Barn Notes -- Friday, April 18

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SPECIAL: Tom Leach interviews trainer Al Stall Jr. on Ire, running in today’s Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3), and talks to trainer Ian Wilkes on Free as a Bird, entered in Saturday’s Giant’s Causeway Stakes.

 

AMI’S HOLIDAY NOT DERBY BOUND EVEN WITH COOLMORE LEXINGTON WIN

If Ivan Dalos’ Ami’s Holiday wins Saturday’s $200,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3), he could be considered a player on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The winning horse earns $120,000, which would increase Ami’s Holiday’s nonrestricted stakes earnings to $256,145 and push his points total to 20. That would mean his earnings are more than the other six horses with 20 points bidding for a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Despite this potential scenario, Dalos said this morning that his 3-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt would not be pointed to the Derby or be sold to someone with Derby aspirations.

“He’s not going to make it,” Dalos, who lives in Toronto, said. “(The Coolmore Lexington is) too close to Derby. … If we had an extra week, I would definitely consider it. Two weeks is too close.”

The Coolmore Lexington marks the 2014 debut for Ami’s Holiday, who is trained by Josie Carroll. In four races at two, all on Polytrack at Woodbine, the colt won the Grey (G3) and was third in the Display. He was at Oaklawn this year but missed training as a result of bad weather.

The original plan was to run Ami’s Holiday in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) last Saturday, but Dalos said, “We felt he wasn’t ready to go a mile and an eighth at this point. (The Coolmore Lexington) is a mile and a sixteenth – a little shorter – so this is a more suitable race since we’re not going to the Derby.”

Dalos said Ami’s Holiday, a graduate of the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, is nominated to the Queen’s Plate and that the Preakness (G1) is a possibility for the colt, depending on his performance in the Coolmore Lexington.

 

DARING DANCER GIVES MOTION BARN TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW

The victory by Sagamore Farm’s homebred Daring Dancer in Thursday’s Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association capped a three-win day for trainer Graham Motion’s barn. It was the first three-win day for a trainer at the Spring Meet, which enters its 11th day today.

“So what have you done for us today?” said David Rock, assistant to Motion, with a mirthful laugh. “We have five in today and we’ll try again.”

Rock said Daring Dancer came out of the turf race well as she extended her undefeated streak to three.

Next for Daring Dancer likely will be the $100,000 Hilltop going 1 1/16 miles on the grass on May 16. The race at Pimlico is basically right in Sagamore’s front yard.

With the trio of victories, Motion is tied atop the Spring Meet’s leading trainer standings with Mark Casse and Wesley Ward. All have six wins. Motion also saddled two winners on opening day, April 14.

Jose Hernandez, assistant to trainer Chad Brown, said Appalachian runner-up Sweet Acclaim (IRE) and fourth-place finisher Kitten Kaboodle came out of the race fine and would be headed to New York soon.

Also heading to New York is Recepta, who finished third as the favorite in her 2014 debut.

“She’s OK this morning and ran well for her first start back,” trainer Jimmy Toner said.

So, would the Sands Point at Belmont be next for Recepta?

“Nope,” Toner said with a laugh. “The Wonder Again. They renamed the race. I trained Wonder Again, so I will be in the winner’s circle one way or another.”

Wonder Again was a two-time Grade 1 winner and earned more than $1.4 million in her career.

The Wonder Again carries a $200,000 purse and is 1 1/8 miles on the turf on May 25.

 

KEENELAND WELL-REPRESENTED BY KENTUCKY-BRED CHAMPIONS

Keeneland-based two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan and a number of Keeneland sales graduates were honored for their achievements in 2013 at the annual Kentucky-Bred Champions Awards Luncheon Thursday at Keeneland. The awards were presented by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

Wise Dan, winner of the April 11 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) here, was named Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year, champion older male and champion turf horse.

Kentucky-bred champions that are Keeneland sales graduates are She’s a Tiger (2-year-old filly), Beholder (3-year-old filly), Will Take Charge (3-year-old colt), Royal Delta (older female), Mizdirection (female turf horse) and Groupie Doll (champion sprinter).

Take Charge Lady, a four-time graded stakes winner at Keeneland and the dam of Will Take Charge, was named Broodmare of the Year. In 2004, Take Charge Lady was sold for $4.2 million at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who were the leading owners during Keeneland’s 2013 Spring and Fall Meets, earned several honors. They received the P.A.B. Widener Trophy as KTOB Breeder of the Year and were recognized as Owners of the Year and Breeders of the Year for being the season’s Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund leaders.

The Ramseys’ Kitten’s Joy was named KTDF Sire of the Year.

Mike Maker, Keeneland’s leading trainer during the 2013 Spring and Fall Meets, was recognized as KTDF Trainer of the Year.

For more information about the awards, visit kentuckybred.org.

 

GALLOPING OUT

Gary Barber’s Sisterly Love will attempt to become the first two-time winner of the Spring Meet this afternoon when she runs in the featured Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3). Trained by Mark Casse, Sisterly Love won an allowance race on opening day, April 4. …

Trainer Robert G. Smith won his Keeneland debut when World Gone Wright won Keeneland’s seventh race. Stewart Elliott rode the 3-year-old Forty Grams filly to a half-length victory in the six-furlong allowance race in 1:11.77. Smith trains World Gone Wright for Drake Smith, Rhett Smith and Mark Hoffman.

 

SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through April 17 (10 days of racing)

Jockey

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Julien Leparoux

64

13

4

10

$512,790

Stewart Elliott

43

9

2

4

$278,339

Javier Castellano

32

7

6

6

$596,260

Alan Garcia

30

7

3

3

$467,538

Joe Rocco Jr.

45

6

9

5

$328,676

Shaun Bridgmohan

29

6

0

2

$397,066

Rosie Napravnik

54

5

12

5

$291,615

Joel Rosario

33

5

5

5

$425,281

 

Trainer

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Mark Casse

32

6

3

6

$348,369

H. Graham Motion

25

6

3

3

$293,354

Wesley Ward

19

6

3

3

$426,326

Ken McPeek

27

5

1

4

$406,182

Mike Maker

40

3

6

6

$188,204

Bill Mott

24

3

4

4

$172,172

Chad Brown

12

3

2

2

$270,666

Christophe Clement

13

3

2

1

$206,764

 

Owner

Wins

John C. Oxley

3

Drake Racing Stables (Shirley and Tim Girten and Karol Germany), Muirfield Farm (Doug and Len Labuda) and Mike Lobalzo

2

Gary Barber

2

Gary L. and Mary E. West Stables Inc.

2

Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey

2

Klaravich Stables Inc. (Seth Klaman) and William Lawrence

2

Wesley A. Ward

2

 

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, April 18

The Hill. Keeneland’s official tailgate lot, which is adjacent to the Keene Barn, features food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, race-day programs, a Keeneland Gift Shop kiosk and free shuttles to the track. BETologists, Keeneland’s wagering experts, will be available to answer fans’ questions.

Craft Beer Tent. A special selection of craft beers is available on the North Terrace patio and includes Country Boy, Kentucky Ale Kolsch, Land Shark, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater.

The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show by Dorfman Pacific from 11 a.m -6 p.m.

The “50 to 1” Movie Tour celebrates Mine That Bird’s implausible journey from El Paso, Texas, to Churchill Downs and victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The story is documented in the feature-length film “50 to 1.” Activities kick off at 1 p.m. ET with a fan meet-and-greet with the connections of Mine That Bird and members of the movie cast and crew. Expected to attend are Mine That Bird’s co-owner Leonard “Doc” Blach and trainer, Chip Woolley; the movie’s director, Jim Wilson; writer, Faith Conroy; and actors Skeet Ulrich and Todd Lowe. Mine Than Bird will be paraded in the Paddock around 2:30 p.m., and the connections and cast will be recognized in the Winner’s Circle at approximately 2:50 p.m. Click here for more about the movie, which opens today.

It’s My Derby. Racing fans are invited to the evening event in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion to rub elbows with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most recognizable people. The fundraiser for the Kentucky Derby Museum features a panel discussion and VIP reception with such accomplished horsemen as 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb’s co-owner and breeder Stuart Janney and trainer, Shug McGaughey; trainer Barclay Tagg, winner of the 2003 Derby and Preakness with Funny Cide; and two-time Derby-winning jockey Chris McCarron. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will moderate the panel. For more information, click here.

 

Saturday, April 19

Sunrise Trackside sponsored by LEX18, the Lexington Herald-Leader and Dunkin’ Donuts offers activities for all ages beginning at 7 a.m. ET.  Fans can enjoy Breakfast With the Works, a Southern-style breakfast and trackside commentary during the morning workouts (until 8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); a show-and-tell with the Kentucky Horseshoeing School; guided walking tours of Keeneland (8-10 a.m.); trackside handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m.); and a Q&A session with current leading rider Julien Leparoux in the Paddock (12:05 p.m.). Keeneland Bugler Steve Buttleman also will be on hand to take photos with fans.

Easter Egg Hunt. As part of Sunrise Trackside, the Keeneland Kids Club will host an Easter Egg Hunt on the North Terrace Lawn at 9 a.m. Children will be able to see baby chicks and bunnies and other animals from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

The Hill. Keeneland’s official tailgate lot located adjacent to the Keene Barn, will feature food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, race-day programs, a Keeneland Gift Shop kiosk, free shuttles to the track and live bluegrass music. BETologists will be available to answer fans’ questions.

Craft Beer Tent. A special selection of craft beers is available on the North Terrace patio and includes Country Boy, Kentucky Ale Kolsch, Land Shark, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater.

The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show by Dorfman Pacific from 11 a.m -6 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 20: Keeneland is closed

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