(Blue Prize after winning the G1 Spinster Stakes for the second time in a row / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Merriebelle Stable’s two-time Juddmonte Spinster (G1) winner Blue Prize (ARG) breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 over a fast main track Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in her final serious Keeneland preparations for her next engagement. The 6-year-old daughter of Pure Prize has been pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, marking her second start in the race.

Keeneland clockers caught Blue Prize in :12.80, :25.60, 1:01.40 and out 6 furlongs in 1:13.23.

“We are very happy with the way she worked,” trainer Ignacio Correas IV said.

The work was the second for Blue Prize since she won the Juddmonte Spinster on Oct. 6. She breezed 4 furlongs in :49.40 on Oct. 18.

Correas said he “can’t feel better” about Blue Prize as she is about to embark on a trip to the West Coast. She is set to leave Keeneland Saturday.

“She always handles everything well, so I hope she will handle it the same way,” he said.

Blue Prize, who began her career in Argentina and was a Group 1 winner there, has won nine of 22 starts and earned $1,592,253. Fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last year at Churchill Downs, she has two wins in five starts this year. Her other victory was the Aug. 18 Summer Colony (L) at Saratoga.

“Probably one of the best horses I’ve trained in my life,” Correas said. “I’m blessed to have her.”

Another Breeders’ Cup pre-entrant working this morning was Ron Paolucci Racing and Leigh Anderson-Butler’s Heavenhasmynikki, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:04.80. Winner of her past three races, including the Vagrancy (G3) at Belmont Park, the 4-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior was pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) on Nov. 2. She is trained by Bob Hess.

 MOCITO ROJO SEEKS 18TH WIN IN SATURDAY’S HAGYARD FAYETTE

Wayne T. Davis’ Louisiana-based Mocito Rojo arrived at Keeneland Monday for the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) on Saturday’s closing day of the Fall Meet with a record of 17 victories in 25 starts and earnings of $797,000. He’s on a five-race win streak that includes the Steve Sexton Mile (G3) in April at Lone Star Park and the Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs on Aug. 28 in his most recent start.

Trainer Shane Wilson credited Keeneland Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, a longtime friend, with encouraging him to send Mocito Rojo here for the race.

“We’d like to try him in a Grade 2 spot somewhere,” Wilson said. “He likes to win. Every time we’ve put him in a little tougher spot, he’s run a little bit better and a little better.”

Wilson and Davis claimed Mocito Rojo for $10,000 in his winning career debut at Delta Downs in December 2016. Wilson said he had been impressed with the youngster’s works and hoped he’d be as good as his older full sister, Blutadda, who had earned about $100,000 at the time.

For his new connections, Mocito Rojo won at Delta, Evangeline Downs and Louisiana Downs. Wilson studied the competition and believed the Kentucky-bred was ready to travel outside Louisiana.

“We decided to try a Grade 3 just based on the speed figures he’d been running,” he said. “He stepped up and ran well there (in the Steve Sexton Mile, which he won by two lengths). We came back for the Lukas Classic, and he did it again.”

The Lukas Classic, which Mocito Rojo won by a neck, is at 1 1/8 miles, the same distance as the Hagyard Fayette.

Now Mocito Rojo is in Lexington, where the Hagyard Fayette will mark the Keeneland debut for his regular jockey, Filemon Rodriguez.

“They may be better riders, but they don’t know my horse,” Wilson said. “Filemon Rodriguez has won 14 times on the horse. He broke his collarbone a couple months back, so that’s why Gerard Melancon rode him in his last two starts. But he’s back now. He knows the horse; he’s the only one who’s ever breezed the horse.

“First time at Keeneland, he might be a little nervous. But I think once they’re in the gates and break, he’ll be fine.”

Also coming from Louisiana for the Hagyard Fayette are Wilson’s wife and their two sons along with Davis, for whom Wilson has trained for many years.

“Mr. Davis is 90, and this is the best horse he’s ever had,” Wilson said. “When (Mocito Rojo) won at Churchill the last time, he said, ‘Shane, I’ve made some money in my life, but I’ve never had as much fun as I’m having right now.’ He tells me all the time: ‘I’ve heard all my life that if you’ll stay at it (in horse racing) long enough you’ll get a good horse.”

 KEENELAND MEET LEADER RACES ENTERING HOME STRETCH

The competition for Fall Meet leading owner, trainer and jockey titles is as exciting as the racing itself.

Two-time Eclipse Award winner Julien Leparoux extended his winning tally to 17 on Wednesday in his bid to earn a 12th leading rider title at Keeneland.

Leparoux is third behind Pat Day and Don Brumfield in number of Keeneland titles won, and he is fourth behind Day, Brumfield and Robby Albarado in total races won (490 to date) at Keeneland.

Javier Castellano is second in the standings with 12 wins, among them the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) on Engage and Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) with Spiced Perfection.

Entering Thursday’s races, Corey Lanerie and Jose Ortiz are tied for third with 11 wins each. This fall, Ortiz captured Keeneland’s two Grade 1 juvenile stakes, the Darley Alcibiades with British Idiom and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity aboard Maxfield, as well as the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) with Sweet Melania. Lanerie accounted for the Lexus Raven Run (G2) aboard Bell’s the One.

The reins are in the hands of Lanerie to close the gap with Leparoux because Castellano and Ortiz are not named to ride at Keeneland for the remainder of the season. Both Leparoux and Lanerie are named on numerous mounts through Saturday.

It’s a much tighter battle for leading Fall Meet trainer and owner.

At least five trainers are within striking distance of three-time Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown, who sits atop the standings with seven wins, led by victories with Uni (GB) in the First Lady Presented by UK Healthcare (G1) and Cambier Parc in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1). Brown has no horses entered at Keeneland the remainder of the meet.

Mike Maker notched a win on Wednesday to edge within one of Brown. He has entered a total of six horses on Friday and Saturday at Keeneland.

Four trainers – Ian Wilkes, Brad Cox, Brendan Walsh and Wesley Ward – are tied with four wins each heading into Thursday. Cox is entered in 10 races and Wilkes in eight through Saturday. Walsh and Ward have the opportunity to tie Brown if they each win the three races in which they are entered.

The race for the Fall Meet leading owner title has the potential to go down to the final race on closing Saturday. Bob Lothenbach’s Lothenbach Stables and David Mowat’s Ten Broeck Farm currently lead the standings with three wins each.

Each has enjoyed a stakes win this fall – Lothenbach Stables with Bell’s the One in the Lexus Raven Run and Ten Broeck with Kimari in the Indian Summer.

Chasing these two are eight other owners with two wins each. Several have opportunities to win through late closing day.

KEENELAND SALES PRODUCE 73 HORSES PRE-ENTERED IN BREEDERS’ CUP

Seventy-three horses that are graduates of Keeneland sales have been pre-entered in the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships being held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita. They include six of the 11 horses pre-entered in the event’s richest race, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1): Code of Honor, Higher Power, McKinzie, Owendale, Vino Rosso and War of Will.

Entry deadline for the Breeders’ Cup races is Monday, Oct. 28.

The pre-entered Keeneland sales graduates are:

Future Stars Friday: Nov. 1

$1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2): Another Miracle, Cambria. Also: Embolden, Fore Left, Karak, Leucothea, Full Flat

$1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1): Abscond, Crystalle, Selflessly, Sweet Melania

$2 million Juvenile Fillies (G1): Bast, Comical, Donna Veloce, K P Dreamin, Lazy Daisy, Wicked Whisper

$1 million Juvenile Turf (G1): American Theorem, Decorated Invader, Graceful Kitten, Hit the Road, Our Country, Peace Achieved, Structor, War Beast. Also: Billy Batts, Embolden, Deviant, Anneau d’Or

$2 million TVG Juvenile (G1): American Theorem, Annaeu d’Or, Billy Batts, Eight Rings, Full Flat, Scabard, Shoplifted, Wrecking Crew

Championships Saturday, Nov. 2

$1 million Filly and Mare Sprint (G1): Bellafina, Covfefe, Lady Ninja, Mo See Cal, Secret Spice, Serengeti Empress

$1 million Turf Sprint (G1): Om, So Perfect, Stubbins, Totally Boss. Also: Shekky Shebaz

$1 million Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (G1): Blue Chipper, Catalina Cruiser, Diamond Oops, Giant Expectations, Hog Creek Hustle, Improbable, Mr. Money, Omaha Beach. Also: Snapper Sinclair

$2 million Sprint (G1): Catalina Cruiser, Diamond Oops, Engage, Hog Creek Hustle, Landeskog, Matera Sky, Mitole

$2 million TVG Mile (G1): Bowies Hero, Bricks and Mortar, Got Stormy. Also: Next Shares, Om, Snapper Sinclair

$2 million Distaff (G1): Dunbar Road, Midnight Bisou, Mo See Cal, Ollie’s Candy, Secret Spice, Serengeti Empress

$4 million Turf (G1): Arklow, Bandua, Bricks and Mortar, Channel Maker, United

$6 million Classic (G1): Code of Honor, Higher Power, McKinzie, Owendale, Vino Rosso, War of Will

GALLOPING OUT

Keeneland has announced it will host the second Railbird Festival on Aug. 22-23, 2020. The music event, which celebrates music, bourbon, equine culture and Lexington tradition, debuted this August on the grounds surrounding the Keeneland Entertainment Center and the Keeneland Library.

                                                                                  BREEDERS’ CUP PRE-ENTRANTS STABLED AT KEENELAND

Keeneland is home to these horses who have been pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2:

Trainer (Barn) Horse BC Race Last Race Latest Work
Rusty Arnold (60) Gear Jockey Juvenile Turf (G1) 3rd 10/6 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at KEE 10/18: 4f in :49.60 (dirt)
Leinster Turf Sprint (G1) 2nd 10/5 Woodford (G2) at KEE 10/20: 4f in :52.80 (turf)
Totally Boss Turf Sprint Won 9/7 Runhappy Turf Sprint (G3) at KD 10/20: 4f in :47.80 (dirt)
Ignacio Correas IV (41, 70) Blue Prize (ARG) Distaff (G1) Won 10/6 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at KEE 10/24: 5f in 1:01.40
Walk In Marrakesh (IRE) Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) 2nd 9/15 Natalma (G1) at WO 10/20: 4f in :50.40 (turf)
Bob Hess (1) Heavenhasmynikki Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) Won 10/5 Diana at TDN 10/24: 5f in 1:04.80
Eddie Kenneally (34, 72) Abscond Juvenile Fillies Turf Won 9/15 Natalma at WO 10/18: 4f in :48.80 (dirt)
  Girls Know Best Turf Sprint 3rd 10/11: Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) at KEE  
Kiaran McLaughlin (33) Dawn the Destroyer Filly and Mare Sprint 2nd 10/5 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at KEE 10/18: 4f in :48.20
Henri-Alex Pantall (quarantine barn) Castle Lady (IRE) Filly and Mare Turf (G1) 2nd 10/12 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) at KEE  
Todd Pletcher (6) Sweet Melania Juvenile Fillies Turf Won 10/9 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) at KEE  
Jack Sisterson (Calumet Farm barn on Rice Road) Bandua Turf (G1) 8th 10/5 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at KEE 10/21: 4f in :49 (dirt)
Brendan Walsh (24) Maxfield TVG Juvenile (G1) Won 10/5 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at KEE 10/18: 4f in :48.60
Vitalogy (GB) Juvenile Turf 2nd 10/6 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at KEE 10/20: 4f in :50.20 (turf)
Wesley Ward (47, 68) Cambria Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) Won 9/7 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Sprint at KD 10/20: 4f in :49.80 (turf)
Four Wheel Drive Juvenile Turf Sprint Won 10/6 Futurity (G3) at BEL 10/20: 4f in :50 (turf)
Karak Juvenile Turf Sprint 4th in 10/5 Matron (G3) at BEL 10/20: 4f in :50 (turf)
Kimari Juvenile Turf Sprint Won 10/6 Indian Summer at KEE 10/20: 4f in :48.80 (turf)

 

FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS

All Year

Official Keeneland Tours – A variety of guided walking tours showcase Keeneland’s racing and sales operations. Click here for more information.

Now through Nov. 1

Bud Light Getaway – Click here to enter to win a VIP day at the races during Keeneland’s 2020 Spring Meet.

Through March 2020

The Keeneland Library Presents “A Day in the Life: Volume I” – This new exhibit features the work of early Turf photographer John C. Hemment. The Keeneland Library is home to the largest known surviving body of work of Hemment, a photographer during the late 19th and early 20th century. A virtual counterpart of the Hemment exhibit is at keenelandlibrary.omeka.net/exhibits.Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the Library is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Oct. 24

East Gate Shop special offer – The satellite location of The Keeneland Shop is offering a $5 off hat purchase on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Fall Meet (offer not available at The Keeneland Shop and Milliners Corner or at satellite locations at Wagering Central and the finish line). Located on the first floor of the Saddling Paddock Chalet – in a corner near the East Gate Grandstand entrance – the East Gate Shop is open to the public on race days from 10 a.m. ET until 30 minutes after the final race. (Re-entry to the track is available through the East Gate entrance.)

The East Gate Shop, which has a selection of hats, T-shirts and other Keeneland souvenir items, has personalization and engraving options to give fans the opportunity to customize their purchases. A complimentary bag check enables fans to leave their purchases there during the races and pick them up when they leave.

Friday, Oct. 25

The Hill – Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.

Saturday, Oct. 26 – Closing Day

 

Special Halloween Edition Sunrise Trackside – Families, out-of-town guests, longtime Keeneland fans and others will enjoy spending a morning at the track before the races begin. Watch racehorses train over the track and enjoy Breakfast With the Works and trackside commentary (7-8:30 a.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7:30-9:30 a.m.); free guided tours of the grounds (7:30-10 a.m.) and a demonstration by Locust Trace AgriScience Center.

 

Children are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes to the track. Buckles, the Keeneland Kids Club mascot, will award Kids Club prize packages to some of the best costumes. Children will enjoy special Halloween activities and have a chance to collect candy. The Headless Horseman will appear in the Paddock at approximately 9:15 a.m. and on the track during the race day.

 

Jockey Q&A with Tyler Gaffalione in the Paddock at 12:05 p.m.

 

The Hill – Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.

 

 

 

FALL MEET LEADERS

 

Through Oct. 23 (14 days of 17-day season)

 

Jockey   Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Julien Leparoux   77 17 8 9 $961,090
Javier Castellano   54 12 11 7 $1,290,818
Corey Lanerie   86 11 13 10 $710,502
Jose Ortiz   74 11 11 8 $1,328,113
Tyler Gaffalione   73 9 9 12 $675,316

 

Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Chad Brown 30 7 5 2 $984,018
Mike Maker 42 6 6 5 $409,081
Ian Wilkes 33 4 5 2 $310,622
Brad Cox 32 4 4 5 $529,205
Brendan Walsh 32 4 4 3 $530,703
Wesley Ward 25 4 3 5 $357,487

 

Owner Wins
Lothenbach Stables (Bob Lothenbach) 3
Ten Broeck Farm (David Mowat) 3