Trainer Jonathan Sheppard won the Rood & Riddle Dowager last year with Augustin Stable’s Omeya (CHI) and will saddle another Augustin runner, Palmilla, in the 17th running of the $150,000 stakes on Sunday. Palmilla, a five-year-old daughter of Crowd Pleaser, is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 ½-mile turf race and will be ridden for the first time by Kent Desormeaux.
Palmilla is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Flower Bowl (G1) on September 27 over yielding turf at Belmont Park. In July at Delaware Park, she won the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) by 3 ½ lengths. Palmilla, who has won four of 15 starts and earned $350,090 in her career, will break from the two post in the Dowager field of 12 fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up.
TERRANOVA TRIES FOR ANOTHER KEENELAND WIN WITH AWESOME I AM
Two talented fillies have given trainer John Terranova reasons to spend some time at Keeneland during the fall meeting. On October 9, the New York-based trainer sent out Laragh to win the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine and earn a berth in the $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on October 24. On Saturday, he will saddle Awesome I Am in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).
Laragh, a two-year-old Tapit filly who races for Golden Goose Enterprise LLC and IEAH Stables, has remained at Keeneland following her Jessamine victory. Terranova said she will work at Keeneland probably on Saturday and will fly to Southern California on Tuesday, October 21.
“She seems to be training really well out of the race, so no worries right now,” he said. “She looks good.”
Edgar Prado, who rode Laragh in the Jessamine, will remain aboard the filly in the Breeders’ Cup.
Sovereign Stable’s Awesome I Am comes into the seven-furlong Lexus Raven Run off a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle (G1) at Belmont on September 13. Her two career wins have been at six furlongs and seven furlongs.
“We tried her long a couple of times,” Terranova said about the three-year-old daughter of Awesome Again. “It looked like the distance (of the Raven Run) was right. The race is very competitive. She’s a nice filly, but I think we haven’t seen her best days yet. They’re still to come as she gets a little older. She’s flashed a little ability in some of her starts, and we figured this would be a good spot to take a shot.”
Calvin Borel will ride Awesome I Am in the Raven Run, which has fielded 13 fillies.
KEENELAND SURROUNDINGS SUIT JULIA TUTTLE
Marion Montanari’s homebred Julia Tuttle left Monmouth Park on Tuesday morning for a 15-hour van ride to Keeneland. Entered in Friday’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf race for three-year-old fillies worth $150,000, the filly has settled in nicely in the tranquil setting of the Keeneland barn area.
“She’s a nervous type, but she’s been extremely relaxed since she’s been here,” said Charlie Sniffen, assistant to trainer H. Ferris Allen III, about Julia Tuttle. “She really likes the atmosphere, and so do I. It’s a lot different than what we’ve been used to.”
The Florida-bred Julia Tuttle is named for the woman who is recognized as the “Mother of Miami” and is the namesake of the Julia Tuttle Causeway in the Miami area. In a little play on her pedigree, the equine Julia Tuttle is a daughter of Giant’s Causeway. Her dam, Candy Cane (ARG), is a full sister to Pacific Classic (G1) winner Candy Ride (ARG), a champion miler in his native country.
Julia Tuttle comes into the Valley View with three wins in nine starts this year, including a 10 1/4-length maiden win at 1 1/8 miles over the turf at Colonial Downs and a victory in the 1 1/8-mile Twin Lights Stakes on turf at Monmouth Park. In the Valley View, Rafael Mojica will ride the filly, who is 15-1 in the morning line and will break from the inside post in the field of 12.
“Hopefully, she’ll be able to relax on the lead and go the distance,” Sniffen said.
With Jamie Theriot aboard, Mr. Nightlinger worked a half-mile on turf around the dogs in :49.80 while light rain fell at Keeneland (watch video of the work). The four-year-old son of Indian Charlie, who has won five consecutive turf sprints, is scheduled to leave for Santa Anita on October 22 and his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on October 25. Bret Calhoun trains Mr. Nightlinger for Martin Racing Stable and Carl Moore Management LLC. … Other Keeneland-based horses that will be leaving in the coming week for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are Dream Empress and Shakis (IRE). Winner of the Darley Alcibiades (G1), Dream Empress is scheduled to work at Keeneland on Friday in preparation for the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) the following week. Shakis, winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), will work at Keeneland either on Friday or Saturday prior to starting in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on October 25.
KEENELAND HOLDS MILITARY FAMILY DAY ON SUNDAY
Keeneland will host Military Family Day on Sunday, October 19. In addition to offering a number of activities honoring the men and women of the armed forces, Keeneland has partnered with the Kentucky National Guard to connect military families with their loved ones stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan via live video satellite. Keeneland expects 500 family members to participate in the satellite sessions that will take place in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. Participating families have already been contacted and will enjoy breakfast or lunch prior to the satellite session and an afternoon of Thoroughbred racing.
Patrons also will have the opportunity to interact and show their support for our troops overseas during the playing of the National Anthem at Noon. At that time, Kentucky National Guard soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be shown live on Keeneland’s infield LED board while the soldiers will be able to see their family members and others at Keeneland.
On Sunday, all active and inactive members of the military and their families will receive free general admission with a military ID and access to reserved seating in the grandstand. Military and their families will receive a special button for the day (while supplies last).
KEENELAND TO BE TITLE SPONSOR OF NATIONAL BREEDERS’ CUP BROADCAST ON HRRN
The Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) has reached an agreement with Keeneland to be the title sponsor of its national Breeders’ Cup radio broadcasts. HRRN, the exclusive radio network of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, will provide nine hours of live coverage from Oak Tree at Santa Anita beginning Friday, October 24, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET, and continuing Saturday, October 25, from 1:00-7:00 p.m. ET.
“We are tremendously excited to have the support of one of the most respected organizations in the sport,” said Mike Penna, president and co-founder of HRRN. “Keeneland is an industry leader, both nationally and internationally, and their involvement as the title sponsor of our coverage speaks volumes for our network.”
“Keeneland is pleased to sponsor the broadcast of the Breeders' Cup,” said Jim Williams, Keeneland's director of communications. “The broadcast will allow racing enthusiasts to hear these two days of championship racing across the country via radio or the HRRN website.”
The broadcasts will be hosted by Penna and Pete Kules, with Jude Feld and Sean Clancy providing paddock reports and interviews. Fans can listen to the HRRN coverage on various affiliates throughout the country, as well as free live streaming on the HRRN website, http://www.horseracingradio.net, and http://www.breederscup.com. Affiliate information is available on the HRRN site.
HENOCH GETS LUCKY AT KEENELAND
Art Henoch picked a horse that finished first or second in each of the last seven races on the Wednesday card and took home the $1,400 winner’s share in Keeneland’s weekly Formulator Handicapping Contest. The Louisville resident said he “occasionally plays contests at Churchill Downs” but made the drive down I-64 to try his skills in Lexington.
Henoch’s handicapping style revolves around studying horses’ running styles and analyzing pace and speed. His final score of $107.60 was good enough to win the contest by a mere $2.80.
“I got lucky,” he said. “Hitting the third race in the contest and having a ticket on the trifecta ($5,566.40) through the windows really gave me confidence. Every horse I picked ran well. I had a ball today.”
Marie Williamson of Mineral Point, Missouri, held the lead going into the final race, but even though her selection finished second, it was not enough to hold off Henoch. She posted a score of $104.80 and picked up $599 for her efforts. Lexington’s C.R. Logan, a familiar face at Keeneland handicapping contests, finished third with $97.20 and earned $300.
“With a contest bankroll of $28, the rule of thumb indicates $84 should take home the top prize,” said Keeneland’s contest coordinator, Jude Feld. “It’s a tribute to the first three finishers that they were able to find the longshots on such a tough card and post such high scores. It was a very competitive day.”
The final $2,500-guaranteed Formulator Handicapping Contest of the fall meeting will be held Wednesday, October 22 at Keeneland. There is a $10 entry fee and players must be 18 or over to enter. It is also the final opportunity for players to gain a berth in Keeneland’s 2008 Tournament of Champions on Saturday, November 22.
UPCOMING FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, October 17 — Celebrate UK’s Homecoming At See Blue Day — Keeneland will be a sea of blue when it hosts See Blue Day, the official kick-off for the University of Kentucky Wildcats' homecoming weekend. Kentucky plays Arkansas the following night at 7 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.
The See Blue Day schedule of events includes:
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Inaugural Tops In Lex Cornhole Tournament at the Keeneland Entertainment Center. Winner will receive a Keeneland VIP prize package.
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Free UK Pep Rally at the Keeneland Entertainment Center with the UK pep band, cheerleaders, mascot and more. Those in attendance will be treated to free tailgate food and be eligible for prize giveaways. Attendees also will receive free general admission to the races and access to the reserved seating in the UK section of the Grandstand.
1:10 p.m.: First post at Keeneland. Show a UK student, faculty or alumni ID and receive free general admission to the races. Don't forget to wear your UK blue!
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Next to the paddock, members of UK's 1998 Outback Bowl team, including Tim Couch and Craig Yeast, will be on hand to sign commemorative UK/Keeneland hats. Each hat costs $15, and proceeds from hat sales will benefit UK's DanceBlue, a student-led dance marathon that provides emotional support and research for children and families treated at the UK Pediatric Oncology Clinic.
Friday, October 17 – Play the $200,000-guaranteed Pick 4 on races 7-10. Presented by TVG. .
Saturday, October 18 – Breakfast With the Works – Bring the family out for Breakfast With the Works, from 7 – 8:30 a.m. Enjoy a Southern-style breakfast and free children’s activities. This Saturday, Universal Reins, an equine adoption organization from Versailles, Kentucky, will give a demonstration in the paddock at 8:45 a.m.
2008 KEENELAND FALL MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Wednesday, October 15)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Robby Albarado 71 15 15 14 $1,512,303
Julien Leparoux 71 9 12 4 $723,328
Kent Desormeaux 40 8 3 4 $735,232
Rene Douglas 60 5 5 6 $292,000
Jamie Theriot 54 4 6 5 $409,605
Calvin Borel 49 4 6 4 $283,412
Rafael Bejarano 12 4 3 4 $710,052
Shaun Bridgmohan 43 4 0 5 $116,397
John Velazquez 15 4 0 1 $478,246
Miguel Mena 67 3 12 7 $236,877
Jesus Castanon 43 3 4 2 $109,095
Corey Lanerie 46 3 3 2 $110,874
Alan Garcia 14 3 1 1 $135,032
E.T. Baird 7 2 2 0 $ 77,962
Edgar Prado 13 2 1 2 $148,821
Otto Thorwarth 12 2 0 1 $ 32,710
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Ken McPeek 29 5 4 4 $474,418
Bill Mott 18 4 2 2 $281,477
Michael Maker 18 4 2 1 $103,270
Kiaran McLaughlin 13 4 2 0 $580,042
Ian Wilkes 11 4 1 1 $129,207
Albert Stall Jr. 12 3 5 1 $215,844
George Arnold II 21 2 5 1 $140,725
Merrill Scherer 11 2 1 2 $ 88,712
Dale Romans 16 2 1 1 $454,450
Tom Proctor 14 2 1 1 $123,644
Hugh Robertson 7 2 1 1 $ 55,854
Steve Margolis 8 2 1 0 $ 50,705
Todd Pletcher 26 2 0 2 $234,771
Shug McGaughey 5 2 0 1 $349,425
Helen Pitts 7 2 0 0 $ 52,742
John Gaver III 2 2 0 0 $ 43,014