FRIDAY’S STOLL KEENON OGDEN PHOENIX ATTRACTS OVERFLOW FIELD
Alto Racing’s Winning Cause, undefeated in three career starts at Keeneland and winner of this spring’s Coolmore Lexington (G3), and Iowa Sprint winner Gentlemen’s Bet headline a field of 14 and one also-eligible entered Tuesday for Friday’s 161st running of the $200,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3).
Scheduled as the eighth race on Friday’s opening-day 10-race program, the six-furlong Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Xpressbet Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. First post time Friday is 1:05 p.m. (ET) with the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix scheduled at 4:49 p.m.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, who ranks second all time at Keeneland in stakes victories with 38, Winning Cause has not run in a one-turn race since an allowance victory here in April prior to his victory in the Coolmore Lexington. Garrett Gomez has the mount on Winning Cause, who will break from post position 14.
Harry Rosenblum’s Gentlemen’s Bet has won five of seven career starts and followed his victory in Iowa with a third-place finish in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga in his most recent start. Trained by Ron Moquett, Gentlemen’s Bet will be ridden by Mike Smith and break from post position seven.
The two most recent Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix winners also are in the field: Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts and Mrs. S. K. Johnston Jr.’s Hoofit(NZ).
Trained by Tom Amoss, Sum of the Parts enters the race off a nearly four-month layoff. Leandro Goncalves has the mount Friday on Sum of the Parts, who will break from post position 11.
Trained by Graham Motion, Hoofit returns to the scene of his most recent victory that came in the 2011 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix by a nose. Never worse than third in four 2013 starts, Hoofit will break from post position nine and be ridden by Edgar Prado, who was aboard for the 2011 victory in the race.
Three other graded stakes winners are in the field: William Stiritz’s Hogy, Susan and Jim Hill’s Go Blue Or Go Home and Gary Barber and WinStar Farm’s Laugh Track.
Hogy, trained by Wayne Catalano, enters the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix on a two-race win streak with scores in the Presque Isle Downs Mile and Troy Stakes at Saratoga. In May, Hogy won the Grade 3 Hanshin at Arlington. Hogy will break from post position 12 and be ridden by Joe Rocco, who has been aboard for the past two victories.
Go Blue Or Go Home, winner of the Highlander (G3) at Woodbine in July, will break from post position eight under Paco Lopez for trainer Reade Baker. Laugh Track, winner of the Vigil (G3) at Woodbine in June, will be ridden by Miguel Mena and break from post position six for trainer Mark Casse.
The field for the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, from the rail out, is as follows: Marchman (Corey Lanerie, 118 pounds), Occasional View (Julien Leparoux, 120), Reload (John Velazquez, 120), Global Power (Scott Spieth, 122), Jasizzle (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120), Laugh Track (Mena, 122), Gentlemen’s Bet (Smith, 122), Go Blue Or Go Home (Lopez, 122), Hoofit (NZ) (Prado, 120), Ghost Is Clear (Rosie Napravnik, 120), Sum of the Parts (Goncalves, 120), Hogy (Rocco, 122), Laurie’s Rocket (Ricardo Santana Jr., 120) and Winning Cause (Gomez, 120). Also-eligible: Console (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120).
NOTE: Attached is photo of (from left) Bucky Sallee, Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason and Steve Buttleman. Photo courtesy of Keeneland.
LONGTIME BUGLER BUCKY SALLEE PASSES THE HORN
For more than 50 years, George “Bucky” Sallee has been part of the fabric of Keeneland, dazzling fans with his iconic call to the post while watching generations of race fans grow up. Bucky recently retired to become Keeneland’s Bugler Emeritus but only after providing a lifetime of memories.
“I’ve been out here more than 50, and I’ve got a lot of memories and met a lot of people,” Bucky said. “It’s been a great time. It’s opened a lot of doors.”
Bucky began his Keeneland journey in the early 1960s when Frank Atkins, then the club pro at Lexington’s Picadome Golf Course who moonlighted at Keeneland, offered him the opportunity to serve as track bugler. Since then, Bucky has performed his signature “Boots and Saddles” for the post parade and “Assembly” at post time, missing only one day when his first wife died on a Saturday in the early 1970s. He reached a career milestone on Oct. 9, 2002, when he made his 10,000th call to the post at Keeneland.
Over the course of that half-century, Bucky became an integral part of the tradition-rich Keeneland experience.
“Bucky was a very good friend of my father so before I came to Keeneland, Bucky was already a friend and someone very special to me,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “But only after being here have I been able to see how much he means to Keeneland and how much he means to our fans and the sport. It’s very special. There will never be another Bucky.”
Bucky will pass the torch to Steve Buttleman, an accomplished musician who brings nearly 20 years of experience as a bugler to Keeneland, having performed the call to the post at some of the nation’s most prominent racetracks, including Churchill Downs, Belmont Park and Oaklawn Park. Like everyone else, Buttleman has fond memories of Bucky.
“I remember when I first got to play with Bucky at the (2010 Alltech FEI World) Equestrian Games (at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington), I was thrilled to death,” Buttleman said. “I had been playing 16 years and never met Bucky so when we finally got a chance to play together I was extremely excited.
“It’s humbling,” he continued. “I feel honored. It’s like meeting one of your heroes. Bucky has done so much for Kentucky and the racing industry. He’s a legend.”
Keeneland will pay tribute to Bucky on opening day, Friday, Oct. 4 with special commemorations prior to the first race. Fans are invited to join in honoring Bucky by sharing their memories online at Keeneland.com or by dropping a letter in the “Bucky Mailbox” located adjacent to the paddock on opening day. Bucky will sign autographs during the afternoon.
SAY HOPES TO FOLLOW IN FORMER STABLEMATE’S HOOFPRINTS
Making her rounds in the walking ring outside of Keeneland’s quarantine barn Say (IRE) took in her new surroundings before she made her way across Rice Road to the main track for her morning activity under T.J. Comerford, head traveling lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
“She’s very fresh this morning,” Comerford said about Say, a daughter of Galileo (IRE) who cleared quarantine Monday night after arriving at Keeneland Saturday night. “She is not used to all this. We have 650 acres out in the country; no airplanes taking off close by, no cars going by (just yards from the barn).”
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the 3-year-old Say backtracked once around the main track and then trotted a mile prior to the morning renovation break.
“She was very good this morning,” Comerford said. “Usually when Aidan ships over here, they arrive on Tuesday, get out of quarantine Thursday, go to the track Friday and run Saturday. With fillies, they can be a little more temperamental and need a little more time to settle in.”
A daughter of 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) winner Riskaverse, Say is following a path set by stablemate Together (IRE). Together ran second in the 2011 First Lady and came back a week later to win the QE II. It is anticipated Say will receive an invitation this week to the QE II, scheduled for Oct. 12.
“We have done this before,” Comerford said, noting that a quick turnaround would be nothing new for Say, who ran four times in 24 days this summer. “We do not need to do too much with her here.”
Say enters the one-mile First Lady off a third-place finish in the Fusaichi Pegasus Matron (G1) on Sept. 7 at Leopardstown going a mile against older fillies and mares. Prior to that, she won the Dance Design (G3), also against older rivals.
“She closed a lot of ground the last time out,” Comerford said. “Before we came over, we broke her out of the gate. We have an American-style gate that we use when getting horses ready to come over for Breeders’ Cup races, but in our regular training we do not concentrate as much on the gate as they do here.”
Comerford said Joe Bravo would have the mount on Say in the First Lady.
CATALANO COMES TO KEENELAND ON A ROLL
Thanks to his record 11th training title at Arlington Park and 10 wins during the five-day meet at Kentucky Downs, trainer Wayne Catalano has sent out the earners of more than $4.9 million – a career high with three months remaining in 2013. Now Catalano is looking to continue his roll during opening weekend at Keeneland, where his starters include Susan Moulton’s Solitary Ranger in Saturday’s Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
“He broke his maiden in the stakes and he’s training very well,” Catalano said about the son of U S Ranger, who in his last start won the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) on Sept. 7. “We like him a lot.”
So much in fact that Catalano said the colt might be the best horse he’s ever trained.
Solitary Ranger opened his career on April 7 at Keeneland with a second-place finish at 4½ furlongs to Pablo Del Monte, trained by Wesley Ward. Three weeks later at Keeneland, he was second again to another Ward trainee, No Nay Never, who went on to win the Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot and the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. Solitary Ranger did not race again until the Arlington-Washington Futurity, which he won by 5½ lengths.
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) definitely is the goal for Solitary Ranger, whose owner met Catalano several years ago when she called him looking for tickets to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Moulton joined Catalano and his family at several pre-event parties and sat with them in his box.
“Next thing I know she’s asking about buying a horse,” he said. “She said, ‘I’d like to own one of these horses.’ I said, ‘You’re talking to the right guy. We’ll get you one.’ ”
After his Keeneland races, Solitary Ranger became available for purchase, and he became Moulton’s first racehorse when she bought him for $125,000.
“You know what, I’m hoping he’s the best horse I’ve ever trained,” Catalano said about the colt. “He’s sure training like it, acting like it, but he has to step up to the plate and do it. If we could get this race out of him and next time (in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), he could prove me right.”
For Keeneland’s opening Fall Stars Weekend, Catalano’s other starters include Battlefield Angel in the Darley Alcibiades (G1) and Hogy in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) on Friday and Poker Player in the Bourbon (G3) on Sunday. He looks forward to a continuation of his recent success.
“Everything came together at the right time,” Catalano said. “We got some good results from very good clients giving us some chances with some very good horses. All my staff performed very well. The results showed. I think the roll will continue (at Keeneland). We’re set up to do pretty good.”
James Miller’s Daisy Devine, winner of the 2012 Jenny Wiley (G1) and runner-up in the 2012 First Lady (G1), worked three furlongs in :40 around the dogs on a firm turf course Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday’s renewal of the First Lady. Jockey James Graham was aboard for trainer Andrew McKeever. …
Ice Wine Stable’s Here’s Johnny, a candidate for Sunday’s Bourbon (G3), worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Wesley Ward on the turf with Dylan Davis up. Also working for Ward on the turf was Thomas Grossman’s Three Am Tour (IRE), a nominee for the Buffalo Trace Franklin County to be run Oct. 11. Three Am Tour was clocked in 1:02 for five furlongs in company with Great Attack. …
Working early on the main track was St. George Farm Racing’s Closing Range, who covered a half-mile in :48.20 for trainer Phil Oliver. A candidate for Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1), Closing Range covered the first quarter-mile in :24.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.60. …
Regis Racing’s Zinzay covered a half-mile in :48 in preparation for next Wednesday’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) for trainer Rusty Arnold.
KEENELAND TO SIMULCAST QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Keeneland will offer simulcast wagering on France's premier race, the 92nd running of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp, on Sunday morning. Drive-thru wagering opens at 8 a.m. Mutuel windows on the second-floor grandstand open at 8:30 a.m.
The first race available for wagering is the third race, the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), which has a post time of 8:55 a.m. Post time for the Arc, the fifth race, is 10:15 a.m.
WIN AND YOU’RE IN CONTEST OFFERS SHOT AT BREEDERS’ CUP TRIP
The Fall Stars Weekend looms as one of the most important leading into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita, with seven graded stakes serving as Breeders’ Cup Challenge races that offer the winner direct entry into the event.
At Keeneland, fans will also have the opportunity to win a VIP trip for two to the Breeders’ Cup during Fall Stars Weekend. The fan that picks the most winners from the weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Challenge races will earn a Breeders’ Cup prize package that includes clubhouse seating for two, airfare, three-night stay and Breeders’ Cup merchandise. The prize package is courtesy of Keeneland, Breeders’ Cup and Blue Grass Airport. Fans may register at www.Keeneland.com/fallstars/contest.
KEENELAND RACE DAY APP LEADS NEW FAN-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGY
Keeneland is an industry leader in employing social media and advanced technology to interact with its fan base, attract new fans and deliver the latest news and information directly to its customers. In keeping with that commitment, Keeneland has launched the free Keeneland Race Day App and Fall Stars microsite to put fans closer to the action.
Novice and seasoned fans alike can connect to helpful and fun tools like a betting calculator, expert tips, entries and more with the Race Day App. A Fall Stars microsite delivers an extraordinary amount of information for the opening Fall Stars Weekend, including entries for each of the nine graded stakes, photos and video interviews with trainers and owners.
Keeneland Race Day App: Keeneland fans now have information directly at their fingertips in a newly developed app for mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones and Android. Entries, real-time results, expert tips, a betting calculator and events calendar are easily accessible. Fans can use the interactive map with search and filter capabilities to navigate their way through Keeneland and notify friends of their location. Download the free app in iTunes or Google.
Fall Stars Website: Opening weekend features nine graded stakes, including seven Breeders’ Cup “‘Win and You’re In” races. The new Fall Stars microsite (http://www.keeneland.com/fallstars) allows fans to track workouts, probable fields, official entries and watch video interviews with horsemen. The site will continue to track Keeneland’s Breeders’ Cup-bound horses through the event on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.
FALL STARS WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday, Oct. 4
Opening Day and Tribute to Bucky Sallee. The public is invited to join Keeneland in honoring Bugler Emeritus Bucky Sallee, who is retiring after more than 50 years as Keeneland’s horn blower, and welcoming new bugler Steve Buttleman. Special commemorations are planned for Bucky prior to the first race, and Bucky will sign autographs during the afternoon. Fans will be able to share their memories of Bucky online at Keeneland.com, or drop a letter in the “Bucky Mailbox,” which will be located adjacent to the paddock on opening day.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on the last four races of the day.
Craft Beer Tent. A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature popular local craft beers. Local musicians 64 West will perform after the races.
Saturday, Oct. 5
Sunrise Trackside. Fans can experience the sights and sounds of Keeneland before the gates open for the race day. It’s a morning filled with fun for family or out-of-town guests featuring:
Breakfast With the Works – Sponsored by Dunkin Donuts and WLEX-18. Watch the horses during their morning workouts while enjoying breakfast in the trackside Equestrian Room from 7-8:30 a.m. Breakfast is $7; children under three eat free.
Children’s Activities – Join us in the Kids Club Corner, adjacent to the Equestrian Room, from 7-9 a.m. for free children’s activities, including photos in colorful jockey silks and face painting. Sign up for Keeneland Kids Club and meet the Kids Club mascot, Buckles.
Tours – Race fans can take a free tour of Keeneland’s grounds from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Tours will begin at the Welcome Center in the paddock.
Paddock Demonstration – A demonstration by the Lexington Mounted Horse Patrol will be featured in the paddock at 8:45 a.m.
Handicapping Seminar – Need a little help making your picks for the day? Keeneland offers a free trackside handicapping seminar at 11:30 a.m.
Jockey Q&A – Ever wonder what it feels like to ride a Thoroughbred? Fans can submit questions to Racing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez during a Q&A session at 12:05 p.m. in the walking ring.
Jockey Autograph Book – Patrons may purchase a full-color jockey autograph book featuring riders from Keeneland’s legendary jockey colony. The books are $5; proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG. The $250,000 All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG challenges patrons to handicap the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), First Lady (G1), Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Craft Beer Tent. A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature popular local craft beer.