Keeneland Barn Notes - Oct. 3

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  • 12 FILLIES INVITED TO 30TH QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP
  • BASHART TOPS FIELD OF 12 FOR SUNDAY’S BOURBON
  • HANDSOME MIKE RETURNS TO TURF TO CHALLENGE WISE DAN
  • TIZNOWFORAMERICA BACK FOR DIXIANA BREEDERS’ FUTURITY
  • GALLOPING OUT
  • LOUISVILLE FANS CAN SHUTTLE TO KEENELAND
  • WAGERING CENTRAL AND BETologists AVAILABLE TO ASSIST FANS
  • CRAFT BEER TENT DEBUTS ON NORTH TERRACE
  • FALL STARS WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS

12 FILLIES INVITED TO 30TH QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP

Grade 1 stakes winners Alterite (FR) and Discreet Marq top a list of 12 fillies extended invitations for next Saturday’s 30thrunning of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for 3-year-olds to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Martin Schwartz’s Alterite, who was Group 1-placed in France, won the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park on Sept. 14 in her U.S. debut. Alterite is trained by Chad Brown, who won last year’s QE II with Dayatthespa.

Patricia Generazio’s Discreet Marq won the Del Mar Oaks (G1) before finishing second to Alterite in the Garden City. Also the winner of the Sands Point (G2), Discreet Marq is trained by Christophe Clement. Clement won the 1994 QE II with Danish(IRE).

Other graded or group winners extended invitations include Joyce Young’s Caroline Thomas, Hit The Board Stables’ I’mAlready Sexy, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kitten’s Dumplings, Melnyk Racing Stables’ Leigh Court, Sycamore Racing’s NellieCashman, Wertheimer and Frere’s Sarach, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Say (IRE) and Glen Hill Farm’s Wishing Gate.

Rounding out the invitees are Andrew Stone’s Concise (GB) and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Topaze Blanche(IRE).

No previous QE II winner has produced a QE II winner, but two of this year’s invitees are daughters of race winners.

Riskaverse, winner of the 2002 renewal, is the dam of Say. Bit of Whimsy, winner of the 2007 race, is the dam of Caroline Thomas.

BASHART TOPS FIELD OF 12 FOR SUNDAY’S BOURBON

Rosedown Racing’s Bashart, winner of the With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga in his most recent start, tops a field of 12 entered Thursday for Sunday’s 23rd running of the $150,000 Bourbon (G3) for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

The Bourbon, a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, will go as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:17 p.m. (ET) post time.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bashart has won his past two starts and will be ridden Sunday by John Velazquez and break from post position five. Pletcher has won the Bourbon three times: Interactif (2009), Bittel Road (2008) and Twilight Meteor (2006).

An intriguing challenger to Bashart is Brian Hall, William Gessman and River Ridge Ranch’s Boji Moon, trained by Chris Richard. An Iowa-bred, Boji Moon is undefeated in three starts and in his lone try on grass won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile by 5¼ lengths. Brian Hernandez Jr., who was aboard for the Kentucky Downs victory, will ride Sunday and break from post position seven.

The field for the Bourbon, from the inside out, is as follows: School On a Hill (Norberto Arroyo Jr., 118 pounds), TigerBourbon (Rosie Napravnik, 118), All Cash (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Solar Flair (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Bashart (Velazquez, 122),Manaus (Leandro Goncalves, 118), Boji Moon (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Bon Accord (Jesus Rios, 118), Oogeley Eye (Corey Lanerie, 118), Poker Player (Channing Hill, 118), Whyruawesome (E.T. Baird, 118) and Medal Count (Robby Albarado, 118).Also-eligibleCulprit (Corey Lanerie, 118). 
 

HANDSOME MIKE RETURNS TO TURF TO CHALLENGE WISE DAN

Reddam Racing’s Handsome Mike, winner of the Commonwealth (G3) here this spring on the main track, has returned to Keeneland to take a shot at reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan on the grass in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

“He broke his maiden on the grass and ran second in the Generous (G3) in only his third start,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “We’ve thought that he might be better on the grass.”

Handsome Mike has not run on the grass since finishing 10th in the 1¼-mile Hollywood Derby (G1) last November.

“He won on the Polytrack here in the spring and really did well the time he was here,” Sisterson said of Handsome Mike, whose most recent start was a 10th-place finish in the Pat O’Brien (G2) on Polytrack at Del Mar. “He has trained well at Santa Anita since then.”

Handsome Mike represents half of the Reddam/O’Neill contingent this weekend as Rum Point will try to give Paul Reddam his third Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) victory to go with those of Great Hunter (2006) and Square Eddie (2008).

“He did not run last weekend in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita because we had Bond Holder for that,” Sisterson said of the FrontRunner winner. “Rum Point has been training well and Saturday he will run in blinkers for the first time.”

TIZNOWFORAMERICA BACK FOR DIXIANA BREEDERS’ FUTURITY

Since his performance during the breeze show before this year’s Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Tiznowforamerica has been under consideration for Saturday’s $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1).

“He worked really well over the Polytrack (in the breeze show), and we knew the Champagne (the Grade 1 race on Saturday at Belmont Park) was going to come up pretty tough,” said Erin Finley, director of communications for co-owner West Point Thoroughbreds. “It was a pretty simple decision.”

In partnership with Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable, West Point bought Tiznowforamerica for $150,000 at the Keeneland April Sale. Viola, a New York businessman who recently purchased the Florida Panthers of the NHL, and Erin’s father, Terry, West Point’s founder and president, both attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They named Tiznowforamerica for a memorable line from Tom Durkin’s call of the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in which the colt’s sire, Tiznow, nosed out Sakhee to win the race (“Tiznow for America,” Durkin proclaimed). That year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships were run on Oct. 27, marking the first major sporting event in New York after 9/11.

Trained by Tom Albertrani, Tiznowforamerica made his previous two starts in 5½-furlong sprints on dirt at Saratoga. The colt was third in the first outing then led from the start to win his most recent race on Sept. 2. He drew post 14 for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

“We brought a horse here last year who drew the 14, too, so we’re kinda used to that,” Finley said, referring to 10th-place finisher Tree of Life. “I think we’ll be on or near the lead, so it probably won’t matter too much. (He’ll) get out of there and be close.”

West Point has a second starter in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, School On a Hill, owned in partnership with James Covello and Millennium Farms. Wayne Catalano trains the Student Council colt, a maiden winner over the Polytrack at Arlington Park who was seventh in the TVG Summer (G2) at Woodbine. School On a Hill was cross-entered in Sunday’s Bourbon (G3).

On Saturday, Leparoux rides another Albertrani trainee, Better Lucky, a Grade 1 winner who has returned to Keeneland for the First Lady (G1). The race will mark the third Keeneland start for the 4-year-old Ghostzapper filly, who was third a year ago in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and  was third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) in April.

At Belmont Park, Better Lucky next was second to Stephanie’s Kitten in the one-mile Just a Game (G1) on June 18 and third in the one-mile Noble Damsel (G3) on Sept. 14.

“Seems like she needs a race to get fit then she comes back and usually runs big for us,” said Albertrani’s assistant, Josh Flores. “We’re hoping she does that here.”

In the First Lady, Better Lucky will meet several familiar foes, including 2012 Jenny Wiley winner Daisy Devine, 2012 QE II winner and Dayatthespa and Grade 2 winner Hungry Island.
 

GALLOPING OUT

Four D Stable’s Turallure, tuning up for an expected run in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), blew out three furlongs on a firm turf course in :36.20 from the head of the lane to the seven-eighths pole with the “dogs” up. …

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Grade 1-stakes placed Emotional Kitten worked six furlongs in company with Amen Kitten in 1:13.80.
 

LOUISVILLE FANS CAN SHUTTLE TO KEENELAND

Sandollar Transportation will offer race fans a shuttle from Louisville to Keeneland on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this fall. The $25 round trip fee covers transportation, a racing program and general admission to Keeneland.

Buses will leave from three locations in Louisville: the old Executive Inn lot across from Crowne Plaza at 8:45 a.m., Wal-Mart at Bashford Manor Lane and Bardstown Road at 9:30 a.m. and Wal-Mart in Middletown at 10 a.m. For more information, call (502) 561-4022.
 

WAGERING CENTRAL AND BETOLOGISTS AVAILABLE TO ASSIST FANS

Keeneland has given its popular Wagering Central, the hub for all things wagering, a new look this fall, repositioning its location on the first floor grandstand and decking it out with colorful signage. Wagering Central staff, known as BETologists, are available to answer betting questions, offer free daily selections and help patrons register accounts for Keeneland’s Bet From Your Phone and Keeneland Select, the advance deposit wagering (ADW) site that allows fans to wager on Keeneland’s races when they are away from the track.

Additionally, Keeneland has increased the number of its popular BETologists this fall. BETologists will be based at Wagering Central, roam throughout the grandstand, and be on The Hill on Fridays and Saturdays. They also will make an appearance tonight at Central Bank Thursday Night Live in downtown Lexington.
 

CRAFT BEER TENT DEBUTS ON NORTH TERRACE

Keeneland joins the craft beer craze this fall, opening a craft beer tent in the North Terrace that will feature local and popular craft beers on Fridays and Saturdays. Local musicians 64 West will perform after the races on opening day, Friday, Oct. 4.

FALL STARS WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, Oct. 4

Opening Day and Tribute to Bucky Sallee. The public is invited to join Keeneland in honoring Bugler Emeritus Bucky Sallee, who is retiring after more than 50 years as Keeneland’s horn blower, and welcoming new bugler Steve Buttleman. Special commemorations are planned for Bucky prior to the first race, and Bucky will sign autographs during the afternoon. Fans will be able to share their memories of Bucky online at Keeneland.com, or drop a letter in the “Bucky Mailbox,” which will be located adjacent to the paddock on opening day.

Tailgating on The Hill. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill will feature a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen featuring Keeneland racing and SEC college football, live Bluegrass music on Saturdays, the Keeneland Gift Shop, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A complimentary shuttle will take fans to the grandstand. BETologists will be on hand to assist fans.

 

Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on the last four races of the day.

Craft Beer Tent. A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature popular local craft beers. Local musicians 64 West will perform after the races.

Saturday, Oct. 5

Sunrise Trackside. Fans can experience the sights and sounds of Keeneland before the gates open for the race day. It’s a morning filled with fun for family or out-of-town guests featuring:

Breakfast With the Works – Sponsored by Dunkin Donuts and WLEX-18. Watch the horses during their morning workouts while enjoying breakfast in the trackside Equestrian Room from 7-8:30 a.m. Breakfast is $7; children under three eat free.

Children’s Activities – Join us in the Kids Club Corner, adjacent to the Equestrian Room, from 7-9 a.m. for free children’s activities, including photos in colorful jockey silks and face painting. Sign up for Keeneland Kids Club and meet the Kids Club mascot, Buckles.

Tours – Race fans can take a free tour of Keeneland’s grounds from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Tours will begin at the Welcome Center in the paddock.

Paddock Demonstration – A demonstration by the Lexington Mounted Horse Patrol will be featured in the paddock at 8:45 a.m.

Handicapping Seminar – Need a little help making your picks for the day? Keeneland offers a free trackside handicapping seminar at 11:30 a.m.

Jockey Q&A – Ever wonder what it feels like to ride a Thoroughbred? Fans can submit questions to Racing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez during a Q&A session at 12:05 p.m. in the walking ring.

Jockey Autograph Book – Patrons may purchase a full-color jockey autograph book featuring riders from Keeneland’s legendary jockey colony. The books are $5; proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Tailgating on The Hill. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill will feature a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen featuring Keeneland racing and SEC college football, live Bluegrass music on Saturdays, the Keeneland Gift Shop, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A complimentary shuttle will take fans to the grandstand. BETologists will be on hand to assist fans.

All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG. The $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG challenges patrons to handicap the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), First Lady (G1), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). 

Craft Beer Tent. A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature popular local craft beer.

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