Keeneland Barn Notes: Blue Prize Works In Advance of BC Distaff

(Blue Prize works at Keeneland on Friday / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:



Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG), winner of the Oct. 7 Juddmonte Spinster (G1), returned to the work tab Friday morning with a 4-furlong work in :47.20 in preparation for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. (Click here for a video of the work.)


Joe Bravo, who rode Blue Prize in the Juddmonte Spinster for Keeneland-based trainer Ignacio Correas IV, was aboard the 5-year-old Pure Prize mare after the morning renovation break.


Keeneland clockers caught Blue Prize’s final quarter-mile in :23.20 with a gallop out of :59.60.

“It was a maintenance work, and it was a little bit faster than I would have liked, but she got that target (two horses working together) about 10 lengths in front that we weren’t expecting,” Correas said. “Other than that, I wanted to see what she did with Joe coming home. I think she did everything right. We’re happy.”

Correas said Bravo will ride Blue Prize in the Distaff, being held at the track where she won the 2017 Falls City (G2) and the 2018 Fleur de Lis (G2) and Locust Grove (G3).


In the Juddmonte Spinster, Blue Prize twice before the eighth pole ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track. Bravo straightened her out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for a three-quarter-length win.

“I wanted him to get to know her a little bit better,” he said about having Bravo aboard this morning. “Caught everybody by surprise what she did last time. We don’t really have an explanation for that.”


Correas said Blue Prize would have one more work here next week – “I don’t know when yet,” he said – and would ship to Churchill on Wednesday, Oct. 31.


“We want to keep her home as much as we can,” he said. “Probably gallop here that morning and then go over.”


(Breeders’ Futurity winner works at Keeneland on Friday / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)


KRA Stud Farm’s runaway 5½-length Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Knicks Go completed his major training for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs by working 5 furlongs in :59.20 over a fast track Friday morning. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Working on his own after the morning renovation break, the colt by Paynter produced fractions of :11.60, :23.20, :35.20, :46.80 and out 6 furlongs in 1:11.80.

The time is the fastest of 19 works at the distance.

“He worked well and that was the last work for him before the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Ben Colebrook said. “It is the same thing I did with him before the Breeders’ Futurity, working two weeks before.”

Colebrook, who saddled two maiden winners on Thursday’s program including K Choice for KRA Stud Farm, said Knicks Go would remain at Keeneland “until the last minute. He has to be there Tuesday (Oct. 30) and I will probably train him here that morning before going over.”

Scheduled to work Saturday morning after the renovation break for Colebrook is Katherine Ball’s Limousine Liberal, who is expected to be pre-entered Monday in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

(Restless Rider, outside, and Princesa Carolina work at Keeneland / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)


For trainer Kenny McPeek, Darley Alcibiades (G1) winner Restless Rider and Princesa Carolina, fifth in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2), breezed in tandem at Keeneland Friday morning in advance of their Nov. 2 engagements in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.  (Click here for a video of the work.)

Working after the morning renovation break, the duo stopped the clock in 1:01.40 for 5 furlongs. According to Keeneland clockers, they galloped out well in hand in 1:14.40 with splits of :12.40, :24.40, :36.20 and :48.80.

Exercise rider Danny Ramsey was aboard Restless Rider, and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. rode Princesa Carolina.

Restless Rider, owned by Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm, will be entered in the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Fillies Juvenile (G1), while Princesa Carolina, who campaigns for Three Chimneys, is aiming for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

“Restless Rider just needed a nice maintenance breeze,” McPeek said. “Next week they will work again together here, but it was a nice maintenance work. I’m happy enough.”

McPeek said the fillies will remain at Keeneland before shipping to Churchill Oct. 29 or 30.

Restless Rider, a Keeneland sales graduate, won her career debut and the Debutante at Churchill in June prior to finishing second in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 2. She was a 2½-length winner of the Darley Alicibiades on Oct. 5 in her only other start.

Princesa Carolina won her second career start at Saratoga on Sept. 3 before making a late rally to be fifth in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine on Oct. 10.

McPeek reported that Alabama (G1) winner Eskimo Kisses, seventh as the favorite in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 7, will bypass the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 3.


John Oxley’s Indian Summer winner Strike Silver and Gary Barber’s War of Will, fourth in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3), worked a half-mile together in :47.20 on the main track early Friday morning in preparation for grass tests at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in two weeks at Churchill Downs.

Fractions on the work accomplished at 5:45 a.m. were :12.20, :24.20, :35.40 and out 5 furlongs in 1:00.40.

“That was beautiful; I’m very happy,” said David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “The track is in great shape and they did it well within themselves.”

Strike Silver, a colt by Violence, is expected to be pre-entered Monday for the inaugural $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, and War of Will, a son of War Front, is expected to be pre-entered for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Both races are Nov. 2.

“Most likely they will stay here and have their final work next Friday, weather permitting,” Carroll said. “They are both fit and ready.”



Dawn and Ike Thrash’s Kelly’s Humor, a fast-closing second this spring in the Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select, makes her Keeneland return Saturday afternoon in the 20th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).

“She really likes Keeneland and ran well off the layoff last spring,” trainer Brad Cox said of the filly’s runner-up finish to Gas StationSushi in the Beaumont in her first start in 4½ months.

Listed as the 6-1 third choice on the morning line for the 7-furlong Lexus Raven Run, Kelly’s Humor will be making her first start since finishing third in the Test (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

“The break was by design,” Cox said. “She runs well fresh and has done well at Keeneland (where she has worked twice).”

Although she is graded stakes-placed going two turns, Cox feels sprinting might be Kelly’s Humor’s forte.

“The one turn probably fits her better,” Cox said. “She is effective going two turns and she broke her maiden going a mile at Ellis Park and that is like a turn and a half.”

Cox also said Arklow came out of his runner-up effort in Thursday’s Sycamore (G3) fine and that no decision had been made regarding the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) Nov. 3.

“He cooled out fine and is good this morning,” Cox said of Arklow, who likely will remain at Keeneland a few more days before returning to Cox’s main string at Churchill Downs. “We will evaluate him but we don’t have to make a decision until pre-entries on Monday.”




Keeneland racing analyst Tom Leach interviewed jockey Florent Geroux about Cool Beans in today’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3) and trainer Eddie Kenneally about She’s Pretty Lucky in Saturday’s Lexus Raven Run (G2). …





Keeneland is home to several potential contenders for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2-3.

Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup will be announced Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Here are the trainers and their possible Breeders’ Cup runners:


Trainer (Barn)HorseBreeders’ Cup RaceLast Race (at KEE unless indicated)Most Recent Work Since Last Race
Rusty Arnold (60)Concrete RoseJuvenile Fillies TurfWon 10/10 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) 
Richard Baltas (41)Next SharesMileWon 10/6 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) 
Mark Casse (37)Strike SilverJuvenile Turf SprintWon 10/7 Indian Summer10/19: 4f in :47.20 on dirt
War of WillJuvenile Turf4th in 10/7 Dixiana Bourbon (G3)10/19: 4f in :47.20 on dirt
Norm Casse (33)Belle LauraJuvenile Fillies Turf3rd in 10/10 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) 
Ben Colebrook (66)Knicks GoJuvenileWon 10/6 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)10/19: 5f in :59.20
Limousine LiberalSprint/Dirt Mile3rd in 10/5 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) 
Mr. CrowSprint2nd in 9/29 Vosburgh (G1) at BEL 
Ignacio Correas IV (70)Blue Prize (ARG)DistaffWon 10/7 Juddmonte Spinster (G1)10/19: 4f in :47.20
Brian Lynch (40)Oscar PerformanceMileWon 9/15 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1)
at WO
10/17: 5f in 1:01 on dirt
Kenny McPeek (34)Princesa CarolinaJuvenile Fillies Turf5th in 10/10 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2)10/19: 5f in 1:01.40 on dirt
Restless RiderJuvenile FilliesWon 10/5 Darley Alcibiades (G1)10/19: 5f in 1:01.40
SignalmanJuvenile2nd in 10/6 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) 
Joe Sharp (46)Mom’s On StrikeFilly and Mare Turf2nd in 9/13 Ramsey Farm at KD10/13: 5f in 1:02 on dirt
Wesley Ward (41, 47, 68)Chelsea CloistersJuvenile Turf Sprint2nd in 10/7 Indian Summer 
 Moonlight RomanceJuvenile Turf SprintWon 9/8 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint at KD10/17: 4f in :50 on dirt
 Shang Shang ShangJuvenile Turf SprintWon 6/21 Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot10/13: 5f in 1:02 on dirt
 Stillwater CoveJuvenile Turf Sprint5th in 9/16 Natalma (G1) at WO10/17: 4f in :49 on dirt
 Two ShakesJuvenile Turf Sprint7th in 9/1 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies at KD9/16 4f in :51 on dirt


$200,000 HAGYARD FAYETTE (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 24; race Saturday, Oct. 27) – Guest Suite (trainer Neil Howard), Hence (Steve Asmussen), Leofric (Brad Cox), Name Changer (Alan Goldberg), Nice Not Nice (Buff Bradley), Prime Attraction (James Cassidy), Rated R Superstar (Kenny McPeek). Possible: Hofburg (Bill Mott), Honorable Duty (Brendan Walsh), Scuba (Walsh).


Through Spring 2019

Keeneland Library exhibit “From the Vault: Historic Tracks.” This exhibit features 26 select images from the Library’s archive that showcase tracks from the early 20th century. Pioneering Turf photographers John C. Hemment and Charles Christian Cook are featured, with additional representation from Joel Clyne Meadors and Robert Lee McClure, among others. The Library is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

The online exhibit “Photo Treasures from the Keeneland Library” presents nearly 100 other historic images of U.S. racing facilities in its “Tracks Gallery.”

Saturday, Oct. 20

Sunrise Trackside. Thoroughbreds and their human connections begin the day well before sunrise. See what they’re up to during Sunrise Trackside, a free, family-friendly event with activities for all ages: Breakfast With the Works features breakfast for purchase and trackside commentary (7-8:30 a.m.) while racehorses train on the main track; children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7:30-9:30 a.m.); free guided Keeneland tours (7:30-10 a.m.); Paddock demonstration with a blood donor horse from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute (9 a.m.); and Q&A session with jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the Paddock (12:05 p.m.).

The Hill (weather permitting). Keeneland’s designated tailgate lot offers fans a jumbo screen TV to watch live racing and football, wagering, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.


The Keeneland Shop presents a trunk show with Frederique.


$300,000-guaranteed Pick Four. Races 7-10, including the Lexus Raven Run (G2).


Sunday, Oct. 21

Owner’s Experience Tour. Click here for more information about this tour and other Official Keeneland Tours.


Heroes Day Presented by City Barbecue. Heroes Day honors members of the military (active duty and veterans), first responders – law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs – and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. The Family Zone will offer free lunch and children’s activities for those families in the North Terrace from noon to 4 p.m.

Other special activities include a flag unfurling on the main track between races and recognition of local heroes in the Winner’s Circle throughout the afternoon.

The Keeneland Shop presents a trunk show with Frederique.


Tuesday, Oct. 23


Tour Keeneland and Behind-the-Scenes Racing Tour. Click here for more information about these tours and other Official Keeneland Tours.


Keeneland Library Lecture Series presents Milt C. Toby, author of Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case, at 6:30 p.m. Following Toby’s presentation, the Library will host a reception and book signing. A limited number of Taking Shergar will be available for purchase. Event is free and open to the public.




Through Oct. 18 (10 days of 17-day season)

Jose Ortiz45785$526,923
Tyler Gaffalione39744$900,334
Julien Leparoux50734$434,030
*Edgar Morales34613$148,872
Ricardo Santana Jr.51536$400,971


Todd Pletcher16721$434,956
Mike Maker31524$247,048
Brad Cox26453$395,257
Eddie Kenneally19440$160,075
Steve Asmussen28414$234,169


Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey3
Marc Detampel and Sunshine State Racing (Mike Peak)2
KRA Stud Fam (Jin Woo Lee)2
Lothenbach Stables (Robert J. Lothenbach)2
John C. Oxley2


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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