Edited Keeneland Press Release — Cannon Thoroughbreds’ Smooth Like Strait, runner-up in the 2021 FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF, headlines a field of 11 horses entered Sunday for Friday’s 34th running of the $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) for 4-year-olds and up to run on the turf course.
The Maker’s Mark Mile will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:16 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.
Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait will be making his 2022 debut in the Maker’s Mark Mile and will have regular rider Umberto Rispoli aboard when he exits post position six. An earner of more than $1.4 million, Smooth Like Strait compiled a 7-1-5-1 record in 2021 with his losses coming by less than a half-length. His victory came in the Shoemaker Mile (G1).
Smooth Like Strait is not the only Grade 1 winner in the field.
Trainer Paulo Lobo will send Keeneland stakes winners for Bonne Chance Farm and Stud R D I: In Love (BRZ) and Ivar (BRZ). The former wonthe Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) last fall; the latter took the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in 2020. Alex Achard will be aboard In Love from post one, and Joe Talamo is on Ivar from post five.
The other Grade 1 winner in the field is Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm’s Count Again, who is coming off a win in the Frank Kilroe Mile in March at Santa Anita for trainer Phil D’Amato. Joel Rosario has the mount from post seven.
The field for the Maker’s Mark Mile, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: In Love (BRZ) (Achard, 123 pounds), Shirl’s Speight (Luis Saez, 123), Atone (Tyler Gaffalione, 123), Masen (GB) (Flavien Prat, 123), Ivar (BRZ) (Talamo, 123), Smooth Like Strait (Rispoli, 123), Count Again (Rosario, 123), Somelikeithotbrown (Jose Ortiz, 123), Set Piece (GB) (Florent Geroux, 123), Mira Mission (Julien Leparoux, 123) and Public Sector (GB) (Irad Ortiz Jr., 123).
KAUFYMAKER, DERRYNANE TOP FIELD OF 10 FOR TVG LIMESTONE
Gregory Kaufman’s Kaufymaker and Waterville Lake Stable’s Derrynane, who finished a head apart while running third and fourth, respectively, in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), headline a field of 10 3-year-old fillies entered Sunday for Friday’s third running of the $200,000 TVG Limestone (L) going 5½ furlongs on the grass.
The TVG Limestone will go as the seventh race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 4:12 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.
Scratched from Sunday afternoon’s Palisades (L) for this spot, Kaufymaker will be making her 2022 debut. Trained by Wesley Ward, she will be reunited with Jose Ortiz, who was aboard in the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. Kaufymaker will break from post three.
Derrynane, a winner of two of four starts including the Woodbine Cares Stakes (L), also will be making her 2022 debut. Trained by Christophe Clement, Derrynane will have regular rider Joel Rosario aboard and break from post six.
The field for the TVG Limestone, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Thunder Love (GB) (Joe Talamo, 118 pounds), Her World (IRE) (Irad Ortiz Jr., 120), Kaufymaker (Jose Ortiz, 118), Ruthin (GB) (John Velazquez, 118), Sin City Gal (Reylu Gutierrez, 118), Derrynane (Rosario, 120), Lost My Sock (Colby Hernandez, 118), Unbridled Mary (Joe Bravo, 118), Fast Corey (Florent Geroux, 118) and Gun Boat (Luis Saez, 118).
ALL GOOD IN ZANDON CAMP FOLLOWING TOYOTA BLUE GRASS VICTORY
It was all smiles Sunday morning in trainer Chad Brown’s barn following the 2½-length victory by Jeff Drown’s Zandon in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1), which secured a spot in the starting gate for the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 7.
“Everything is all good with him this morning,” said Baldo Hernandez, who is overseeing Brown’s Keeneland string. “He ate up everything last night.”
Brown had indicated after the race that Zandon would remain at Keeneland for the time being before going to Churchill Downs “maybe a couple of weeks before the Derby.”
Another horse that could go to Churchill with Zandon is Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Robert LaPenta’s Dolce Zel (FR), who finished second in the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association.
Should she go to Louisville, Dolce Zel could point to the May 6, $500,000 Edgewood (G2) Presented by Forcht Bank to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
“She came back good,” Hernandez said. “That was a good filly (Spendarella) that beat her.”
MADISON TOP TWO COULD MEET AGAIN IN DERBY CITY DISTAFF
Just One Time and Bell’s the One, the 1-2 finishers in Saturday’s Madison (G1), could hook up again in four weeks in the $750,000 Derby City Distaff (G1) Presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery at Churchill Downs on May 7.
“She came out of the race in good shape,” trainer Brad Cox said of Just One Time, who races for Warriors Reward and Commonwealth New Era Racing. “That was a tough race, and the race at Churchill is a possibility. We will take her back to Churchill in the next few days and let her tell us.”
Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Just One Time in her first race in five months, will get the chance to try for a second win in the Derby City Distaff.
“That is still the plan,” trainer Neil Pessin said.
GOLDEN PAL TAKES IMPRESSIVE STEP TOWARD ROYAL ASCOT RETURN
The morning after Golden Pal’s dominating performance to win the $350,000 Shakertown (G2) in his 2022 debut, trainer Wesley Ward reported on the status of the 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo:
“Ready to go to England.”
Golden Pal, who resides in a renovated tobacco barn on Ward’s farm next to Keeneland, is to make his next start in the June 14 King’s Stand (G1) on the first day of the prestigious Royal Ascot meet. He first raced at Royal Ascot two years ago, finishing second by a neck to Shakertown foe The Lir Jet (IRE) in the Norfolk (G2).
“We’ll probably give him three weeks of just galloping and jogging and resume his work schedule,” Ward said about Golden Pal’s preparations.
The Shakertown marked Golden Pal’s first start since November, when he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar for the second Breeders’ Cup win of his career. The 3-5 favorite in the race, he and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rocketed to the lead leaving the starting gate and coasted to a 4¾-length victory.
Ward said he “was ready for that, to be quite honest.”
“In the works I’ve seen this year with him, he’s shown more strength – just like a kid who’s going from a college athlete to the pros,” he continued. “He’s gotten stronger. He’s grown. He’s really muscled out. I was expecting a big effort like we saw.”
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg, Golden Pal has six wins – all stakes – in nine starts and has earned $1,473,431.
The Keeneland sales graduate, who was bred in Florida by Randall E. Lowe, has three stakes wins here: 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), 2021 Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG and Shakertown.
PREVALENCE MAKES HIS PRESENCE FELT IN COMMONWEALTH
Godolphin’s homebred Prevalence picked up the first stakes victory of his career with a 2¼-length victory in Saturday’s Commonwealth (G3), one of three victories on the day for trainer Brendan Walsh.
“He did nothing wrong yesterday,” said Walsh, savoring his second three-victory Saturday in as many weeks.
Next for the 4-year-old Prevalence could be the $750,000 Churchill Downs (G1) on the May 7 Kentucky Derby Day program in Louisville.
“That would be the natural next step,” Walsh said.
The first part of Walsh’s three-win day came from Prevalence’s 3-year-old half-brother, Emirates Road, who took Saturday’s second race for Godolphin.
“We will look for an allowance race with him,” Walsh said about Emirates Road, who was making his second career start. “He’s a late developer and he surprised me a bit yesterday because I thought he might need another start. It is nice when they do that.”
Walsh’s barn also includes a sibling to another accomplished runner he trained. She is Loved, the 3-year-old half-sister to Grade 1 winner Maxfield – winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) here.
“They have similar mannerisms,” he said. “That is the same with Emirates Road and Prevalence. They don’t really look alike but they act similar. Some horses seem to take a little more time to get ready for racing so it is nice to look back and see what they’re older siblings were like. It is nice to have that continuity.”
Alice Clapham, assistant to trainer Graham Motion, said Gainesway Stable’s Spendarella came out of her 1¾-length victory in Saturday’s Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association in good order and would be headed back to Motion’s main base at Fair Hill training center in Maryland this week.
Spendarella completed a sweep of turf stakes for 3-year-olds for Motion. On Friday, Head of Plains Partners’ Sy Dog won the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3). Both Motion runners are undefeated in three starts and both could be pointed to races at Royal Ascot in England in June. …
Trainer Brad Cox said Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port, runner-up in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park on April 2, is under consideration for Saturday’s $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3).
“He is nominated and the race is in play,” Cox said. “It is very much on the table.”
The Stonestreet Lexington is the final points race toward the Kentucky Derby with 34 points available on a 20-8-4-2 scale to the first- through fourth-place finishers. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box and Tawny Port has accrued 40 points, a total that is good for 20th on the leaderboard.
PROSPECTIVE FIELDS FOR APRIL 16 STAKES
According to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Baley Hare, here are the prospective fields for the April 16 stakes:
April 16 races. Entries taken Wednesday.
$500,000 JENNY WILEY (G1) – Abscond (Eddie Kenneally), Navratilova (Rusty Arnold), Regal Glory (Chad Brown), Shantisara (IRE) (Brown), Waliyak (FR) (Edward Vaughan). Possible: Alms (Mike Stidham).
$400,000 STONESTREET LEXINGTON (G3) – In Due Time (Kelly Breen), Major General (Todd Pletcher), Midnight Chrome (John Servis), Strava (Dallas Stewart). Possible: Call Me Midnight (Keith Desormeaux), Dash Attack (Kenny McPeek), The Skipper Too (John Ortiz).Possible: Bye Bye Bobby (Todd Fincher), Tawny Port (Brad Cox).
$200,000 GIANT’S CAUSEWAY (L) – A G Indy (Todd Pletcher), Ambassador Luna (Ben Colebrook), Campanelle (IRE) (Wesley Ward), Caravel (Brad Cox), Change of Control (Michelle Lovell), Elle Z (Chris Hartman), Headline Hunter (Jose D’Angelo), Hear My Prayer (Vladimir Cerin), Jouster (Pletcher), Social Chatter (Vicki Oliver), Violenza (Ian Wilkes).