Edited Keeneland Staff Release — EverestRacing’s Lindy (FR) had her dress rehearsal last month at Kentucky Downs, and now she is ready to jump back into the deep waters in Saturday’s 40th running of the $600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana.
Trainer Brendan Walsh knew the 3-year-old filly was coming to the U.S. after Lindy spent the spring chasing four-time Group 1 winner Blue Rose Cen around France.
“Her form was good in France. I got her around the end of July and she has done very well since she got here,” Walsh said about Lindy. “Sometimes horses coming from Europe don’t handle the change well, but she has taken to it like a duck to water.”
Walsh took Lindy to Kentucky Downs for her U.S. debut on Sept. 7 and she did not disappoint as an overwhelming favorite in winning the mile test by 1¼ lengths under Tyler Gaffalione, who will be aboard Saturday.
“She was very impressive at Kentucky Downs,” Walsh said of Lindy, whose best French showing for trainer Christophe Ferland this year was a runner-up finish by 1¾ lengths to Blue Rose Cen in the 1-mile Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1).
Walsh has strings at three Kentucky tracks and has kept Lindy at Turfway Park, where she has trained on the all-weather surface.
“I keep my turf horses there, and they seem to like it,” Walsh said.
TWILIGHT GLEAMING (IRE) READY FOR FRANKLIN REMATCH
Not often does one see two Breeders’ Cup winners squaring off in a Grade 2 event, but that is what is on tap here Sunday afternoon for the 27th running of the $350,000 Franklin for fillies and mares going 5½ furlongs on the turf.
Heading the field of nine is defending race champion Caravel, who three weeks after her victory in the Franklin would win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), and Twilight Gleaming (IRE), winner of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
The two met in last year’s Franklin in which Twilight Gleaming finished 2¾ lengths behind Caravel in fourth.
Trainer Wesley Ward is bringing Stonestreet Stables’ Twilight Gleaming into the Franklin off a similar schedule as last year: a start in the Daisycutter (L) at Del Mar at the end of July. Twilight Gleaming won that race last year but not this year.
“That was one of those where you have the big favorite and anything can happen … and it did,” Ward said. “She got sawed off (on the turn) and then had to pull up at the eighth pole and that was it.”
Since returning to Keeneland, Twilight Gleaming has had four works. Her most recent breeze on Oct. 7 has Ward looking forward to the Franklin.
“She had an unbelievable breeze the other day,” Ward said of the 5-furlong work in 1:00.80 over the grass. “She has always been a good work horse, and I worked her with Playlist, who is emerging into a good horse.
“It was visually impressive. Johnny V (John Velazquez) was on Playlist and Julio (Garcia) on Twilight Gleaming. Johnny was niggling on Playlist and Julio was sitting still on Twilight Gleaming. That is what you want to see going against Caravel.”
GRADE 1 WINNER PROXY TUNES UP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
Godolphin’s homebred Grade 1 winner Proxy, who is based here with trainer Mike Stidham, breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02.40 on Friday in one of his final tuneups for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) to be held Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. With jockey Joel Rosario in the saddle, Proxy went in company with allowance winner Nelson Avenue.
“I was pleased with it,” Stidham said. “Proxy is one of those horses that never really overdoes it in the morning. In every work, the rider kind of has to (encourage) him a little bit just to make him do what we want him to do. He went on out three-quarters (of a mile). I had him in like 1:14 and 3/5ths for the three-quarters and then a nice gallop out down the backside. Very happy with what he did.”
Winner of the 2022 Clark (G1) Presented by Norton Healthcare, Proxy has two wins in six starts this year. He took the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in April and the Monmouth Cup (G3) in July. Proxy most recently finished a nose behind Bright Future in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) on Sept. 2 at Saratoga.
The 5-year-old son of Tapit, who has earned $2.2 million, turned in his first Keeneland work on Oct. 7, covering 5 furlongs in 1:01. He is scheduled to have two more workouts here before leaving for Santa Anita on Oct. 30.
“He was scheduled to work Saturday but watching the weather (with rain in forecast), I didn’t want to take the chance of working him on a sloppy track,” Stidham said.
Trainer Brendan Walsh said Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Pretty Mischievous remains on track for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. The Godolphin filly breezed a half-mile in :48 at Churchill Downs on Thursday, her first work since finishing second in the Cotillion (G1) at Parx on Sept. 23. …
Valene Farm’s Accommodate Eva won Thursday’s fourth race, the second maiden auction race of the Keeneland Fall Meet. Worth $70,000 for 2-year-old fillies, the event was for non-winners that sold or did not meet their reserve price for $50,000 or less in their most recent auction. Valene purchased Accommodate Eva for $25,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.A race on Wednesday with the same conditions started 12 colts and geldings. …
Owner-trainer James Butcher and jockey Isaias Ayala combined to pick up their first Keeneland win Thursday afternoon when Jackie’s Love held on for a neck victory in the third race.
PROSPECTIVE FIELDS FOR UPCOMING STAKES
$350,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2), 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs on the main track (Entries taken Saturday; race is Saturday, Oct. 21) – Alva Starr (trainer Brett Brinkman), Dazzling Blue (Brad Cox), Lady Radler (Michael Campbell), Lily Poo (Michael McCarthy), Nom de Plume (Paulo Lobo), Simply Stated (Todd Beattie), Vahva (Cherie DeVaux). Possible: Apple Picker (Brittany Russell.).
$250,000 Perryville (L), 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs on the main track (Entries taken Saturday; race is Saturday, Oct. 21) – Dr. Venkman (Mark Glatt), Raise Cain (Ben Colebrook), Verifying (Brad Cox). Possibles: Everso Mischievous (Cox), Loyal Company (Brendan Walsh), Major Blue (D. Wayne Lukas), Post Time (Russell).
$300,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3), 3-year-old and up fillies and mares, 1½ miles on the turf (Entries taken Sunday; race is Sunday, Oct. 22) – Be Up (Mike Maker), Henrietta Topham (Geoff Mulcahy), Loved Reiko (Rusty Arnold), Personal Best (Shug McGaughey), Romagna Mia (GB) (Graham Motion), Transient (GB) (Saffie Joseph Jr.), Vergara (Motion). Possibles: Lovely Princess (Kenny McPeek), Sinfiltre (Todd Pletcher).