2014 Spring Meet

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Keeneland Spring Meet Concludes with Robust Results

LEXINGTON, KY (April 25, 2014) – Spectacular racing, unique special events and the return of warm, sunny weather combined to produce an exceptional Keeneland Spring Meet, which closed Friday with record 15-day meet attendance and gains in on-track wagering. 

On-track attendance for the Spring Meet, held April 4-25, totaled 270,093, besting the previous 15-day meet record of 269,292 posted during the 2012 Spring Meet, and just behind last spring’s record 278,415 for 16 days of racing.

Longshot Unitarian Wins Closing-Day Dixiana Elkhorn

LEXINGTON, KY (April 25, 2014) –  Dismissed at odds of 18-1, Unitarian and jockey Javier Castellano made a late run to win the 29th running of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) before 18,966 fans on closing day of the 15-day Spring Meet.

The victory by the 4-year-old son of Pulpit, a homebred racing for Robert S. Evans, in the 1½-mile race on turf gave trainer Todd Pletcher the 40th Keeneland stakes win of his career and his first win in the race. Unitarian was the second winner in the race for Castellano following Macaw (IRE) in 2005.

Quotes from the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2)

Todd Pletcher (winning trainer of Unitarian)

“We just felt like (the race) fit timing-wise. He really improved this winter at Gulfstream. We took a shot in the Fair Grounds race (in which he was seventh in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 22 in his most recent start). Mike Smith rode him that day and came back and said, ‘Ignore this race. He didn’t handle this course at all.’

“I think he fits these kinds of races and he continues to improve like we thought he would. With a little more improvement, maybe he can step up a notch.”

Barn Notes -- April 25

PABLO DEL MONTE WORKS FOR POSSIBLE DERBY RUN

Toyota Blue Grass (G1) third-place finisher Pablo Del Monte has 20 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and is 22nd on the list of point earners vying for the 20 positions in the starting gate for the May 3 race. This morning, breeder, trainer and co-owner Wesley Ward worked the Giant’s Causeway colt six furlongs in 1:11.20 to prepare for a possible start in the race.

Inimitable Romanee Charges Late to Win Bewitch

LEXINGTON, KY (April 24, 2014) – At odds of 14-1, Gallagher’s Stud’s Inimitable Romanee charged down the center of the turf course and caught 20-1 longshot Aigue Marine (GB) to post a head victory in the 53rd running of the $150,000 Bewitch (G3) before 13,847 fans at Keeneland. The victory marked the third Grade 3 stakes victory in the last four races for the 6-year-old, New York-bred daughter of Maria’s Mon.

Quotes from the $150,000 Bewitch (G3)

Alan Garcia (winning rider of Inimitable Romanee)

“The (outside 12) post position I had was a little difficult. I had to use my filly a little bit in the first part of the race. After that, I wanted to save all the ground I could. In the last part, I said, ‘Let me move out and see if she’s good enough.’ She was good today; she was the best.”

 

James Graham (rider of runner-up Aigue Marine [GB])

Barn Notes -- Thursday, April 24

SPECIAL: Tom Leach interviews trainer Christophe Clement about Aigue Marine (GB), racing today in the $150,000 Bewitch (G3), and talks to trainer Roger Attfield, who will send out Forte Dei Marmi (GB) in Friday’s $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2).

 

KEENELAND STAKES WINNER ANGEL TERRACE OPENS YEAR IN BEWITCH

Pink Nightie Takes Wednesday Feature

LEXINGTON, KY (April 23, 2014) – The Keeneland Spring Meet’s leading jockey, Julien Leparoux, scored his 18th victory of the season when he rode Lally Stable’s Pink Nightie to win the $60,000 Lochness Purse before 12,164 fans at Keeneland this afternoon.

Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Pink Nightie was the 7-2 second choice for the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, on a turf course rated as firm. She won by 2¼ lengths over Indian Starlight and covered the distance in 1:44.52.

Barn Notes -- Wednesday, April 23

SPECIAL: Tom Leach interviews trainer Jonathan Sheppard about Angel Terrace, racing in Thursday’s Bewitch (G3), and talks to trainer Ken McPeek about War Dancer, entered in Friday’s Dixiana Elkhorn (G2).

 

ATTFIELD MAKES ANOTHER RUN IN DIXIANA ELKHORN

Keeneland Barn Notes for Tuesday, April 22

TWO-TIME HORSE OF THE YEAR WISE DAN WORKS

Reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who opened his 2014 campaign with a win in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) here on April 11, worked a half-mile in a bullet :47.60 Tuesday morning.

Clockers caught Wise Dan, ridden by Damien Rock, in fractions of :11.80, :23.80, :47.60 with a gallop-out of 1:00.80 and 1:14.20.

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