Derby Daze Farms and Mark Hoffman’s consistent Hooh Why put in her final major work for a probable start in Saturday’s $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1) on Monday morning. She went a half-mile in :49.60 with a five-furlong out time of 1:02 with Miguel Mena up.
Hooh Why arrived at Keeneland on Thursday night after spending the past two months at Santa Anita in the care of trainer Carla Gaines. Donna Dupuy, who was the trainer of record when Hooh Why broke her maiden at first asking last July at Arlington Park, will saddle Hooh Why at Keeneland.
“I’d like a rematch with Stardom Bound; that’s why we are here,” Hoffman said. “If she beats me, she beats me. But this is the first time Stardom Bound has had to travel and my filly loves to ship. It is like after she runs one race it’s ‘Where do we go next?’ She is a fighter; she doesn’t give up.”
After breaking her maiden at Arlington Park, Hooh Why raced at Presque Isle Downs and Woodbine. In her final race at Woodbine, Hooh Why finished second, beaten a head, by Patena, who figures to be one of the main contenders in the April 11 Toyota Blue Grass (G1).
“We were already up there and she had had trouble in the filly stake (the Glorious Song),” Hoffman said. “She was doing so good after that race and I was looking to stretch her out because her brother (Rumbling Cloud) had won at a mile and a sixteenth, so we decided to take a shot. The field did not look that strong and there was no speed in the race so we put her on the lead and she almost stole it.”
In addition to Stardom Bound and Hooh Why, the other two fillies that were in the four-horse photo in the Santa Anita Oaks – Third Dawn and Nan – are scheduled to arrive at Keeneland from California on Tuesday. Third Dawn, who finished a nose behind Stardom Bound and a nose ahead of Hooh Why, is trained by John Sadler. Nan, who was a neck in back of Hooh Why, is trained by Craig Dollase.
Hoffman had a choice of the Ashland or the Providencia at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita this Saturday for Hooh Why.
“She has trained great on the grass and I am probably going to nominate her to the grass stake here (the Appalachian to be run April 16),” Hoffman said. “I’m going to enter (for the Ashland), but if the race looks like it is coming up too tough, I could go in the grass race.”
Stardom Bound, who worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Sunday morning at Keeneland, came out of the work fine and walked the shedrow Monday morning, according to Ruben Loza, assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel. Stardom Bound is stabled in Frankel’s barn for trainer Rick Dutrow.
ORTHODOX MAY COME BACK IN OPENING DAY CENTRAL BANK TRANSYLVANIA
Orthodox, who finished 11th after setting the pace in the March 21 Lane’s End (G2) at Turfway Park, may come back in Friday’s Grade 3 Central Bank Transylvania at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.
“It is coming back a little quick, but he worked well Saturday (:49.40 for a half-mile) and he runs better on turf,” said trainer John Glenney, who owns Orthodox with his wife, Kim. “I just don’t think he got hold of the track at Turfway.”
Also working Saturday for Glenney was Transduction Gold, winner of the 2007 Sycamore. Transduction Gold worked five furlongs in 1:04.40 with the closing day, April 24 Fifth Third Elkhorn (G2) as his next major objective.
“There is an allowance race in the book for Saturday that I am looking at and then the Elkhorn,” Glenney said.
Transduction Gold ran 10th in last year’s Elkhorn in what served as his 2008 debut following a run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
MR. NIGHTLINGER READIES FOR 2009 RETURN
Mr. Nightlinger, winner of last year’s Shakertown (G3), worked five furlongs in a minute flat on Sunday, the best of 17 at the distance, as he nears a return to the races for the first time since finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.
Owned by the Martin Racing Stable and Carl Moore Management LLC, Mr. Nightlinger began a five-race win streak last year with his Shakertown score.
“He could go in the Shakertown (at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf on April 11) or he may wait until Churchill (Downs),” said Dennis (Peaches) Geier, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun. “If he doesn’t go in the Shakertown, then we’d run Chamberlain Bridge.”
Chamberlain Bridge, owned by Carl Moore Management LLC, won the Grade 3 Woodford at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf here last fall.
Another Calhoun runner on the Sunday work tab was Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Dubai Majesty, who worked five furlongs in a minute. Third in last fall’s Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run, Dubai Majesty is being pointed to the April 9 Vinery Madison (G1), according to Geier.
In the Vinery Madison, Dubai Majesty would face defending race champion Ventura, who tuned up for this year’s renewal with a half-mile work on Sunday of :47.20. Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Ventura capped off a four-win 2008 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
OPENING WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, April 3 - College Scholarship Day - Presented by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Full-time college students receive free general admission and may register to win a $1,000 scholarship to be given away after each race. The first 1,000 students to register for scholarships will receive a free Keeneland College Scholarship Day T-Shirt courtesy of Vineyard Vines.
Saturday, April 4 - Breakfast with the Works - Southern-style breakfast and children’s activities 7 – 8:30 a.m., 8:45 a.m. paddock demonstration with the Lexington Mounted Police. Breakfast is $7.50, children 3 and under free.
Sunday, April 5 - Saturday, April 11 - Best of the Bluegrass Festival - A festival of events saluting the Bluegrass region’s unique culture, from the arts to music to Thoroughbred Racing. For more information, visit bestofthebluegrass.org.
KEENELAND WATCH LIST
Toyota Blue Grass (G1) Contenders
Horse Trainer Barn
Charitable Man Kiaran McLaughlin 1 (arrives 3/30)
Cliffy’s Future Darrin Miller 8
Flying Private D.Wayne Lukas Churchill Downs
General Quarters Thomas McCarthy Churchill Downs
Giant Oak Chris Block
Hold Me Back Bill Mott 25
Mafaaz (GB) John Gosden Churchill Downs (arrives 4/4)
Massone Ron McAnally 22 (arrives 4/5)
Patena Richard Dutrow Jr. 28 Worked 4 fur in :51.80 on 3/28 at Kee
Take the Points Todd Pletcher 6 (arrives 4/7)
Terrain Al Stall Jr. 66 Worked 4 fur in :48 on 3/29 at Kee
Unbridle’s Dream Steve Asmussen
Ashland (G1) Contenders
Horse Trainer Barn
Be Fair D. Wayne Lukas
Boleyn Todd Pletcher 6
Dream Empress Ken McPeek 32 Worked 5 fur in 1:02.60 on 3/28 at Kee
Hooh Why Donna Dupuy 22 Worked 4 fur in :49.60 on 3/30 at Kee
Nan Craig Dollase 5 (arrives 3/31)
Stardom Bound Richard Dutrow Jr. 28 Worked 6 fur in 1:12.60 on 3/29 at Kee
Third Dawn John Sadler 7 (arrives 3/31)
What a Pear Joe Parker (arrives 3/31)