UPPERLINE TOPS FIELD OF 11 FOR SUNDAY’S ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER
Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and trainer Michael Stidham’s Upperline, third two weeks ago in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on the main track, tops a field of 11 fillies and mares entered Thursday for Sunday’s 21st running of the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager.
The Rood & Riddle Dowager, run at 1½ miles on the grass, will go as the eighth race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:49 p.m. (ET) post time. First post time Sunday is 1:05 p.m.
Second in the Rood & Riddle Dowager last year to Senada, Upperline won the Grey Goose Bewitch (G3) at 1½ miles here this spring, and a victory Sunday would make her the first mare to win the Bewitch and Dowager in the same year. Regular rider James Graham has the mount on Upperline, who will break from post position 10.
Lael Stables’ Senada, who was third to Upperline in the Grey Goose Bewitch, is seeking to become the first repeat winner of the Rood & Riddle Dowager. Trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Senada will break from post position eight under Shaun Bridgmohan.
One other Dowager entrant comes into Sunday’s race off a Grade 1 try: Michael Tabor’s Ciao Bella, who finished fourth in the Garden City at Belmont Park on September 15 behind a trio of fillies that participated in last weekend’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) here.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Ciao Bella is one of three 3-year-olds entered in the Rood & Riddle Dowager, which never has been won by a 3-year-old. Ciao Bella will break from post position nine under John Velazquez.
The field for the Rood & Riddle Dowager, from the rail out, is as follows: Bubbly Jane (BRZ) (Rosie Napravnik, 121 pounds), Janicellaine (IRE) (Julien Leparoux, 121), For the Win (Elvis Trujillo, 121), Thislilsoulofmine (Gabriel Saez, 121), Maid of Heaven (Leandro Golcalves, 121), Revelstoke (Corey Lanerie, 121), Heart of Destiny (Miguel Mena, 118), Senada (Shaun Bridgmohan, 121), Ciao Bella (John Velazquez, 118), Upperline (James Graham, 123) and Charming She Is (Victor Lebron, 121).
GREAT ATTACK WORKS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
Two of trainer Wesley Ward’s Breeders’ Cup hopefuls, Great Attack and Almost an Angel, worked together Thursday morning on the turf course. Great Attack, ridden by Blake Shinn, and Almost an Angel, with Julio Garcia aboard, were clocked going five furlongs in 1:02.60 and 1:03, respectively, around the dogs on a turf course labeled “good” by Keeneland clockers.
“Very happy,” Ward said about Great Attack’s performance today in preparation for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) on November 3.
Owned by Houyhnhnm Stable, Great Attack has not raced since he won the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs on May 5. Ward said the 5-year-old son of Greatness came out of the race with a foot bruise “and it’s taken all this time to get him back.” Great Attack has worked during each of the past four weeks on the Keeneland turf course.
“He was about ready to run in the Woodford (presented by Keeneland Select [G3] here on October 6) but our ultimate goal is the Breeders’ Cup and I thought it best that we train him into it,” Ward continued. “I didn’t want to send him to California because the turf is hard out there. This is really easy and kind on his feet and plus it’s deeper so you get a lot more out of the work. I was really happy with it today.”
Ward said Great Attack would work again on the turf in a week and leave for California on October 28.
Almost an Angel is a candidate for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on November 2, “but I don’t know if I’m going to get in,” Ward said. The 2-year-old Artie Schiller filly, who is owned by Ice Wine Stable, worked for the first time since running sixth in the Darley Alcibiades (G1) on October 5.
“She doesn’t really like the Polytrack that much, but being a Grade 1 I thought I’d take a shot,” Ward said about the decision to race Almost an Angel in the Darley Alcibiades. “She ran a good race but not nearly as good as I know she can do.”
LA TIA BRINGS PERFECT POLYTRACK FORM INTO SATURDAY’S LEXUS RAVEN RUN
When trainer Brian Williamson got La Tia in his barn the first part of 2012, he received an Illinois-bred filly who was winless in three starts on the dirt the previous fall at Hawthorne.
Fast forward to May, and La Tia, introduced to Polytrack at Arlington, whips a field of Illinois-bred maidens by nine lengths and follows that three weeks later with an 8¼-length victory in a restricted, state-bred stakes.
“She definitely loves the Polytrack and she keeps on winning,” Williamson said Thursday morning from Chicago. “When she won the Arlington Park Oaks (G3 against open company), I was pleasantly surprised.”
Owned by Salvador Hernandez, La Tia finished fourth on the grass in the Hatoof before returning to Polytrack to win the La Lorgnette at Woodbine on September 23.
“She ran OK on the grass, but not as well as she runs on the Poly,” Williamson said of La Tia, who arrived at Keeneland on Monday for Saturday’s Lexus Raven Run (G2) at seven furlongs.
“We wanted to stay on the Poly with her. I wish this race was a little longer because she has been winning at a mile and a sixteenth and a mile and an eighth, but this was about the only race for her.”
The La Lorgnette marked the first time La Tia had shipped and the 1 1/16-mile race showed the grittiness of the daughter of City Place.
“I was a little worried (about shipping), but it went well and she got the job done,” Williamson said. “She ducked away from something at the eighth pole and hit the rail hard, but she gathered herself and drew away.”
Jesus Castanon will be aboard La Tia for the first time in the Lexus Raven Run.
SHEPPARD FILLIES FACE TEST IN PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW
On Thursday, George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable and trainer Jonathan Sheppard will be represented in each division of the $125,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) for 3-year-old fillies racing 1 1/16 miles on the turf course. Angel Terrace and James Graham will break from post eight in the field of 12 in the first division. In the second division, Daylight Ride and Rosie Napravnik will break from post two in the field of 12.
“They’re both nice, useful fillies,” Sheppard said. “Whether they’re quite up to this level – that’s why we’re running to find out. They’re well bred. They’re nice looking. They’re sound, and they both won a couple of races so it’s time to test the next level to see what we’ve got. But we’re not going in there with any unduly optimistic expectations – kind of hoping, that’s all.”
Angel Terrace, a Ghostzapper filly whose second dam is champion Storm Song, has not raced since July 29 when she was fourth to Alaura Michele in the Nani Rose over a mile on the turf at Saratoga.
Daylight Ride is coming off an allowance victory at 1 mile and 70 yards over the turf at Penn National on September 21. The El Prado (IRE) filly is from the family of Juddmonte Spinster (G1) winner Acoma and Fayette (G3) winner Arch.
On Saturday, Sheppard will send out Lael Stables’ Senada in the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager, a race she won last year while with trainer Barclay Tagg. Sheppard said the 5-year-old Pulpit mare, who was third in the Grey Goose Bewitch (G3) here in April for Tagg, is to be retired after her 2012 campaign.
Trainer Mike Stidham said Lael Stables and All In Stables’ Willcox Inn will work over the weekend in preparation for his next start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on November 3 at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old colt by Harlan’s Holiday was second to Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on October 6.
Trainer Kenneth B. Wirth recorded his first Keeneland victory when Ascendant Farm LLC’s World Tour won the first race on Wednesday. Ridden by Oriana Rossi, the 3-year-old City Place gelding won the six-furlong maiden claiming race by a half-length in 1:12.04.
James Miller’s Daisy Devine, runner-up in the First Lady (G1) here on October 7, worked a half-mile on the main track in :49.80 for trainer Andrew McKeever. … Alvin Haynes and Beth Burchell’s Sticks Wondergirl, winner of the Remington Park Oaks on September 30 in her most recent start, worked a half-mile around the dogs on a “good” turf course in :51.20 with jockey Jon Court up for trainer Greg Burchell.
FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, October 19
See Blue Day. Kick off the University of Kentucky’s football homecoming weekend at Keeneland. Free general admission for UK students, alumni and faculty; with activities for all Wildcat fans. Enjoy fan fun on the North Terrace from noon-3 p.m. with special UK alumni autograph signings featuring Denver Broncos Jacob Tamme and Wesley Woodyard and former UK star Danny Trevathan; UK cheerleaders and Dance Team; and the UK Wildcat.
Friday Pick 4, presented by TVG. Guaranteed pool of $200,000.
Friday Happy Hour. Live music and simulcast wagering in the Paddock immediately after Keeneland’s final live race at 5:53 p.m. (ET).
Clydesdale Photo Opportunity. Have your photo taken with one of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales from noon-1 p.m. at the South Grandstand entrance.
Saturday, October 20
Sunrise Trackside at Keeneland. Fans can experience the sights and sounds of Keeneland before the gates open for the race day, featuring:
· Breakfast with the Works Sponsored by Dunkin Donuts and WLEX 18. Watch the horses during their morning works while enjoying a Southern-style breakfast buffet in the trackside Equestrian Dining Room from 7-8:30 a.m. Breakfast is $7; children 3 and under free.
· Kid’s Club – Join us in the Kid’s Club Corner from 7-9 a.m. for free children’s activities, including photos in jockey silks, face painting and more. Sign up for the Keeneland Kid’s Club and meet Kid’s Club mascot Buckles. Enjoy crafts and exhibits from the Explorium of Lexington in the tent adjacent to Equestrian Room.
· Paddock Demonstration – Representatives from Old Friends Retirement Facility, including longshot Belmont (G1) winner Sarava, will be featured in the Paddock at 8:45 a.m.
· Tours – Pick up a walking tour guide in the Paddock between 9:30-10:30 a.m. to learn more about Keeneland’s historic grounds.
· Photos with Bucky – Have your picture taken with Keeneland’s legendary bugler, George ‘Bucky’ Sallee, in the Paddock from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
· Handicapping Seminar – Join us trackside at 11:30 a.m. for a free handicapping seminar.
· Jockey Q&A – Learn more about your favorite jockeys at 12:05 p.m. in the Paddock.
Clydesdales to Appear on the Track. The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will appear on the main track at Keeneland following the fourth race (approx. 2:50 p.m.).
KEENELAND 2012 FALL MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Wednesday, October 17)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Current Meet Leading Owners
Ken and Sarah Ramsey 6
Klaravich Stables (Seth Klarman) & William H. Lawrence 3
E. Paul Robsham Stable (Mrs. E. Paul Robsham) 2
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & St. George Farm (Ian Banwell) 2
John A. Chandler 2
John C. Oxley 2
Ripplewood Farm (Chris Duff) 2
Wesley Ward 2