ENTRY BOX INFLUX FORCES FRIDAY’S PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW TO BE SPLIT INTO TWO DIVISIONS
An overflow group of 24 3-year-old fillies passed the entry box Tuesday morning, forcing Keeneland officials to split Friday’s 22nd running of the $125,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) into divisions for the second time in the race’s history.
The 1 1/16-mile grass test was split into two divisions in 2009.
The first division of the Pin Oak Valley View will go as the seventh race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 4:17 p.m. (ET) post time. The second division goes as the ninth race at 5:21 p.m. First post time Friday is 1:05 p.m.
Highlighting the first division are Grade 3 turf winners Volcat and Colonial Flag, along with Italian Group 1 winner Nayarra (IRE).
Landaluce Educe Stables’ Volcat, trained by Ken McPeek, won the Virginia Oaks (G3) in July at Colonial Downs and in her most recent start finished third, beaten a neck in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington Park on September 15. Robby Albarado, who was aboard for the victory at Colonial, has the mount Friday on Volcat who will break from post position two.
W.S. Farish, George Prussin and Skara Glen Stables’ Colonial Flag, trained by Michael Matz, won the Ontario Colleen (G3) at Woodbine in her most recent start on August 25. Joe Rocco Jr. has the mount Friday on Colonial Flag who will exit post position six.
A.A. Faisal’s Nayarra (IRE) won the Gran Criterium (G1) at Milan as a 2-year-old. Now trained by Graham Motion, Nayarra (IRE) finished seventh in the American Oaks (G1) at Hollywood Park in her U.S. debut in July and most recently was third in the Given Stakes at Belmont on September 20. Kent Desormeaux has the mount and will break from post position four.
Three Grade 3 turf winners top the second division: Leading Astray, More Than Love and Dancing Solo.
Team Block’s Leading Astray, a winner of five of six turf starts that includes a victory in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington in her most recent start, is trained by Chris Block. E.E. Perez, who has been aboard for all of the filly’s starts, has the call and will break from post position nine.
Newtown Anner Stud’s More Than Love, winner of the Miesque (G3) at Hollywood Park last fall, makes her first start since the Edgewood in May at Churchill Downs. Trained by John Terranova, More Than Love will be ridden by Miguel Mena and break from post position 10.
Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Dancing Solo, winner of the Boiling Springs (G3) at Monmouth in June, is trained by Todd Pletcher. Corey Lanerie has the mount on Dancing Solo who will break from post position 12.
The field for the first division of Pin Oak Valley View, from the inside out, is as follows: Closing Range (Jon Court, 118 pounds), Volcat (Robby Albarado, 122), Zapper Belle (Corey Lanerie, 118), Nayarra (IRE) (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Medolina (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Colonial Flag (Joe Rocco Jr., 122), Ann of the Dance (Jeffrey Sanchez, 118), Angel Terrace (James Graham, 118), Miss Cato (GB) (Gabriel Saez, 118), Cosmic Energy (Jesus Castanon, 120), Run a Risk (Paco Lopez, 118) and Alaura Michele (Eddie Castro, 118).
The field for the second division of the Pin Oak Valley View, from the inside out, is as follows: Miz Ida (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118 pounds), Daylight Ride (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Welcome Dance (Julien Leparoux, 118), Pianist (Javier Castellano, 120), Zucchini Flower (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), English Class (Elvis Trujillo, 118), Fine Silver (Paco Lopez, 118), Freedom Reigns (IRE) (James Graham, 118), Leading Astray (E.E. Perez, 122), More Than Love (Miguel Mena, 118), Temper in Command (Jesus Castanon, 118) and Dancing Solo (Corey Lanerie, 122).
BLOCK PARTY POSSIBLE IN SYCAMORE AND PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW
Trainer Chris Block has won six stakes at Keeneland, three of them for Team Block, which includes his parents, David and Patricia.
Those totals on both accounts could increase by two by sunset Friday with the appearance of Ioya Bigtime in Thursday’s Sycamore (G3) and Leading Astray in Friday’s second division of the Pin Oak Valley View (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
The Sycamore is contested on the grass at 1½ miles, the distance at which Ioya Bigtime has found a home with victories in the Stars and Stripes (G3) at Arlington Park and Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs. A runner-up effort in the American St. Leger at 1 1/16 miles at Arlington came in between.
“The Stars and Stripes was on the stakes schedule and in the race before (the Black Tie Affair), he had a bad trip, got knocked around and didn’t have a fair chance,” Block said Tuesday morning from Chicago. “We were searching for his best distance and we figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.
“He is not the easiest horse to ride or to train. He’s a typical Dynaformer. (Jockey) Jeffrey (Sanchez) got him to relax on the front end and it obviously worked out.”
Ioya Bigtime opened a huge lead and coasted home 1½ lengths on top as a 41-1 shot in the Stars and Stripes. Block loved what he saw from the 5-year-old homebred.
“As I watched it, I thought that he had found his niche,” Block said. “When he opened up at the quarter pole, Jeffrey had not really asked him yet.”
Two of the Team Block victories here came last year when Never Retreat became only the second mare to win the Jenny Wiley (G2 in 2011) and First Lady (G1) in the same year joining Intercontinental (GB) in 2005.
Following in Never Retreat’s footsteps is another Block homebred, Leading Astray, who has posted a career mark of 6-5-1-0, all on turf.
“I don’t consider Leading Astray as a successor to Never Retreat,” Block said. “Never Retreat had a phenomenal year last year, winning a Grade 1 and racing all over the country. I felt she should have been a finalist for the Eclipse Award.
“Leading Astray is a work in a progress. She’s got talent, but I don’t know what her ceiling is and probably won’t know until she gets older because her family is like that.”
Leading Astray, a 3-year-old daughter of Belong to Me, did not make her debut until April when she won at first asking at a mile at Hawthorne.
“I am extremely proud of what she has done,” Block said. “She was a maiden in April and she took a big step in her last race (a victory in the Grade 3 Pucker Up). She will have to take another big step here.”
Graded stakes winners Killer Graces and Via Villaggio arrived at Keeneland early this afternoon after a morning flight from Southern California for expected runs in Saturday’s $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) at seven furlongs on the main track. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer trains both fillies.
Hollendorfer’s most recent starter at Keeneland came in the 2011 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) in which Washington Bridge dead-heated for third. Hollendorfer has saddled two winners from 14 starters at Keeneland. …
Nominations close Wednesday for the 55th running of the $150,000 Fayette (G2) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track on closing day, October 27. The race was won last year by Wise Dan. …
New Believer, owned and trained Wesley Ward, improved his record at Keeneland to eight wins in nine starts when he won the third race on Sunday. Ridden by Julio Garcia, the 7-year-old Sky Mesa gelding scored a neck victory in the 6½-furlong claiming race and won in 1:16.64. New Believer has won nine races in 25 starts and earned $249,854 in his career. …
Trainer Douglas E. Shanyfelt earned his first Keeneland victory when his Mac N Mayo won the second race on Sunday. Ridden by Brian J. Hernandez Jr., the 8-year-old Meadow Monster mare won the 6½-furlong claiming race by 2¾ lengths in 1:17.62.
Lael Stables’ Senada, defending champion of the Rood & Riddle Dowager and nominated to this year’s race, worked five furlongs around the dogs over a firm turf course in 1:03.60 with jockey James Graham up. Entries for the Rood & Riddle Dowager will be drawn on Thursday.
FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Wednesday, October 17
Keeneland Handicapping Contest. Place a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland races 3-9. Entry fee is $10 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. Limit three entries per person. First 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form.
Thursday, October 18
Jockey Autograph Signing: Meet retired and current jockeys from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for an autograph signing adjacent to the Paddock. Jockeys will autograph $10 jockey colony prints. Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
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; 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 Bronco Jacob Tamme, UK cheerleaders and more.
2012 KEENELAND FALL MEET LEADERS
(Stats Through Sunday, October 14)
Current Meet Leading Jockeys
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Julien Leparoux 51 10 7 4 $592,036
Corey Lanerie 43 6 3 7 $265,449
Shaun Bridgmohan 34 6 2 6 $273,827
Javier Castellano 17 5 1 1 $472,215
Jon Court 36 4 3 3 $147,564
Julio Garcia 9 4 3 0 $116,070
Rosie Napravnik 32 3 6 2 $170,361
John Velazquez 22 3 3 2 $440,427
Macelino Pedroza Jr. 20 3 3 2 $102,494
Brian Hernandez Jr. 32 3 2 1 $ 93,394
Victor Lebron 25 3 1 0 $ 76,619
Current Meet Leading Trainers
Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Purses
Michael Maker 30 6 6 2 $352,957
Todd Pletcher 28 6 1 1 $622,442
Wesley Ward 19 5 5 1 $146,305
Wayne Catalano 24 4 1 3 $157,876
Bill Mott 11 3 1 1 $138,912
H. Graham Motion 15 2 2 2 $115,053
Shug McGaughey 7 2 1 1 $132,323
Mark Casse 3 2 1 0 $350,000
Charles Lopresti 6 2 0 1 $473,527
Dale Romans 19 2 0 0 $321,226
Eduardo Caramori 6 2 0 0 $ 45,054
Chad Brown 5 2 0 0 $352,260
Tim Richardson 4 2 0 0 $ 39,420
Philip Oliver 3 2 0 0 $ 68,567