Keeneland Barn Notes for Tuesday, April 15

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TWO-TIME KEENELAND GRADE 1 WINNER EMOLLIENT HEADS FIELD FOR HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE

Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient, a three-time Grade 1 winner in 2013, headlines a field of 11 fillies and mares entered Tuesday for Friday’s 20th running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. ET post time.

Trained by Bill Mott, Emollient notched two of her Grade 1s at Keeneland with triumphs in the Central Bank Ashland and Juddmonte Spinster. Only three fillies (Take Charge Lady, 2002; Optimistic Gal, 1976; and Doubledogdare, 1956) had accomplished that double.

Regular rider Mike Smith has the call on Emollient, who will break from post position 10.

Two 2013 Sovereign Award winners are in the field: Gary Barber’s Sisterly Love and Susan and Jim Hill’s SolidAppeal.

Trained by Mark Casse, Sisterly Love was named Canada’s champion older female in 2013. Stewart Elliott, who rode Sisterly Love to a wire-to-wire victory here on opening day, April 4, has the mount Friday and will break from post position seven as a supplemental entry to the race.

Trained by Reade Baker, Solid Appeal picked up a 2013 Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion turf female. Winner of the Nassau (G2) and Dance Smartly (G2) last year, Solid Appeal will make her first start since finishing third in the Cardinal Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs in November. Robby Albarado has the mount on Solid Appeal and break from post position nine.

The field for the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare, from the rail out, is as follows: Ire (Julien Leparoux, 118 pounds),Moment in Dixie (Jose Lezcano, 118), Pearl Turn (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Gold Medal Dancer (Luis Quinonez, 118), Noble Charlotte (Mario Pino, 118), Dixie Strike (Alan Garcia, 118), Sisterly Love (Elliott, 118), Sisterhood(John Velazquez, 118), Solid Appeal (Albarado, 118), Emollient (Smith, 123) and Strathnaver (GB) (Joel Rosario, 118).

KEENELAND LIBRARY LECTURE SERIES CONTINUES TONIGHT AND TOMORROW NIGHT

The Keeneland Library Lecture Series returns tonight with renowned Turf historian Milt Toby and continues tomorrow with Eclipse Award-winning journalist Maryjean Wall and award-winning writer Jamie Nicholson in the Keeneland Library.

Toby, an attorney who has been writing about Thoroughbred racing for more than 40 years, will present his latest book, Cañonero II: The Rags to Riches Story of the Kentucky Derby’s Most Improbable Winner, at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and book signing following the program. The book chronicles the compelling story of Cañonero II, an unknown horse with a Venezuelan trainer who won the 1971 Kentucky Derby in stunning fashion and captured the Preakness Stakes in track-record time.

On Wednesday at 6 p.m., the Keeneland Library and the University of Kentucky Department of History presentBourbon, Brothels and the Kentucky Derby: A Kentucky Story by Maryjean Wall and The Nostalgic Origins of the Kentucky Derby by Jamie Nicholson. Wall and Nicholson will discuss their research and discoveries for their recent books with a reception and book signing to follow.

The University Press of Kentucky published the books by Nicholson and Wall, who are acclaimed authors and adjunct faculty members at UK. Copies of Nicholson’s second book, Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry, will be available for purchase. Wall’s latest book, Belle Brezing, about the famous Lexington madam, is due to be released in the fall.

Wall spent 41 years as an equine journalist, most notably with the Lexington Herald-Leader, covering Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing. She was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and is a three-time winner of the Eclipse Award for writing in Thoroughbred racing and the John Hervey Award for writing in harness racing.

Nicholson is a native of Lexington who grew up on a local horse farm and attended UK. He is a practicing lawyer who has written two books about the Thoroughbred industry and is a part-time history instructor at UK.
 

NIKKI’S SANDCASTLE BIDS FOR MORE KEENELAND SUCCESS IN SATURDAY’S BEN ALI

The two most recent races by Richard Sherman’s homebred Nikki’s Sandcastle on Keeneland’s Polytrack were wildly successful with a victory in the Fayette (G2) during the 2013 Fall Meet and a runner-up finish in the same race the year before.

On Saturday, the 7-year-old Nikki’s Sandcastle will try to continue that run with an expected start in the 84thrunning of the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Coming from Florida, Nikki’s Sandcastle worked here last Wednesday (:49.80 for a half-mile) and had a strong gallop Tuesday morning as trainer Dave Kassen opted to pass on a scheduled work in the snowy conditions.

In his most recent race, Nikki’s Sandcastle finished fourth in the Skip Away (G3) on dirt at Gulfstream on March 29.

“He’s doing pretty good,” Kassen said. “I passed on running him on the turf because that course was so chewed up to run on dirt. He didn’t run well and didn’t get a good trip. He is good on the Poly and turf, but I thought he would do better on dirt.”

Nikki’s Sandcastle had two grass starts this winter at Gulfstream following the Fayette victory. In those races, he was third in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) and fifth in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1).

“I thought he should have won that Grade 1 on the turf,” Kassen said. “He was covered up behind horses and did not get out until the eighth pole and he only got beat three lengths.”

 

MORENO WORKS HALF-MILE FOR CHARLES TOWN CLASSIC; ROSARIO TO RIDE GENERAL A ROD IN DERBY

Southern Equine Stable’s multiple graded stakes-placed Moreno worked a half-mile in :49.60 through the snow early Tuesday morning with jockey Joel Rosario up for trainer Eric Guillot in preparation for Saturday’s $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (G2) at 1 1/8 miles.

Working on his own, Moreno went the first quarter-mile in :25 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.40.

“That is what Eric wanted,” said John Daley, who oversaw the work of Moreno, who was scheduled to make his 2014 debut in last Saturday’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2).

“He got to Oaklawn on Wednesday and was off his feed Thursday, so we scratched out of there,” Daley said. “He flew in here Sunday, galloped Monday and we are leaving at 11:30 this morning for West Virginia.”

Rosario will have the mount on Moreno on Saturday, according to his agent, Ron Anderson.

Anderson also confirmed that Rosario, winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on Orb, will have the mount in this year’s renewal on General a Rod for trainer Mike Maker.

Rosario rode General a Rod to win the Gulfstream Park Derby and finished third on him in the Florida Derby (G1) in his most recent start.
 

SOVEREIGN AWARD WINNER UP WITH THE BIRDS EYES DIXIE

Sam-Son Farm’s Up With the Birds became a two-time Sovereign Award winner over the weekend as Canada’s 2013 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce has Up With the Birds at Keeneland, where he made his 2014 debut April 5 and finished sixth in a turf allowance test.

“Maybe I did not have him tight enough, but he is the kind of horse that has to race himself into shape,” Pierce said. “The other day when he ran, the turf was not that firm.”

Pierce said his horses would begin shipping to their home base at Woodbine the middle of next week. Plans for Up With the Birds might include a trip to Baltimore.

“I have been thinking about the ($400,000) Dixie (G2) at Pimlico (on May 17),” Pierce said. “Timing-wise that would be perfect.”

TROMMER WINS KEENELAND’S GRADE ONE GAMBLE

Evan Trommer, who owns Village Host Pizza & Grill in Lexington and races Thoroughbreds as Wind River Stables, captured Keeneland’s premier handicapping tournament, the sixth annual Grade One Gamble, on Sunday.

The 75 players were required to wager at least $250 of their $2,000 live bankroll on each race and half their total bankroll on one of the final two races. Trommer had a commanding lead after three races and held off his challengers to finish with a winning total of $9,170.

Alberto Fernandez of Miami Beach, Fla., was second with $7,668.70.  Nick Tammaro of Houston, Texas, finished third with $5,563.60.

The respective fourth- through sixth-place finishers were Rob Rosette of Chandler, Calif.; Alan Anthony of Woodbine, Md.; and Pat Gianforte of Cary, Ill.

All Grade One Gamble players won the balance of their bankrolls, and the top 10 received prize money. First place was worth $16,000 with $8,000 awarded to second, $5,000 for third, $4,000 for fourth and $3,000 for fifth. The sixth- through 10th-place finishers each received $2,000.

The top six finishers also received a spot in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January 2015. There they will compete with more than 500 of the world’s best handicappers for a prize of at least $750,000.

GALLOPING OUT

Jockey Rosie Napravnik is featured in the May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine in the article “Off to the Races.” Napravnik, who has five wins during the Keeneland Spring Meet, was the 2013 Fall Meet’s leading rider with 17 victories.

 

SPRING MEET LEADERS

Through April 13 (8 days of racing)

Jockey

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Julien Leparoux

53

12

4

8

$488,953

Stewart Elliott

33

8

1

3

$231,724

Javier Castellano

32

7

6

6

$596,260

Joe Rocco Jr.

35

6

6

4

$300,004

Rosie Napravnik

44

5

8

4

$229,757

Alan Garcia

26

5

3

2

$366,991

James Graham

39

4

4

3

$203,288

Joel Rosario

27

4

4

3

$357,995

Dylan Davis

23

4

1

4

$122,895

Shaun Bridgmohan

24

4

0

2

$345,044

 

Trainer

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Mark Casse

27

5

3

5

$305,312

Ken McPeek

22

5

0

2

$386,136

Wesley Ward

16

4

2

3

$370,726

H. Graham Motion

21

3

3

3

$161,207

Christophe Clement

13

3

2

1

$206,764

Chad Brown

10

3

1

2

$245,666

 

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

Tuesday, April 15

Keeneland Library Lecture Series. Milt Toby, an attorney who has been writing about Thoroughbred racing for more than 40 years, will present his latest book, Cañonero II: The Rags to Riches Story of the Kentucky Derby’s Most Improbable Winner, at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and book signing following the program.

Wednesday, April 16

WINS-day Challenge, a handicapping contest presented by Malone’s. At Wagering Central, contestants can sign up to play for a $10 entry fee, then they place a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland Races 3 through 8. The contest offers a guaranteed $2,500 pool, and the first 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form and a card for an appetizer at Malone’s. The first-, second- and third-place finishers receive cash prizes and a gift card from Malone’s.

Keeneland Library Lecture Series. Beginning at 6 p.m., the Keeneland Library and the University of Kentucky Department of History present Bourbon, Brothels and the Kentucky Derby: A Kentucky Story by Eclipse Award-winner journalist Maryjean Wall and The Nostalgic Origins of the Kentucky Derby by award-winning writer Jamie Nicholson. Wall and Nicholson will discuss their research and discoveries for their recent books with a reception and book signing to follow.

Thursday, April 17

Jockey Colony Autograph Signing. Meet retired and current jockeys from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for an autograph signing adjacent to the Paddock. The riders will autograph Jockey Colony Photos, and proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Friday, April 18, and Saturday, April 19

The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show by Dorfman Pacific from 11 a.m -6 p.m.

Friday, April 18

The “50 to 1” Movie Tour celebrates Mine That Bird’s implausible journey from El Paso, Texas, to Churchill Downs and victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The story is documented in the feature-length film “50 to 1.”  The day’s activities include an appearance by Mine That Bird and a fan meet-and-greet with actors from the movie. The movie premiers in Lexington the same day. Click here for more about the movie.

The Hill. Keeneland’s official tailgate lot, which is adjacent to the Keene Barn, features food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, race-day programs, a Keeneland Gift Shop kiosk and free shuttles to the track. BETologists, Keeneland’s wagering experts, will be available to answer fans’ questions.

Craft Beer Tent. A special selection of craft beers is available on the North Terrace patio and includes Country Boy, Kentucky Ale Kolsch, Land Shark, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater.

It’s My Derby. Racing fans are invited to the evening event in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion to rub elbows with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most recognizable people. The fundraiser for the Kentucky Derby Museum features a panel discussion and VIP reception with 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb’s co-owner and breeder Stuart Janney and trainer, Shug McGaughey, as well as trainer Barclay Tagg, winner of the 2003 Derby and Preakness with Funny Cide, and two-time Derby-winning jockey Chris McCarron. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will moderate the panel. For more information, click here.

Saturday, April 19
 

Sunrise Trackside sponsored by LEX18, the Lexington Herald-Leader and Dunkin’ Donuts offers activities for all ages beginning at 7 a.m. ET.  Fans can enjoy Breakfast With the Works, a Southern-style breakfast and trackside commentary during the morning workouts (until 8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); a show-and-tell with the Kentucky Horseshoeing School; guided walking tours of Keeneland (8-10 a.m.); trackside handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m.); and a Q&A session with current leading rider Julien Leparoux in the Paddock (12:05 p.m.). Keeneland Bugler Steve Buttleman also will be on hand to take photos with fans.

Easter Egg Hunt. As part of Sunrise Trackside, the Keeneland Kids Club will also host an Easter Egg Hunt on the North Terrace Lawn at 9 a.m. Children will be able to see baby chicks and bunnies and other animals from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

The Hill. Keeneland’s official tailgate lot located adjacent to the Keene Barn, will feature food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, race-day programs, a Keeneland Gift Shop kiosk, free shuttles to the track and live bluegrass music. BETologists will be available to answer fans’ questions.

Craft Beer Tent. A special selection of craft beers is available on the North Terrace patio and includes Country Boy, Kentucky Ale Kolsch, Land Shark, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater.

Easter Sunday, April 20: Keeneland is closed

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