TESSERON WORKS TOWARD POSSIBLE START IN TOYOTA BLUE GRASS
Donver Stable’s Tesseron, who last year was second in the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine and fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, worked Wednesday morning in preparation for a possible start in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) on April 13. Ridden by Luis Contreras, the Tapit colt covered six furlongs in 1:16.20.
“It was a good solid work, just what we needed,” trainer Josie Carroll said.
Tesseron worked in company with Drenched, a maiden winner ridden by John Maguire who broke off several lengths in front.
“He likes to have a target to chase down,” Carroll said about Tesseron. “That’s how he likes to run. He likes to sit and have something to stalk.”
Clockers caught Tesseron in fractions of :13.20, :25.60, :37.40, :49.60 and 1:02.
Carroll said the work would be the last for Tesseron before the Toyota Blue Grass, a race the colt’s connections chose because of its timing.
“It’s probably the last chance for Derby points, and it seemed like the best spot for him,” Carroll said, referring to the points system to determine starters for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). “He’s a (April 23) foal. He’s just starting to grow up. I didn’t want to overdo him coming in. We got one race in at Gulfstream. We’ll take a shot in the Blue Grass and hope he’s good enough. And he likes this surface.”
In September 2012, Tesseron won his career debut at Woodbine. In his lone start of this year, he was fourth behind Black Onyx in an allowance optional claiming race on February 23 at Gulfstream. Black Onyx returned to win the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park on March 23.
Donver Stable represents Donna and Verne Dubinsky of Alberta, Canada. For Donver, Carroll also trains 2011 Queen’s Plate Stakes winner Inglorious, a Canadian champion who has earned more than $1.4 million. Carroll said the 5-year-old daughter of Hennessy, who is among her 12 horses here, is scheduled to make her next start in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) on April 19.
In other Toyota Blue Grass news,
Trainer Ken McPeek said Charles Fipke's homebred Java’s War, second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 9 in his most recent race, is scheduled to work at Gulfstream Park over the coming weekend then ship to Keeneland for the Toyota Blue Grass.
Reynaldo Abreu, assistant to trainer John Terranova, said that Sam F. Davis (G3) winner Falling Sky is at Churchill Downs, where he is scheduled to work Sunday toward a start in the Toyota Blue Grass or the Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 13.
Another Terranova runner, West Hills Giant, worked a half-mile at Belmont Park in :49.10 and is a possibility for the Toyota Blue Grass or Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3) on April 20. West Hills Giant finished second in the Gotham Stakes (G3) on March 2 in his most recent start …
BROWN ALMIGHTY RETURNS TO THE TURF IN FRIDAY’S TRANSYLVANIA
When last seen at Keeneland, Brown Almighty was in the middle of a rodeo disguised as the Bourbon Stakes (G3) in October 2012.
That day, Brown Almighty finished third but was placed second on the disqualification of Really Sharp. The performance earned Brown Almighty a start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita in which he finished ninth.
On Friday, Brown Almighty returns to the grass for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup when he goes postward in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles.
“There were two reasons for going in that spot,” trainer Tim Ice said Wednesday morning from Oaklawn Park. “Number one is that he ran well in the Bourbon last fall, so we know he gets over the course well.
“Secondly, there has been a lot of rain this spring (at Oaklawn) and he has had to work on some sloppy tracks and he was just not getting over it as well.”
Brown Almighty, who became the first stakes winner for 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Big Brown when he won the Sunny’s Halo Stakes at Louisiana Downs in August, finished fifth in the Smarty Jones Stakes in his 2013 debut and then was eighth in the Southwest Stakes (G3) over a sloppy track.
Ice has not ruled out a return to dirt later for Brown Almighty, but for now it is back to the grass for the colt who has a 5-2-2-0 mark on the turf. Rosie Napravnik has the riding assignment Friday.
Ice shipped one other horse with Brown Almighty to Keeneland and at the close of the Oaklawn meet on April 13, plans to ship horses to the Trackside Training Center in Louisville with occasional forays to Keeneland the latter part of the meet that ends April 26.
Rosie Napravnik, leading rider at the just-completed Fair Grounds meet, was making the rounds Wednesday morning after arriving the night before from New Orleans. Napravnik said she plans to stay in Kentucky through the Churchill Downs spring meet and then go to Saratoga for the summer.
Steve Bass, who handled Julien Leparoux’s book when Leparoux was based here, has Napravnik’s book as well as that of Alan Garcia. Garcia also will remain in Kentucky through the Churchill meet.
Also making the rounds Wednesday morning was Ron Anderson, agent for Joel Rosario. Currently second in the rider standings at Gulfstream Park behind Javier Castellano, Rosario will be riding a full Keeneland meet for the first time in his career.
“He is riding Gulfstream today and tomorrow and will be here at 8:30 Friday morning,” Anderson said. “He rides here Friday then goes to New York Saturday for the Wood Memorial (Stakes-G1) and then will be back here on Sunday and stay in Kentucky through Derby Day.”
Rosario first rode at Keeneland in 2010. In his career he has six wins from 28 starts here with Grade 1 victories in the 2010 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Harmonious and the 2011 Toyota Blue Grass with Brilliant Speed. …
Pennsylvania Derby (G2) winner Handsome Mike, a nominee to the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (G3) on April 13, made one easy trip around the main track a day after arriving from his Southern California base for trainer Doug O’Neill.