Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain, runner-up in last fall’s Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1), is scheduled for a five-furlong work on Saturday according to trainer Al Stall Jr.
“That’s the plan right now and he’ll work in company,” Stall said of Terrain, who had worked a half-mile in :48 in company last Sunday.
Under exercise rider Keith Harris, Terrain galloped a mile and a half on the main track Thursday morning.
Among the other Toyota Blue Grass hopefuls on the track Thursday morning were Charitable Man, who galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Pat Correa, and Cliffy’s Future galloped the same distance with trainer Darrin Miller up. Charitable Man is tentatively slated to work on Sunday and Cliffy’s Future early next week.
TAGG CONSIDERING ALLOWANCE OR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS FOR HELLO BROADWAY
Barclay Tagg said Elizabeth J. Valando's homebred Hello Broadway would make his next start at Keeneland either in an allowance race or in the Toyota Blue Grass.
“There's an allowance race on the 10th that I'm going to run him in,” said Tagg. “If that doesn't go, I might run in the Blue Grass, but I'm not sure yet. I'd like to run him in an allowance race and try to get a little easier spot for him to give him some confidence back. He's just had a couple of bad races; I don't think they were his fault, but he's had a couple of bad races. If (the Toyota Blue Grass is) a real, real tough race, I probably won't go in it.”
A half-brother to 2007 Wood Memorial (G1) winner Nobiz Like Showbiz, Hello Broadway has one win in five starts in his career. The Broken Vow colt ran second in both the Hutcheson (G2) at Gulfstream in January and the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct last November. He was seventh in his most recent race, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 14.
Tagg, who will have 16 horses at Keeneland, said assistant trainer Robin Smullen was arriving in Lexington today and would be here over the weekend while he returns to New York to run Tale of Ekati in Saturday's Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct. On Friday, Tagg and Smullen plan to visit their 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner, champion Funny Cide, at his new home at the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.
BOLEYN ARRIVES FOR ASHLAND
Peachtree Stable's Boleyn arrived at Keeneland from New York on Wednesday afternoon and galloped once around the track on Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday's Ashland (G1). The daughter of Proud Citizen is coming off a second-place finish in a March 13 allowance race at Aqueduct in her 2009 debut. In her final two races of 2008, she finished second in both the Blue Hen at Delaware Park and the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct.
“We're aiming for the fences,” said Tristan Barry, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, about Boleyn racing in the Ashland against the likes of champion Stardom Bound. “She's a longshot, but she tries hard every time.”
Boleyn, who is 15-1 in the morning line, will break from the outside nine post with Jamie Theriot aboard.
Bred in Kentucky by Al and Joyce Meek, Boleyn is a half-sister to stakes winner Magnificent Val. Her second dam is Grade 1 winner Magnificent Lindy. Boleyn was sold for $115,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Katalpa Farm, agent, consigned the filly, who was purchased by Eisaman Equine.
THIRD DAWN GIVES OWNERS SECOND SHOT AT ASHLAND TRIUMPH
Ike and Dawn Thrash have had one starter in the Ashland Stakes (G1) in Dawn After Dawn two years ago and that filly came within a length of pulling off a 54-1 shocker. In Saturday’s 72nd running of the Ashland, Third Dawn figures to be a much shorter price when she goes postward against eight other 3-year-olds, including champion Stardom Bound.
Trained by John Sadler, Third Dawn comes into the Ashland off a second-place finish in the March 7 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) in which she was beaten a nose by Stardom Bound.
“We threw a little scare into Stardom Bound,” Sadler said with a laugh of Third Dawn, who entered the Santa Anita Oaks off just a maiden win. “She had showed she had ability all along, but things just didn’t break right in her races. I was surprised she hadn’t won races one, two or three.”
Alan Garcia will ride Third Dawn and break from post position three. Third Dawn galloped a mile and a half Thursday morning on the main track with exercise rider Dana Barnes up.
Sadler did not train Dawn After Dawn for the 2007 Ashland when she finished third behind Christmas Kid and Octave.
“We did not get her until later that year when they sent her to California, because she ran well on synthetic surfaces,” Sadler said. “She won the La Canada and then I came back here with her last year and she ran third to Ventura in the Vinery Madison.”
Third Dawn never has raced on a conventional dirt track and Sadler is hoping the daughter of Sky Mesa will show enough Saturday to merit a shot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
“Right now, we are just taking it one race at time,” Sadler said.
DOLLASE HOPING ASHLAND MAGIC STRIKES AGAIN WITH NAN
Trainer Craig Dollase has been in this spot before.
In 2003, he saddled Elloluv to victory in the Ashland Stakes (G1) for owner J. Paul Reddam with Robby Albarado in the saddle.
On Saturday, he will send out Nan for Reddam with Albarado up as she tries to improve on a couple of narrow losses at Santa Anita to champion Stardom Bound.
“She has had troubled trips in her last two races,” Dollase said of fourth-place finishes in the Las Virgenes (G1), in which she was beaten 2 ¼ lengths, and the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), in which she was beaten a neck.
Outfitted with blinkers as is her norm, Nan galloped a mile and a quarter on the main track under exercise rider Dale Baze.
Nan was purchased by Reddam after she made her racing debut in a turf sprint last July at Saratoga.
“They liked her first race and it looked like she would be able to route,” Dollase said. “Mark Hennig had her in New York and then she was shipped to us in California because they wanted to try her on synthetic tracks.”
Nan broke her maiden in her first synthetic track try and followed that with a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez.
Dollase is hoping on this trip that Nan will have a chance to get reacquainted with the dirt, a surface on which she has raced just once in a ninth-place finish at Saratoga.
“I hope she is not just a Polytrack horse,” Dollase said. “If she runs well Saturday, we will go right over (to Churchill Downs for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks) to train over the track. That’s what I did with Elloluv.”
STARDOM BOUND COULD MATCH INVASOR MARK WITH ASHLAND WIN
The question was asked a few mornings ago in the Keeneland barn area: Who was the last horse to win six Grade 1 races in a row?Quick research seems to indicate the answer is 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor (ARG), who compiled his streak from May 19, 2006, beginning with the Pimlico Special, through March 31, 2007 with the Dubai World Cup.
Stardom Bound enters Saturday’s Ashland having won five consecutive Grade 1 races, starting with the September 1 Del Mar Debutante and running through the March 7 Santa Anita Oaks.
Stardom Bound is listed as the 6-5 morning line favorite for the Ashland and will break from post position seven with regular rider Mike Smith up. On Thursday morning, Stardom Bound galloped a mile and a half on the main track with Nuno Santos up.
During his streak, Invasor also won the Suburban Handicap, Whitney Handicap, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Donn Handicap. He did not get a chance for a seventh consecutive Grade 1 as he was injured before the 2007 Suburban and retired.
In other Ashland news, Dream Empress, winner of the 2008 Darley Alcibiades, jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Jessica Stith. Hooh Why, third behind Stardom Bound in the Santa Anita Oaks in her most recent start, galloped a little more than a mile on the main track.
Farnsworth Stables’ Gozzip Girl, winner of the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on turf at Gulfstream Park in her most recent start, is scheduled to arrive at Keeneland on Thursday from Florida. The Tom Albertrani trainee will be stabled in Barn 1.
Halo Farms and Three Sisters Thoroughbreds’ Evita Argentina worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 with exercise rider Dana Barnes up.
“I’m very happy with it; it was a good work,” trainer John Sadler said of the move that served as the final major drill for Wednesday’s Beaumont (G2) over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet. “I got her in 1:13 and 4.”
A three-time stakes winner sprinting, including a victory over the boys in the Grade 2 San Vicente, Evita Argentina could extend her Kentucky stay with a big effort Wednesday.
“If she runs big in the Beaumont, we may stay for the big one,” Sadler said, referring to the Kentucky Oaks (G1). “It would be a being in the neighborhood kind of thing.”
For Barnes, a longtime exercise rider for Bob Baffert, the trip to Keeneland was her first in a long time.
“Usually with Bob, we’d go straight to Churchill Downs,” Barnes said. “I think the last time I was here was with Silverbulletday.”
Silverbulletday, a finalist for induction this year into the Racing Hall of Fame, was a three-time stakes winner at Keeneland. She won the Alcibiades in 1998, the Ashland in 1999 and the Doubledogdare in 2000.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT HORSEPLAYERS ON OPENING DAY
On Friday, opening day of Keeneland's 2009 spring meeting, Keeneland will expand its two existing daily doubles to rolling doubles, beginning with the first race and continuing through the day's card.
Meanwhile, Keeneland again will offer popular wagers such as the 10-cent superfecta, 50-cent trifecta and $1 Super High Five. The Super High Five requires horseplayers to pick the first five finishers in the final Keeneland race of the day.
In another new development, the entire Keeneland meeting for the first time will be available for wagering online and by phone for XpressBet account holders. In addition, XpressBet account holders will receive 2% back on their total daily Keeneland wagers of at least $25. Qualified 2% rewards will be deposited automatically into members' accounts. No New York residents are eligible.
On Tuesday, Keeneland announced that, for the first time, wagering on the spring meeting will be available on all major North American betting platforms: TVG, TwinSpires.com, XpressBet and YouBet.
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.
Friday, April 3 and Saturday , April 4 - Signing by noted photographer James Archambeault. Friday, April 3, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, April 4, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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, Kids 3 and under free.
Free Handicapping Seminar - Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the ground floor of the grandstand adjacent to the paddock.
Meet and Greet - Fans can mingle with jockeys and special guests following the noon playing of the national anthem and before the first race.
Sunday, April 5 - Keeneland will salute police and firefighters, who receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand section with their badges or ID.