When Charitable Man goes postward in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1), he will be making his first start since winning the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park on Sept. 13.
Neal McLaughlin, brother of and assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, said the road to the Toyota Blue Grass had to come with no bumps and so far that has been the case.
“Actually it was after his first breezes,” McLaughlin said. “They were really strong and showed us where he was fitness-wise. He just kept going real strong and showed us he was fit.”
Charitable Man galloped a mile and a quarter Tuesday morning with exercise rider Pat Correa up. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr., Charitable Man had his final work for the Toyota Blue Grass on Sunday, going five furlongs in :59.60.
Alan Garcia has the mount on Saturday.
CLIFFY’S FUTURE TO WORK WEDNESDAY
Trainer Darrin Miller said that Silverton Hill LLC’s Cliffy’s Future will work Wednesday morning between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. with Miller in the saddle.
Sired by 2004 Toyota Blue Grass winner The Cliff’s Edge, Cliffy’s Future galloped a mile and a half Tuesday morning with Miller up. Jesus Castanon will have the mount Saturday.
Miller will be shooting for a second victory in the Toyota Blue Grass, having scored in 2007 with Dominican. That year, Dominican won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park prior to the Toyota Blue Grass. Cliffy’s Future enters this year’s race off a similar score.
So, Darrin, getting any similar good vibrations as you did two years ago with Dominican?
“Not exactly,” Miller said with a laugh. “They are completely different horses and I am still trying to figure him out. Todd Pletcher had him here last year and at Aqueduct, while Dominican, I had him all of his 2-year-old year and he liked it here so much. He really thrived on this track.”
MAFAAZ HEADED TO MAIN TRACK ON WEDNESDAY
Hamdan al Maktoum’s Mafaaz (GB) spent another morning on the Keeneland training track Tuesday morning. With exercise rider Miguel Moya up, Mafaaz backtracked once around the training track alongside a pony and then galloped a mile before returning to the quarantine barn.
“He will go to the main track in the morning,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden.
Mafaaz is remaining in the backside of the quarantine barn rather than moving to the less-confining Rice Road side of the barn.
“He is quite comfortable back here, he’s eating good and very happy where he is,” Reynolds said. “It is quiet back here and on the other side there is a lot of activity on the training track and with the sales.”
Gosden and jockey Richard Hills are expected to arrive in Lexington on Friday night.
OTHER TOYOTA BLUE GRASS NEWS
Frankfurt Stable’s Massone was scheduled to arrive at Keeneland from California on Tuesday afternoon and be housed in Barn 22, Stall 27. Trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, who will be seeking his eighth Keeneland stakes victory, Massone will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
IEAH Stables, John Sikura, et al, Joseph Buler and James Covello’s Patena walked the shedrow at Barn 28 a day after working five furlongs in 1:00. Trainer Rick Dutrow said Patena would return to the track in the morning. Robby Albarado has the riding assignment on Saturday.
Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain galloped a mile under exercise rider Keith Harris. The Al Stall Jr. trainee will be ridden by Julien Leparoux on Saturday.
Samotowka Stable LLC, Delfiner Partners, George Krall and Magdalena Racing’s Theregoesjojo walked the shedrow a day after working a half-mile in :48 for trainer Ken McPeek. Third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in his most recent start on March 28, Theregoesjojo will be ridden by Calvin Borel on Saturday.
Trainer Bill Mott gave two thumbs up when he was asked how WinStar Farm LLC’s Hold Me Back was doing on Tuesday morning, four days before the Toyota Blue Grass. The Giant’s Causeway colt, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Sunday, galloped Tuesday morning. Kent Desormeaux, who rode Hold Me Back to victory in the Lane’s End (G2) at Turfway, will be aboard the colt again in the Toyota Blue Grass.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that Join in the Dance was good the morning after the Sky Mesa colt worked four furlongs in :49.60. The colt walked the shedrow on Tuesday and is scheduled to return to the track on Wednesday. Join in the Dance, who will be ridden in the Toyota Blue Grass by John Velazquez, is owned by brothers Jake and Reed Ballis, brothers Reagan and William Swinbank and by Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis.
The morning after Hello Broadway worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.40, trainer Barclay Tagg said the colt walked the shedrow on Tuesday. Tagg entered Hello Broadway in a Friday allowance race. “If it doesn’t go, I’ll probably take a look at the two stakes, the one Saturday and the one the following Saturday,” Tagg said earlier Tuesday morning. Those two stakes would be the Toyota Blue Grass this Saturday and the Coolmore Lexington (G2) on April 18. A colt by Broken Vow racing for breeder Elizabeth J. Valando, Hello Broadway is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Nobiz Like Shobiz.
THORN SONG FACES SIX IN 2009 DEBUT IN MAKER’S MARK MILE
Zayat Stables’ Thorn Song, winner of last fall’s Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, will make his 2009 debut on Friday when he faces six foes in the 21st running of the $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) for 4-year-olds and up.
The Maker’s Mark Mile will go as the ninth race on the 10-race card that begins with a 1:05 p.m. ET post time.
Trained by Dale Romans, Thorn Song has been idle since an eighth-place finish in the River City Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs on November 22. Robby Albarado, who rode Thorn Song to his victory in the Shadwell Turf Mile, has the riding assignment Friday and will break from post position five.
Thorn Song will carry high weight of 123 pounds in the grass event and concede from four to six pounds to his rivals. Carrying second high weight of 119 pounds is Peachtree Stable’s Twilight Meteor, who enters the Maker’s Mark off a victory February 28 in the Canadian Turf Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park. John Velazquez will ride for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The field for the Maker’s Mark Mile, from the hedge out, is as follows: Mr. Sidney (K. Desormeaux, 117 pounds), House of Silver (J. Castanon, 117), Fluke (BRZ) (G. Gomez, 117), Passager (FR) (E. Prado, 117), Thorn Song (R. Albarado, 123), Twilight Meteor (J. Velazquez, 119) and Just as Well (J. Leparoux, 117).
CONTESSA INVADER TOPS FIELD OF EIGHT FOR FORT HARROD
Lord Kipling, runner-up in two marathon stakes in December at Aqueduct, tops a field of eight horses entered Tuesday for Friday’s second running of the $100,000 Fort Harrod Stakes at a mile and five-eighths on the main track for 4-year-olds and up.
The Fort Harrod is the seventh race on the 10-race card.
Trained by Gary Contessa for the partnership of Winning Move Stable, Sanford H. Robbins LLC and Orchard Kids Stable, Lord Kipling enters the Fort Harrod off a front-running seven-length score in a March 12 allowance optional claiming test at Aqueduct over 13 furlongs. Second in the Coyote Lakes and Gallant Fox Handicap to close 2008, Lord Kipling will be ridden Friday by Edgar Prado and break from post position three.
The field for the Fort Harrod, from the rail out, is as follows: Rocket Legs (G. Gomez), Gangbuster (K. Desormeaux), Lord Kipling (E. Prado), Catch the Luck (S. Bridgmohan), Kurbat (CHI) (J. Rose), Tap Dancing (A. Garcia), Radical Sabbatical (J. Velazquez) and Electricity (E. Coa). All starters will carry 117 pounds.
POLYCAPPING DATABASE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE EVEN MORE INFORAMTION
Keeneland’s Polycapping database has been expanded to include several new elements to help handicappers. The original 26 different categories of sort-able Polycapping statistics return by popular demand, and are joined by nine additional filters. The new categories will allow users to quickly slice and dice their favorite searches (one-click sorting by spring/fall meeting or by sprints/routes, for instance). In addition, more information is available surrounding pedigree, jockey, trainer, and owner connections and exacta, trifecta and superfecta payoffs.
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS POST DRAW WEDNESDAY, 11:30 A.M.
The post position draw for the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) will be held Wednesday, April 8, from 11:30 a.m. - Noon, in the Limestone Café in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. TVG will provide live coverage.
COVERAGE OF THE TOYOTA BLUE GRASS ON TVG, ESPN2, HRRN, SIRIUS and XM RADIO
Live coverage of Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1) will be broadcast from 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET on TVG. ESPN2 will show the Toyota Blue Grass on a tape-delayed basis from 6-7 p.m.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will provide live coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass, Commonwealth (G2), Jenny Wiley (G2) and Shakertown (G2) from 4-6 p.m. ET. The two-hour broadcast can be heard worldwide via free live streaming on the HRRN website at http://www.horseracingradio.net.
Dave Johnson and Bill Finley will broadcast live coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass on Sirius and XM radio from 5-6 p.m. ET.
$200,000-GUARANTEED PICK FOURS, MAKERS’ MARK MILE/TOYOTA BLUE GRASS DOUBLE FEATURED
Friday, April 10: $200,000-guaranteed Pick Four, presented by TVG, on races 7-10, including the Fort Harrod and Maker’s Mark Mile (G1). Maker's Mark Mile/Toyota Blue Grass Double, requiring players to pick the winners of both Grade 1 races.
Saturday, April 11: $200,000-guaranteed All Stakes Pick Four on Toyota Blue Grass Day, covering the Jenny Wiley (G2), Shakertown (G3), Commonwealth (G2) and Toyota Blue Grass (G1).
SPRING MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Wednesday, April 8 - Keeneland Handicapping Contest Presented by Formulator Web - Place a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland races 3-9. Entry fee is $10 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. Limit three entries per person. First 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form.
Wednesday, April 8 - Wednesday, April 15 - Budweiser Clydesdales Sweepstakes - Register to win a personalized photo session with the Budweiser Clydesdales at Keeneland, along with lunch for four in Keeneland’s Equestrian Room and a trip to St. Louis to tour Anheuser-Busch.
Friday, April 10 - Maker’s Mark Bottle Signing - With University of Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks. The Maker’s Mark/Keeneland commemorative bottle supports a UK School of Music outreach program for elementary and secondary students across Kentucky. Signing begins at 6:30 a.m. Limit two bottles per person.
Friday, April 10- University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s Music of the Horse Concert - Held in the Keeneland walking ring at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds from CD sales benefit the UK Symphony Orchestra and the Keeneland Foundation’s charitable giving program.
Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11— Book Signing Keeneland’s Ted Bassett, My Life - Former Keeneland president, chairman of the board and trustee James E. “Ted” Bassett III will sign copies of his new autobiography, Keeneland’s Ted Bassett, My Life, outside the Keeneland Gift Shop from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.