With trainer Darrin Miller up, Silverton Hill LLC’s Cliffy’s Future worked three furlongs in :36.40 and galloped out a half-mile in :49 on Wednesday morning at Keeneland.
“It was a nice work,” Miller said of Cliffy’s Future, who won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park on March 21 in his most recent start. “He felt good. I just wanted to see him stretch out through the lane and that is what he did.”
“We are going to enter in the Blue Grass,” Miller said after the work. “We will see how he comes out of the work, but that’s the plan.”
Cliffy’s Future was the only Toyota Blue Grass hopeful to work Wednesday morning, but two other prospects visited the starting gate.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s Charitable Man made his second trip to the gate since his arrival at Keeneland and then galloped a mile under exercise Pat Correa.
“He didn’t have any problems at the gate last year,” said Neal McLaughlin, brother of and assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “It is just that he has been away for a while and we’ve got to get him ready for the 20-horse (Kentucky) Derby.”
The Toyota Blue Grass will be the first start for Charitable Man since September 13.
Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain also visited the gate and then galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Keith Harris.
A visit to the gate is on the agenda for Hamdan al Maktoum’s Mafaaz (GB) on Thursday morning. With exercise rider Miguel Moya up, Mafaaz paid his first visit to Keeneland’s main track on Wednesday morning. After a walk through the paddock, Mafaaz galloped a mile and a quarter.
“It looks like he was nice and relaxed,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. “Tomorrow, he will go to the gate and stand and then back out.”
Also making his first trip to the main track on Wednesday was Frankfurt Stable’s Massone. With jockey Goncalino Almeida up, Massone jogged early Wednesday morning. Massone arrived from his Southern California base around midday Tuesday after an uneventful ship. Trainer Ron McAnally is scheduled to arrive in Lexington on Friday.
Samotowka Stable LLC, Delfiner Partners, George Krall and Magdalena Racing’s Theregoesjojo returned to the track to jog under exercise rider Amanda Tamburello. The Ken McPeek trainee had worked a half-mile in :48 on Monday and walked the shedrow Tuesday.
Also returning to the track was IEAH Stables, John Sikura, et al, Joseph Bulger and James Covello’s Patena. Trained by Rick Dutrow, Patena had worked Monday in 1:00 for five furlongs.
DEFENDING CHAMPION REBELLION, SUPER DERBY WINNER MY PAL CHARLIE TOP DEEP FIELD OF EIGHT FOR GRADE 2 COMMONWEALTH
Hickory Tree Stables’ Rebellion (GB) will attempt to become the second repeat winner of the $250,000 Commonwealth (G2) when he faces seven rivals in the seven-furlong sprint over the main track at Keeneland on Saturday.
The Commonwealth will go as the seventh race on the 10-race Toyota Blue Grass (G1) card.
Black Tie Affair (IRE) is the lone horse to successfully repeat in the Commonwealth, having turned the trick in 1990 and 1991. Edgar Prado, who rode Rebellion to his 2008 Commonwealth score, will be back aboard Saturday and break from post position eight. Rebellion will carry 118 pounds.
The Commonwealth serves as the 2009 debut for Rebellion, who is trained by Graham Motion. Rebellion won two of seven starts in 2008 and ran second in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Carrying top weight of 122 pounds will be B. Wayne Hughes’ My Pal Charlie, hero of last year’s Grade 2 Super Derby. Trained by Al Stall Jr., My Pal Charlie will be cutting back to a sprint distance for the first time in more than a year.
After closing 2008 with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, My Pal Charlie ran fourth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft at a mile and sixteenth and fifth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at a mile and an eighth with both races coming at Fair Grounds. Julien Leparoux has the mount and will break from post position four.
The field for the Commonwealth, from the rail out, is as follows: Eternal Star (E. Coa, 118 pounds), Keep Laughing (A. Garcia, 118), Silver Edition (R. Douglas, 118), My Pal Charlie (J. Leparoux, 122), Success Success (C. Borel, 118), Storm Treasure (S. Bridgmohan, 118), Ravalo (J. Velazquez, 118) and Rebellion (GB) (E. Prado, 118).
CHAMPION FOREVER TOGETHER RETURNS IN JENNY WILEY
Augustin Stable’s Forever Together, the reigning champion turf female, will make her 2009 debut Saturday in the 21st running of the $200,000 Jenny Wiley (G2). The 1 1/16-mile turf race is for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up.
Forever Together, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, won Keeneland’s First Lady (G1) last October en route to capturing the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). Julien Leparoux, who has ridden Forever Together in her last four races, again will ride the 5-year-old daughter of Belong to Me.
Among the champion’s rivals are 2008 Jenny Wiley winner Rutherienne, who also is making her 2009 debut. Rutherienne, a homebred racing for Virginia Kraft Payson, ran third behind Forever Together in the First Lady, then was third in the My Charmer (G3) at Calder Race Course in December is her most recent race. Alan Garcia will ride Rutherienne for trainer Christophe Clement.
Rutherienne will bid to become the second horse to win consecutive runnings of the Jenny Wiley, following champion Intercontinental (GB) in 2004-05.
The field for the Jenny Wiley, in post position order, is as follows: I Lost My Choo (E. Prado, 119 pounds), Lady Carlock (R. Albarado, 119), Forever Together (J. Leparoux, 123), Ballymore Lady (K. Desormeaux, 119), Rustic Flame (IRE) (C. Lanerie, 117), Kiss With a Twist (M. Mena, 117), Backseat Rhythm (E. Coa, 119), Rutherienne (A. Garcia, 117) and Visit (GB) (G. Gomez, 117).
MR. NIGHTLINGER STARTS 2009 SEASON IN SHAKERTOWN
Mr. Nightlinger, who began a five-race win streak in last year’s Shakertown (G3), will make his 2009 debut on Saturday in this year’s renewal of the turf sprint. The $100,000 race is for 3-year-olds and up going
5 ½ furlongs. Jamie Theriot will ride Mr. Nightlinger, a 5-year-old son of Indian Charlie, for trainer Bret Calhoun. Mr. Nightlinger drew post four in the 12-horse race.
The Shakertown will mark the first start for Mr. Nightlinger, who races for Carl R. Moore Management LLC and Martin Racing Stable, since he ran 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on October 25.
Moore also owns Shakertown starter Chamberlain Bridge, who won Keeneland’s Woodford last fall. Another runner trained by Calhoun, Chamberlain Bridge opened his 2009 season with a third-place finish in the Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs on March 14. Garrett Gomez will be aboard the 5-year-old War Chant gelding, who will break from post nine.
The field for the Shakertown, in post position order, is as follows: Hellvelyn (GB) (A. Garcia), Tenkiller Lake (J. Castanon), Hewitts (K. Desormeaux), Mr. Nightlinger (J. Theriot), Cannonball (R. Douglas), Due Date (S. Bridgmohan), Rollers (E. Prado), Fort Prado (J. Leparoux), Chamberlain Bridge (G. Gomez), Heros Reward (J. Castellano), Incriminate (M. Mena) and Crowned General (C. Borel). On the also-eligible list are Godolphin Gray (D. Mernagh) and Stradivinsky (R. Albarado).
All starters will carry 118 pounds.
KEENELAND OFFERING REAL-TIME PADDOCK REPORTS VIA TWITTER
Keeneland handicappers can now get PaddockReports via Twitter. Paddock Reports are being “tweeted” by Lexington-based handicapper Joe Riddell, who considers Keeneland his home track. Riddell is familiar with Keeneland’s surface and how it plays, as well as the horses that work over it. A former trainer, he uses his eye for conformation to give up-to-the-minute analysis of his best picks in each race.
To sign up for PaddockReport, go to https://twitter.com/paddockreport. If you do not already have a Twitter Account, take a moment to sign up for the free service. If you already have a Twitter account, be sure to use the link, as Twitter currently has a known technical issue regarding searches for new accounts.
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 (G3) 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 channel 122 and XM channel 143 from 5-6 p.m. ET.