Monday, April 1, 2013
Full Field Likely for 89TH Toyota Blue Grass
A full gate of 14 three-year-olds likely will be the order of the day for the 89th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1), the centerpiece of the 16-day spring meet, to be run Saturday, April 13.
With 170 points available in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series with 100 points going to the winner, the Toyota Blue Grass represents one of the final major steps toward the starting gate for the 139th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on Saturday, May 4. Second place is worth 40 points, with 20 for third and 10 for fourth.
Tops among the three-year-olds considering the Toyota Blue Grass at 1 1/8 miles on the main track are Willis D. Horton’s Will Take Charge and John Oxley’s Uncaptured.
Trained by two-time Blue Grass winner D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge broke his maiden at Keeneland last fall in his second start and this year has won the Smarty Jones and Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park. Will Take Charge has 60 Kentucky Derby points.
Uncaptured, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Iroquois (G3) last fall at Churchill Downs, finished second in his 2013 debut on March 23 in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park. A winner of six of eight career starts, Uncaptured is trained by Mark Casse.
Other horses considered as probable by Keeneland Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for the Toyota Blue Grass are Charming Kitten, trained by Todd Pletcher, Dewey Square (Dale Romans), Dynamic Sky (Casse), Falling Sky (John Terranova), Fear the Kitten (Mike Maker), Footbridge (Eoin Harty), Java’s War (Ken McPeek), Noble Tune (Chad Brown), Reporting Star (Kathleen O’Connell), Rydilluc (Gary Contessa), Tesseron (Josie Carroll), Tiz a Minister (Paul Aguirre), Undrafted (Wesley Ward) and War Academy (Bob Baffert). Possibles for the race include Eton Blue (Nick Zito), Mudflats (Doug O’Neill) and Palace Malice (Pletcher).
Entries for the Toyota Blue Grass will be taken Wednesday, April 10.
Top Three from 2012 Darley Alcibiades Likely for Central Bank Ashland Rematch
John Oxley’s Spring in the Air, Calumet Farm’s Broken Spell and Columbine Stable’s Magical Moon, the 1-2-3 finishers in last fall’s Darley Alcibiades (G1), are expected to be among the names to pass the entry box Wednesday for Saturday’s 76th running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1).
The 1 1/16-mile race on the main track offers 170 points toward the 139th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Friday, May 3 at Churchill Downs. The Central Bank Ashland winner gets 100 points with 40 for second, 20 for third and 10 for fourth.
Trained by Mark Casse, Spring in the Air finished second in her 2013 debut last month in a restricted stakes at Ocala. Broken Spell, trained by three-time Ashland winner D. Wayne Lukas, is stakes placed this year at Oaklawn Park. Magical Moon, trained by Al Stall Jr., has second- and fourth-place finishes in two starts at Fair Grounds this year.
Other three-year-old fillies expected to pass the entry box according to Keeneland Racing Secretary Ben Huffman are Adriani, trained by David Fawkes, Every Way (Mike Stidham), Kitten’s Dumplings (Mike Maker), Kitten’s Point (Graham Motion), Kyriaki (Peter Eurton), Nipissing (Rachel Halden), Redressthebalance (IRE) (Doug O’Neill), Spring Venture (Casse), Tapicat (Bill Mott), Tuttipaesi (IRE) (Motion) and Wave Theory (Chad Brown).
A new face among jockey agents this spring at Keeneland is actually an old face in a previous role.
Donnie Richardson, former senior vice president for racing at Churchill Downs, is handling Robby Albarado’s book this meet.
“It has been more than 20 years since I did this,” said the 67-year-old Richardson, who previously handled the book for such riders as Hall of Famers Don Brumfield, Earlie Fires and Chris McCarron.
Albarado has won four riding titles at Keeneland: two in the spring (2002 and 2003) and two in the fall (2008 and 2009). …
Leonard Green, McConnell Racing Stable, Sean Shay and Harold Lerner, et al’s Rydilluc arrived at Keeneland Monday morning for an expected run in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Trained by Gary Contessa, Rydilluc won the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on March 3 in his most recent start.