WITH ANTICIPATION WINNER BALANCE THE BOOKS HEADS OVERFLOW FIELD FOR SUNDAY’S BOURBON
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Balance the Books, winner of Saratoga’s With Anticipation (G2) in his most recent start, tops an overflow field of 12 juveniles and two also-eligibles for Sunday’s 22nd running of the $150,000 Bourbon (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
The Bourbon, a “Win and You’re In” race for the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be held November 3 at Santa Anita, will go as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:17 p.m. (ET) post time. First post Sunday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Chad Brown, Balance the Books also is entered in Saturday’s $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1). For the Bourbon, Balance the Books drew post position six and would be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who was aboard for the victory at Saratoga.
Bluegrass Equine Bloodstock’s Joha, who finished a head behind Balance the Books in the With Anticipation, is entered in both the Bourbon and Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity. Trained by Mike Maker, Joha drew post position one for both races and would be ridden in the Bourbon by Ramon Dominguez.
The field for the Bourbon, from the inside out, is as follows: Joha (Ramon Dominguez, 118 pounds), Ruler of Love (Corey Lanerie, 118), Really Sharp (Elvis Trujillo, 118), Strike the Note (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Fredericksburg (Jose Lezcano, 118), Balance the Books (Julien Leparoux, 122), Summit County (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Brown Almighty (Francisco Torres, 118), Sonofasamurai (David Cohen, 118), Roman’s Avenue (Miguel Mena, 118), Slamarama (Rosie Napravnik, 118) and Craving Carats (Kent Desormeaux, 118). Also Eligibles: Road Agent (Leandro Goncalves, 118) and Army Hero (James Graham, 118).
TEN FILLIES ACCEPT INVITATIONS TO 29th QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP
Grade 1 winners Lady of Shamrock, Samitar (GB) and Stephanie’s Kitten are among 10 fillies whose connections have accepted invitations to participate in the 29th running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) to be held Saturday, October 13.
The race for 3-year-old fillies, won last year by Together (IRE), is contested at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Of the 10 invitees, nine are graded or group stakes winners.
Hronis Racing’s Lady of Shamrock, trained by John Sadler, has won the Del Mar Oaks (G1) and the American Oaks (G1) in her past two starts and earlier in the year won the Providencia (G3).
Martin Schwartz’s Samitar won the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park in her most recent start and prior to coming to the United States won the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Group 1) at the Curragh. Chad Brown now trains Samitar.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the Lake Placid (G2) in her most recent start, won the Darley Alcibiades (G1) on Keeneland’s main track last fall prior to winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs. Wayne Catalano trains Stephanie’s Kitten.
Other invitees are Darley Stable’s Better Lucky, winner of the Sands Point (G2); G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and the Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust-2008’s Centre Court, winner of the Lake George (G2) and Regret (G3); Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Dayatthespa, winner of the Herecomesthebride (G3) and Appalachian (G3); Team Block’s Leading Astray, winner of the Pucker Up (G3); Southern Equine Stable and Mike Smith’s Open Water; Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade, winner of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3); and Richard Santulli’s Tannery (IRE), a Group 3 winner in Ireland.
Entries for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup will be taken Wednesday.
TIZ MIZ SUE RETURNS TO POLYTRACK IN JUDDMONTE SPINSTER
Tiz Miz Sue has been keeping company this summer with the top fillies on the East Coast, but when she arrived at Keeneland Wednesday morning after vanning from Monmouth Park there was no Royal Delta or Love and Pride in sight.
“She has always been matched up tough, so I guess that has been kind of mean of me,” trainer Steve Hobby said with a laugh after bringing Tiz Miz Sue back to Barn 22 after jogging a mile early Thursday morning.
“When she was 2, the horse that beat her in the Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) (She Be Wild) won the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies, G1) and last year, she ran against (Horse of the Year) Havre de Grace.”
In her most recent start, Tiz Miz Sue finished fourth behind Love and Pride and champion Royal Delta, beaten just two lengths, in the Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga. Prior to that, she was beaten just a neck by Royal Delta in the Delaware Oaks (G2) and was second to Love and Pride in the Obeah (G3).
Hobby bypassed last Saturday’s Beldame (G1) at Belmont Park to take a shot in Sunday’s 57th running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
“I am kind of glad I didn’t run in the Beldame with the way Royal Delta ran,” Hobby said, referring to that filly’s 9½-length victory. “And then Love and Pride won that race at Santa Anita (the Grade 1 Zenyatta by 3¼ lengths) and that validated her form.”
The Juddmonte Spinster will mark a return to Polytrack for Tiz Miz Sue, who posted a victory and two seconds in three starts over the surface as a 2-year-old at Arlington Park in 2009.
“Today was the first day she had been on Polytrack since Arlington,” Hobby said. “That was part of the reason in running here because I knew she would handle it. I don’t know if I would have run her here had she not run on it before.”
Tiz Miz Sue, who has compiled a record of 27-6-9-3 for earnings of $674,709 for owner-breeder Carol Ricks of Cresran, LLC, has lived up to her potential for Hobby.
“She was impressive from the beginning and I thought she was special,” Hobby said of the mare, who will be ridden Sunday by Joe Rocco Jr.
PLETCHER BARN WILL HAVE HEAVY PRESENCE FOR FALL STARS WEEKEND
Trainer Todd Pletcher has not maintained a full barn at Keeneland since the 2010 Spring Meet, but that all changed this fall with Pletcher assistant Michael Dilger overseeing horses in Barn 26 and part of Barn 27.
Fall Stars Weekend provided the impetus for the Pletcher invasion with the stable slated to send out runners in eight of the nine graded stakes, beginning Friday with two runners in each of the Darley Alcibiades (G1) and the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3).
“We looked at the stakes program and we felt like it would be easier to bring a whole string rather than keep shipping in and out,” Pletcher said. “For a lot of these horses, it will be their first time on Polytrack, so we are cautiously optimistic. We looked at the pedigrees to see who we thought might fit.”
Pletcher has runners in all seven races this weekend that are “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be contested November 2-3 at Santa Anita. To date, Pletcher has four horses that have earned Breeders’ Cup berths: Shanghai Bobby (Grey Goose Juvenile), Love and Pride (Ladies’ Classic), Turbo Compressor (Turf) and Turbulent Descent (Filly & Mare Sprint).
Traditionally strong with 2-year-olds, Pletcher won the Saratoga training title in part because of 22 juveniles that won races.
“We felt good going into the meet,” Pletcher said. “It was a nice group of horses.”
Three of those 22 juvenile winners run this weekend, starting Friday with Glencrest Farm’s Skyfall in the Darley Alcibiades (G1). The other Saratoga juvenile winners entered this weekend are Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten (Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, G1, on Saturday) and Dogwood Stable’s Slamarama (Bourbon, G3, on Sunday).
Centre Court, an invitee to the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), worked five furlongs around the “dogs” in 1:01.60 over a turf course labeled firm. Great Attack worked five furlongs on the turf in 1:01.20.