Glen Hill Farm’s Sly Storm came out of her triumph in Friday’s $112,200 Buffalo Trace Franklin County in good order, according to Nicky Carrello, assistant to trainer Tom Proctor.
“She’s doing well and getting ready for another one,” said Carrello, who was overseeing Proctor’s Keeneland string Saturday morning while Proctor was at Churchill Downs.
Sly Storm provided Lavin with his second stakes victory at Keeneland and an early birthday present. Lavin, who watched Sly Storm’s triumph from the rail next to the winner’s circle, turns 89 on October 29. His other Keeneland stakes winner is Carload, who took the 1988 Phoenix.
Proctor secured his first Keeneland Grade 1 victory last fall when Purim won the Shadwell Turf Mile.
GALLAGHER TAKES AIM ON QEII WITH MAGICAL FANTASY
Based in Southern California, trainer Paddy Gallagher has made only a handful of trips to Keeneland during his career. One of them came three years ago, when his Grade 2 winner Three Degrees (IRE) finished fifth in Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). Now Gallagher has sent Magical Fantasy to Keeneland to contest the $500,000 race.
“This a strict three-year-old filly race, so we thought we’d try this one,” Gallagher said about the 1 1/8-mile QE II. “Any race at Keeneland is always tough. But we’ll hope for the best.”
After beginning her career in England, where she raced on Polytrack, Magical Fantasy made her first start in the United States in May at Hollywood Park and finished second in the Senorita (G3) at a mile on turf. The Diesis (GB) filly has remained in graded stakes company since, and on August 16 won the Del Mar Oaks (G1) by two lengths as the longest shot in the field.
Racing for David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach and Charles Winner, Magical Fantasy has been ridden in each of her U.S. races by Alex Solis, who won the QE II in 1997 with Ryafan. Solis, who has ridden in just 32 races at Keeneland over his career, also won the 2000 Bewitch (G3) here aboard The Seven Seas.
“It doesn’t look like there’s a lot of speed so I’ll leave it up to Solis,” Gallagher said about the strategy for the QE II. “He’s ridden her, worked her, and he knows her.”
Magical Fantasy was bred in Kentucky by Rodes S. Parrish and Charles Beach IV. Her dam, the winning Easy Goer mare Kissing Gate, is a half sister to Altibr, who won the 2000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in stakes-record time, and to French Group 1 winner Keen Hunter. Both Altibr and Keen Hunter are sons of Diesis.
MR MACCOOL GIVES KATHERINE BALL SHOT AT DENTING KEENELAND RECORD BOOK
The way trainer Katherine Ball sees it, Sunday would be a good time to add on to the family name in the Keeneland record book.
She will be saddling Donamire Farm’s homebred Mr Maccool in the $150,000 Bryan Station (G3) at a mile on the grass for three-year-olds. A victory by Mr Maccool would put Katherine alongside husband Mike on the page of stakes-winning trainers at Keeneland.
Terra Incognita gave Mike his Keeneland stakes win in the 1987 Alcibiades.
“It would be about time,” Katherine said with a laugh. “It would be great if it happened and with the flat mile and his tactical speed it should be a good spot.”
Julien Leparoux, who has ridden Mr Maccool to two of his three victories, will be aboard Sunday and break from post position 10 in the field of 12.
Mr Maccool did not make his turf debut until this June when he broke his maiden at Churchill Downs.
“He had a chip in an ankle last fall, but we did not have to operate,” Ball said. “We got him back in the barn in March and put him on the turf. Being a Giant’s Causeway, he’s bred for it and obviously he has taken to it.”
After a second grass score at Churchill Downs, Mr Maccool won the Jersey Derby at Monmouth and then ran third behind the highly regarded Adriano in the $500,000 Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park on August 30 in his most recent start.
“The Kent was definitely a big class hike and he ran real well,” Ball said. “We gave him a little time off after that and pointed to this race.”
A son of the Halo mare Glory’s Light, Mr Maccool is not the first offspring of the mare to make a name for himself.
“We just retired his half-brother last year at age 10,” Ball said of Twilight Road, a four-time graded stakes winner who compiled earnings of $792,767. “He ran mostly on the dirt, but he did win a stakes on the grass at Calder (the Grade 3 Miami Mile Breeders’ Cup Handicap) when he was seven.”
RECORD 4,224 STUDENTS TURN OUT FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP DAY
Keeneland hosted a record 4,224 college students for College Scholarship Day on Friday, October 10. Students registered to win a $1,000 scholarship or a Verizon Wireless Palm Centro Smartphone, given away after each of the day’s 10 races.
Winners of $1,000 scholarships are:
Race 1 Ashley Pickett University of Louisville
Race 2 Ryan Eads University of Kentucky
Race 3 Gable Adkins University of Kentucky
Race 4 Jason Barkley University of Louisville
Race 5 Anthony Asher University of Dayton
Race 6 Brett Thomas University of South Carolina
Race 7 James M. Staton Morehead State University
Race 8 Chris Beto Transylvania University
Race 9 Doug Gord University of Kentucky
Thoroughbred Industry Winner
Race 10 DeAna Cahoon Midway College
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, a co-sponsor of the event, marked a milestone on Friday, surpassing the $300,000 mark in total scholarship aid it has provided to college students at giveaways at all Kentucky Thoroughbred racetracks.
JOCKEY SCHOOL GRAD STRAIGHT SCORES FIRST KEENELAND WIN
Matthew Straight seems to have the credentials to be a successful jockey. He grew up in New York near Saratoga, where he developed an interest in Thoroughbred racing, and he graduated this year from the North American Racing Academy, which is based at Keeneland-owned The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington. During Keeneland’s spring season, Straight served an internship with multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher. He began his professional riding career this summer at Churchill Downs and entered the Keeneland meeting with 16 victories at Kentucky tracks.
On Friday, Straight recorded another milestone in his young career when he rode Deer Stand to win the first race, a seven-furlong maiden claiming event worth $15,000, for owner-trainer Bentley Moore. Deer Stand, the 7-1 third choice, took the lead in the stretch while racing three wide and held off Sweettalkinjerome to win by a neck. The victory marked Straight’s first win at Keeneland.
“It’s exciting,” said Straight, 22. “A win at Keeneland against all these outstanding riders should really help my career.”
Straight made his Keeneland stakes debut on October 4, finishing ninth in the Phoenix (G3) aboard Nakayama Arashi. He has another attempt to win his first Keeneland stakes on Saturday when he rides Godolphin Grey in the Grade 3, $200,000 Perryville (Presented by Budweiser Select).
Another Academy graduate who is riding at Keeneland is Mikey James, who also began his career this year and has three victories to date.
B. Wayne Hughes’ My Pal Charlie, winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby in his most recent start, worked a half-mile in :48.20 in company with Shape for trainer Al Stall Jr. on Saturday morning.
UPCOMING FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
October 11-12 – Anna Morgan Ford Book Signing – Book signing by Anna Morgan Ford, author of Beyond the Track: Retraining the Thoroughbred from Racehorse to Riding Horse. Ford will sign books from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Keeneland Gift Shop.
Sunday, October 12 – WoodSongs Partners Day – Show your 2008 WoodSongs Partners card at any Keeneland passgate for free general admission for you and a guest. For information on becoming a WoodSongs Partner, visit http://www.woodsongs.com.
2008 KEENELAND FALL MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Friday, October 10)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Robby Albarado 48 9 10 10 $1,235,642
Kent Desormeaux 31 6 1 4 $643,904
Julien Leparoux 46 4 9 2 $478,312
Jamie Theriot 39 4 5 4 $372,869
Rene Douglas 41 4 3 4 $198,896
Rafael Bejarano 12 4 3 4 $710,052
Calvin Borel 28 3 5 1 $219,737
Corey Lanerie 32 3 3 2 $ 96,144
Jesus Castanon 27 3 3 1 $ 90,867
Miguel Mena 44 2 6 4 $176,418
Edgar Prado 13 2 1 2 $148,821
E.T. Baird 5 2 1 0 $ 67,962
Shaun Bridgmohan 26 2 0 4 $ 74,922
*10 tied with 1 win each
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Ken McPeek 17 4 2 3 $415,460
Bill Mott 10 3 1 2 $230,748
Ian Wilkes 6 3 0 0 $ 81,163
Albert Stall Jr. 9 2 4 1 $169,070
Kiaran McLaughlin 7 2 2 0 $224,870
Hugh Robertson 5 2 1 1 $ 55,224
Dale Romans 14 2 0 1 $433,250
Tom Proctor 8 2 0 0 $ 85,094
*38 tied with 1 win each