(Juliet Foxtrot / Coady Photography)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
JULIET FOXTROT (GB) “PROUD OF HERSELF” FOLLOWING
COOLMORE JENNY WILEY VICTORY
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Juliet Foxtrot (GB) is “walking around here feeling pretty proud of herself,” reported Tessa Bisha, assistant to trainer Brad Cox, on Sunday morning.
Juliet Foxtrot posted a front-running, 2-length victory in Saturday’s Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) to claim the first Grade 1 triumph of her career and record Juddmonte’s 16th graded stakes win here.
For the accomplishment, Juddmonte received a Keeneland Pitcher – part of the track’s signature Milestone Trophy Program. Only three other owners have earned the Keeneland Pitcher: Claiborne Farm (Fall 1968), Bwamazon Farm (Spring 1983) and William S. Farish (Spring 2003).
Saturday’s victory came over a yielding turf course and marked Juliet Foxtrot’s second graded stakes victory under such conditions.
“With the rain yesterday, the only concern I had was she might get tired,” Bisha said. “But some horses just really like soft turf. It was two years ago here and they let us breeze over the soft turf and she worked with (Juddmonte Group 3 winner) Gaining (GB), who had Flo (Florent Geroux) on her and Juliet Foxtrot just pulled away from her with a heavier work rider.”
Plans for Juliet Foxtrot’s next start are undecided for now, according to Bisha, who handled saddling duties Saturday while Cox was at Oaklawn Park to saddle Caddo River to a runner-up finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
Plans are also indefinite for trainer Chad Brown’s duo of runner-up Tamahere (FR) and fourth-place finisher Etoile (FR). Baldo Hernandez, assistant to Brown, said both horses came out of the race fine as did John Gunther’s Stage Raider, the half-brother to undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify, who won Saturday’s 11th race by 10¾ lengths. Hernandez said Stage Raider would head next to Churchill Downs.
Trainer Brendan Walsh said La Signare (FR), who finished third beaten a neck for second, came out of the Coolmore Jenny Wiley fine but is not under consideration for the $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) on May 1. Walsh is eyeing that spot for Grade 3 winner Zofelle (IRE).
(King Fury / Coady Photography)
STONESTREET LEXINGTON WINNER KING FURY
STAYING ON TRIPLE CROWN TRAIL
Trainer Kenny McPeek said Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimney Farm’s King Fury will be pointed to the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve or the Preakness (G1) after winning the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) on Saturday. The Curlin colt returned last night to McPeek’s division at Churchill Downs, where his two wins last year include the Street Sense (L).
With the 20 points he earned in the Stonestreet Lexington, King Fury ranks 28th on the leaderboard and would need several defections to draw into the May 1 Derby, which is limited to 20 starters.
“All good; we are real proud of him,” McPeek said. “If his points get him in to the Kentucky Derby, we will probably run. It is his home track and he has won there. If he doesn’t get in the Derby, he will run in the Preakness (on May 15.) He seems like a horse that is ready to do all that. We will have to see how that ball bounces. It is out of our control, but we will keep his work schedule the same.”
(Brian Hernandez / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
HERNANDEZ BROTHERS GO BACK TO BACK FOR SATURDAY STAKES WINS
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. and younger brother Colby Hernandez had a unique feat Saturday at Keeneland when they captured consecutive stakes.
Colby notched his first Keeneland stakes win on Change of Control in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L) a half-hour before Brian recorded his 12th Keeneland stakes triumph when he rode King Fury to victory in the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3).
“I am sure we had won stakes on the same program on some Louisiana-bred stakes programs at Fair Grounds,” Brian said.
Brian Hernandez remembers the dam of King Fury quite well. She is millionaire and Grade 1 winner Taris, who set Keeneland’s track record for 7 furlongs when she won the 2014 Lexus Raven Run (G2) by 9 lengths in 1:21.32.
“I remember sitting in the jocks room after the race and watching her run,” Hernandez said. “It was one of the more impressive races at Keeneland.”
Taris’ track record stood until November, when future champion Gamine won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) by 6¼ lengths in 1:20.20.
(Silver Dust / Coady Photography)
SILVER DUST STARTS BIG DAY FOR CALHOUN BARN WITH BEN ALI VICTORY
When Tom Durant’s Silver Dust held on for a half-length victory in the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3), it started a big afternoon for trainer Bret Calhoun’s barn.
Shortly after that, the Calhoun-trained By My Standards prevailed by a nose in the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile (L). The day wrapped up with a maiden victory by Continental Coins to close the Arkansas Derby Day card.
“Days like that make it all worthwhile,” said Jade Lowder, assistant to Calhoun, who was at Oaklawn Saturday afternoon.
The victory was the fourth in Grade 3 company for Silver Dust, who increased his career earnings to $975,677.
“He always tries as hard as he can; he has a lot of heart,” Lowder said, adding plans for Silver Dust’s next start are to be determined.
(Michelle Lovell / Coady Photography)
GIANT’S CAUSEWAY WINNER CHANGE OF CONTROL GIVES
LOVELL TRAINING MILESTONE
Horseshoe Racing’s Change of Control returned to Churchill Downs shortly after her length victory over favored Into Mystic in Saturday’s $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L).
The victory marked the 500th career triumph for trainer Michelle Lovell.
“Words still can’t describe how proud I am of this horse,” Lovell said. “She is just maturing so much and is so classy. She is probably the most classy horse that I’ve ever trained in my career.
“That’s why it was so special to win not only that stakes (her first at Keeneland) but have that be a milestone win.”
Lovell indicated Change of Control could start next in the $150,000 Unbridled Sydney going 5½ furlongs on the grass at Churchill on April 29.
(Speech / Coady Photography)
2020 CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND WINNER SPEECH HEADS FIELD
OF SEVEN FOR FRIDAY’S BAIRD DOUBLEDOGDARE
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Madaket Stables and Heider Family Stables’ Speech, winner of last summer’s Central Bank Ashland (G1), will kick off her 2021 campaign Friday when she headlines a field of seven fillies and mares for the 26th running of the $100,000 Baird Doubledogdare (G3) going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The Baird Doubledogdare will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. post time. This year’s renewal marks the 10th running of the race as sponsored by Baird (formerly Hilliard Lyons).
Trained by Michael McCarthy, Speech closed her 2020 campaign by finishing sixth behind eventual champion Gamine in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) here. Javier Castellano will be aboard Friday and break from post six.
Also making her 2021 debut Friday is Juddmonte Farms’ Bonny South.
Trained by Brad Cox, Bonny South won the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) before finishing fourth behind Speech in the Central Bank Ashland. She closed the year with three consecutive runner-up finishes, including the Alabama (G1) and the Falls City (G2) against older horses.
Florent Geroux has the mount and will break from post five.
The field for the Baird Doubledogdare, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Royal Flag (Joel Rosario, 118 pounds), HighRegard (Rafael Bejarano, 118), Graceful Princess (Luis Saez, 118), Eres Tu (Tyler Gaffalione, 120), Bonny South (Geroux, 118), Speech (Castellano, 118) and Bajan Girl (Corey Lanerie, 118).
UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
Race Saturday, April 17. Entries taken Wednesday, April 14.
$200,000 Elkhorn (G2) – Crafty Daddy (Kenny McPeek), Fantasioso (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV), North Dakota (Shug McGaughey), Red Knight (Bill Mott). Possible: Say the Word (Phil D’Amato).
SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through April 10 (6 days of 15-day season)
|Irad Ortiz Jr.||21||5||5||3||$463,242|
|Juddmonte Farms (Garrett O’Rourke)||3|
|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|
|Three Diamonds Farm (Kirk Wycoff)||2|