(Starting gate at Churchill Downs is about ready for action / Coady Photography)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
HIDDEN STASH WORKS HALF-MILE IN :47.80 IN KENTUCKY DERBY TUNEUP
BBN Racing’s Hidden Stash began preparations for a likely start in the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve by working a half-mile in :47.80 Wednesday morning at Keeneland shortly after the track opened for training at 5:30 a.m. The work was the best of 23 at the distance for the morning.
Working in company with 4-year-old allowance winner Kentucky Ghost and unraced 3-year-old Social Chatter, Hidden Stash produced fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36.60 and :47.80, catching up to his workmates at the wire after starting 8 lengths back. He galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:00 and
6 furlongs in 1:13.80 over a fast track with jockey Rafael Bejarano aboard.
Fourth in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G2) in his most recent start, Hidden Stash ranks 21st on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. The top 20 point earners to pass the entry box will be in the starting gate for the $3 million race. A few horses ahead of Hidden Stash are considered not likely to enter.
Today’s work put to rest any concerns trainer Vicki Oliver might have had about Hidden Stash being tired following his Toyota Blue Grass run.
“I thought he worked really well and we beat the rain,” Oliver said, referring to a steady rain that began at 6:15 a.m. “I was going to work Thursday, Friday or Saturday. I was watching the weather and I wanted to get a decent work in, so we went this morning.”
Oliver plans to work Hidden Stash again on Saturday, April 24 and ship to Churchill Downs the morning of Tuesday, April 27. The colt by Constitution is familiar with Churchill, where he raced twice last year and picked up one of his two career victories there.
(Red Knight / Coady Photography)
RED KNIGHT TOPS FIELD OF 10 FOR SATURDAY’S ELKHORN
Trinity Farm’s homebred Red Knight, winner of last fall’s Sycamore (G3) here, headlines a field of 10 turf marathoners entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 36th running of the $200,000 Elkhorn (G2) going 1½ miles on the grass.
The Elkhorn will go as the ninth race on Saturday afternoon’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. post time. First post Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Bill Mott, who is seeking his third Elkhorn victory, Red Knight will be making his 2021 debut Saturday after closing 2020 with a narrow loss to Elkhorn rival North Dakota in the Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct. Red Knight finished second in the 2019 Elkhorn in his only other Keeneland start.
James Graham, who was aboard for the Sycamore victory, will have the mount Saturday and break from post 10.
Joseph Allen’s North Dakota, fourth to Red Knight in last year’s Sycamore, will be making his first start since finishing 10th in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) in January in which he was beaten only 4¼ lengths.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, North Dakota will be ridden by John Velazquez and break from post seven. McGaughey has three wins in the stakes, including 1994 with Hall of Famer Lure when the race was 1 1/8 miles.
The field for the Elkhorn, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Cross Border (Tyler Gaffalione, 120 pounds), Say the Word (Luis Saez, 123), Crafty Daddy (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Epic Bromance (Chris Landeros, 118), Monarchs Glen (GB) (Joel Rosario, 118), Tide of the Sea (Gerardo Corrales, 118), North Dakota (Velazquez, 118), Fantasioso (ARG) (Rafael Bejarano, 118), Channel Cat (Corey Lanerie, 118) and Red Knight (Graham, 118).
(Eres Tu / Coady Photography)
BAIRD DOUBLEDOGDARE ENTRANT ERES TU PROVES THAT PATIENCE PAYS
Two years ago at this time, Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer’s homebred Eres Tu was on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail following a winter campaign at Fair Grounds for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The trail ended in New Orleans.
“They did the right thing and gave her plenty of time, and I get the benefit,” said trainer Arnaud Delacour, who welcomed Eres Tu in his barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland last summer after the filly had been away from the races for more than a year.
“She is a big filly and needed time to mature,” Delacour continued. “She was fit when she came to us at Fair Hill from the farm in Florida. We breezed her once a week, and she took everything in stride.”
Eres Tu has won three of four starts since joining Delacour. Her first victory came last fall at Keeneland, where she won an allowance race by 2¼ lengths going 1 1/16 miles, the same distance she will travel Friday in the 26th running of the $100,000 Baird Doubledogdare (G3).
“She was ready to go in September but we decided to wait a couple weeks for the meet here, and she was impressive when she won,” Delacour said.
Eres Tu followed the Keeneland victory with stakes triumphs in Maryland in the Thirty Eight Go Go and Allaire duPont (G3). She was second in the Royal Delta (G3) at Gulfstream in February in her most recent start.
“I had hoped this race would come lighter with the ($500,000) La Troienne (G1) coming up in a couple weeks (at Churchill Downs),” Delacour said of the Baird Doubledogdare, which also attracted the likes of 2020 Central Bank Ashland (G1) winner Speech and Grade 2 winner Bonny South. “The timing is perfect for her. This race, then the duPont (on May 14) and a race (after) that and maybe the ($400,000) Delaware Handicap (G2 on July 10).”
Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard for the first time Friday.
KEENELAND APRIL HORSES OF RACING AGE CATALOG ONLINE
Keeneland has cataloged 66 horses for its April Horses of Racing Age Sale, which will be held Monday, April 26.
Click here for the enhanced digital-only catalog on Keeneland.com. The catalog, also available through the Equibase iPad app, includes pedigrees, Equibase past performances and race videos, Daily Racing Form past performances, and Ragozin and Thoro-Graph figures. Consignors may upload photographs and walking videos.
The sale, which will begin at 1 p.m. ET and be livestreamed on Keeneland.com, will be conducted as an integrated event, with live auctioneers at Keeneland and with horses presented for sale both physically at Keeneland and at off-site locations. Keeneland also will provide online bidding for buyers who wish to participate remotely.
Keeneland will continue to accept supplement entries to the April Sale until Thursday, April 22.
FRANK MUSTARI TAKES DOWN RECORD PRIZE
IN KEENELAND’S GRADE ONE GAMBLE
Frank Mustari of Chicago has a stellar reputation as a handicapping contest player who makes scores at opportune times. Mustari struck again at Keeneland on Saturday, April 10, when he won the Grade One Gamble by nailing a $235 trifecta in the final race for a bankroll total of $27,025. His total topped a record field of 248 players who competed at Keeneland and through XpressBet, TVG, NYRA Bets and 4NJBets and allowed Mustari to take home a record first prize of $50,000, a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) at Del Mar and an entry in the 2022 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas.
Thanks to his incredible hit, Mustari passed leader Ed Deicke of Lido Beach, New York, for the win. Deicke played a $1,000 win bet on King Fury in the Stonestreet Lexington (G3) for $19,200 and finished with $24,969. His second-place finish was good for $26,000 in prize money and berths in the BCBC and NHC.
Defending BCBC champion Marshall Gramm of Memphis finished third with $20,630, cashing for $16,000 in prize money and berths in the BCBC and NHC.
Joining the top three who earned BCBC entries and NHC entries were Bobby Marks ($20,490 bankroll; $12,000 prize money), Ryan Knottek ($16,300 bankroll; $7,000 prize money) and Peter Behr ($14,910 bankroll and $3,000 prize money).
Also receiving berths to the NHC were seventh- through 10th-place finishers: Dennis Hubbard, Paul Weizer, Mark Stanton and Rick Broth. Each also received $3,000 in prize money.
Prize money of $3,000 each went to 11th- through 15th-place finishers: Mark Haidar, Evan Trommer, Christy Moore, Frank Mustari (again), and Ray Arnesault.
“Thanks so much to the incredible players for your support of Keeneland racing,” Keeneland Director of Wagering Development Jim Goodman said.
Full results are available at https://members.breederscup.com/bcbc/keeneland.
SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through April 11 (7 days of 15-day season)
|Irad Ortiz Jr.||24||5||7||3||$499,142|
|Juddmonte Farms (Garrett O’Rourke)||3|
|Three Diamonds Farm (Kirk Wycoff)||3|
|Castleton Lyons (Shane Ryan)||2|
|Godolphin (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al)||2|
|Merriebelle Stable (John Moores and Charles Noell)||2|
|Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey||2|
|Shadwell Stable (Rick Nichols)||2|