DUNLOP KNOWS AMAZONAS FACES TALL TASK IN FIRST LADY
Sir Robert Ogden’s Amazonas (IRE) had an easy blowout through the stretch under exercise rider Alice Haynes in preparation for Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1).
“She just had a little blow and we did what we wanted,” said Andrew Stringer, assistant to trainer Edward Dunlop. “We didn’t want to blow the race the day before.”
Speaking Friday morning on “At the Races” of Great Britain,Dunlop said, “She was also (nominated to) the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on the Polytrack on Sunday, and we were deliberating for a very long time about which race to run in. We’ve opted for the Saturday race and obviously there is another European filly in there, in the Aidan O’Brien-trained Say (IRE), who ran third in a Group 1 in Ireland.
“We need to improve on all ratings. She runs on Lasix, which every horse in the race does. She’s travelled over extremely well and if she’s not quite good enough she can run in a Grade 3 (the Pin Oak Valley View) at Keeneland in a fortnight’s time.
“She needs to improve but she’s got the right profile. She’s lightly raced, she’s tough and she can quicken but these are proper fillies. She’s probably not a true Group 1 filly in Europe, but we’ve gone to America because we thought it might be slightly easier. If she’s not good enough then we have the fall back of the Grade 3. She’s a stakes winner but we’d like to make her a group winner.”
GYPSY ROBIN COULD EXTEND PERFECT KEENELAND RECORD IN SATURDAY’S TCA
Gypsy Robin willput her unblemished record at Keeneland on the line Saturday when she takes on champion Groupie Doll and four others in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at six furlongs on the main track.
Gypsy Robin was purchased privately last November after winning the seven-furlong Lexus Raven Run (G2) by four lengths. In her other Keeneland starts, she broke her maiden at first asking by 7 1/2 lengths in April 2011 and came back the following spring to win the Beaumont (G2) by three lengths over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet.
Owned by A J L Productions, Jungle Racing and William Strauss, Gypsy Robin did not return to the races until July at Del Mar for new trainer Mike Puype, who had her based at Betfair Hollywood Park, which has an all-weather track.
“After we purchased her, she was not traveling the way we liked and we gave her some time off,” said Ward Brookfield, who has worked for Puype for three years and is Gypsy Robin’s exercise rider. “You could feel the difference when she came back.”
After a fourth-place finish in a salty allowance race at Del Mar, Gypsy Robin won the C.E.R.F. Stakes on Del Mar’s closing day, Sept. 4. That set Gypsy Robin up for a return to Kentucky.
“This race was the plan all along,” Brookfield said. “She is going to be in the (Keeneland November Breeding Stock) sale. If she wins Saturday, she goes back to California for the Breeders’ Cup. If not, she will stay here for the sale.”
Garrett Gomez will ride Gypsy Robin for the first time Saturday in the TCA, which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
RELOAD, HUNGRY ISLAND GIVE McGAUGHEY 1-2 PUNCH FOR WEEKEND
One of the most impressive performances of the Keeneland spring meet was turned in by the Phipps Stable’s Reload when he won a six-furlong allowance race by a widening 6 3/4 lengths.
“He ran the race of his life here last spring,” said Robbie Medina, assistant to trainer Shug McGaughey. “When they train well on Polytrack and run well on it, you keep a race like the Phoenix in the back of your mind.”
The spring allowance victory came in the first start on Polytrack for Reload, who will make his second start on the surface this afternoon in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3). Reload will break from post position three and be ridden by John Velazquez.
“After he won here, we took him back to New York and he ran well in the slop,” Medina said. “After he didn’t run so well in a couple of stakes, we eased off a little bit. He has trained well lately and if he runs back to that spring race, he can be competitive.”
Another spring allowance winner returning for the McGaughey barn this weekend is Emory Hamilton’s Hungry Island, who runs in Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1).
Third in the First Lady last year, Hungry Island comes into Saturday’s race off a runner-up effort in the Noble Damsel (G3) at Belmont Park going a mile.
“She has been doing really well and her last start was good,” Medina said. “She runs well here and she has been knocking on the door of getting a Grade 1 win. Maybe the door will open for her tomorrow.”
FIELD OF 10 POSSIBLE FOR JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE
Entries will be taken Saturday for the 23rd running of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), and as many as 10 two-year-old fillies are expected to pass the entry box for the 1 1/16-mile turf test on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine is the final “Win and You’re In” race of the meet for this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita. Wednesday’s winner earns a spot in the gate for the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 1.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Lien On Kitten, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, heads the list of possible entries compiled by the Keeneland racing office. Other probable starters include Candy Kitty, Courtesan, Kitten Kaboodle, RunwayGiant and Zinzay with possible entrants being Albhlin, BernLegacy, Room Service and Shanon Nicole.
RECENT KEENELAND STAKES WINNERS DOT NOMINATIONS FOR THIRD-WEEK STAKES
CiaoBella Luna, winner of the Beaumont (G2) here this spring, is one of the marquee names among 39 nominations for the 15th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on the main track on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Among other names of note nominated to the race that was won last year by Gypsy Robin are Lighthouse Bay, winner of the Prioress (G1), and Pure Fun, winner of last fall’s Hollywood Starlet (G1). …
UnbelievableDream, winner of this spring’s Appalachian (G3), is one of 42 3-year-old fillies nominated to the 23rd running of the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) to be run Friday, Oct. 18 at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Also among the nominees are the 2-3 finishers from the one-mile Appalachian, Overheard and Eden Prairie, as well as Summer of Fun, who was third in last fall’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) here and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. …
Angel Terrace, winner of the 2012 Valley View, is one of 31 nominees to the 22nd running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager for fillies and mares at 1 1/2 miles on the turf scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20.
Included in the nominees is Strathnaver (GB), winner of this spring’s Bewitch (G3), which is the spring counterpart to the Rood & Riddle Dowager. …
The male equivalent of the Rood & Riddle Dowager is the 19th running of the $100,000 Sycamore (G3) scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17. The race drew 35 nominations headed by Hyper, winner of the Bowling Green (G2) last month at Belmont Park.
One of the most prominent names among the nominees is Lea, winner of last fall’s Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs. In his past two turf starts, Lea has chased 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan, finishing second in both the Firecracker (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Fourstardave (G2) at Saratoga.
Nutmeg Stable’s Madame Giry and Dan Considine and Steve Snowden’s Sweet Cassiopeia, winners of the two most recent grass sprint stakes for fillies and mares, are the top names under consideration for next Friday’s 17th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Madame Giry, winner of last year’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County, has won her past two starts for trainer Cam Gambolati. Sweet Cassiopeia, trained by Bill Connelly, won the Giant’s Causeway this spring.
Others under consideration for the race for which entries will be taken Tuesday are Bounding Bi, Making Waves, Mosaicist (IRE), Ms Anna Destiny, New Wave, Silverette, Spun Cap, To My Valentine (FR) and Trippin’Along. Considered as possible by the Keeneland racing office are Jan’sPerfect Star, Jewel of a Cat and Lignite.
KEENELAND COVERAGE ONLINE, ON TV AND ON RADIO
Racing fans have a variety of ways to follow all the action during Keeneland’s fall meet. As always, the track will stream live racing video on Keeneland.com, enabling fans to watch the races at no cost. Online patrons can participate in live chats and handicapping analysis hosted by Jeremy Plonk and including contributors from Horse Player NOW such as Caton Bredar, Joe Kristufek and Bob Neumeier.
Keeneland also will stream the Trakus race feed on its website, showing race replays in various animated formats using the patented, real-time technology.
TVG will provide live, on-site coverage of Keeneland each day beginning at 1 p.m. Throughout the fall season, additional TVG coverage from Keeneland will air on FOX Sports affiliates, including FSN Prime Ticket. Viewers can confirm times at http://msn.foxsports.com/tv/schedule
Horse Racing Radio Network, the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization, will provide live coverage of Keeneland during the fall meet. Fans should visit horseracingradio.net and click on the link titled 2013 Schedule & Affiliates for the latest information.
In addition, HRRN will have live coverage of Keeneland races on its HRRNLive! program from 3-7 p.m. every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday on Sirius XM satellite radio. HRRN’s Equine Forum show airs every Saturday from 8-10 a.m. on HANK 96.1 FM in Lexington and on Sirus93/XM209.
Hosted by E.J. Clark and Lane Gold, the “Kentucky Winner’s Circle” will return to Keeneland for two special Saturday afternoon shows this fall. Each will be a live two-hour stakes preview featuring on-track interviews with owners, trainers, racing personalities and Keeneland officials. Shows will air Oct. 5 and Oct. 19 on 1450 The Sports Buzz WXVW from 3-5 p.m.
Regional coverage of Keeneland racing includes “Keeneland Close Up,” a 30-minute show on Saturday mornings during the racing season on Lexington’s LEX18. Times are Oct. 5 (7:30 a.m.), Oct. 12 (9:30 a.m.), Oct. 19 (9 a.m.), and Oct. 26 (9:30 a.m.).
“Today at Keeneland,” a daily race recap show airing in Lexington on The CW Lexington at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. “Today at Keeneland” also can be seen on TVG the following day. Check listings at tvgnetwork.com.
ARC WAGERING NOT AVAILABLE AT KEENELAND
Because of unforeseen communication issues between United Tote, Keeneland’s tote provider, and the French hub, Keeneland will be unable to offer wagering on the race card from Longchamp on Sunday, Oct. 6, as previously announced. This card includes the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1).
Keeneland sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience to our racing patrons.
KEENELAND SELECT ENHANCEMENTS EXPAND USER OPTIONS
Keeneland has made it easier for Keeneland Select customers to get the most out of their accounts, offering the ability to bet with their account funds while at Keeneland’s live meets and during simulcasts.
The enhancements to the growing advanced deposit wagering program provide handicappers with more options, bringing new ease to the program. Members can present a teller with their Keeneland Select Rewards card or swipe it at one of the self-serve machines to utilize funds that already have been deposited onto the card.
“Keeneland is excited to offer Keeneland Select players the ability to bet with their online funds on track beginning this fall,” Keeneland ADW Coordinator Jonathan Fowler said. “We listened to our players, who requested this feature. Players will be impressed with the ease with which they can bet directly from their online funds or deposit directly into their account.”
Keeneland Select players also can deposit additional funds into their account or make a withdrawal while at Keeneland. As always, players will receive Keeneland Select reward points when betting using their cards at a mutuel teller or via the self-serve machines on site. For more information on using the Keeneland Select Rewards card new benefits, view our tutorial video.
Players will need their PIN number to bet with their online funds and to utilize the deposit and withdraw options with the accounts. Assistance with the enhancements can be found during the race meet at Wagering Central, located on the first floor of the grandstand, or with BETologists throughout the track and on The Hill on Fridays and Saturdays.
SUNRISE TRACKSIDE OFFERS WINDOW INTO KEENELAND
Experience an insider’s view of Keeneland on Saturday mornings before the gates open for racing. Activities include Breakfast With the Works, Kids Club activities, tours of the racetrack, a handicapping seminar and a Q&A session with a jockey. Sunrise Trackside begins at 7 a.m. with breakfast in the Equestrian Room and kids’ activities.
FALL STARS WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS
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.