RYDILLUC TUNES UP FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WITH BLOWOUT
Palm Beach Stakes (G3) winner Rydilluc completed his major preparations for Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) by breezing through the stretch Thursday morning at Keeneland.
With exercise rider Ricardo Orantes up, Keeneland clockers began timing Rydilluc at the three-eighths pole for the move that produced fractions of :13, :24.60 and three furlongs in :37.40. Rydilluc galloped out a half-mile in :51.60.
“That was just a walk in the park for him,” trainer Gary Contessa said. “He will have an easy jog tomorrow morning and that will be it.”
A winner of his past three races on grass, Rydilluc never has raced on Polytrack. Today’s blowout was his second work here following a seven-furlong move in 1:28.60 last Saturday.
“He gets over it well and I like what I have seen,” Contessa said. “But confident? I feel the same about whether it is first-time dirt, first-time turf or first-time Polytrack. When he has six or eight horses behind him and another three or four in front, it puts a horse under a lot of stress when he steps up into races that separate the men from the boys.”
FOOTBRIDGE HAS FIRST EXERCISE OVER KEENELAND’S MAIN TRACK
Godolphin Racing’s Footbridge, who arrived at Keeneland from his home base in Southern California on Wednesday afternoon, had his first taste of Keeneland’s Polytrack surface Thursday morning as he galloped 1½ miles under exercise rider Tim Neal.
“This is the first time I have seen him and he is pretty impressive,” said Brian Ange, assistant to trainer Eoin Harty. “He has a nice way of going and he looks like the kind of horse you can do anything with.”
Footbridge broke his maiden in his most recent start on March 17 at Santa Anita after being defeated in his previous start by a neck by Govenor Charlie. Govenor Charlie went on to win the Sunland Derby (G3) in his next start in track-record time to punch his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
In other Toyota Blue Grass activity at Keeneland on Thursday morning, West Hills Giant had his first gallop over the track after having jogged on the surface the morning before.
“It looks like he is getting over it good,” trainer John Terranova said after the colt’s 1½-mile exercise under Leo Garcia. “This is the first time he has been on the synthetic since we got him, but we started him on grass. The Giant’s Causeways (grandsire of West Hills Giant) love this stuff.” …
Morning-line favorite Uncaptured and stablemate Dynamic Sky galloped 1½ miles after the break for trainer Mark Casse. Wayne Brown was aboard Uncaptured and Juan Bernardini was on Dynamic Sky. …
Java’s War galloped 1½ miles under exercise rider Danny Ramsey for trainer Ken McPeek….
With exercise rider Miguel Perez aboard for trainer Wesley Ward, Undrafted galloped 1½ miles. …
My Name Is Michael galloped 1¼ miles with Marnie Pacheco aboard for Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. At Keeneland to watch the colt was Jan Butzer, who with her husband, Barry, owns Sun Valley Farm in nearby Versailles. Sun Valley bred the Macho Uno colt and co-owns him with Adam Wachtel’s Wachtel Stable.
Trained by Chad Brown, Balance the Books galloped 1¾ miles under exercise rider Kriss Bon. …
Ruth Schmidt, assistant to trainer Josie Carroll, was aboard Tesseron, who jogged a mile and galloped a mile.
RENEE’S TITAN HEADLINES FIELD OF 11 FOR SUNDAY’S BEAUMONT
Zillah Reddam’s Renee’s Titan, winner of the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) in which she defeated Eclipse Award winner Beholder, tops a field of 11 three-year-old fillies entered Thursday for Sunday’s 28th running of the $150,000 Beaumont Presented by Keeneland Select Stakes (G2) to be contested over the Beard Course of seven furlongs, 184 feet.
The Beaumont, which carries 34 qualifying points to the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) with 20 going to the winner, will go as the eighth race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:42 p.m. (ET) post time. First post time Sunday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, Renee’s Titan will break from post position 11 and be ridden by Mario Gutierrez.
Other top contenders for the Beaumont include Swift Thoroughbreds, Vintage Thoroughbreds and Michael Kisber’s Premier Steps (IRE) and Columbine Stable’s Magical Moon.
Trained by Chad Brown and to be ridden by Javier Castellano, Premier Steps was group stakes-placed last year in Europe and in her lone start of 2013 won the Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream Park. Premier Steps will break from post position two.
Magical Moon finished third in last fall’s Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) in her lone start over Keeneland’s main track. Trained by Al Stall Jr., Magical Moon will break from post position six and be ridden by Rosie Napravnik.
The field for the Beaumont, from the rail out, is as follows: Cash Is Queen (Robby Albarado, 118 pounds), Premier Steps (IRE) (Castellano, 118), My Special J’s (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120), Judy In Disguise (GB) (Mike Smith, 118), Lady Banks (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Magical Moon (Napravnik, 118), Irish Presence (Gary Stevens, 118), Allaboutcaroline (Julien Leparoux, 118), Fearless Jacq (IRE) (Alan Garcia, 118), Ciao Bella Luna (Joel Rosario, 118) and Renee’s Titan (Gutierrez, 120).
Trainer John Terranova was happy with the runner-up performance of Curragh Stables’ Manuka Honey in Wednesday’s Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Manuka Honey picked up 40 points toward the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run May 3 at Churchill Downs.
“She is going to hang out with the boys down there until Sunday,” said Terranova, who has two starters on Saturday’s Oaklawn program, including Falling Sky in the Arkansas Derby (G1). “They will ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday. We will see how she comes out of the race and we will let her tell us (about the Oaks).” …
And the streak goes on … Tap Twenty One’s maiden victory in Wednesday’s sixth race kept trainer Rusty Arnold’s four-decade run of saddling a Keeneland winner intact. Arnold, who ranks third all time at Keeneland with 246 victories, has saddled at least one winner at every Keeneland meeting since the spring of 1986 except for one meeting in the late 1980s when he did not saddle a starter. …
Jockey Joel Rosario hasn’t needed long to make an impact in the Keeneland riding colony. Riding his first full meet here, Rosario won three races Wednesday to go with a four-win day on Sunday and opened an 8-5 lead over Alan Garcia in the rider standings. …
Riding in his first race at Keeneland since October 2005, Racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens finished fifth aboard Glen Hill Farm’s Beyond Compare in the seventh race on Wednesday.
Stevens first rode at Keeneland in 1986 and has 24 wins in 130 starts through 2005, his final season of competition before he retired. The first of his eight stakes wins here came in 1988 when he rode Wonders Delight to win the Alcibiades Stakes (G2). Others include the 1998 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (then a Grade 2 race) aboard Halory Hunter. Stevens’ most recent stakes win at the track came on October 21, 2005, when he rode Asi Siempre to win the Valley View Stakes (G3).
VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH TRAINERS TERRANOVA, CALHOUN AND ARNOLD
Video interviews conducted by sports broadcaster Tom Leach with trainers John Terranova, Bret Calhoun and Rusty Arnold area available by clicking the following links:
MAKER’S MARK TROPHY DIPPING ON FRIDAY
Officials from Maker’s Mark and Keeneland will conduct a ceremonial dipping of the 2013 edition of the Maker’s 46 Mile Trophy at 12:30 p.m. ET in the Keeneland winner’s circle.
This is the second year that Louisville-based artist Raymond Graf has designed a trophy especially for the Maker’s 46 Mile.
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WEEK SPECIAL EVENTS
Thursday, April 11 - Sunday, April 14
The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show with hat milliner Christine A. Moore and Elizabeth McKay. Fans can meet these celebrity designers from 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. ET.
Friday, April 12
Tailgating on “The Hill.” Owing to its popularity, Keeneland will open “The Hill” for Friday tailgating fun. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill features food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and programs and general admission tickets available for purchase.
Maker’s Mark bottle signing will begin at 6:30 a.m. The 2013 commemorative bottle celebrates University of Kentucky basketball great Dan Issel. Proceeds from sales of the bottle will benefit UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute. The Keeneland Gift Shop will host a Maker’s Mark Dipping Station on the first floor grandstand for fans to have special Keeneland and Maker’s Mark merchandise dipped from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on races 7-10.
Friday Happy Hour. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the final race to enjoy live music and simulcast wagering at Happy Hour in the Mezzanine Bar.
Friday, April 12 - Saturday, April 13
The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a book signing with internationally acclaimed artist Peter Williams, author of Peter Williams Retrospective: Paintings and People Dear to Me, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
Saturday, April 13
Sunrise Trackside offers activities for the entire family beginning at 7 a.m. with Breakfast With the Works, featuring a Southern-style breakfast and trackside commentary on Thoroughbreds as they train until 8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); a demonstration in the paddock with Justin the Artistic Horse (8:45 a.m.); walking tours of Keeneland (8:30-10:30 a.m.); photos with legendary bugler George “Bucky” Sallee in the paddock (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.); a trackside handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m.); and a Q&A session with a Keeneland jockey in the paddock (12:05 p.m.).
Tailgating on “The Hill.” Watch and wager on Keeneland’s live racing from the tailgate lot. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill features a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A concert series, held in conjunction with Best of Bluegrass, will feature Laurel River Line (April 13) and Town Mountain (April 20).
“ABRV at The Hill.” The interactive fan experience is the latest initiative from The Jockey Club’s new cross-country fan development initiative, America’s Best Racing (ABR). The ABR tour bus, dubbed the ABRV, and six brand ambassadors will bring the popular Racing 101 program to the tailgate lot.
Keeneland Double. A day at the races features the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and is followed by the University of Kentucky’s Blue-White scrimmage football game at Commonwealth Stadium. Fans can park early in the day at Commonwealth Stadium, take a Lextran bus or trolley for $1 each way to Keeneland for a day at the races and return to Commonwealth for the 7 p.m. kickoff. Lextran will have dedicated shuttles from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 4:25 – 6:45 p.m.
All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG. A $250,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four Presented by TVG features races 7-10, the Shakertown (G3), Madison (G1), Jenny Wiley (G1) and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Two Pick Five wagers will be offered: Early Pick Five on races 3-7 and a Late Pick Five on races 8-12.
Sunday, April 14
Horses and Hope Pink Day. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise breast cancer awareness. Keeneland co-hosts Pink Day with Horses and Hope, First Lady Jane Beshear’s initiative to reach women working in Kentucky’s horse industry with education and mammography screening. Join survivors and supporters in the North Terrace for live music, a ladies-only handicapping contest, prize drawings and unique Pink Day activities. Prior to the races, a special luncheon sponsored by the First Lady, Kentucky Cancer Program, embry’s and WKYT-TV will be held in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion.
2013 TOYOTA BLUE GRASS STAKES (G1) ENTRANTS
LISTED IN POST POSITION ORDER
HORSE JOCKEY TRAINER/BARN
DYNAMIC SKY J. Rosario M. Casse/KEE 1
Last race: 4th Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on 3/9
Last work: 5F in 1:01.40 on 4/6 @ CD
MY NAME IS MICHAEL* S. Bridgmohan B. Mott/KEE 25
Last race: 8th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 4F in :49 on 4/7 @ KEE
UNDRAFTED* C. Nakatani W. Ward/KEE 47
Last race: 3rd Swale (G3) on 3/2 @ GP
Last work: 5F in 1:01.60 on 4/6 @ KEE
JAVA’S WAR J. Leparoux K. McPeek/KEE 32
Last race: 2nd Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on 3/9
Last work: 5F in 1:00.56 on 4/7 @ GP
PALACE MALICE* G. Gomez T. Pletcher/CD
Last race: 7th LA Derby (G2) on 3/30 @ FG
Last work: 5F in 1:00.82 on 3/24 @ PM
CHANNEL ISLE J. Rocco Jr. D. Wayne Lukas/CD
Last race: 7th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:00.60 on 4/4/@ CD
UNCAPTURED* M. Mena M. Casse/KEE 1
Last race: 2nd Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:01.40 on 4/6 @ KEE
CHARMING KITTEN J. Bravo T. Pletcher/CD
Last race: 2nd Palm Beach (G3) on 3/3 @ GP
Last work: 4F in :50.08 @ Palm Meadows
TESSERON A. Garcia J. Carroll/KEE 7
Last race: 4th OC on 2/23 @ GP
Last work: 6F in 1:16.20 on 4/3 @ KEE
FOOTBRIDGE C. Lanerie E. Harty/40
Last race: Won maiden on 3/17 @ SA
Last work: 5F in 1:00.40 on 4/8 @ BHP
BALANCE THE BOOKS* J. Castellano C. Brown/KEE 12
Last race: 11th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 4F in :48.20 on 4/7 @ KEE
WEST HILLS GIANT J. Espinoza J. Terranova/KEE 23
Last race: 2nd Gotham (G3) on 3/2 @ Aqu
Last work: 5F in 1:00.47 on 4/8 @ BEL
RYDILLUC* E. Prado G. Contessa/KEE 30
Last race: Won Palm Beach (G3) on 3/3 @ GP
Last work: 7F in 1:28.60 on 4/6 @ KEE
FEAR THE KITTEN R. Napravnik M. Maker/CDT
Last race: 5th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:02.20 on 4/6 @ Trackside
DIVINE AMBITION* J. Graham D. Miller/KEE 30
Last race: 2nd Rushaway on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 4F in :47.60 on 4/8 @ KEE
*Indicates Keeneland sales graduates
KEENELAND 2013 SPRING MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Wednesday, April 10)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Joel Rosario 21 8 1 2 $183,386
Alan Garcia 13 5 3 0 $297,942
Julien Leparoux 20 4 2 3 $216,560
Jesus Castanon 13 3 1 1 $ 62,632
Corey Lanerie 28 2 6 5 $146,960
Rosie Napravnik 22 2 3 3 $114,987
Shaun Bridgmohan 21 2 3 1 $114,357
Javier Castellano 4 2 0 1 $ 79,988
John Velazquez 4 2 0 0 $ 93,248
Edgar Prado 12 1 2 2 $113,674
Francisco Torres 11 1 2 2 $ 46,227
Miguel Mena 12 1 1 2 $ 57,706
Roberto Morales 8 1 1 0 $ 20,659
Joseph Rocco Jr. 8 1 0 2 $ 22,680
Mike Smith 3 1 0 0 $302,453
Gary Boulanger 3 1 0 0 $ 21,867
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 18 7 1 1 $168,360
Wesley Ward 14 4 1 2 $126,085
H. Graham Motion 12 3 3 3 $265,194
Ken McPeek 10 2 2 1 $ 89,801
Mark Casse 15 2 1 0 $ 91,345
Todd Pletcher 4 2 0 1 $102,448
17 trainers tied with 1 win each.