Barn Notes -- Sunday, April 13

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NO DERBY DECISION ON TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNER DANCE WITH FATE

While Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing’s Dance With Fate had an easy morning at Barn 22 following his victory in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1), trainer Peter Eurton was flying back to his Southern California base.

Via text, Eurton said Dance With Fate would return to California as scheduled on Monday but that a decision on returning to Kentucky for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 3 would not be made for a week.

With Saturday’s victory, Dance With Fate earned 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby and a spot in the starting gate is his should his connections opt to run.

The Toyota Blue Grass was run before Keeneland’s second-largest crowd of 39,722, and trainer Wesley Ward was thrilled with the third-place effort of Pablo Del Monte.

“I was very proud of him. I think if the weather was a bit cooler like it is now, his speed may have carried farther,” Ward said Sunday morning of the result that netted Pablo Del Monte 20 points toward the Kentucky Derby. He is one of six horses with that total.

“We are thinking about the Derby,” Ward said. “That’s the good thing about the points system: You know exactly where you stand.”

The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box. Of the horses under consideration for the Derby, Pablo Del Monte stands 25th.

“We will stay here as long as possible, because he really thrives here,” Ward said.

Katerina Vassilieva, who sent out fourth-place finisher Big Bazinga, was on her way back to Woodbine this morning. She saddles a horse in the first race there today for Big Bazinga’s owner, Derby Dreamers Racing Stable.

Big Bazinga was fine this morning, said Vassilieva’s assistant, Amber Mayers. She said the gelding would leave Keeneland for Woodbine Monday night. A possible future race there is the $125,000 Victoria Park, a 1 1/8-mile race on June 22. Mayers said Big Bazinga also could race at Arlington Park.

Trainer Justin Nixon said fifth-place finisher Coltimus Prime exited the race in good order and also would be headed to Woodbine.

“I was very happy with him,” Nixon said. “Our goal is the Queen’s Plate (July 6), so we will take him back to Woodbine and look for a couple spots to get to the race.”

Sixth-place finisher Gala Award and Vinceremos, who finished 14th, came out of the race well, according to Juan Tovar, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. The two colts shipped to Churchill Downs Sunday morning.

Let’s Go Stable’s Divine Oath, who did not draw in to the Toyota Blue Grass from the also-eligible list, worked a half-mile in :48.60 in preparation for next Saturday’s Coolmore Lexington (G3) for Pletcher. Working before 7 o’clock on his own, Divine Oath posted fractions of :13.20, :25 and out five furlongs in 1:01.

Trainer Tom Bush said So Lonesome would be heading back to New York following his seventh-place finish “to regroup.”

“He came out of the race fine,” Bush said. “There were a lot of nice horses behind him and the winner looked very legit on paper.”

Martine Pare, assistant to trainer Reade Baker, said Asserting Bear came out of his eighth-place finish in good shape and would remain here for a while before heading to Woodbine to target the Queen’s Plate.

All American Horses LLC’s Casiguapo, who was ninth, is leaving today to return to trainer Mario Morales’ Calder base. Through trainer Manuel Azpurua, who served as interpreter, Morales said Casiguapo was good this morning. “He came back in good shape,” Morales said. “He ate everything last night.”

Morales said Casiguapo would return to competition after a rest, likely in an allowance race.

The Keeneland crowd included some 20 representatives of the University of Kentucky’s Equine Research Unit, which is based at Maine Chance Farm. UK bred Casiguapo.

“The students were disappointed in the final result, but when they got a little perspective it turned out to be a positive all around,” Dr. Laurie Lawrence, a professor of equine nutrition, said. She said about 12 members visited Casiguapo at his barn after the race to thank the connections.

Coastline, who finished 10th, probably is headed back to sprints, according to trainer Mark Casse.

“I thought Stewart (Elliott) did a great job from the post (11),” Casse said. “Stewart said he had a smile on his face at the half-mile pole and a frown at the three-eighths pole.”

Melanie Williams, assistant to trainer Michael Trombetta, said Extrasexyhippzster was fine the morning after his 11th-place finish and would remain here for another week before shipping to Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.

 

“LADIES OF THE TURF” BEING HONORED TODAY

Today Keeneland is hosting “Ladies of the Turf” and honoring some 25 retired and active female jockeys, including those who were first allowed to ride in 1969 and some of the most accomplished members of their profession.

Among the women are Hall of Famer Julie Krone; Kathy Kusner, the first woman to be licensed to ride; Diane Crump, the first women to ride against men and the first to ride in the Kentucky Derby; Barbara Jo Rubin, the first to win a recognized race; Patti Barton, the first to win 1,000 races; Kaye Bell, the first to win a race at Keeneland; Patricia “PJ” Cooksey, the first to ride in the Preakness; and Rosie Napravnik, the first to be leading rider at Keeneland.

Today’s festivities include a gathering in the Winner’s Circle for a tribute video at 1:30. Beginning at 1:45 p.m., the women will sign a commemorative poster created by noted cartoonist Peb (pdf of poster attached). Fans can purchase the poster for $10, with proceeds benefiting Horses and Hope and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Today is Horses and Hope Day, and the sixth race is the Horses and Hope Race. Horses and Hope is First Lady Jane Beshear’s initiative to raise awareness of breast cancer among women working in Kentucky’s horse industry.

 

JESSAMINE 1-2 FINISHERS KITTEN KABOODLE AND ZINZAY TOP APPALACHIAN FIELD OF 12

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten Kaboodle and Regis Racing’s Zinzay, the 1-2 finishers in last fall’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), headline a field of a dozen 3-year-old fillies entered Sunday for Thursday’s 26th running of the $100,000 Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association at a mile on the turf.

The victory in the Jessamine is the lone win for Kitten Kaboodle, who is trained by Chad Brown. Seventh in the Florida Oaks (G3) in her most recent start, Kitten Kaboodle will break from post position seven and be ridden by John Velazquez.

Zinzay, who broke her maiden at first asking in August at Saratoga for trainer Rusty Arnold, finished second in her 2014 debut at Gulfstream last month. Regular rider Joe Rocco Jr., has the call on Zinzay who will break from post position two.

Another intriguing entrant in the race is Gary Barber’s Lacarolina (FR), who will be making her U.S. debut for trainer Mark Casse. Winner of the Group 3 Prix Misque in Europe to close her 2013 campaign, Lacarolina will break from post position three and be ridden by Stewart Elliott.

The field for the Appalachian, from the inside out, is as follows: Recepta (Joel Rosario, 120 pounds), Zinzay (Rocco Jr., 118), Lacarolina (FR) (Stewart Elliott 118), Sweet Acclaim (IRE) (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Daring Dancer (Alan Garcia, 118), Babe’s Ruler (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Kitten Kaboodle (Velazquez, 123), False Clock (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Resistivity (Julien Leparoux, 118), Annulment (Corey Lanerie, 118), Maria Maria (Robby Albarado, 118) and Paloma P (Albin Jimenez, 118).

 

MOTION TAKING WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH TO KENTUCKY DERBY WITH RING WEEKEND

St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbred’s Ring Weekend secured a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate when he won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 8.

The 50 points Ring Weekend earned for that victory are enough to have him 16th on the list of horses under consideration for the race. His Derby plans are of major interest to the connections of horses on the bubble.

“He is at Fair Hill,” trainer Graham Motion said of Ring Weekend, who finished second in the Calder Derby on April 5. “I want to see how he is training. I was a little disappointed in his last race, but he seems fine. I am puzzled as to why he ran so bad; maybe he bounced off the race at Tampa.”

Motion, who saddled Animal Kingdom to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby, said he will keep Ring Weekend at Fair Hill for a while.

“He will work there and we’ll see how he’s doing,” Motion said. “We will do the right thing by the horse. He has run a lot and he has run at Churchill Downs (last September) so there is no need to rush there.”

 

TRAINERS REPORT ON SATURDAY STAKES HORSES

Trainer Wesley Ward, who ran horses in all five Keeneland stakes Saturday, said all of his runners came back fine.

“I was a little disappointed some didn’t run better, but I am thrilled with the one we got,” Ward said of Madison (G1) winner Judy the Beauty.

With her first Grade 1 victory, Judy the Beauty became Ward’s second millionaire runner to go with Men’s Exclusive, who made more than $1.4 million in his 48-race career. …

Hard Not to Like, the 13-1 shot who led a blanket finish to score her first Grade 1 victory in the Jenny Wiley, is one of four Saturday winners to reside in Barn 11. She is trained by Michael Matz. Yesterday, the barn also produced sixth-race winner World Is Watching, trained by Ben Colebrook, and two winners for trainer Christophe Clement: Good So Far in the second and Green Mask in the third.

Clement’s Discreet Marq was second to Hard Not to Like in the Jenny Wiley.

Matz said Hard Not to Like, who had not raced since Feb. 28, when she won an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park, benefited from the layoff .

“She’s been training the best she ever has,” he said. “She’s had a couple of races where she’s had bad luck. Yesterday, everything worked out the right way.”

He said the Grade 1 Just a Game on June 7 at Belmont might be a possible next race for the Jenny Wiley winner. …

Trainer Mark Casse said that Laugh Track, who finished third as the favorite in the Commonwealth (G3), came out of the race fine and would be pointed to the $400,000-added Churchill Downs (G2) on May 3.

“I knew that the one hole would hamper him some, but I think he took a big step forward yesterday,” Casse said. …

Trainer Darrin Miller has no immediate plans for Havelock, who finished seventh as the favorite in his bid to repeat in the Shakertown (G3).

“He had kind of a rough trip, but he came back fine,” Miller said of the three-time Keeneland graded stakes winner.

 

MORPHEUS WORKS FOR NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT

Morpheus, a 4-year-old half-brother to British superstar Frankel, worked a half-mile in :46.20 on Sunday morning as he continues training for his North American debut. The son of Oasis Dream (GB) is a homebred racing for Khaled Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and is trained by Racing Hall of Famer Bill Mott.

“We’re trying to make a plan for him at the moment,” said Garrett O’Rourke, manager of Juddmonte’s U.S. operation. “Obviously, he’s a very well-bred horse and there’s been a lot of scrutiny on him because of his pedigree. Last year he ran some nice races. The horse has some talent, and we thought we’d bring him over here to see if running on the firmer tracks might make a difference to him.”

Morpheus, who began his career in England and won three races in eight starts, was sent to Mott around last Christmas. The colt was scratched from Thursday’s eighth race because of a minor cut on a hock, O’Rourke said, and is likely to race at Keeneland in an upcoming 1 1/16-mile race on the Polytrack.

“There’s no rush with him,” O’Rourke said. “I hope he gets to the graded stakes level, and we have some fun with him this year.”

Frankel, considered one of the finest horses to race in Britain in recent years, at 6 is in his first season at stud at Abdullah’s Banstead Manor Farm in Newmarket, England.

Another Juddmonte runner, Emollient, arrived at Keeneland about 6 a.m. today and is being pointed to Friday’s Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3). Last year, she won the Central Bank Ashland (G1) during the Spring Meet and the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) in October.

Juddmonte’s Group 2 winner Romantica (GB), runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), also is at Keeneland, where the Bewitch (G3) on April 24 is her next target.

“It’s a distance grass race to get her started,” O’Rourke said about the 5-year-old Galileo (IRE) mare who is out of European and North American champion Banks Hill (GB). “We’ll see what direction we go in after that. We’ve got a lot of talent in the barn this year with grass fillies, and we’ve got to find spots for Emollient. She might even take on the colts.”

 

THIRD-WEEK STAKES TAKING SHAPE

A trio of Grade 3 winners is considered as probable entrants for Saturday’s 33rd running of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, according to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Scott Jones.

The Coolmore Lexington, which offers 17 points (10-4-2-1) toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), is expected to attract the likes of Ivan Dalos’ Ami’s Holiday, winner of the Grey (G3); Phipps Stable’s Mr Speaker, winner of the Dania Beach (G3); and Susan Moulton’s Solitary Ranger, winner of the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3).

Other probable starters include Divine Oath, Dynamic Impact and Ride Away. Entries for the race will be taken Wednesday.

Also scheduled for Saturday are the 84th running of the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track and the 18th running of the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.

Probables for the Ben Ali are Farhaan, Frac Daddy, Hattaash, Joha, Nikki’s Sandcastle, Red Rifle and Stealcase.

Probables for the Giant’s Causeway are Ageless, Allwewantforxmas, Believe in Charlie, Free as a Bird, Point to the Wild, Queen’s Award, Saturday Nthe Park, Sweet Cassiopeia and To My Valentine (FR).

Friday’s feature will be the 20th running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares on the main track.

Among the names expected in the entry box Tuesday is Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient, winner of last year’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) and Juddmonte Spinster (G1). Other probables are Gold Medal Dancer, Moment In Dixie, Sisterhood, Solid Appeal and Strathnaver (GB).

 

SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through April 12 (7 days of racing)

Jockey

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Julien Leparoux

48

12

3

7

$467,933

Stewart Elliott

30

7

1

3

$217,604

Joe Rocco Jr.

31

6

4

4

$290,244

Javier Castellano

28

5

6

4

$436,460

Alan Garcia

23

5

3

2

$365,751

Joel Rosario

22

4

3

3

$340,909

Dylan Davis

20

4

1

4

$121,412

Shaun Bridgmohan

22

4

0

2

$342,684

 

Trainer

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Mark Casse

25

5

3

5

$303,472

Ken McPeek

19

5

0

2

$384,870

Wesley Ward

15

4

2

3

$360,726

H. Graham Motion

19

3

3

3

$159,107

Christophe Clement

12

3

1

1

$194,764

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