Four horses that last raced in Arlington’s Pucker Up (G3) on September 6 will meet again on Friday in the 18th running of the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3), a 1 1/8-mile race on turf for three-year-old fillies. Finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively, behind winner Closeout in the Pucker Up, also a 1/8-mile turf race, were Valley View contenders Clear Pond, Tight Precision and Much Obliged, as well as Dreaming of Liz, who was 11th in the race. After the Pucker Up, Closeout returned to finish fourth in Keeneland’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on October 11.
With three career stakes wins to her credit, Frank Calabrese’s Dreaming of Liz is the 119-pound highweight in the Valley View. The daughter of El Prado (IRE), who won the Double Delta and Sweetest Chant earlier this year on the Polytrack at Arlington, is trained by Wayne Catalano. She will be ridden in the Valley View by E.T. Baird.
The field for the Pin Oak Valley View is, from rail out: Julia Tuttle (M. Mena, 117 pounds), Scolara (K. Desormeaux, 117), Tight Precision (J. Theriot, 117), Grenadia (S. Bridgmohan, 117), Absolutely Smart, (J. Castanon, 117), Dreaming of Liz (E. Baird, 119), Clear Pond (R. Douglas, 117), Much Obliged (R. Albarado, 117), Miss Challenge (R. Dominguez, 117), Acoma (J. Leparoux, 117), Forest Trail (J. Velazquez, 117) and Stealin’ Kisses (C. Borel, 117).
On the also-eligible list is Absolutely Cindy (C. Lanerie, 117), who has not raced since she was 10th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 2.
COWBOY CAL AWAITING NEXT ASSIGNMENT AFTER BRYAN STATION WIN
Exactly six months after he ran second to stablemate Monba in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1), Cowboy Cal won the $150,000 Bryan Station (G3) on Sunday, October 12, following the disqualification of Seaspeak for interference. The victory in the one-mile turf race marked Cowboy Cal’s first stakes victory since he won the Tropical Park Derby (G3) in January at Calder and his first start since he ran ninth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 3.
“He’s doing very well,” said Michael Dilger, trainer Todd Pletcher’s assistant, on Tuesday morning. “I’m not sure what they’ve got in mind for him now.”
Dilger said the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) at 1 ¼ miles on November 30 is a possibility for Cowboy Cal, a son of Giant’s Causeway who is scheduled to remain at Keeneland through the meet.
Cowboy Cal gave jockey John Velazquez his second stakes win of the weekend, following Velazquez’s triumph the previous day aboard Alwajeeha in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). Velazquez returned to competition on October 11, eight days after he was injured in a spill at Keeneland.
Dilger said Bittel Road, who won Keeneland’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon on October 5, would be leaving for Santa Anita either on October 16 or October 21 and might work at Keeneland before his departure. The Keeneland victory earned the Stormy Atlantic colt a berth in the $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on October 25.
BEST COLTS BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEK
For English trainer John R. Best, Square Eddie won the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1), while stablemates Deposer (IRE) and Flashmans Papers (GB) finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the $500,000 race for two-year-olds on October 4. Two days later, Square Eddie left for Southern California and new trainer Doug O’Neill as one of the early favorites for the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Deposer and Flashmans Papers remained at Keeneland, where they will return to the races this week.
Deposer, who is owned by David Gorton, is entered in Thursday’s sixth race, a one-mile race on turf and will be ridden by Jesus Castanon. Flashmans Papers, who is owned by Kent Bloodstock, will race on Saturday. That same day, two other Best horses, Elegant Cad and Acting Lady, also will be making their second starts during the Keeneland fall meeting.
On Saturday, October 11, Deposer and Flashmans Papers worked together, breezing six furlongs in 1:14. Castanon was aboard Deposer, a son of the Green Desert stallion Kheleyf. Neil Morris, Best’s head traveling lad, rode Flashmans Papers, by the Danehill stallion Exceed And Excel.
“They went steady for about two furlongs and really worked about four,” said Donna Brincat, Best’s assistant at Keeneland. “They were ready to do something, and they went great.”
Morris and Brincat said Best is expected to arrive at Keeneland on Wednesday and remain here for the stable’s action this week.
Elegant Cad, a two-year-old colt by Chapel Royal, is an $82,000 graduate of the 2006 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Acting Lady, a two-year-old Theatrical (IRE) filly, was sold at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $35,000.
BARONESS THATCHER AMONG KEENELAND NOVEMBER SALE HORSES
Grade 3 winner Baroness Thatcher and stakes winner J Z Warrior, two winners from the past weekend for owner Zayat Stables LLC, are among the horses of racing age that will be sold in the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, to be held November 3-17.
On Saturday, October 11, Grade 3 winner Baroness Thatcher won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Keeneland. The four-year-old Johannesburg filly pushed her career earnings to $531,889. The next day, J Z Warrior, a three-year-old Harlan’s Holiday filly, took the six-furlong House Party Stakes at Belmont Park for his second consecutive stakes victory.
Both horses were consigned by Zayat Stables LLC, with Eaton Sales, agent, in the first of what will be an annual initiative featuring proven and promising racing stock.
The November Sale will offer a total of 542 horses of racing age. They also include runners consigned by WinStar Racing, agent, and Shadwell Farm.
CELEBRATE UK’S HOMECOMING AT KEENELAND ON SEE BLUE DAY ON FRIDAY
Keeneland will be a sea of blue on Friday, October 17 when it hosts See Blue Day, a full slate of festivities to kick off the University of Kentucky Wildcats' homecoming weekend. Kentucky plays Arkansas the following night at 7 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.
The See Blue Day's 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 1988 Outback Bowl team 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.
For decades, Keeneland and UK have provided unparalleled sports action in Central Kentucky in October, as fans of the Wildcats and their opponents pack the racetrack in the afternoons and fill Commonwealth Stadium in the Saturday evenings of home games. On Saturday, post time for Keeneland's first race is 1:10 p.m. Fans are encouraged to remain at Keeneland after the races to watch the UK-Arkansas football game, which will be shown on the high-definition display on the infield tote board and on HDTVs throughout the facility.
TEST YOUR SKILL IN WEDNESDAY’S HANDICAPPING CONTEST
Each Wednesday, Keeneland and its partner Daily Racing Form will host a $2,500 Handicapping Contest on races 3-9. Entry fee is $10; the first 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form.
UPCOMING FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
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.
Sunday, April 20 – Military Day at the Races – Families of military personnel are invited to spend the day at Keeneland, where they will be treated to breakfast and be able to communicate with their loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan through private video conferences.