(Keeneland / Coady Photography)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

CAN GROUP, FIRST WORLD WAR LEAD OVERFLOW FIELD FOR OPENING-DAY TRANSYLVANIA PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT

J. Stable and Cash Is King’s Can Group, winner of last fall’s Castle & Key Bourbon (G2) here, and Qatar Racing and Hunter Valley Farm’s First World War, winner of the Kitten’s Joy (G3) in his most recent start, headline a field of 12 3-year-olds plus two also-eligibles entered Monday for Friday’s 36thrunning of the $400,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select.

Slated as the eighth race on Friday’s 10-race program, the Transylvania will be contested at 1 1/16 miles over the turf with a 4:44 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.

Trained by Mark Casse, Can Group followed up his longshot victory in the Castle & Key Bourbon with a fourth-place finish, beaten just 2 lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. After a try on dirt in the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds in January, Can Group returns to the grass Friday and will exit post 10 under Flavien Prat.

Trained by Brendan Walsh, First World War finished fourth as the favorite in the Castle & Key Bourbon. Following two runner-up finishes on the dirt, First World War returned to the grass with a victory in the Kitten’s Joy Feb. 3 at Gulfstream Park. Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount and will break from post six.

The field for the Transylvania Presented by Keeneland Select, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Oscar’s World (Luis Saez, 118 pounds), Guy Named Joe(Luan Machado, 118), Lagynos (Cristian Torres, 118), Neat (Rey Gutierrez, 118), Tennessee (Jose Ortiz, 118), First World War (Gaffalione, 118), Lord Bullingdon (John Velazquez, 118), Musical Act (IRE) (Frankie Dettori, 118), Depiction (Joel Rosario, 118), Can Group (Prat, 120), Full Nelson (Irad Ortiz Jr., 118), Cugino (Javier Castellano, 118). Also-eligible: Royal Majesty (GB) (Junior Alvarado, 118), Camaro Z (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118).

GLENGARRY HEADLINES FIELD OF EIGHT FOR FRIDAY’S LAFAYETTE

Aaron Kennedy, Toby Joseph and trainer Doug Anderson’s Glengarry heads a field of eight 3-year-olds entered Monday for Friday’s 76th running of the $400,000 Lafayette going 7 furlongs on the main track.

The Lafayette is scheduled as the sixth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 3:40 p.m. ET post time.

Glengarry already owns a stakes victory over the track having taken the Bowman Mill at 6 furlongs last fall. Away from the races since a runner-up finish in the Springboard Mile (L) in December, Glengarry will break from post six on Friday and be ridden by Luis Saez.

Invading from California is West Point Thoroughbreds’ Scatify. Trained by John Sadler, Scatify cuts back to a sprint distance following a third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) going a mile and a fourth in the San Felipe (G2) going a mile and a sixteenth. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount from post two.

The field for the Lafayette, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Frosty Indulgence (Adam Beschizza, 118 pounds), Scatify (Ortiz Jr., 118), Doncho (Cristian Torres, 118), Baytown Chatterbox (Albin Jimenez, 118), Booth (Joel Rosario, 118), Glengarry (Saez, 118), Who Dey (John McKee, 118), Bolt At Midnight (Luan Machado, 118).

GALLOPING OUT

Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith’s Sierra Leone, who figures to be one of the favorites for Saturday’s 100thrunning of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1), arrived at Keeneland early Monday morning from his winter base at Payson Park training center in South Florida for trainer Chad Brown. …

Little Red Feather Racing’s Elm Drive, a stakes winner on dirt and turf, worked a half-mile on the fast main track in :46.60 (fastest of 26 works at the distance) for trainer Phil D’Amato in preparation for a possible start in the $300,000 Giant’s Causeway (G3) for fillies and mares going 5½ furlongs on the grass. Also working for D’Amato in preparation for Saturday’s $350,000 Shakertown (G2) was Beer Can Man, who covered a half-mile in :50.80. Beer Can Man is owned by Little Red Feather in partnership with Madaket Stables and Sterling Stables.

 

BREEDERS’ CUP MILE WINNER MASTER OF THE SEAS (IRE)
HIGHLIGHTS NOMINEES TO MAKER’S MARK MILE

Godolphin’s Master of The Seas (IRE), winner of last fall’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF at Santa Anita, headlines a roster of 20 nominees for the 36th running of the $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) for 4-year-olds and up to be run on the turf Friday, April 12.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Master of The Seas was beaten a nose by eventual champion Up to the Mark here last fall in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) before his Breeders’ Cup triumph.

Four other Grade 1 winners are among the nominees including Charlie Fipke’s Shirl’s Speight, winner of the 2022 Maker’s Mark Mile. Other Grade 1 winners nominated to the race are Jill Baffert and Debbie Lanni’s Du Jour, Little Red Feather Racing, Sterling Stables and Marsha Naify’s Gold Phoenix (IRE) and LSU Stable’s Far Bridge.

Entries for the Maker’s Mark Mile will be taken Friday.

Also slated to be contested April 12 is the fifth running of the $250,000 FanDuel Limestone for 3-year-old fillies going 5½ furlongs on the turf.

The race attracted 39 nominees headed by Wathnan Racing’s Crimson Advocate. Trained by George Weaver, Crimson Advocate won the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in England last summer.

TWO-TIME KEENELAND G1 WINNER GINA ROMANTICA
TOPS NOMINEES TO JENNY WILEY

Peter Brant’s Gina Romantica, winner of the 2022 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana and the 2023 First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare, headlines a roster of 27 fillies and mares nominated to the 36th running of the $600,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) to be contested at 1 1/16 miles over the turf course on Saturday, April 13.

Gina Romantica is trained by Chad Brown, who has saddled six winners of the Jenny Wiley including five of the past six runnings. Brown has nominated seven runners to this year’s race. Following her First Lady victory last year, Gina Romantica took on the boys in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF and finished fourth, beaten a length by winner Master of The Seas (IRE).

Entries for the Jenny Wiley will be taken Saturday.

Two other stakes will be contested April 13: the 42nd  running of the $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track and the 27th running of the $300,000 Giant’s Causeway (G3) for fillies and mares going 5½ furlongs on the grass.

The Stonestreet Lexington is the final race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and offers 42 points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale for the first- through fifth-place finishers. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners and invitees.

The race attracted 56 nominations, including two horses currently in the top 20 of Derby point earners with three 200-point races scheduled this weekend. They are Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing and Daniel Hamby III’s Mystik Dan (46 points), third in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1) for trainer Kenny McPeek, and D.J. Stable and Robert Cotran’s Hades (30 points), fifth in Saturday’s Curlin Florida Derby (G1) Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa for trainer Joe Orseno.

Stonestreet Stables’ Love Reigns (IRE) tops the list of 32 nominees to the Giant’s Causeway. A winner of two of three races, the Wesley Ward trainee captured the FanDuel Limestone (L) here last spring.

PROSPECTIVE STAKES FIELDS

According to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Jorie Beschizza, here are the prospective fields for the stakes on opening weekend of the Spring Meet:

Saturday races. Entries taken Tuesday.

100TH RUNNING OF THE $1 MILLION TOYOTA BLUE GRASS (G1) – Dornoch (trainer Danny Gargan), Encino (Brad Cox), Epic Ride (John Ennis), Just aTouch (Cox), Seize the Grey (D. Wayne Lukas), Sierra Leone (Chad Brown).

Keeneland will have full coverage of the draw for post positions, including
an early flash press release with a list of entries followed by a full advance release.
Keeneland social media also will report the field of horses after the draw.

$600,000 RESOLUTE RACING MADISON (G1) – Alva Starr (Brett Brinkman), Big Pond (Tim Yakteen), Olivia Darling (Jorge Delgado), Red CarpetReady (Rusty Arnold), Sterling Silver (Tom Albertrani), Vahva (Cherie DeVaux).

$400,000 APPALACHIAN (G2) PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION – Austere (Brendan Walsh),Buchu (Phil Bauer), Crown Imperial (John Ortiz), Mo Fox Givin (Leonard Powell).

$350,000 SHAKERTOWN (G2) – Arzak (Michael Trombetta), Beer Can Man (Phil D’Amato), Front Run the Fed (Caio Caramori), Mischief Magic (IRE) (Charlie Appleby), Our Shot (John Terranova).

$300,000 COMMONWEALTH (G3) – Bo Cruz (Al Stall Jr.), Here Mi Song (Billy Stinson), Manny Wah (Will Walden), Minnesota Ready (Tom Amoss), Raise Cain (Ben Colebrook).

Sunday races. Entries taken Tuesday.

$400,000 MIDDLEGROUND CAPITAL BEAUMONT (G2) – Chi Chi (Herman Wilensky). Possible: Legadema (Bauer), Tipsy Tammy (Bauer).

$250,000 PALISADES (L) – Works for Me (Joseph Lee). Possible: No Nay Mets (IRE) (George Weaver).

OPENING WEEK SPECIAL EVENTS

Throughout the Spring Meet, special events and activities will continue Keeneland’s historic mission to support the Central Kentucky community and the Thoroughbred industry. They include:

Year-round

Official Keeneland Tours. Click here for availability and to purchase.

Through Aug. 16

Keeneland Library is recognizing this year’s historic running of the Toyota Blue Grass at its free exhibit, A Rite of Spring: The 100th Running of the Blue Grass Stakes. The exhibit features photographs that capture race highlights curated from Keeneland Library collections and public submissions from professional and amateur photographers along with memorabilia from noted jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Mike Manganello and Chris Antley and celebrated runners Whirlaway, Riva Ridge, Spectacular Bid and Strike the Gold.

Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Library is located on the Keeneland campus. Enter Keeneland at Gate 1 on Keeneland Blvd. and take the first right on Entertainment Ct. The Library is to the left of the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center.

Thursday, April 4

Central Bank Thursday Night Live. Keeneland will kick off the Spring Meet with a celebration of the 100th Toyota Blue Grass, including a promotion of Keeneland Library’s exhibit about the race and handicapping tips from BETologists. The event, which includes beverages, food, art and live music, takes place from 5-8 p.m. at Fifth Third Pavilion in Tandy Park in downtown Lexington.

Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7

The Hill. Keeneland’s popular tailgating area will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the Spring Meet, weather permitting. No ticket or reservation is required for The Hill, located adjacent to the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center and accessible via Gate 1 (at Man o’ War Blvd.) or Gate 4 (off Van Meter Road on the east side of Keeneland).

Fans on The Hill can watch the racing action via a jumbo TV and place their bets in a wagering tent while they enjoy live music presented by The Burl, food trucks and handicapping assistance from BETologists. Complimentary shuttles to the track are offered.

For fans who want to elevate their experience, Keeneland again is partnering with RevelXP to offer tailgate packages for groups of any size. RevelXP will organize tailgates by furnishing a designated tent, catering, amenities and more. Visit Keeneland.com/tailgating for full details.

The Hill is open from 8 a.m. to 60 minutes after the last race. Amenities are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Keeneland Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 30 minutes following the final race. Milliners Corner, featuring Christine A. Moore (April 5-7), Wagering Central and Finish Line locations are open race days. On April 5, Draper James will be located just inside the North Grandstand entrance from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 6

 

Sunrise Trackside. This free Saturday morning program from 8-10 a.m. is geared toward families and offers a unique view of Thoroughbreds during training hours. Fans can enjoy coffee and donuts at the Starting Gate concession stand while watchinghorses train. Children’s activities on the first floor of the Grandstand will include a visit with Keeneland mascot Buckles, face painting and games. Mini tours will be available at the Welcome Stand near the Paddock.

The John Deere Tractor Break will take place during the renovation period on the main track from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and include a drawing for a kid’s tractor from John Deere/Meade Tractor. The April 6 Sunrise Trackside will feature the appearance of two-time champion Goodnight Olive in the Paddock between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. On April 6 and 13, a meet and greet with a horse from the Life Adventure Center of Versailles, Kentucky, will be offered in the Walking Ring from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Jockey Autograph Signing. Fans will meet active and retired Keeneland riders and Hall of Famers in an event that benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Hats, goggles and autograph books that can be signed will be available for purchase; personal items and commemorative Toyota Blue Grass poster may be signed with a donation to PDJF. The event will take place in the North Terrace from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.