AL QASR REPRESENTS PERU IN ELKHORN
Born in Kentucky and sold at Keeneland, Al Qasr returned to the Bluegrass on Sunday to make his next start in Friday’s Elkhorn Stakes (G2). The race continues quite a journey for the five-year-old horse by Aptitude, who was the 2012 Horse of the Year in Peru for the Soribel Stable of Fahed Mitre.
In May of last year, Al Qasr won the Gran Premio 25 De Mayo, a Group 1 race in Argentina, in his turf debut. The win earned him an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita through the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge series.
But Al Qasr’s trip to Santa Anita was sidetracked. The horse entered quarantine in Florida, but colicked and almost died, and he underwent surgery at the University of Florida. Al Qasr recovered and began his return to the races with about a month of training in Ocala, Florida. He was sent on February 1 to trainer Jose Garoffalo, a Venezuelan-born horseman who is based at Calder.
“Thank God he’s alive,” said Garoffalo about Al Qasr, who was bred by Kathryn S. West and was purchased as a short yearling for $8,500 by Dante Zanelli, agent, at the 2009 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale.
On March 30, 10 months after his last race, Al Qasr returned in the Skip Away Stakes (G3) on dirt at Gulfstream Park. He finished sixth behind Cigar Street, Take Charge Indy, Pants On Fire, Golden Ticket and Eldaafer.
“It was a pretty decent effort, but obviously the horse is fitter now than he was,” said Fernando Macchiavello, a Peruvian native who lives in Lexington and represents owner Mitre and assists other horsemen from Peru who are involved in the Thoroughbred industry. “Everybody thinks the horse should make a step forward. If he does, I think he’ll be pretty competitive.”
Al Qasr, who will be the first Keeneland starter for Garoffalo, will be ridden by Peruvian Edgar Prado, who worked the horse several times in Florida.
“I think this race will determine where the horse fits,” said Macchiavello, an architect for Denham-Blythe Company. “The goal last year was to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. It didn’t happen, so this year we’ll see after this race.”
The Peruvian connection has been successful at Keeneland. On Sunday, the Giant’s Causeway filly Glorious Chant won the final race for owner-breeder Bernardo Alvarez Calderon’s Teneri Farms. Macchiavello said Calderon is the godfather of Alan Garcia, who rode the Kentucky-bred filly for trainer Michael Matz.
NO STOPPING KEENELAND LEADERS
The wins keep coming for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Joel Rosario.
On Wednesday, they teamed to win the first race with Bernie the Mastro and the fifth race with Purest Form. The Ramseys pushed their record total to 19 wins for the meet.
Maker also won the seventh race with Fog Happens, ridden by Alan Garcia. Maker’s three-win day gives him 19 victories entering today, surpassing the previous spring meet training record of 16 wins he held with Todd Pletcher. D. Wayne Lukas, for whom Maker and Pletcher served as assistants, holds the Keeneland trainer record of 22 wins for a single season, set in the fall of 1989.
Rosario also won the fourth race with Balthazar, trained by Dale Romans, and the featured eighth race with Solid Appeal, trained by Reade Baker. The four-win day marked the third for Rosario this meet. He rode five winners on April 18.
Rosario’s Wednesday haul increased his meet-leading total to 30, two wins shy of equaling the spring meet record of 32 wins set by Randy Romero in 1990. Rosario rides in eight races today and in seven races on Friday, closing day of the 16-day season.
HONORS CONTINUE FOR WISE DAN
Keeneland-based Horse of the Year Wise Dan and other horses and people with connections to Keeneland received honors for their 2012 performances at the annual Kentucky-Bred Champions Awards Luncheon today at Keeneland. The awards were presented by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.
Wise Dan, winner of Keeneland’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Ben Ali Stakes (G3) last year, was named Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year, Handicap Horse and Turf Horse Male. On April 12, he opened his 2013 campaign by winning the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).
Wise Dan’s dam, Lisa Danielle, was honored as Broodmare of the Year. The daughter of Wolf Power (SAf) is a graduate of two Keeneland sales, selling for $15,000 as a weanling at the 1994 November Breeding Stock and for $29,000 at the September Yearling Sale the following year. She also is the dam of Grade 2 winner Successful Dan, winner of Keeneland’s Ben Ali Stakes (G3) on April 21.
Other honors went to Keeneland sales graduates Shanghai Bobby (Two-Year-Old Colt), Beholder (Two-Year-Old Filly), I’ll Have Another (Three-Year-Old Colt), Believe You Can (Three-Year-Old Filly), Royal Delta (Handicap Mare) and Certify (Racing Abroad).
Keeneland stakes winners who were recognized were Groupie Doll (Sprinter) and Tapitsfly (Turf Horse Female). Fred Bradley, co-breeder and -owner of Groupie Doll, received the Hardboot Breeders Award.
Also honored was G.D. Hieronymus, Keeneland’s director of broadcast services who received the Charles W. Englehard Award in recognition of his efforts to place Keeneland at the forefront of technological advances. Two people who race and sell at Keeneland also were honored: Brereton C. Jones (P.A.B. Widener Trophy) and Josephine Abercrombie (W. T. Young Humanitarian Award).
Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record number of races at Keeneland this meet, were recognized as Owners of the Year for being the 2012 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Leaders. Mike Maker, who is having a record-setting spring meet here, was recognized as Trainer of the Year. Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider, who race and sell at Keeneland, were honored as Breeders of the Year.
For more information about other award recipients, visit www.kentuckybred.org.
Trainer Jimmy Corrigan recorded his first Keeneland victory when he sent out 34-1 longshot Gefest to win the sixth race on Wednesday. Ridden by Robby Albarado, the three-year-old Shakespeare colt won the 1 1/8-mile allowance race by 2½ lengths in 1:50.48. Gefest is a homebred racing for Mikhail Yanakov’s Olympia Star Inc.
VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH TRAINERS JONATHAN SHEPPARD, ROGER ATTFIELD
Video interviews conducted by sports broadcaster Tom Leach with trainers Jonathan Sheppard and Roger Attfield are available by clicking the following links:
CLOSING DAY SPECIAL EVENT
Friday, April 26
Concert on the Lawn. Join us on the Clubhouse Lawn immediately following the day’s races for a free concert by Changes In Latitudes, a premier Jimmy Buffett tribute band, hosted by the Markey Cancer Foundation Legacy Council.
KEENELAND 2013 SPRING MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Wednesday, April 24)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Joel Rosario 91 30 14 9 $1,110,114
Julien Leparoux 81 15 13 11 $1,496,348
Alan Garcia 40 10 3 2 $456,594
Rosie Napravnik 66 9 13 11 $546,732
Edgar Prado 31 7 3 3 $364,063
Javier Castellano 26 6 3 3 $344,056
Shaun Bridgmohan 54 5 7 8 $288,444
Jesus Castanon 34 4 5 3 $150,338
Robby Albarado 34 4 4 2 $178,583
Corey Lanerie 68 3 12 12 $277,641
Francisco Torres 44 3 3 4 $123,731
Joseph Rocco Jr. 42 3 3 4 $208,173
Roberto Morales 29 3 2 1 $ 78,106
Gary Stevens 26 3 1 3 $132,821
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 65 19 10 5 $541,165
Wesley Ward 37 8 7 4 $302,833
H. Graham Motion 27 6 4 4 $401,386
Ken McPeek 36 6 4 2 $679,885
Mark Casse 30 5 2 1 $209,807
Shug McGaughey 14 4 3 2 $275,454
Todd Pletcher 9 4 1 2 $484,948
Jonathan Sheppard 11 4 1 0 $142,958
Wayne Catalano 20 3 2 5 $122,642
George Arnold II 21 3 2 2 $325,992
Eddie Kenneally 10 3 1 1 $ 97,445
Charlie LoPresti 13 3 1 0 $330,241
Current Meet Leading Owners
Ken and Sarah Ramsey 19
Augustin Stable (George Strawbridge Jr.) 6
Gary Barber* 3
Phipps Stable (O.M. Phipps, et al) 3
Team Valor International (Barry Irwin) 3
Alto Racing (Gil Moutray) 2
Mort Fink 2
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. 2
Ice Wine Stable (David Reid) 2
Magdalena Racing (Susan McPeek, et al) 2
John C. Oxley 2