Lanerie), Valiant Girl (GB) (Forest Boyce), Sheppard’s Pie (Mario Pino), Kissable (IRE) (Alan Garcia), Beijoca (Shaun Bridgmohan) and Left a Message (Robby Albarado). All starters will carry 121 pounds.
PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW STARTER NELLIE CASHMAN THRIVES ON GRASS AND DISTANCE
A look at the past performances of Friday’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3) entrant Nellie Cashman shows a dramatic improvement in the filly’s form when she made her first start on grass in her sixth race.
“Instead of what took so long to put her on turf, a better question would be what took you so long to stretch her out,” trainer Francis “Tres” Abbott III said. “She had always run well enough with a couple of seconds that she stayed on the dirt and sprinting.”
In her turf debut Preakness Weekend at Pimlico going 1 1/16 miles, Nellie Cashman finished second in a 14-horse field. She has not finished behind a horse since in three races.
Owned by Sycamore Racing, Nellie Cashman broke her maiden by 5¼ lengths against Pennsylvania-breds and then won the Virginia Oaks (G3). In her most recent start, she was disqualified from a victory in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga for drifting out in the stretch.
“She has always been kind of special,” the 30-year-old Abbott said. “When we got her, the people that broke her said she had done everything right.”
She did enough right to be invited to last weekend’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), an invitation that had to be declined.
“She came down with a little fever and we missed a day of training , but she was fine by Saturday,” said Abbott, who has 16 horses in his stable at Fair Hill, Md. “If it had been a morning ship, she could have run instead of shipping here and missing another day or two. I blew her out three-eighths yesterday morning and she got here last night about 10.”
Nellie Cashman will break from post position one under Forest Boyce in the 1 1/16-mile Pin Oak Valley View.
“I’d like to think she will be as competitive in there as she was at Saratoga,” Abbott said. “I was glad to see Caroline Thomas run so well here last weekend and the result of the Pebbles at Belmont on Monday.”
Caroline Thomas, who finished third in the QE II, was elevated to the victory in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid. Tapicat, who was fifth in the Lake Placid behind Nellie Cashman, ran second in the Pebbles behind Discreet Marq, a Grade 1 winner.
TRAINER HENDRICKSON EYES KEENELAND RACING RETURN
Lori Hendrickson’s excitement about this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) helped convince her that she was ready to return to training Thoroughbreds, something she had done for 14 years. She had all but decided to leave the business about seven months earlier, however, when she lost 10 horses and two cats in a fire at a barn she was leasing at a farm in La Grange, Ky. Her heart was broken, and she went to work with her husband in his sports apparel business.
“My mind was starting to get back into it because I started preparing to go to the Derby,” Hendrickson said. “I couldn’t wait to go to the Derby. Normally, I’m not spending two months finding a dress. I got too excited.”
At Keeneland, Hendrickson has three 2-year-old Louisiana-bred colts in training. One of them, Lori’s Darling (with Hendrickson, left), will become her first starter in a year if he makes his career debut here on Oct. 24, five days before the one-year anniversary of the fire.
“He’s not named after me,” Hendrickson said about the Yankee Gentleman colt, whose own story tugs at the heartstrings. He was named for breeder and owner Jeff Jeans’ late wife, Lori, who died of cancer about 1½ years ago. A month after she died, lightning struck and killed the colt’s dam and suckling half-brother at the Louisiana farm where they resided. Then Hendrickson’s barn burned.
“I think we’re due,” Hendrickson said, alluding to a victory by Lori’s Darling after the run of horrible luck. “He’s working awesome, this horse (who has three consecutive bullet works over the Keeneland Polytrack). I think his mommy and Lori are looking down on him. I think all of them are looking down on him.”
Hendrickson understandably tears up when she talks about the animals that died in the fire (a goat survived) and said she heals a little more each day. Remembering the horses and the cats helps, and she included photos of them in the spiral-bound “gallop chart” she uses to record the activities of her current runners.
Following the Keeneland meet, Hendrickson plans to train a small string at Fair Grounds while returning to her Louisville home to continue to work with her husband.
“You wouldn’t be in this business if you weren’t a dreamer,” she said. “It’s a part of my life; it really is. Everybody says you can never walk away from it. I think I really believe it now.”
Trainer Conor Murphy scored his first Keeneland victory when he sent out 15-1 longshot Bailoutbobby to win Wednesday’s seventh race. Owned by Jack Sisterson’s Three Lions Racing, the 3-year-old Mizzen Mast colt won the 1¼-mile allowance race by two lengths in 2:01.40. James Graham rode the winner. …
Nikki’s Sandcastle, runner-up in last year’s Fayette (G2), worked five furlongs in :59.80 Thursday morning in preparation for this year’s renewal – now sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute – to be run Oct. 26.
FALL MEET LEADERS
Through Oct. 16
Jockey Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
John Velazquez 28 7 8 5 $1,015,731
Rosie Napravnik 49 7 6 8 $287,620
Joe Rocco Jr. 42 6 4 8 $313,485
Robby Albarado 39 5 4 1 $629,149
Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael J. Maker 39 6 3 6 $364,323
Wesley A. Ward 20 4 4 2 $253,752
Todd A. Pletcher 7 4 1 0 $359,071
Mark E. Casse 17 3 2 1 $404,260
Wayne Catalano 20 3 1 2 $218,091
Tom Proctor 16 3 0 2 $101,755