With a light, cold drizzle falling, Patena put in his final major preparation for Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) by working five furlongs in 1:00 with jockey Robby Albarado up.
It was Patena’s second work at Keeneland since running eighth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 14. Patena worked a half-mile in :51.80 on March 28.
And the verdict on Monday’s work?
“We’re all good here,” Dutrow said.
Owned by IEAH Stables, John Sikura, et al, Joseph Bulger and James Covello, Patena has started twice this year at Fair Grounds with Albarado aboard for both races. Prior to the Louisiana Derby, Patena had run second in the Grade 3 LeComte on January 10.
The Louisiana Derby, run on a sloppy track, was Patena’s poorest effort in six career starts.
“I haven’t lost any confidence in him,” Albarado said after the work. “In the Louisiana Derby, he had been off awhile and the track was a little quirky that day. He is proven on the Polytrack and I am looking for a big effort on Saturday. He’s a nice colt.”
McPEEK CALLS AUDIBLE, WORKS THEREGOESJOJO A HALF-MILE
Trainer Ken McPeek had planned to work Theregoesjojo a half-mile on Tuesday, but a look at the weather forecast changed that.
“We’re working this morning,” McPeek said as Theregoesjojo came on the track with exercise rider Amanda Tamburello up. “I’m afraid it’s going to snow in the morning and be 22 degrees. I didn’t want to take a chance of the track being frozen.”
So, the work went on and Theregoesjojo breezed the half-mile in :48 and galloped out in 1:00.40, according to Keeneland clockers. McPeek had the gallop out in a minute flat.
“That was good. He did it easy and I got the last quarter in :23,” McPeek said. “I just didn’t want to take a chance with the weather. Before the Florida Derby, I had to work him in the mud around the dogs.”
McPeek said that Calvin Borel would have the mount on Theregoesjojo in the Toyota Blue Grass. Theregoesjojo is owned by the partnership of Samotowka Stable LLC, Delfiner Partners, George Krall and Magdalena Racing.
JOIN IN THE DANCE WORKS FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS
Trainer Todd Pletcher was at Keeneland Monday to check in with his stable and to oversee the works by several runners, including Toyota Blue Grass (G1) hopeful Join in the Dance. The Sky Mesa colt worked four furlongs in :49.60.
“We were just looking for a nice easy half and he did it well, finished up strongly and galloped out good,” said Pletcher, who won the Toyota Blue Grass in 2005 with Bandini and last year with Monba. “We think we’re going to run in the Blue Grass. He seems to like it here. He’s training well over the surface, so we’re going to give it a try.”
Join in the Dance is owned by Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis, in partnership with brothers Jake and Reed Ballis and Reagan and William Swinbank, all of Houston. The Ballis’ father raced Texas-bred champion sprinter Groovy and Grade 1 winner Cutlass Reality.
John Velazquez will ride Join in the Dance in the Toyota Blue Grass.
HELLO BROADWAY WORKS FOR UPCOMING START
Barclay Tagg was pleased with the Monday work by Hello Broadway as the trainer determines whether the Broken Vow colt will start next in an allowance race on Friday or in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on Saturday. With Carl Allsop aboard, Hello Broadway worked five furlongs in :59.40, and galloped out in 1:14.
“I was very happy with his work,” Tagg said. “It was a little faster than I wanted, but I thought he did it very nicely. … He does :59s very easy.”
Hello Broadway is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) on March 14. Prior to that race, he was second in the Hutcheson (G2) at Gulfstream.
“I’ll probably run him in the allowance race if it goes,” Tagg said. “There’s a possibility on the Blue Grass. I’m not sure. I just worked him. I want to make sure he came out of the work good.”
A homebred racing for Elizabeth J. Valando, Hello Broadway is a half-brother to 2007 Wood Memorial (G1) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz, also a Grade 2 winner on turf.
“Mrs. Valando is very nice to train for,” Tagg said. “I’ve got no pressure to go in the (Kentucky) Derby or in the Blue Grass. We just want to get him (Hello Broadway) running better.”
MAFAAZ TO STAY PUT IN QUARANTINE BARN
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Mafaaz (GB) cleared quarantine in time to get in one circuit around the Keeneland training track with exercise rider Miguel Moya up.
“We just wanted to get him out to stretch his legs and it was the first day a rider has been on him since Friday,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. “He cleared quarantine at 9:30 this morning.”
Reynolds said that Mafaaz would remain in the quarantine barn rather than move to Barn 1, where a stall was waiting for him in Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn.
“He’s very happy here and eating well and we didn’t want to move him again before the race,” Reynolds said. “Now after the race, if he does well and stays here, we may move out of the quarantine barn.”
Gosden is coming in Friday night. Richard Hills, who rode Mafaaz to victory in the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at Kempton Park on March 18, will have the mount in the Toyota Blue Grass.
Reynolds indicated that Mafaaz likely would return to the training track in the morning.
“He just had a canter this morning; tomorrow will be a trot, or as you say, ‘a gallop,’” Reynolds said. “He will probably go out around 9 o’clock.”
OTHER TOYOTA BLUE GRASS NOTES:
Silverton Hill LLC’s Cliffy’s Future started his morning with a bit of a warm-up on the training track and then galloped a mile and a quarter on the main track with trainer Darrin Miller up. Miller said that Jesus Castanon, who rode Cliffy’s Future to victory in the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park on March 21 in his most recent start, would have the mount in the Toyota Blue Grass. Cliffy’s Future is scheduled to work Wednesday.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s Charitable Man walked the shedrow at Barn 1, a day after working five furlongs in :59.60. “Everything’s good,” reported Neal McLaughlin, brother of and assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Alan Garcia has the riding assignment on Saturday.
Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain returned to the track and jogged a mile alongside a pony under exercise rider Keith Harris. Trained by Al Stall Jr., Terrain had worked five furlongs in 1:01 on Saturday. Julien Leparoux will ride on Saturday.
Frankfurt Stable’s Massone will be ridden on Saturday by Garrett Gomez. Gomez, who won the 2006 Toyota Blue Grass on Sinister Minister, rode Massone the day he broke his maiden last fall at Hollywood Park.
Mark Hoffman, co-owner of Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Hooh Why, said it is doubtful the filly would run back in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 1.
One of the main factors is the presence of Rachel Alexandra, a two-time winner at Churchill Downs who crushed four foes on Sunday in the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park.
“I was in the parking lot at the hotel and a buddy called me and I listened to the call (of the Fantasy),” Hoffman said. “She (Rachel Alexandra) has the same running style as my filly and it doesn’t make much sense to take her on now with so many other races out there to run. As I’ve said, I want to try my filly on the grass.”
Hoffman is not sure what he will do next with Hooh Why.
“You know, I didn’t decide to come here until the last minute and the reason I did is because all those other fillies (from California) would be shipping for the first time and my filly loves to ship,” Hoffman said. “I wouldn’t say the Oaks is totally out now, but most likely doubtful. There’s the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico (on May 15), the American 1,000 Guineas at Arlington on May 23rd … a lot of races and not too many horses.”
Trainer Ken McPeek said that Livin the Dream Racing LLC’s Dream Empress, who ran seventh in the Ashland, would be headed to his farm on Monday. “She is going to get a break,” McPeek said. “There is something wrong with her, and the trip to England (for the June 5 Epsom Oaks) is off. She just didn’t progress from 2 to 3 real well.”
Monba, who won last year’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1), is scheduled to race at Keeneland on April 19, said trainer Todd Pletcher. Owned by Starlight Stable, Donald Lucarelli and Paul Saylor, the Maria’s Mon colt will start in the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3), a 1 1/8-mile race on Polytrack.
Another Pletcher runner on the Keeneland work tab on Monday was 3-year-old Bittel Road, who worked four furlongs in :48.60. “We’re not ruling out the (Grade 2 Coolmore) Lexington yet,” Pletcher said about the 3-year-old Stormy Atlantic colt’s next race, “but the most likely scenario is that he’s going to go to Churchill in the Crown Royal American Turf.” The Crown Royal is a Grade 3 race for 3-year-olds over 8 ½ furlongs on turf on May 1. James T. Scatuorchio and breeder John Iracane own Bittel Road, who won the Woodford Reserve Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland last fall and is coming off a 10th-place finish behind Hold Me Back in the Lane’s End (G2) at Turfway Park.
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS POST DRAW
WEDNESDAY, 11:30 A.M.
The post position draw for the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) will be held Wednesday, April 8, from 11:30 a.m. - Noon, in the Limestone Café in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. TVG will provide live coverage.
SPRING MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Wednesday, April 8 - Keeneland Handicapping Contest Presented by Formulator Web - 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.
Wednesday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 15 - Budweiser Clydesdale Sweepstakes - Register to win a personalized photo session with the Budweiser Clydesdales at Keeneland, along with lunch for four in Keeneland’s Equestrian Room and a trip to St. Louis to tour Anheuser-Busch.
Friday, April 10 - Maker’s Mark Bottle Signing - With University of Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks. The Maker’s Mark/Keeneland commemorative bottle supports a UK School of Music outreach program for elementary and secondary students across Kentucky. Signing begins at 6:30 a.m. Limit two bottles per person.
Friday, April 10- University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s Music of the Horse Concert - Held in the Keeneland walking ring at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds from CD sales benefit the UK Symphony Orchestra and the Keeneland Foundation’s charitable giving program.
Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11— Book Signing Keeneland’s Ted Bassett, My Life - Former Keeneland president, chairman of the board and trustee James E. “Ted” Bassett III will sign copies of his new autobiography, Keeneland’s Ted Bassett, My Life, outside the Keeneland Gift Shop from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.