(Trainer Steve Asmussen / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
GRADE 1 WINNER BASIN WORKS FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS
Toyota Blue Grass (G2) hopeful Basin, who races for Terry Green’s Jackpot Farm, was the first horse to breeze over Keeneland’s fast track Monday when he covered a half-mile in :50.20 around 5:45 a.m. The breeze was the second consecutive move at Keeneland for last year’s Runhappy Hopeful (G1) winner, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 a week ago.
In his most recent race, Basin was second in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park. The colt, which has won two of six races and earned $471,000, is ninth on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 50 points.
Basin is a member of the first crop by Liam’s Map, who won the 2015 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland. Jackpot purchased the colt for $150,000 at Keeneland’s 2018 September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Brookdale Sales, agent for breeder Cottonwood Stables.
Asmussen, North America’s second-leading all-time trainer by wins (8,896) and earnings ($333,188,601), has started five horses in the Toyota Blue Grass with his best finish a runner-up effort by Storm Treasure in 2006. He sent out Jackpot’s Zing Zang to a ninth-place finish in the 2018 Toyota Blue Grass.
Entries for the 96th running Toyota Blue Grass and five other stakes will be taken Wednesday. The Toyota Blue Grass carries 170 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 100-40-20-10 scale to the first four finishers.
TOM LEACH INTERVIEWS TRAINERS CHERIE DeVAUX, MICHAEL McCARTHY
Keeneland racing analyst Tom Leach interviewed these trainers with horses scheduled to compete during the Summer Meet:
Cherie DeVaux on Manganero Bloodstock’s Mariafoot (FR), who is making her North American debut in Saturday’s Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association, and first-time starters Beautiful Morning and Country Time, who are racing in the fourth race on Wednesday’s opening day.
Michael McCarthy on Jim and Donna Daniell’s Rushie, who is set to start in Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G2), and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables’ Speech, who is nominated to Friday’s Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select and to Saturday’s Central Bank Ashland (G1).
In addition to breezing Toyota Blue Grass (G2) contender Basin Monday morning, trainer Steve Asmussen also worked a likely starter in the July 11 Madison (G1), Stonestreet Stables’ Mia Mischief (3 furlongs in :37.80). Other Summer Meet stakes nominees for Asmussen to work Monday were Ed and Susie Orr’sAlta’s Award (Central Bank Ashland-G1; half-mile in :49.80) and JoAnn and Alex Lieblong’s Wicked Whisper (Beaumont-G3 Presented by Keeneland Select; 3 furlongs in :38).
KEITH ASMUSSEN TO MAKE KEENELAND RIDING DEBUT THURSDAY
Keith Asmussen, the 21-year-old son of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen who began his riding career on June 15 at Lone Star Park, is scheduled to make his Keeneland debut Thursday during the second day of Keeneland’s five-day Summer Meet.
A member of a family with deep roots in horse racing, Keith Asmussen had six mounts at Lone Star with two seconds.
In Thursday’s first race, he will ride first-time starter Super Stock in the 5½-furlong turf race for 2-year-olds worth $77,000. The jockey’s father trains the 2-year-old Dialed In colt, who races for his grandfather, also named Keith, and Erv Woolsey.
On Monday, a total of 111 horses were entered in Thursday’s nine-race card.
First post during the Summer Meet is 1:05 p.m.
The Summer Meet will feature 10 graded stakes beginning with the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) and Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select on Friday. The Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and Central Bank Ashland (G1) headline six graded stakes on Saturday with the TVG Elkhorn (G2) and Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) completing the stakes lineup Sunday.
Entries for Friday’s card, which includes the Maker’s Mark Mile and Beaumont Presented by Keeneland Select, will be taken Tuesday.
TVG PLAYS KEY ROLE DURING KEENELAND SUMMER MEET
As a race sponsor with analysts covering Keeneland’s Summer Meet on July 8-12, TVG Network will have an important presence while the track presents Keeneland at Home Presented by Central Bank to enable fans to remotely enjoy the unprecedented season.
TVG, an affiliate of FanDuel Group, America’s horse racing network, is available in more than 45 million homes and broadcasts races from the U.S. and around the world every day. TVG and Keeneland have partnered since 1996, with TVG providing extensive coverage and promotion of Keeneland’s race meets and sales.
This collaboration expanded in January with the announcement that TVG had become the sponsor of the TVG Limestone Turf Sprint during Keeneland’s Spring Meet and the Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG during the Fall Meet.
However, with the cancellation of the Spring Meet because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the creation of the Summer Meet to accommodate a portion of that season, TVG received a new opportunity to sponsor a race. The $175,000 TVG Elkhorn (G2), a 1½-mile turf race for 4-year-olds and up, will be run on the July 12 closing day of the season.
“As always, we are incredibly excited to partner with Keeneland, to have our talent on-site and to bring racing fans all the action every day of the meet from the heart of Thoroughbred racing,” TVG Executive Producer and Senior Vice President of Television Kevin Grigsby said. “Keeneland’s traditional Spring and Fall race meetings are always popular with TVG viewers, and we expect the same reaction for this unique Summer Meet.”
During the Summer Meet, TVG will be represented by analysts Christina Blacker, Gabby Gaudet and Scott Hazelton – all of whom are extremely familiar to Keeneland racing and sales patrons.
Race-day coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. when Gaudet and Hazelton host “Today at Keeneland,” the popular 30-minute preview show with handicapping picks and discussion of horses of interest. “Today at Keeneland” will air live on TVG2, The CW Lexington and WKYT.com and be streamed live on Keeneland.com, KeenelandSelect.com and Facebook Live.
New to the race-day broadcast lineup is “Keeneland at Home Presented by Central Bank,” a 30-minute program on Facebook Live, YouTube at 12:15 p.m. Blacker is hosting the show, which will feature lessons in BETology, race-day libations from Maker’s Mark, daily handicapping picks from Ellis Starr and more.
TVG’s live coverage of Keeneland races will begin at 1 p.m. Gaudet and Hazelton will continue to serve as Paddock commentators and conduct interviews with winning connections after stakes.
In addition to TVG’s coverage, all Keeneland races will be streamed live and at no charge onKeeneland.com and Keeneland’s Facebook Live and YouTube.
SUMMER MEET STAKES FIELDS
According to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Tiffany Bourque, here are potential fields for each Summer Meet stakes:
Friday, July 10 stakes. Entries taken Tuesday.
$300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) – Emmaus (IRE) (trained by Conor Murphy), Everfast (Jack Sisterson), Halladay (Todd Pletcher), Raging Bull (FR) (Chad Brown), War of Will (Mark Casse), Without Parole (GB) (Brown). Possible: Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone), English Bee (Graham Motion), Next Shares (Richard Baltas), Set Piece (GB) (Brad Cox).
$100,000 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select – Finding Fame (Shug McGaughey), Four Graces (Ian Wilkes), Sconsin (Greg Foley), Turtle Trax (Ian Wilkes). Possible: Rising Seas (Ben Colebrook), Speech (Michael McCarthy).
Saturday, July 11 stakes. Entries taken Wednesday.
$600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) – Art Collector (Tom Drury Jr.), Attachment Rate (Dale Romans), Basin (Steve Asmussen), Enforceable (Mark Casse), Finnick the Fierce (Rey Hernandez), Hard Lighting (Alexis Delgado), Hunt the Front (Nick Zito), Man in the Can (Ron Moquett), Mr. Big News (Bret Calhoun), Rushie (Michael McCarthy), Shivaree (Ralph Nicks), Winning Impression (Dallas Stewart). Possible: Swiss Skydiver (Kenny McPeek).
$400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) – Bonny South (Brad Cox), Envoutante (Kenny McPeek), Swiss Skydiver (McPeek), Tonalist’s Shape (Saffie Joseph Jr.), Venetian Harbor (Richard Baltas). Possible: Speech (Michael McCarthy), Tempers Rising (Dallas Stewart).
$350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) – Altea (FR) (Chad Brown), Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) (Richard Mandella), La Signare (FR) (Brendan Walsh), Mucho Unusual (Tim Yakteen), Rushing Fall (Brown), Secret Message (Graham Motion), Toinette (Neil Drysdale). Possible: Juliet Foxtrot (GB) (Brad Cox), Starship Jubilee (Kevin Attard).
$250,000 Madison (G1) – Amy’s Challenge (McLean Robertson), Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin), Guarana (Chad Brown), Mia Mischief (Steve Asmussen), Princess Causeway (Ian Wilkes), Sally’s Curlin (Dale Romans). Possible: Diamond Crazy (Dallas Stewart), Jean Elizabeth (Larry Rivelli).
$150,000 Shakertown (G2) – Bound for Nowhere (Wesley Ward), Extravagant Kid (Brendan Walsh), Fast Boat (Joe Sharp), High Crime (Darrin Miller), Just Might (Michelle Lovell), Leinster (Rusty Arnold), Real News (Al Stall Jr.), Sabador (FR) (Conor Murphy), Shekky Shebaz (Christophe Clement), Tell Your Daddy (Neil Pessin), Texas Wedge (Peter Miller), Tiger Blood (Mike Maker), Totally Boss (Arnold), Wildman Jack (Doug O’Neill). Possible: Star of Kodiak (Chris Davis).
$150,000 Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association – Alms (Mike Stidham), Enola Gay (Shug McGaughey), Ivyetsu (Rusty Arnold), Mariafoot (FR) (Cherie DeVaux), Outburst (GB) (Eddie Kenneally), Walk In Marrakesh (IRE) (Ignacio Correas IV). Possible: Cat’s Pajamas (Graham Motion), Lucky Betty (Will VanMeter), Stela Star (IRE) (John Sadler).
Note: Wagering on July 11 will feature a $500,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five and $500,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four.
Sunday, July 12 stakes. Entries taken Thursday.
$175,000 TVG Elkhorn (G2) – He’s No Lemon (Graham Motion), Hellorhighwater (Darrin Miller), Henley’s Joy (Steve Asmussen), Hierarchy (Joe Sharp), Jais’s Solitude (Eddie Kenneally), Nakamura (Motion), Oscar Dominguez (IRE) (Richard Baltas), Ry’s the Guy (Ian Wilkes), Zulu Alpha (Mike Maker).Possible: Arklow (Brad Cox).
$100,000 Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) – Irish Mias (Graham Motion), Smooth Like Strait (Michael McCarthy), Spanish Kingdom (Joe Sharp), Street Ready (Ian Wilkes), Vintage Print (Chad Brown).Possible: Bama Breeze (Rusty Arnold), Buy Me Candy (Ignacio Correas IV), Mo Hawk (Rodolphe Brisset).
Note: NBCSN will provide live coverage of the TVG Elkhorn from 5-7 p.m.
Visit Keeneland at Home Presented by Central Bank for more information about
the Summer Meet and learn about a variety of creative and fun ways for fans
to remotely enjoy the season.