Eighttofasttocatch is the second choice on the morning line in the $75,000 Evening Attire Stakes at Aqueduct. Keefe put three solid works into his now 6-year-old since a wire-to-wire score in the Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park on December 3. Sheldon Russell will make the trip to ride.
Keefe is planning to use the race as a prep for the $200,000 General George Handicap (G2) at Laurel Park on Monday, February 20. The son of Not For Love won five races at Laurel Park in 2011, including four stakes races, with an average Beyer Speed figure of 100.
“He has run his best races at Laurel but he has run some good races out of town, too,” added Keefe. “He ran fourth in both the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland against an incredibly tough horse in Wise Dan where with a little racing luck we could have been second and the West Virginia Governor’s Handicap where he was beaten just a length.”
Red’s Round Table, who won three stakes races during her 3-year-old campaign, is the 7-5 morning line choice in a $41,000 allowance race at Laurel Park. The daughter of Cuvee is 3-of-4 lifetime at Laurel, including victories in the Marshua and Wide Country Stakes. With Russell in New York to ride Eighttofasttocatch, Mario Pino picks up the mount.
“She cracked an ankle after winning the Wide Country but has two races under her belt since returning,” added Keefe. “It looks like she has come back just as strong, if not better than when she was injured. Tomorrow’s race is not easy. Magical Feeling won five of seven last year and Howard Wolfendale has a stakes winner in Bold Affair.”
The 44-year-old conditioner enjoyed a career-year in 2011, setting career-highs in wins (43) and earnings ($975,712). He has five victories from 19 starters so far this year.
“Fifty wins and a million dollars is this year’s goal,” said Keefe, who won his first race in 1994. “As the years have gone by I have gotten some higher profile owners which has increased the quality of horses in the barn. I also have great help. They are wonderful.”
Keefe will saddle Red’s Round Table at Laurel (post time 3:12 Eastern) then watch Eighttofasttocatch via simulcast (3:37 Eastern post).
KENDRICK CARMOUCHE RIDES FOUR WINNERS ON FRIDAY CARD
Kendrick Carmouche, the leading rider at PARX Racing, made a successful trip to Maryland Friday, winning four races from five mounts this afternoon at Laurel Park.
After finishing third in the opener, Carmouche guided 2-5 favorite Friscan to victory in the fourth race for trainer Graham Motion. He picked up the mount on Supertripp ($19.20) in race five and rallied from off the pace to mark his second winner, this time for trainer Mark Shuman. Kieron Magee’s odds-on favorite Follow The Leader ($3.80) beat starter allowance company in race seven and Maybe’s Master ($7.80) rallied from last to take the headliner for Mike Trombetta.
“I love riding here,” Carmouche said. “They have a good group of riders who keep a straight course allowing you to ride the rail or go outside and win. It is a consistent track. The trainers who I come down and ride for put me on good horses.”
Carmouche, who turned 28 Wednesday, has won more than 200 races each of the last five years (2007-2011).
“It has been a good run and it is only going to get better if I keep working hard,” added Carmouche.
The four-win afternoon brought his win total to 17 in 2012.