Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.’s Pachattack and Tracy Farmer’s La Gran Bailadora, who finished second and third, respectively, in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) here last fall, headline a field of eight fillies and mares entered Tuesday for Friday’s 18th running of the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a post time of 5:13 p.m. (ET). First post time is 1:05 p.m.
La Gran Bailadora, winner of the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) last fall, is trained by Mike Maker. The homebred daughter of Afleet Alex has not run since finishing third in the Likely Exchange in February at Turfway Park. Corey Lanerie has the mount on La Gran Bailadora, who will break from post position one.
Two other graded stakes winners are in the field: Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu and Fox Hill Farms’ Joyful Victory.
Kathmanblu, idle since finishing eighth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), won the Golden Rod (G2) at age 2 in 2010 and the Rachel Alexandra (G3) in 2011. Julien Leparoux has the mount on the Ken McPeek trainee, who will break from post position two.
Joyful Victory, trained by Larry Jones, won the Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G2) last year at Oaklawn Park and will be making her Polytrack debut on Friday. Robby Albarado has the mount on Joyful Victory, who will break from post position eight.
The field for the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare, from the rail out, is as follows: La Gran Bailadora (Lanerie, 118 pounds), Kathmanblu (Leparoux, 118), Lunar Mist (Rosemary Homeister Jr., 118), Principal Role (Edgar Prado, 118), Pachattack (Maragh, 118), My Pal Chrisy (Luca Panici, 118), Sea Level Drive (James Graham, 118) and Joyful Victory (Albarado, 118).
SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON MAY HAVE DERBY IMPLICATIONS
A field of possibly 12 horses is expected to be entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 31st running of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) and of the dozen, the performance by four of the likely starters could potentially impact the shape of the 138th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) to be run May 5 at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Derby field is determined by the 20 horses that pass the entry box with the highest graded stakes earnings. Of horses whose connections are considering the Derby, the cutoff appears to be $220,000 with Reveron holding the 20th spot.
A few of the horses with more money than Reveron are not locked into Derby bids, which makes spots 21 and 22 come into play. Holding those spots now are Isn’t He Clever ($191,333) and Optimizer ($184,708) and that is where the Coolmore Lexington factors in with $120,000 to win the winner and $40,000 to the runner-up.
According to Keeneland stakes coordinator Scott Jones, among the likely starters for the Coolmore Lexington are Southwest (G3) winner Castaway ($162,000 in graded earnings), Illinois Derby (G3) runner-up Morgan’s Guerrilla ($100,000), Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up News Pending ($80,000) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) runner-up Golden Ticket ($70,000).
Others considered as probable for the 1 1/16-mile race on the main track are All Squared Away, Gold Megillah, Hammers Terror, Holiday Promise, Johannesbourbon and Summer Front. Also possible for the Coolmore Lexington are Arm Force and Macho Bull.
JOYFUL VICTORY OVERLOOKED STANDOUT IN JONES BARN
Joyful Victory’s body of work on the racetrack would stack up well in any stable: an 11-4-2-2 record for earnings of $555,068 and two graded stakes victories.
But then Joyful Victory is not in just any barn … her stablemate is reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, who, like Joyful Victory, is owned by Fox Hill Farms.
“We know that she is not Havre de Grace,” trainer Larry Jones said. “In this barn, expectations get pretty high, but we are not discouraged with her. We have a lot of hope for her.”
Joyful Victory tipped her hand early last year when she won the Honeybee (G3) by 8¾ lengths and the Fantasy (G2) by seven lengths at Oaklawn Park. Off those efforts, the Tapit filly went off as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and finished fourth behind Plum Pretty.
After the Oaks, Joyful Victory finished second in the Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park and then fifth in the Coaching Club of America Oaks (G1) at Saratoga in which she came out of the race with a chip in a knee.
“Things did not go her way in the Mother Goose and then she got hurt at Saratoga,” said Jones, who put Joyful Victory back into light training here last fall.
After nearly six months off, Joyful Victory ran second in a turf allowance at Fair Grounds, won the Tiffany Lass on the main track and ran third in the Azeri (G3) at Oaklawn, all under Robby Albarado, who will be in the saddle Friday when she goes postward in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3).
“In her first race back on the turf, the pace was too slow early,” Jones said. “Then she won that little stake and she got a little tired in the Azeri. I shipped up to Oaklawn only once, but I watched a lot of races and it looked like they all needed a race over the track.”
Joyful Victory has had two works over the main track here as she prepares for her racing debut on Polytrack.
“She has never been on the Poly and we are kind of experimenting with her to see what kind of options we have for her the rest of the year,” Jones said. “Robby has been on her a lot and knows her well and it seems like the whole team has been together with her for awhile now.”
Wednesday is the deadline for nominations for the final two stakes of the Spring Meet: the Grey Goose Bewitch (G3) for fillies and mares to be run April 26 and the Elkhorn (G2) to be run April 27. Both races are 1½ miles on the grass.
THOROUGHBRED CENTER TO OFFER ONSITE WAGERING FOR REMAINDER OF KEENELAND’S LIVE MEETING
The Thoroughbred Center, a division of the Keeneland Association, will offer onsite wagering during the remainder of Keeneland’s 2012 spring meeting. Wagering will be accepted on all cards offered by Keeneland, as well as on Keeneland’s own live signal.
“As we continue to focus on the core racing product, we felt this was a valuable service for our fans,” said Vince Gabbert, Keeneland’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The Thoroughbred Center and its clients are such a vital part of our industry, and it provides the perfect location for our fans and patrons to make wagers during our live meeting.”
Wagering will be available from 8 a.m. until the feature race beginning Wednesday, April 18, through Friday, April 27 - except Mondays and Tuesdays. Wagering venues will be located inside The Thoroughbred Center’s main building where fans may wager via mutuel clerks or self-service machines.
The Thoroughbred Center is located at 3380 Paris Pike in Lexington. Inquiries may be directed to The Thoroughbred Center’s switchboard at 859-293-1853. Parking is available in the lot located next to the main building.