Edited Keeneland Staff Release — Miacomet Farm’s Heavenly Sunday, winner of the Edgewood (G2) Presented by Forcht Bank this spring at Churchill Downs, heads a field of 12 3-year-old fillies and four also-eligibles entered today for the 33rd running of the $300,000 Bank of America Valley View (G3) on Friday, Oct. 27.
Run at a mile over the turf, the Bank of America Valley View will go as the eighth race with a post time of 4:44 p.m. ET.
Trained by Brad Cox, Heavenly Sunday was an allowance winner on grass here last fall. In April, she finished third in Keeneland’s Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association. Seventh in the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga in her most recent start, Heavenly Sunday will be ridden by Florent Geroux and exit post position 1.
Among the threats to Heavenly Sunday are a couple of recent Grade 3 winners: Fortune Farm, Robert Hahn and Matthew Hand’s Secret Money and Fergus Galvin and Rebecca Hillen’s Safeen.
Trained by Brendan Walsh, Secret Money won the Big Ass Fans Music City (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 2 going 6½ furlongs. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount starting from post position 6.
Safeen, trained by Eddie Kenneally, won the Pucker Up (G3) going a mile and eighth at Ellis Park on Aug. 6. Safeen will exit post position 10 and be ridden by Luis Saez.
The field for the Bank of America Valley View, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Heavenly Sunday (Geroux, 120 pounds), Pride of the Nile (Flavien Prat, 118), Sacred Wish (John Velazquez, 118), Abundancia (Martin Chuan, 118), Eternal Silence (Shane Foley, 118), Secret Money (Gaffalione, 118), Speirling Beag (IRE) (Jorge Ruiz, 118), Bling (Martin Garcia, 118), Surge Capacity (Joel Rosario, 118), Safeen (Saez, 118), Sweetlou’sgotaces (Vincent Cheminaud, 118), Yesternight (Julien Leparoux, 118). Also-eligible: Flashy Gem (Gerardo Corrales, 118), Bolivie (IRE) (Declan Cannon, 118), Junipermarshmallow (Saez, 118), Erna (Rey Gutierrez, 118).
HOT BEACH, YOUALMOSTHADME HEADLINE FIELD
OF NINE FOR MYRTLEWOOD
Stakes winners Hot Beach and Youalmosthadme top a field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered today for the fourth running of the $200,000 Myrtlewood on Friday, Oct. 27. The 6-furlong main track test will go as the ninth race with a 5:16 p.m. ET post time.
Boardshorts Stables’ Hot Beach finished 2¾ lengths in front of Youalmosthadme in the 7-furlong Ellis Park Debutante on Aug. 13. Trained by Brian Lynch, Hot Beach was third in the 1-mile Pocahontas (G3) in her most recent start Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs. Flavien Prat has the mount Friday from post position 3.
Youalmosthadme, owned by the partnership of Qatar Racing, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson and Black Type Thoroughbreds, won the 5-furlong Kentucky Juvenile in May by 8¾ lengths against males before chasing Hot Beach in the Debutante.
Trained by Brad Cox, Youalmosthadme was second in her most recent start in the Pocahontas, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of Hot Beach. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount and will depart from post position 7.
The field for the Myrtlewood, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Copper Em (Cristian Torres, 118 pounds), Field Lass (Julien Leparoux, 118), Hot Beach (Prat, 120), Fibber (Mitchell Murrill, 118), Xtreme Diva (Florent Geroux, 120), Xtreme Smoke Show (Francisco Arrieta, 118), Youalmosthadme (Gaffalione, 120), Let Them Watch (Luis Saez, 120), Wellareyouhappynow (Samuel Bermudez, 118).
RUSSELL SHOOTS FOR SATURDAY STAKES DOUBLE
WITH POST TIME, APPLE PICKER
Since going out on her own in 2018, trainer Brittany Russell has started one horse at Keeneland with that start coming in 2020.
She returns Saturday, Oct. 21 with Hillwood Stable’s undefeated Post Time in the $250,000 Perryville (L), which is Race 6, and Michael Dubb’s Apple Picker three races later in the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).
The two Russell runners are stabled with trainer Brad Cox’s string here, which makes for a reunion of sorts for Russell. She is a former Cox assistant.
“I was here and Churchill Downs and pretty much wherever he wanted me to go,” she said.
Post Time has won his four races by a combined 17 lengths.
“He won the allowance (off a nine-month layoff on Sept. 22 at Pimlico), and this race was on the radar,” Russell said. “He always has had the talent and at this time of the year, where else can you run seven-eighths against straight 3-year-olds?”
Post Time’s comeback victory was a 4½-length score, the same winning margin that Apple Picker recorded in the Weather Vane Stakes at Pimlico on Sept. 16.
“We are taking a shot here because there is not much else there (in the Mid-Atlantic region),” Russell said. “I only got her this year, and (performing well in) a race like this would do a lot for her.”
Sheldon Russell, Brittany’s husband, will ride both horses Saturday.
Russell, who is enjoying her best year with her runners earning more than $6 million, has 100 horses spread among Laurel, Delaware Park and the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Maryland.
“It sounds like a lot, but I want a number that I am comfortable with and can do a good job with them,” Russell said. “In the spring when the owners call and say they have a 2-year-old coming in, you can’t say no.”
Click here to watch Keeneland Racing Analyst Tom Leach interview with trainer Brad Cox about Juddmonte’s Dazzling Blue in Saturday’s Lexus Raven Run (G2). …
Anthony Fanticola and A Venneri Racing’s Tony Ann, upset winner of the Franklin (G2) on Sept. 15, left Keeneland Thursday to return to trainer Phil D’Amato’s main base of operations at Santa Anita. Tony Ann is under consideration for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. The deadline for pre-entries to the Breeders’ Cup is Monday, Oct. 23. …
Trainer Armando Hernandez picked up his first Keeneland victory Thursday when Lucky Boss won the sixth race, a $50,000 claiming event run over 6 furlongs. Hernandez owns Lucky Boss.
PROSPECTIVE FIELDS FOR CLOSING DAY STAKES
Entries taken Saturday; races are Saturday, Oct. 28
$350,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles – Best Actor (Brad Cox), Big Data (Michael Lerman), Dash Attack (Kenny McPeek), Gasoline (Todd Pletcher), Happy American (Neil Pessin), Il Miracolo (Antonio Sano), King Fury (McPeek), Law Professor (Rob Atras), Speed Bias (Ron Moquett), Trademark (Vicki Oliver), Twilight Blue (Joe Sharp). Possibles: Defunded (Bob Baffert), Giant Game (Dale Romans), Whelen Springs (Schultz).
$300,000 Bryan Station (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turf) – Dude N Colorado (GB) (Pletcher), Gigante (Steve Asmussen), Mo Stash (Oliver), Santorini (Rodolphe Brisset), Talk of the Nation (Shug McGaughey). Possible: Woodcock Flight (IRE) (Michael Puhich).
$200,000 Bowman Mill, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs – Glengarry (Doug Anderson), Patriot Spirit (Michael Campbell), Valentine Candy (Asmussen). Possibles: Hedwig (Eoin Harty), Maycocks Bay (Mike Stidham), Normandy Hero (Brisset), Royal Slipper (Wesley Ward).