Barn Notes -- Wednesday, April 9

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SO LONESOME ARRIVES FOR RUN IN TOYOTA BLUE GRASS

Patricia Schuler’s So Lonesome arrived at Keeneland from his winter base at Palm Meadows in South Florida shortly before 7 o’clock Wednesday morning for a shot in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1).

Winner of a New York-bred stakes on turf at Aqueduct last fall, So Lonesome finished ninth in the Palm Beach (G3) at Gulfstream Park in his lone start of 2014.

“He did not run the race we expected in the race March 1,” trainer Tom Bush said. “He was flat and just jumped up and down on the hard turf.”

The winner of the Palm Beach, Gala Award, will be waiting here for So Lonesome in the Toyota Blue Grass.

“We had targeted this race all winter,” Bush said about the richest race of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. “I know we are taking a little chance here, but I would be surprised if he did not handle the Polytrack. The Schulers are open to taking a chance and he had a great work (five furlongs in :59.50 on April 2) before leaving Palm Meadows.

“I haven’t given up on him.”

Bush will seek his second Grade 1 victory at Keeneland. Get Stormy won the 2011 Maker’s Mark Mile for Bush, two years after he won the Bryan Station (G3).

Click here for more about the Toyota Blue Grass.

 

A “WISE” WIN WILL EARN FINK A GOLD TRAY

A victory by reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in Friday’s $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) will mark the gelding’s second consecutive win in the Spring Meet’s premier turf race and will give his owner, Mort Fink, his eighth graded stakes victory at Keeneland.

With the victory, Fink of Northbrook, Ill., will receive a gold tray as part of Keeneland’s signature graded stakes trophy program. Only 18 owners in Keeneland history have achieved such an accomplishment. The latest were Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who reached the milestone on closing day of the 2013 Spring Meet.

Wise Dan and his older half-brother Successful Dan are responsible for Fink’s position. Wise Dan has won a Keeneland-record five graded stakes: 2012 Phoenix (G3), 2011 Fayette (G2), 2012 Ben Ali (G3), 2012 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and 2013 Maker’s 46 Mile. Successful Dan won the 2010 Fayette and 2013 Ben Ali. Charlie LoPresti trains both horses.

Wise Dan has won 19 races in 27 career starts and has earned $6,293,610, more than any other horse currently in training in North America.

Keeneland’s gold tray is handcrafted in partnership with premier American jeweler and silversmith Tiffany & Co.

Fink and his wife, Elaine, are scheduled to be at Keeneland for the Maker’s 46 Mile.

 

SATURDAY’S COMMONWEALTH ATTRACTS FIELD OF 12

Gary Barber and WinStar Farm’s Laugh Track, who finished second last fall in the Phoenix (G3) and was second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), headlines a field of 12 sprinters entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 28th running of the $175,000 Commonwealth (G3) at seven furlongs on the main track.

The Commonwealth is the first of five graded stakes on Saturday’s 12-race program that begins at 12:35 p.m. ET. The Commonwealth will go as the seventh race with a 3:40 p.m. post time.

Trained by Mark Casse, Laugh Track has started once in 2014, finishing seventh in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3) on Feb. 8. Jose Lezcano has the mount on Laugh Track, who will break from post position one.

Another horse coming out of the Breeders’ Cup is Dimension (GB), who is owned and trained by Conor Murphy.

Winner of the Play the King (G2) at Woodbine last August, Dimension finished fifth behind two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) and was finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in his most recent start. David Moran has the mount on Dimension and will break from post position three.

The field for the Commonwealth, from the rail out, is as follows: Laugh Track (Lezcano, 118 pounds), Ol Army (Dylan Davis, 118), Dimension (GB) (Moran, 118), Spring to the Sky (Rajiv Maragh, 118), Undrafted (John Velazquez, 118), Quiet Force (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Longhunter (GB) (Javier Castellano, 118), Gunderson (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Occasional View (Alan Garcia, 118), Big Blue Spirit (GB) (Robby Albarado, 118), Piquant (Stewart Elliott, 118) and Carving (Corey Lanerie, 118).

 

DEFENDING CHAMPION HAVELOCK FACES 12 IN SATURDAY’S SHAKERTOWN

Silverton Hill’s Havelock will attempt to become the second repeat winner of the $100,000 Shakertown (G3) when he takes on 12 rivals Saturday in the 18th running of the 5 ½-furlong grass sprint.

The Shakertown is the second of five graded stakes on Saturday’s 12-race program that begins at 12:35 p.m. ET. The Shakertown will go as the eighth race with a 4:11 p.m. post time.

Havelock, who also has won the 2011 and 2013 runnings of the Woodford (G3), will attempt to join Soaring Free (2004-2005) as the only repeat winner of the race.

Trained by Darrin Miller, Havelock has won four of five starts at the distance and is four for six at Keeneland. Havelock will break from post position six and be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Chief among the rivals of Havelock are Brittlynn Stable’s Gantry, winner of the Colonel Power at Fair Grounds on March 15 and John Menary and Gail Cox’s Something Extra, runner-up to Havelock in last year’s Shakertown.

Regular rider Richard Eramia has the call on Gantry, who is trained by Ron Faucheux. Gantry will break from post position 13.

Cox also trains Something Extra, a two-time winner of the Connaught Cup (G2) at Woodbine. Something Extra will break from post position two and be ridden by Jose Lezcano.

The field for the Shakertown, from the inside out, is as follows: Channel Marker (Corey Nakatani, 118 pounds), Something Extra (Lezcano, 118), Shrinking Violet (John Velazquez, 115), Tour Guide (Miguel Mena, 118), Marchman (Robby Albarado, 120), Havelock (Leparoux, 120), Animal Style (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Go Blue Or Go Home (Emma-Jayne Wilson, 118), Hogy (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Positive Side (Leandro Goncalves, 118), Ancil (Joe Rocco Jr., 120), No Silent (Javier Castellano, 118) and Gantry (Eramia, 120).

 

ROCKIN’ THE RACES HANDICAPPING HAPPY HOUR DEBUTS IN LEXINGTON THURSDAY

Paulie’s Toasted Barrel, a sports bar in downtown Lexington across from Rupp Arena, will host the first Rockin’ the Races, an NTRA initiative aimed at creating more handicapping tournament players and fans, on Thursday from 7-10 p.m. ET.

Rockin’ the Races will focus on inside tips for succeeding in handicapping tournaments at tracks, casinos or online. The inaugural Rockin’ the Races will be hosted by America’s Best Racing’s Joe Kristufek and Keeneland racing analyst Katie Gensler.

“Tournament handicapping is a little different than a day at the races,” Gensler said. “We will be teaching horseplayers different strategies, how to manage their money and how to qualify for and compete at tournaments held at tracks or online.”

Rockin’ the Races is produced in association with Vision 20/20 and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Along with receiving prizes and giveaways, participants will have a chance to try the newly created Tito’s Trifecta cocktail and sign up to win a free entry in an upcoming National Handicapping Championship online qualifying tournament valued at $165.

Registration starts at 6:30 p.m. with an “early bird special” race going off at 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome any time.

Paulie’s Toasted Barrel is located at 517 W. Main Street.

 

SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through April 6 (3 days of racing)

Jockey

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Julien Leparoux

19

6

0

4

$224,433

Stewart Elliott

14

5

1

2

$152,472

Joe Rocco Jr.

12

4

1

0

$162,740

Joel Rosario

11

2

1

2

$271,843

Alan Garcia

4

2

1

1

$83,700

11 jockeys with one win each.

 

Trainer

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Mark Casse

13

4

2

4

$178,467

Ken McPeek

7

3

0

2

$237,195

H. Graham Motion

9

2

2

2

$101,857

21 trainers with one win each.

 

TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WEEK SPECIAL EVENTS

Thursday, April 10, through Sunday, April 13

The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a meet and greet with hat milliner Christine A. Moore from
9 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Friday, April 11

Maker’s Mark Commemorative Bottle signing. The bottle, which features University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops, benefits UKs HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute. The bottle signing is from 6:30-9 a.m. ET. Click here for more information.

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.

Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on Races 6-9. Race 9 is the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).

 

Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12

The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents the Bosom Buddy Bags trunk show from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Saturday, April 12

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 Michael Blowen of Old Friends; a demonstration by the Kentucky Horse Park ponies in the Paddock (9 a.m.); guided walking tours of Keeneland (8-10 a.m.); trackside handicapping seminar (11 a.m.); and a Q&A session with a jockey Javier Castellano in the Paddock (11:35 a.m.). Keeneland Bugler Steve Buttleman will also be on hand to take photos with fans.

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.

All-Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG. The $300,000 guaranteed Pick Four features Races 8-11, the Shakertown (G3), Madison (G1), Jenny Wiley (G1) and Toyota Blue Grass (G1).

All-Stakes Pick 5 presented by TVG. The $300,000 guaranteed Pick Five features Races 7-11, the Commonwealth (G3), Shakertown (G3), Madison (G1), Jenny Wiley (G1), and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

 

Sunday, April 13

Horses and Hope Pink Day. Horses and Hope is First Lady Jane Beshear’s initiative to reach women working in Kentucky’s horse industry with education about breast cancer and mammography screening. In conjunction with the day’s festivities, Keeneland will honor “Ladies of the Turf,” nearly 30 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. The women also will sign a commemorative fundraising poster created by horse racing cartoonist Peb. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the track to raise breast cancer awareness and interact with the jockeys during the day’s events. Fans can purchase the photo for $10. Proceeds will benefit Horses and Hope and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

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