Barn Notes -- Sun., March 30

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Extrasexyhippzster Works for Toyota Blue Grass

Kirwan Equine Group Inc. and Ed Hipps’ Extrasexyhippzster worked five furlongs in company in 1:00 on a cool, clear Sunday morning at Keeneland.

With jockey Stewart Elliott up, Exxtrasexyhippzster started four lengths behind workmate War Ready and posted fractions of :12.80, :24.80, :36.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40. Extrasexyhippzster finished two lengths back at the wire and drew even on the gallop out.

“I thought he went very well and handled the track good,” Elliott said of the Michael Trombetta trainee. “Mike said he worked on his own the last time (1:03 for five-eighths at Laurel on March 22) and he does better when he has company.”

Reached by phone at his Maryland base, Trombetta said Extrasexyhippzster probably would work again next Sunday.

“If he works well, we would go on to the (Toyota) Blue Grass (G1),” said Trombetta, who plans to be at Keeneland for the work. “Julian (Pimentel) would ride him in the Blue Grass.”

A two-time stakes winner on dirt at Laurel and Aqueduct, Extrasexyhippzster would be making his Polytrack debut in the Toyota Blue Grass. He finished eighth in the Gotham (G3) in his most recent start March 1.

Veteran Rider Elliott Makes the Move to Kentucky

A new face making the rounds at Keeneland is jockey Stewart Elliott.

The 49-year-old who rode Smarty Jones to victory in the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) has moved his tack to Kentucky after spending the majority of his 33-year riding career on the Philadelphia-New Jersey circuit.

“I have always liked Kentucky and my wife’s family lives in Springfield,” Elliott said. “When I would ride in New Jersey, I was always driving and did not like the commute. The money was OK, but the quality of horses is not like here.”

Elliott said he has ridden a few times at Keeneland, those occurrences coming when he would fly in for a race or two for one day. Winless in stakes here, Elliott has the call on Coastline for trainer Mark Casse in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on April 12. Coastline, a maiden winner here last fall, finished third in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral (G3) on March 22 with Elliott aboard for the first time.

Represented by retired rider Nelson Arroyo, Elliott has won 4,618 races with his best year coming in 2004 with 262 victories and $14,533,061 in earnings.

“Hard to believe it has been 10 years (since Smarty Jones). It has gone by really quick,” Elliott said.

McGaughey “Reloads” to Tackle Maker’s 46 Mile

A 13-horse contingent from the stable of trainer Shug McGaughey arrived at Keeneland Saturday night following a trip from South Florida.

“A little change in the weather,” assistant Robbie Medina said on a crisp Sunday morning at Barn 33.

Included in the new arrivals were Mr Speaker and Reload, candidates for the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and Maker’s 46 Mile (G1), respectively.

“We were able to work him Friday morning at Payson (Park),” Medina said of Mr Speaker, who covered a half-mile on a fast dirt surface in :50.20. “Now we will see how he handles the Polytrack.”

In his most recent start, Mr Speaker finished second in the Palm Beach (G3) at Gulfstream on March 1 behind possible Toyota Blue Grass foe Gala Award.

Mr Speaker is owned by Phipps Stable, which also owns Reload.

“It only took us three years to put Reload on grass,” Medina said with a laugh of the 5-year-old who is perfect in two starts on turf including a victory in the Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 22 in his most recent start.

“He won an allowance race here last spring in his first Polytrack start,” Medina said. “Last fall, he didn’t run too well in the Phoenix (finishing eighth).”

Work Tab

Pablo Del Monte, undefeated in two main track Keeneland starts, worked six furlongs in 1:14 for trainer Wesley Ward in preparation for the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). Also working for Ward was Commonwealth (G3) nominee Undrafted, who covered five furlongs in :59.                                                         

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