Monday, October 12, 2009

Keeneland Barn Notes—Sunday, October 11, 2009


IEAH Stables’ Diamondrella (GB) and Court Vision left the Keeneland barn area at 7 a.m. Sunday to return to their home bases in New York after capturing the First Lady (G1) and the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), respectively.

“Everything is good this morning; he came back fine,” said Michelle Nevin, assistant to Rick Dutrow, as Court Vision exited Barn 72. Court Vision is headed back to Aqueduct.

Departing Barn 22 was Diamondrella, who was returning to trainer Angel Penna Jr.’s barn at Belmont.

Both horses earned spots in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be run November 6 and 7 at Santa Anita. Court Vision qualified for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on November 7 and Diamondrella qualified for the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) on November 6.

Court Vision won the Shadwell Turf Mile by a nose over Karelian and in the process gave jockey Robby Albarado his fifth victory of the meeting, equaling his total for Keeneland’s entire spring season.

Karelian was making his first start since last November for Richard Masson’s Green Lantern Stables and trainer Rusty Arnold.

“Another inch, and we’d know where we would be going next,” Arnold said. “We knew we had to win yesterday (to go the Breeders’ Cup) because he had not run in a year and had no (Breeders’ Cup) points.

“We are going to talk it over (about Karelian’s next start), but the River City (Handicap, G3 to be run November 27 at Churchill Downs) would be the most logical if we stay here. This time of year, the weather is always a concern. We didn’t really look much past yesterday.”

Godolphin Racing’s Justenuffhumor, who finished sixth as the favorite in the Shadwell Turf Mile, will return to New York on Monday, according to Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother Kiaran McLaughlin.

“At least we didn’t find out that he doesn’t like the ‘firm’ because that is what he is going to be seeing a lot of in California,” McLaughlin said, referring to the colt’s struggle Saturday over the ground labeled as “soft.” “I knew we were in trouble early when he dropped back and just took himself out of it.”


Chasing Dreams Racing 2008’s Noble’s Promise did not stick around Keeneland to savor his victory in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1)on Saturday.

“He cooled out and went back to Churchill Downs last night,” said Mike Kleier, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek.

The Breeders’ Futurity victory was the second for McPeek to go with Tejano Run’s score in 1994. It was the third victory of the two-day old meeting for McPeek, matching his total for the entire spring season. The victory earned Noble’s Promise a berth in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run November 7 at Santa Anita.

Noble’s Promise defeated Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite by a half-length to deny trainer Todd Pletcher an initial victory in the Breeders’ Futurity.

“He will most likely go to California (for the Breeders’ Cup) the way he ran yesterday,” said Whitt Beckman, Pletcher’s assistant overseeing his Keeneland string, about Aikenite.

Pletcher is scheduled to be at Keeneland Sunday afternoon when he sends out three runners – Modern Cowboy, Interactif and Exhi -- in the Bourbon (G3), a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) to be run November 7.

Aikenite’s showing was part of a huge day for the Pletcher barn that registered two Grade 1 victories at Belmont Park with Take the Points winning the Jamaica and Devil May Care taking the Frizette. Pletcher also won the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile at Santa Anita with Cowboy Cal.

Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk, the 7-2 Breeders’ Futurity favorite who finished eighth in the field of 14, will be given a break, according to Todd Quast, farm manager for owner Paul Bulmahn.

“Everything was fine until the three-eighths pole yesterday,” Quast said. “It was just one of those things. He’s run five races and we’re going to give him a break and get ready for next year. He doesn’t owe us anything. He’s won two graded stakes for us.”


Champion Forever Together, who made up 20 lengths to run third in Saturday’s First Lady (G1), and multiple Grade 1 winner Informed Decision, who turned in another furious finish to win Saturday’s Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), are scheduled to receive a change of scenery in the coming days. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard said both horses would be sent to his farm in Pennsylvania and continue training for their next starts in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on November 6.

“They both seem to really thrive off having a little spell at my farm, where they can be turned out in paddocks,” said Sheppard, who trains both horses for George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable. “It’s a little change from the racetrack routine. I’m going to take them back there for a couple of weeks and then bring them back before the end of the (Keeneland) meet and put the finishing touches on them before we fly to California.”

Forever Together, a 5-year-old daughter of Belong to Me, will defend her title in the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Informed Decision, a 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos, will race in the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Informed Decision now is undefeated in six career starts on all-weather tracks. In April at Keeneland, she won the Vinery Madison (G1). A year ago, she set Keeneland’s seven-furlong track record of 1:20.86 when she won the Lexus Raven Run (G2).

Sheppard, who sent out six horses on the first three days of the Keeneland fall meeting, has several horses pointed at stakes at the end of the season. Canadian champion Cloudy’s Knight, who is owned by S J Stables LLC, is scheduled to race in the Sycamore (G3) on October 22. Augustin’s Project Rose, who won the 10th race on Friday, might return on October 23 in the Pin Oak Valley View (G3). Augustin’s Winter View, who won the Grey Goose Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland in April, is being pointed at the Rood & Riddle Dowager on October 25.

“We’ve got a few more bullets to fire and are looking forward to it,” Sheppard said.


Silver Timber, who won Saturday’s $125,000 Woodford (G3) over 5 ½ furlongs on turf, could make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita as a supplemental entry. For the time being, the gelding will remain at Keeneland while owner Michael Dubb and trainer Chad Brown, who is based at Belmont Park, plan his future.

“He likes training here,” said Brown about Silver Timber, who won the Woodford by 1 ¼ lengths on a course labeled “soft.” The 6-year-old Prime Timber gelding was the 9-5 favorite with Julien Leparoux aboard.

Brown, who claimed Silver Timber for $25,000 for Dubb in April at Gulfstream Park, said he ran Silver Timber in the Woodford because of the timing of the race. He chose the Woodford over the $500,000 Nearctic, a Canadian Grade 2 race on October 17 at Woodbine.

“I thought this horse was Breeders’ Cup potential,” Brown said about Silver Timber, who has won three of four races since being claimed.

“Running here gave me an extra week before the Breeders’ Cup. That was my main reason. I left a lot of purse money on the table not going to Canada. I gambled and said, ‘If I win here, that’s still a good paycheck and I gain the extra week of rest.’

“He runs better fresh. I think when you run this horse too close together he’s not as effective. I haven’t run him much since I claimed him. I only run him when he’s doing really, really well.”

The Woodford marked the first Keeneland stakes win for Brown, who was a Keeneland assistant to Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Brown, who went out on his own in 2007, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with Maram. After checking on his Keeneland horses on Sunday morning, Brown flew back to New York, where the undefeated Maram is racing Monday in the $100,000 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont.


Augustin Stable’s Smart Seattle, runner-up as the favorite in the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga on September 3, headlines a field 12 juvenile fillies entered Sunday for Thursday’s 19th running of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine at 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland Turf Course.

The $150,000 Jessamine is a “Win and You’re In” race that secures the winner a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf to be run November 6 at Santa Anita. Laragh won last year’s renewal of the Jessamine and went on to finish third in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The Jessamine will be the eighth race on the nine-race card, with a 4:35 p.m. ET post time. First post time Thursday is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by Graham Motion, Smart Seattle debuted on August 13 at Saratoga and won going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. The homebred daughter of Smart Strike followed that with the second-place finish in the P.G. Johnson at the Jessamine distance of 1 1/16 miles. Jeremy Rose, who was aboard for both races, has the call Thursday on Smart Seattle, who will break from post position five.

Trainers Todd Pletcher and Ken McPeek, who have combined to win four of the past seven renewals of the race, will be represented in Thursday’s race.

Pletcher, who has won the race with J’ray (2005), Paddy’s Daisy (2004) and Ocean Drive (2002), will send out George Bolton and Gulf Coast Racing’s Whydah. John Velazquez, who has been aboard for Whydah’s two starts that include a grass victory at Belmont Park, has the call Thursday and will break from post position two.

McPeek, who saddled 2003 Jessamine winner Galloping Gal, will be represented by Magdalena Racing’s House of Grace. The daughter of Limehouse is 1-for-1, having scored by five lengths on the turf on August 19 at Saratoga at the Jessamine distance. Mike Luzzi, who was aboard for that victory, has the riding assignment Thursday and will break from post position three.

The field for the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, from the hedge out, is as follows: Dreaminofjosephine (E.T. Baird), Whydah (John Velazquez), House of Grace (Mike Luzzi), Oscar de La Thorn (Fabio Arguello Jr.), Smart Seattle (Jeremy Rose), Waynetta (Robby Albarado), Hatheer (Alan Garcia), Canadian Storm (Miguel Mena), Jonmil’s Edge (Jesus Castanon), Poortown Princess (Manfredi Guzman), Avy Baby (James Graham) and Lisa’s Kitten (Julien Leparoux). All starters will carry 117 pounds.


Ted Julio’s Not for Silver, winner of the Carry Back (G2) this summer at Calder, heads a list of eight 3-year-olds considered as probable starters by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Saturday’s 11th running of the Perryville (G3) over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet.

Based in Maryland, Not for Silver is trained by Michael Trombetta, who sent Eternal Star to Keeneland this spring to score in the Grade 2 Commonwealth.

Others considered as probable for the race are Conchacer, El Brujo, Flying Private, His Greatness, Jersey Town, Keechi Bullet and Warrior’s Reward.

Entries will be taken for the Perryville on Wednesday.


Tevis McCauley, who is in his first season as a trainer, teamed up with jockey Manfredi Guzman to score their first Keeneland victory when they won the third race on Saturday with 22-1 longshot Sing Sing Cindrela. Owned by Ron McCauley, the 2-year-old daughter of Singspiel (IRE) caught Yes It’s Valid at the finish to win the seven-furlong race on Polytrack by a nose. Sing Sing Cindrella was coming off a six-furlong maiden win over the turf course at Kentucky Downs on September 19.

Trainer Rusty Arnold said Sunday morning that Ashbrook Farm’s Wicked Style, winner of the 2007 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, is being pointed toward the 51st running of the Fayette (G2) on October 31. Among the other horses being pointed to the $150,000 Fayette, a 1 1/8-mile race on Polytrack for 3-year-olds and up, are Super Derby (G2) runner-up Blame and Indiana Derby (G2) runner-up Giant Oak. Nominations for the Fayette close October 21.

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