Keeneland Barn Notes: Field of 14 Set for G2 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes on Sunday

(Trainer Ken McPeek / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
From the Keeneland Media Team:

DIXIANA BOURBON ATTRACTS FIELD OF 14

Walking L Thoroughbreds’ undefeated Fighting Seabee and Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass, the 1-2 finishers in Saratoga’s With Anticipation (G3) in August, head a field of 14 2-year-olds entered Thursday for Sunday’s 29th running of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G2).

Run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, the Dixiana Bourbon is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be run at a mile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

The Dixiana Bourbon will be the eighth race on Sunday’s 10-race program with a 5:10 p.m. ET post time. First post Sunday is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by three-time Dixiana Bourbon winner Kenny McPeek, Fighting Seabee won his debut going a mile on the turf at Ellis Park prior to his Saratoga triumph. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the mount and will break from post position five.

Field Pass, trained by Mike Maker, has compiled a 4-1-2-0 mark with all starts on the grass. He scored his first victory in his second start while at Saratoga going 1 1/16 miles. Jose Ortiz has the mount and will break from post position six.

The field for the Dixiana Bourbon, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Hurts So Good (Orlando Mojica, 118 pounds), GearJockey (Tyler Gaffalione, 118), Doc Boy (Feargal Lynch, 120), The Third Secret (Gabriel Saez, 118), Fighting Seabee (Hernandez Jr., 122), Field Pass (Ortiz, 118), Nettleton (David Cohen, 118), Deviant (Lane Luzzi, 120), Prince of Thieves (Florent Geroux, 118), PeaceAchieved (Miguel Mena, 120), Kid Mercury (Joe Bravo, 118), Art Collector (Luis Saez, 118), Ete Indien (Julien Leparoux, 118), Vitalogy(GB) (Javier Castellano, 118).

(Kimari winning the Bolton Landing Stakes / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)


KIMARI HEADLINES FIELD OF NINE FOR INDIAN SUMMER

Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari, the dominating winner of Saratoga’s Bolton Landing in her most recent start, heads a field of nine 2-year-olds entered Thursday for Sunday’s second running of the $200,000 Indian Summer.

Run at 5½ furlongs on the turf, the Indian Summer is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) to be run at 5 furlongs on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

The Indian Summer will be the seventh race on Sunday’s 10-race program with a 4:35 p.m. post time. First post Sunday is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by Wesley Ward, Kimari debuted here on the main track April 25 with a 15-length victory. From there she went to Royal Ascot in England and finished second in a field of 25 in the Queen Mary (G2).

Mike Smith has the call Sunday and will break from post position two.

The field for the Indian Summer, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Old Chestnut (Tyler Gaffalione, 120 pounds), Kimari (Smith, 117), Mystic Lancelot (Javier Castellano, 118), Shippingport (Corey Lanerie, 118), Fast Scene (Gabriel Saez, 117), Axiomo (Adam Beschizza, 118), Rockcrest (Luis Saez, 120), Johnny Unleashed (John McKee, 118), Chimney Rock (Jose Ortiz, 118).

(Rushing Fall / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

RUSHING FALL LEADS BROWN TRIO FOR SATURDAY’S GRADE 1S

Beginning with the 2018 Spring Meet, trainer Chad Brown has won eight graded stakes here, four of them Grade 1s. On Saturday, Brown will go after two more Grade 1s when he sends out the undefeated Valid Point in the 34th running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile and Rushing Fall and Uni (GB) in the 22nd running of the $400,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare.

All three horses shipped into Keeneland Wednesday and were on the main track early Thursday morning to gallop.

Owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, Rushing Fall has accounted for three of those eight Brown victories and is a perfect 4-for-4 in her career here.

She has won on the lead, stalking the pace and coming from far back, and she has won on all kinds of surfaces: firm, soft and yielding.

“She just loves it here,” said Whit Beckman, who is overseeing Brown’s Keeneland string. “She shipped in fine and has not missed anything since coming back to Belmont from Saratoga.

While most of the attention in the First Lady is focused on Rushing Fall and West Coast invader Vasilika, Uni can’t be overlooked.

“She is one of the better milers in the country,” Beckman said of Uni who has compiled a 7-5-0-2 record at the mile distance. “She had a tough trip in the Fourstardave (G1) in her last start against the boys.”

Uni, who was fourth in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) in her lone Keeneland start, is owned in partnership by Robert LaPenta, Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners and Bethlehem Stables.

Valid Point, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Mike Ryan, will attempt to become the fourth 3-year-old to win the Shadwell Turf Mile and first since Aussie Rules in 2006.

“This is a tough spot with a lot of horses,” Beckman said of the 14-horse field in the Shadwell Turf Mile. “Hopefully Javier (Castellano) finds a good spot and gets a nice clean trip.”

(Trainer Todd Pletcher / Photo by Gene McLean)


GOUVERNEUR MORRIS GETS FEEL FOR MAIN TRACK
FOR CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY

Exercise rider Nick Bush has gotten on a number of good horses for trainer Todd Pletcher, most notably 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming.

On Thursday morning, he got his maiden voyage on Team Valor International and WinStar Farm’s Gouverneur Morris, who figures to be one of the major players in Saturday’s $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1).

“His exercise rider at Saratoga is at Belmont, so this is my first time on him,” Bush said after the colt galloped on the main track. “He went very well – nice and relaxed – and covered the ground well.”

Gouverneur Morris was a 9-length winner in his debut that came over a sloppy track.

“He had always showed ability and being by (millionaire and two-time Grade 1 winner) Constitution, they thought highly of him,” Bush said. “He seems like a legit horse. We will find out Saturday.”

Is he another Always Dreaming?

“Hopefully,” Bush said.

 

GALLOPING OUT

Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Van Beethoven and Just Wonderful cleared quarantine early Thursday morning and were on the main track for light exercise. The 3-year-olds arrived here from Europe on Tuesday.

Van Beethoven is running in Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), a race O’Brien has won twice. Just Wonderful is entered in the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1).

3/23/2019 – Street Band with jockey Sophie Doyle pulls away in deep stretch to capture the 52nd running of the Grade II $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir — Courtesy of the Fair Grounds


SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY SIBLINGS TO COMPETE SATURDAY AT KEENELAND

The Doyle name is well known in England, where James is an internationally successful jockey, Sophie was a top rookie rider and their mother, Jacqueline, trained Thoroughbreds. James rides for Godolphin, and Sophie has established herself in the U.S. and is the jockey of 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) contender Street Band. She regularly competes at Keeneland, where James is scheduled to be Saturday to ride Awesometank (GB) in the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1) and Vintager (GB) in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

The last time the Doyle siblings were together at Keeneland was for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. James rode Birchwood (IRE) in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) the day before Sophie was aboard Fioretti in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).

Even though Sophie, who is named on Crafty Lady in the first race on Saturday, and her brother will not ride in the same Keeneland race that day, they have competed against each other in England many times, including a memorable event early in Sophie’s career.

“James beat me when I was about to ride my first winner for my mother,” she said. “He caught me right on the finish line.”

Sophie began her riding career in England. She spent two winters as an exercise rider in the U.S. and briefly rebooted her race riding career in California in 2011. Two years later, she found her niche in Kentucky and nearby states. On Sept. 21, Sophie gained her first Grade 1 victory aboard Street Band in the Cotillion at Parx, which earned the filly a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. Street Band is trained and co-owned by Keeneland regular Larry Jones.

Sophie is looking forward to her brief reunion with James on Saturday, which will mark the first time the two have been together since their two-week visit in England in January.

“I stayed at his house and we got to hang out a lot together, and I went to the races to watch him ride,” she said.

On Saturday at 12:05 p.m., the Doyles will participate in a Q&A with Paddock host Gabby Gaudet in the Keeneland Paddock. That day, Keeneland is hosting a Jockey Autograph Signing to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

 

TOYOTA BLUE GRASS RUNNERS AND LEADING KEENELAND JOCKEY ENTERED IN THOROUGHBRED MAKEOVER

Three horses that competed in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) – Keeneland’s signature Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race – are entered in the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium Presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America being held today through Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The event is designed to inspire the retraining of racehorses for other activities.

Nearly 600 Thoroughbreds were entered in the competition, which features disciplines such as barrel racing, trail riding, dressage, freestyle, polo, jumping and working ranch. The overall winner will be crowned America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.

Rosie Napravnik, a two-time leading jockey at Keeneland, is named to ride My Man Sam in the show hunter division, which is judged in part on jumping form. A 6-year-old gelded son of Trappe Shot, My Man Sam was second in the 2016 Blue Grass. He won one of nine starts, which included an off-the-board Kentucky Derby finish, and banked $383,200 for trainer Chad Brown.

Big Bazinga, fourth in the 2014 Blue Grass, is an 8-year-old gelding by Bluegrass Cat who won eight races and earned $284,681. He is entered in the show hunter category and in freestyle in which horse and rider entertain with a routine of their choice such as bareback and bridleless riding, tricks on command and other creative moves.

A third Blue Grass-connected entrant is stakes winner Gung Ho, who finished third in the 2012 Blue Grass for trainer Mike Maker. Gung Ho continued winning through age 9 and earned $347,753.  The 10-year-old Kitten’s Joy gelding is scheduled for the trails competition in which he will maneuver through obstacles in an arena.

Another entrant with Keeneland ties is stakes winner Tower of Texas, a starter in the 2016 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and 2018 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1). The 8-year-old Street Sense gelding closed his career with $936,312 in earnings and seven victories. He is entered for the show hunter division.

The 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover includes trainers and horses from 40 states and four Canadian provinces. The weekend includes seminars, a fair of organizations and vendors, and a training demonstration. Click here for more information.

 

FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS

All Year

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

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 80thanniversary 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.

Friday, Oct. 4 – Opening Day – Fall Stars Weekend

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.

 

The Keeneland Shop presents a trunk show with Darren K. Moore and Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore.

 

$200,000-guaranteed Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG.

 

Saturday, Oct. 5 – Fall Stars Weekend

 

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 horses 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 with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope in the Paddock (9 a.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. Saturdays include live Bluegrass music.

Jockey Autograph Signing – Fans will meet active and retired jockeys – including Hall of Famers, history makers and Keeneland favorites – in this fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. adjacent to the Keeneland Paddock.

Jockey Q&A – Meet sibling jockeys Sophie Doyle and James Doyle at 12:05 p.m. in the Keeneland Paddock.


The Keeneland Shop
presents a trunk show with Darren K. Moore and Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore.

 

$300,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five and $400,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four.

 

Sunday, Oct. 6 – Fall Stars Weekend

The Keeneland Shop presents a trunk show with Darren K. Moore and Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore.

 

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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