A LIST OF TOYOTA BLUE GRASS (G1) CONTENDERS, LISTED IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE, APPEARS AT THE END OF NOTES
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS NEXT FOR BALANCE THE BOOKS
Trainer Chad Brown was at Keeneland Monday morning and confirmed that Balance the Books would be entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and said Noble Tune, who had been considered for the race, instead would make his next start at Churchill Downs. Both colts worked at Keeneland yesterday, Balance the Books covering four furlongs in :48.20 and Noble Tune breezing five furlongs in 1:01.20.
“I don’t feel like (Noble Tune has) handled the Polytrack as well as I would have hoped, but Balance the Books is now a probable to run in there” said Brown, who trains Balance the Books for Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence.
By Lemon Drop Kid, Balance the Books is coming off an 11th-place finish in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) on March 23 at Turfway Park. The race marked his first start of 2013.
“Things didn’t go his way. He never really ran but half of the race,” Brown said about the performance. “I was so surprised he didn’t handle it. Maybe it was Turfway or the shipping. I bought that horse at Keeneland last year, and I thought he’d trained so well on the Polytrack before I bought him. He breezed yesterday just as I suspected he would on Poly: terrific. I’m going to draw a line through Turfway and take a shot in the (Toyota) Blue Grass.”
Balance the Books was purchased for $37,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Consigned to the 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, he was sold to Klaravich Stable for $160,000. The colt won the With Anticipation Stakes (G2) at Saratoga last August and took Keeneland’s Bourbon Stakes (G3) in October. He was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Javier Castellano will ride Balance the Books, who walked the shedrow on Monday morning, in the Toyota Blue Grass.
Brown said Noble Tune, an Unbridled’s Song colt owned by Martin S. Schwartz and breeder Dell Ridge Farm LLC, would be pointed to the American Turf Stakes (G2) on May 3 at Churchill Downs. He was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
WEST HILLS GIANT JOINS TOYOTA BLUE GRASS LINEUP
“He’s coming to the (Toyota) Blue Grass (G1),” trainer John Terranova said Monday morning of West Hills Giant after the New York-bred colt worked five furlongs in 1:00.47 over a fast Belmont Park training track.
“Tonja (Terranova’s wife and assistant trainer) said he worked the last three-eighths in 35. You need to see that little something when you are going to take on better horses.”
Owned by Long Island Racing Stables, Sunrise Stables and Gina Bentivegna, West Hills Giant finished second to Vyjack in the Gotham Stakes (G3) in his most recent start on March 2.
“He is leaving there today and will be here tomorrow,” Terranova said. “Jose Espinoza will ride him in the (Toyota) Blue Grass.”
In other Toyota Blue Grass news,
Also working toward a possible Toyota Blue Grass start was Darley Stable’s Footbridge. Working at Betfair Hollywood Park, Footbridge worked five furlongs in 1:00.40. Trained by Eoin Harty, Footbridge is scheduled to ship to Keeneland on Wednesday. …
Rydilluc jogged a mile while accompanied by a pony with exercise rider Ricardo Orantes up. Rydilluc entered and exited the track through the paddock. …
Dynamic Sky walked through the paddock on his first full day at Keeneland after arriving at the track Sunday from Churchill Downs. Exercise rider Jason Hoyte was aboard. Stablemate Uncaptured galloped on the main track under exercise rider Wayne Brown. …
My Name Is Michael jogged a mile the morning after he worked four furlongs in :49.00. …
Tesseron and Undrafted both galloped 1½ miles. …
Java’s War, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.56 at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, was scheduled to arrive early afternoon at Keeneland for trainer Ken McPeek. …
Eton Blue was scheduled to arrive at Keeneland on Monday from his winter base at Palm Meadows in South Florida. …
Post positions for the Toyota Blue Grass will be drawn on Wednesday morning.
LEZCANO LIKELY TO RIDE WISE DAN IN FRIDAY’S MAKER’S 46 MILE
Trainer Charlie LoPresti said Monday morning that Jose Lezcano probably would have the mount Friday on 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan when he makes his seasonal debut in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).
“I know Mr. (Morton) Fink wants Lezcano to ride him,” LoPresti said of the gelding’s owner and breeder. “If something happens to where Lezcano can’t ride, it would be Julien Leparoux.”
John Velazquez, regular rider for Wise Dan, was involved in a spill Sunday at Aqueduct and suffered a fractured rib and chipped a bone in his right wrist and will be unavailable to ride Friday.
Lezcano pinch-hit for Velazquez last fall in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) when Velazquez had a prior commitment. Lezcano rode Wise Dan to a 2¼-length victory that served as a steppingstone to Wise Dan’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Wise Dan will be the second LoPresti stable star to make his 2013 debut at the meet. Four D Stables’ Turallure finished sixth in a turf allowance race at 1 1/8 miles Saturday in his first start since July 1.
“I thought he ran a good race and came out of the race fine,” LoPresti said. “He put in his run and Julien (Leparoux) took care of him. He only got beat 3½ lengths.
“I didn’t really want to run him a mile and an eighth for his first time back, but after talking to (Keeneland racing secretary) Ben (Huffman), there was a mile allowance race on April 14 but there was no guarantee it would fill and then he would be sitting here all meet without a race.”
Turallure, a Grade 1 winner, likely will return to the races next month at Churchill Downs.
“If he had run second beaten a head or won, we maybe would have thought about the Woodford Reserve (Turf Classic, G1 on May 4),” LoPresti said. “But this horse needs to win and there is a mile and a sixteenth allowance race during Derby Week.”
Divine Ambition, runner-up in the Team Valor Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park and a possible entrant for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3) on April 20, worked a half-mile in :47.60 on the main track. … Perfect Officer, winner of the 2012 Shakertown Stakes (G3), prepped for this Saturday’s renewal with a half-mile work in :47.60. … Multiple graded stakes winner Ioya Bigtime, a candidate for the closing-day Elkhorn Stakes (G2) on April 26, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80. … Four-time Grade 1 winner Point of Entry worked a half-mile in :48.20.
Jockey Joel Rosario won four races on Sunday’s nine-race card. He won the fourth on Pablo Del Monte ($3.20), the fifth on Patrioticandproud ($6.40), the eighth on Emotional Kitten ($15.40) and the ninth aboard Southern Joy ($9.40). Rosario has five wins to lead all jockeys after the first three days of the spring meet. …
Through the first three days, Ken and Sarah Ramsey have six wins to lead all owners. On Sunday, Ramsey homebreds by their stallion Kitten’s Joy won the seventh (Honor the Kitten), eighth (Emotional Kitten) and ninth (Southern Joy) races. …
Pablo Del Monte, the first foal out of the speedy One Hot Wish, opened his career by winning the fourth race on Sunday. Ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Wesley Ward, who owns the Giant’s Causeway colt with Paul Shanahan, Pablo Del Monte won the 4 1/2-furlong race by five lengths in :51.61. On April 12, 2007, One Hot Wish, a daughter of Bring the Heat that Ward bred and raced, set a world and Keeneland track record of :48.87 when she won her career debut by 12¼ lengths.
Ward said Pablo Del Monte might race in the six-furlong Coventry Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot in June …
Jockey Gary Boulanger scored his first Keeneland victory on Sunday when he rode Richard D. Maynard’s Stormy Going to win the second race for trainer Ray E. Tracy Jr. In his career, Boulanger has won 3,105 races and ridden the earners of nearly $56 million. He is back in the saddle this year after having not ridden since 2005 when he sustained serious injuries in a racing accident. Boulanger trained horses for several years in Florida. …
Trainer Chad Brown said Martin S. Schwartz’s Wave Theory was fine after her fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1). “I don’t know what’s on the schedule next for her, but we’ll take her back to New York,” he said. Other Brown runners being pointed to Keeneland stakes are Samitar (GB) in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) on Saturday, Premier Steps (IRE) in the Beaumont (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select on Sunday, April 14, Watsdachances (IRE) for the Appalachian Stakes (G3) Presented by the Japan Racing Association on April 18 and Big Blue Kitten in the Ben Ali Stakes (G3) on April 21.
“Every year we look forward to coming to Keeneland for these stakes,” said Brown, who has 18 horses here. Brown said he’s attending today’s Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale and expects to remain in Kentucky as his Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) runner-up, Normandy Invasion, is to ship to Churchill Downs on Sunday.
VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH McGAUGHEY, McKEEVER and NAPRAVNIK AVAILABLE
Video interviews conducted by sports broadcaster Tom Leach with trainers Shug McGaughey and Andrew McKeever and jockey Rosie Napravnik are available by clicking the following links:
KEENELAND APRIL SALE SET FOR 4 P.M. TODAY
Keeneland will host its 21th annual April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale today, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. The sale will be streamed live at Keeneland.com.
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WEEK SPECIAL EVENTS
Wednesday, April 10
Keeneland Handicapping Contest presented by Daily Racing Form. Register at Wagering Central. Entry fee is $10; 100% of fees are returned in prizes, with the top 10 handicappers qualifying to Keeneland’s Tournament of Champions in November. Winners of the Tournament of Champions receive an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the 2014 Coast Casinos Horseplayer World Series.
Thursday, April 11 - Sunday, April 14
The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a trunk show with hat milliner Christine A. Moore and Elizabeth McKay. Fans can meet these celebrity designers from 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. ET.
Friday, April 12
Maker’s Mark bottle signing will begin at 6:30 a.m. The 2013 commemorative bottle celebrates University of Kentucky basketball great Dan Issel. Proceeds from sales of the bottle will benefit UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute. The Keeneland Gift Shop will host a Maker’s Mark Dipping Station on the first floor grandstand for fans to have special Keeneland and Maker’s Mark merchandise dipped from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on races 7-10.
Friday Happy Hour. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the final race to enjoy live music and simulcast wagering at Happy Hour in the Mezzanine Bar.
Friday, April 12 - Saturday, April 13
The Keeneland Gift Shop Presents a book signing with internationally acclaimed artist Peter Williams, author of Peter Williams Retrospective: Paintings and People Dear to Me, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
Saturday, April 13
Sunrise Trackside offers activities for the entire family beginning at 7 a.m. with Breakfast With the Works, featuring a Southern-style breakfast and trackside commentary on Thoroughbreds as they train until 8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); a demonstration in the paddock with Justin the Artistic Horse (8:45 a.m.); walking tours of Keeneland (8:30-10:30 a.m.); photos with legendary bugler George “Bucky” Sallee in the paddock (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.); a trackside handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m.); and a Q&A session with a Keeneland jockey in the paddock (12:05 p.m.).
Tailgating on “The Hill.” Watch and wager on Keeneland’s live racing from the tailgate lot. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill features a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A concert series, held in conjunction with Best of Bluegrass, will feature Laurel River Line (April 13) and Town Mountain (April 20).
“ABRV at The Hill.” The interactive fan experience is the latest initiative from The Jockey Club’s new cross-country fan development initiative, America’s Best Racing (ABR). The ABR tour bus, dubbed the ABRV, and six brand ambassadors will bring the popular Racing 101 program to the tailgate lot.
Keeneland Double. A day at the races features the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and is followed by the University of Kentucky’s Blue-White scrimmage football game at Commonwealth Stadium. Fans can park early in the day at Commonwealth Stadium, take a Lextran bus or trolley for $1 each way to Keeneland for a day at the races and return to Commonwealth for the 7 p.m. kickoff. Lextran will have dedicated shuttles from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 4:25 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
All Stakes Pick 4 presented by TVG. A $250,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four Presented by TVG features races 7-10, the Shakertown (G3), Madison (G1), Jenny Wiley (G1), and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Two Pick Five wagers will be offered: Early Pick Five on races 3-7 and a Late Pick Five on races 8-12.
Sunday, April 14
Horses and Hope Pink Day. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise breast cancer awareness. Keeneland co-hosts Pink Day with Horses and Hope, First Lady Jane Beshear’s initiative to reach women working in Kentucky’s horse industry with education and mammography screening. Join survivors and supporters in the North Terrace for live music, a ladies-only handicapping contest, prize drawings and unique Pink Day activities. Prior to the races, a special luncheon sponsored by the First Lady, Kentucky Cancer Program, embry’s and WKYT-TV will be held in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion.
2013 TOYOTA BLUE GRASS STAKES (G1) CONTENDERS
LISTED IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE
The maximum number of starters for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) on Saturday will be limited to 14. In the event that more than 14 pass the entry box, the 14 starters will be determined at that time with preference given to graded stakes winners (in order 1-2-3), then highest earnings.
HORSE JOCKEY TRAINER
UNCAPTURED* M. Mena M. Casse/KEE 1
Last race: 2nd Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:01.40 on 4/6 @ KEE
BALANCE THE BOOKS* J. Castellano C. Brown/KEE 12
Last race: 11th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 4F in :48.20 on 4/7 @ KEE
DYNAMIC SKY J. Rosario M. Casse/KEE 1
Last race: 4th Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on 3/9
Last work: 5F in 1:01.40 on 4/6 @ CD
WEST HILLS GIANT J. Espinoza J. Terranova/BEL
Last race: 2nd Gotham (G3) on 3/2 @ Aqu
Last work: 5F in 1:00.47 on 4/8 @ BEL
JAVA’S WAR J. Leparoux K. McPeek/GP
Last race: 2nd Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on 3/9
Last work: 5F in 1:00.56 on 4/7 @ GP
Arrives KEE on 4/8
CHARMING KITTEN G. Gomez T. Pletcher/CD
Last race: 2nd Palm Beach (G3) on 3/3 @ GP
Last work: 4F in :50.08 @ Palm Meadows
Arrives CD on 4/8
RYDILLUC* E. Prado G. Contessa/KEE 30
Last race: Won Palm Beach (G3) on 3/3 @ GP
Last work: 7F in 1:28.60 on 4/6 @ KEE
FEAR THE KITTEN R. Napravnik M. Maker/CDT
Last race: 5th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:02.20 on 4/6 @ Trackside
PALACE MALICE* T. Pletcher/PM
Last race: 7th LA Derby (G2) on 3/30 @ FG
Arrives CD on 4/8
UNDRAFTED* W. Ward/KEE 47
Last race: 3rd Swale (G3) on 3/2 @ GP
Last work: 5F in 1:01.60 on 4/6 @ KEE
CHANNEL ISLE J. Rocco Jr. D.W. Lukas/CD
Last race: 7th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 5F in 1:00.60 on 4/4/@ CD
MY NAME IS MICHAEL* S. Bridgmohan B. Mott/KEE 25
Last race: 8th Spiral (G3) on 3/23 @ TP
Last work: 4F in :49 on 4/7 @ KEE
TESSERON A. Garcia J. Carroll/KEE 7
Last race: 4th OC on 2/23 @ GP
Last work: 6F in 1:16.20 on 4/3 @ KEE
DEWEY SQUARE C. Lanerie D. Romans/CD
Last race: 5th Palm Beach (G3) on 3/3 @ GP
Last work: 5F in 1:03 on 4/6 @ KEE
FOOTBRIDGE E. Harty/BHP
Last race: Won maiden on 3/17 @ SA
Last work: 6F in 1:13.20 on 4/2 @ BHP
Arrives KEE on 4/10
ETON BLUE N. Zito/PM
Last race: 5th Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on 3/9
Last work: 4F in :48.30 on 4/6 @ PM
Arrives KEE on 4/8
DEMONIC* ** J. Sadler/BHP
Last race: Won maiden on 1/13 @ SA
Last work: 7F in 1:27.60 on 4/6 @ BHP
*Indicates Keeneland sales graduates
** Possible contender