Stonerside Stable’s Cowboy Cal, idle since running ninth in this spring’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) behind Big Brown, headlines a field of 12 runners entered Thursday for Sunday’s $150,000 Bryan Station for three-year-olds going a mile on the turf.
A homebred son of Giant’s Causeway, Cowboy Cal has won three of four career starts on the grass with stakes triumphs coming in the Laurel Futurity and Tropical Park Derby (G3). In his lone Keeneland appearance, Cowboy Cal ran second in this spring’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) on the Polytrack.
Two other Bryan Station entrants have earned turf stakes victories: Donamire Farm’s Mr Maccool in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park and Augustin Stable’s Deal Making in the Stanton at Delaware Park.
The field for the Bryan Station, from the hedge out, is as follows: Ready’s Image (R. Douglas, 119 pounds), St. Joe (M. Mena, 117), Nistle’s Crunch (R. Albarado, 117), Cowboy Cal (J. Velazquez, 123), Deal Making (R. Dominguez, 117), Seaspeak (K. Desormeaux, 117), Big Stick (A. Garcia, 117), Stormy Ballad (J. Alvarado, 117), Veiled Prophet (J. Castanon, 117), Mr Maccool (J. Leparoux, 117), Coronel Moldes (C. Borel, 117) and Montana Mike (J. Theriot, 117).
GAME N LAUGHIN’ CLAIM PAYS IMMEDIATE DIVIDEND
For owner Randy Gammill of Diamond G Ranch and trainer Connie Morton, Game N Laughin’ has accomplished a lot since being claimed for $18,000 at Arlington Park in June.
“We like to find fillies for breeding and the big thing about her was that she is by Distorted Humor,” Morton said. “She seemed to be very solid in her races and it did not matter what the level was.”
The level for Game N Laughin’ gets considerably higher Friday when she goes postward under jockey Corey Lanerie against nine foes in the 12th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County for fillies and mares three-years-old and up at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. Natalicat is the only other starter in the field to have run for a claiming tag in 2008.
“Our goal for her was to get some black type and she accomplished that right away,” Morton said, referring to a runner-up finish in the Adena Turf Sprint at Remington Park on August 23. “We gave her about two months off and she just flourished on the farm. We also changed her style of running. She used to go right to the front and then kind of fizzle out at the end.”
LIBERTY BULL FRESH AND READY FOR PERRYVILLE
Trainer Tom Amoss had a simple explanation for the only off-the-board finish on the resume of Liberty Bull: “He ran bad.”
The 12th-place finish in a field of 13 in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby was bad enough that Amoss put the son of Holy Bull on the shelf for the summer. Prior to the Arkansas Derby, Liberty Bull had rewarded owner Kenneth Maier with a $300,000 payday in winning the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park.
“Maybe the trip to the WinStar was a little much. We gave him the summer off to freshen him up,” said Amoss, who brought Liberty Bull back at Presque Isle Downs on August 30 to win a six-furlong allowance sprint. It was the first sprint race for Liberty Bull since running second in the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds in December.
Next on the docket for Liberty Bull is Saturday’s 10th running of the $200,000 Perryville (G3) over the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs, 184 feet. Corey Lanerie has the mount and will break from post position 11.
“I think he is very versatile,” Amoss said of Liberty Bull, who is stabled at Churchill Downs and will ship over Saturday. “We have plenty of options; the door is open with him and this is the race we picked out.”
Co-owner-trainer-breeder John Glenney said that Transduction Gold remains on track to try for a repeat victory in the Sycamore (G3) to be run October 18. “Jon Court is going to come in from California to ride him,” Glenney said. “He rode him in his last two races in California (the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap and Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship) and broke his maiden on him last summer at Del Mar.” Court has won three stakes at Keeneland, the most recent being in 2001 with Freon Flier in the McConnell Springs. … Trainer Wayne Catalano sent out Pat O’Brien Handicap (G2) winner Lewis Michael for a five-furlong work in 1:00. Lewis Michael is being pointed to the October 25 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. Also working for Catalano was Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Sugar Mom, who worked five furlongs in :59.80.
KEENELAND MEDICAL DIRECTOR PLEASED WITH RESPONSE TO SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN JOCKEY MEDICAL RECORDS
Last Friday, on opening day of the fall meeting, Keeneland debuted the Jockey Health Information System, a database that was created to maintain jockeys’ updated medical histories so they are immediately accessible to emergency personnel at racetracks throughout the country. That same day, Keeneland made use of the system when John Velazquez was injured in a spill in the seventh race.
One of the first jockeys to sign up for the system, Velazquez was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He was accompanied by a copy of his medical records, which also were faxed.
The creation and development of the Jockey Health Information System featured collaboration among InCompass Solutions Inc., The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., the Jockeys’ Guild, Keeneland and Dr. Barry Schumer, Keeneland’s medical director who developed the original concept and consulted on the project. The system is a module of the InCompass Race Track Operations software, which nearly every racetrack in the United States uses.
Once a jockey receives a username and password from InCompass, he or she can enter and update personal health information, such as broken bones, surgeries, illnesses and medications, in the database.
“Thus far, the riders have uniformly thought this was a great idea,” Schumer said. “I’ve been pleased with the response from the riders.
“We’ve probably assigned user names and passwords to over 30 riders thus far through four days of racing. About half of them have filled out health forms. It’s a great first step.”
In late April, Keeneland announced the concept, and Schumer worked with InCompass on the design. Keeneland is the first track in the United States to make use of the system.
“Once we test drive it here for the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be sent out nationwide,” Schumer said. “We want riders who are at Keeneland and go elsewhere to have their information accessible at any track.”
Meanwhile, the Jockeys’ Guild is working to publicize the new system and recruiting jockeys to participate.
ANNA MORGAN FORD TO SIGN BEYOND THE TRACK AT KEENELAND
“With just a little time, patience, and know-how, off-the-track Thoroughbreds ... can be successfully retrained to reach the highest levels of competition, or simply bring their intelligence and athleticism to the recreational rider's pleasure-minded pursuits,” writes Anna Morgan Ford in her new book, Beyond the Track: Retraining the Thoroughbred from Racehorse to Riding Horse. On Saturday and Sunday, Morgan will be at Keeneland to sign copies of her book, which is drawing numerous positive reviews for its comprehensive instruction.
Beyond the Track is a comprehensive guide that covers a range of practical topics, supported by instructive photographs, unique to Thoroughbreds. Among the subjects Ford addresses are finding the right horse to adopt, dealing with soundness or health issues, feeding and care after the racetrack, proper equipment, and step-by-step techniques for retraining a former racehorse.
A lifelong equestrian, Ford is program director for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in Ohio and has overseen the training and adoption of more than 1,500 retired racehorses. She wrote Beyond the Track with Amber Heintzberger, who is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists.
Keeneland is donating copies of Beyond the Track to nonprofit organizations across the country whose mission is to find adoptive homes for retired Thoroughbreds. These organizations will in turn provide free copies of the manual to individuals who adopt a Thoroughbred from their group.
Ford's schedule at Keeneland is as follows:
Saturday, October 11
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Part of Breakfast With the Works
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Keeneland Gift Shop
Sunday, October 12
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Keeneland Gift Shop
KENTUCKY FOOTBALL GAME ADDS TO SATURDAY ACTION AT KEENELAND
On Saturday, racing fans at Keeneland will be able to catch all the action of the football game between the Kentucky Wildcats and South Carolina. Keeneland will show the game on the big screen on the infield tote board between races, as well as offer the game on its new flat-screen monitors throughout the track.
Kickoff is 12:30 p.m., and post time for Keeneland’s first race is 1:10 p.m.
DWYER WINS WEDNESDAY’S FORMULATOR HANDICAPPING CONTEST
Rosanna Dwyer picked the winners of Keeneland’s final three races Wednesday afternoon and waltzed to an easy victory in the first Formulater Handicapping Contest of the fall meeting. The Butler, Kentucky, resident posted a score of $105.80 and took home the $1,500 winner’s share of the $3,000 total purse.
“I play a system,” Dwyer said. “I look at speed and class and I am particularly fond of horses who can finish. I came to Keeneland specifically to play the contest.”
Nolan Schadler, on a company outing with Lexington’s Lee Weber Group, finished in a tie for second with Mark Kerns of LaGrange, Kentucky. Both men finished $29.20 behind the winner.
“It was great to have 300 players brave the elements,” said contest coordinator Jude Feld. “That bumped the purse $500 from the guaranteed $2,500. The card was tough but evidently Ms. Dwyer’s system was perfect for the conditions.”
The next Formulater Handicapping Contest will be held Wednesday, October 15. There is a $10 entry fee and players must be 18 or older to participate. For more information go to Keeneland.com.
UPCOMING FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, October 10 – Buffalo Trace Distillery Sweepstakes – Patrons can enter to win a VIP Distillery Experience. The first 2,000 patrons to register receive a free visor.
Friday, October 10 – Play the $200,000-guaranteed Pick 4 on races 7-10. Presented by TVG.
Saturday, October 11 – Breakfast With the Works – Take a behind-the-scenes look at racing’s stars during Breakfast With the Works, from 7-8:30 a.m. Enjoy a Southern-style breakfast and free children’s activities. This Saturday, the Thoroughbred Racing Foundation’s Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center at the Kentucky Horse Park will give a demonstration in the paddock at 8:45 a.m.
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.