(Micheline entered for Sunday’s Rood & Riddle / Coady Photography & Courtesy of KY Downs)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

LA LUNE (GB) TOPS FIELD OF 10 FOR SUNDAY’S ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER

Alex Frost’s La Lune (GB), runner-up in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (L) in her U.S. debut last month, heads a field of 10 fillies and mares entered Thursday for Sunday’s 30th running of the $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) going 1½ miles on the turf.

The Rood & Riddle Dowager is scheduled as the seventh race on Sunday’s nine-race program with a 4:12 p.m. ET post time. First post Sunday is 1 p.m.

Trained by Edward Vaughan, La Lune was a Group 3 winner in England three starts back going the Rood & Riddle Dowager distance. Adam Beschizza, who was aboard in her U.S. debut, has the call Sunday and will break from post four.

Chief among her rivals is Godolphin’s Micheline, trained by Mike Stidham.

Runner-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana last year, Micheline has won one of five starts in 2021 with that victory coming in the Hillsborough (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs in March. Florent Geroux has the mount Sunday from post six.

The field for the Rood & Riddle Dowager, with riders and weights from the inside, is: English Affair (James Graham, 121 pounds), I Hear You (Ricardo Santana Jr., 121), Summer in Saratoga (Corey Lanerie, 121), La Lune (GB) (Beschizza, 123), Luck Money (Joel Rosario, 121), Micheline (Geroux, 121), Eesha My Flower (Brian Hernandez Jr., 121), Kelsey’s Cross (Alex Achard, 121), Key Biscayne (Tyler Gaffalione, 121), Viburnum (Reylu Gutierrez, 118).

 CILLA NEEDS TO ANSWER 7-FURLONG QUESTION
IN SATURDAY’S LEXUS RAVEN RUN

The only time P. Dale Ladner’s Cilla ran at Keeneland, she finished sixth as a 62-1 shot in the Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select run at 7 furlongs, 184 feet during this year’s Spring Meet in April. Her price figures to be much lower Saturday when she goes postward in the 23rd running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs on the main track.

“I think the light bulb went on after the Beaumont,” said trainer Brett Brinkman, who co-bred Cilla with Ladner. “She was not a very confident filly early on, but we gave her some time, and I think maturity has played a big part for her mentally and physically.”

Cilla, a Louisiana-bred daughter of California Chrome, received a short vacation following the Beaumont and came back to win three consecutive races highlighted by a victory in the 6-furlong Prioress (G2) at Saratoga on Sept. 4.

“We didn’t really focus on this (Lexus Raven Run) because she went through another growth spurt,” Brinkman said of the filly, who arrived at Keeneland Tuesday afternoon. “We were going to wait to go to Fair Grounds for Louisiana Champions Day (Dec. 11), but Mr. Ladner and I started talking about it and she needs to answer the 7-furlong question. The only other option was to run against older horses at Churchill Downs going 6 furlongs (in the $300,000 Dream Supreme-L on Nov. 13).

“Most of the big races for fillies and mares next year are seven-eighths, so this is the time to answer that question.”

Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for the first time in the Prioress victory, retains the mount Saturday.

SOUP, AND MAYBE A TRAY, ON THE MENU AS LIVE OAK LOOKS
FOR SATURDAY STAKES DOUBLE

With seven Keeneland stakes victories on its resume, Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation is on the verge of achieving a Keeneland tray as part of the track’s signature Milestone Trophy Program. A total of 21 trays have been awarded with the first to Hasty House Farm during the 1955 Spring Meet and the most recent to Shadwell Stable during this year’s Spring Meet.

On Saturday, two Live Oak’s 3-year-olds – Soup and Sandwich and Souper Sensational – will try to earn a tray to hold eight Keeneland Trophy Cups when they go postward in the $150,000 Perryville and $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2), respectively. Mark Casse trains both runners.

Homebred Soup and Sandwich will be making his first start since displacing his soft palate while being eased in the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 1.

“We targeted this race a few months ago and wanted to bring him back against 3-year-olds,” Casse said via text about the Into Mischief colt, who won his first two starts and then was second in the Florida Derby (G1).

Soup and Sandwich will break from post one under Tyler Gaffalione in the 7-furlong Perryville.

Two races later, Souper Sensational brings a 9-3-3-1 career mark into the Lexus Raven Run, also at 7 furlongs. She has sprinted in her past four starts following a trio of two-turn efforts at Fair Grounds over the winter.

“I think Souper Sensational is a better sprinter; a mile is about as far as she wants to go,” Casse said of the daughter of Curlin, who was second in the Test (G1) in her most recent start at 7 furlongs.

Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount Saturday and will break from post three.

Casse will have one other runner in the Lexus Raven Run in Miss Speedy, who is owned by the partnership of Gary Barber, Ryan Shane Kerbel and Barry Kerbel.

Miss Speedy, who will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. from post 11, has won three of four starts over Woodbine’s all-weather surface.

“It is hard to say how she will handle the dirt,” Casse said. “But her breezes over it have been good.”

GALLOPING OUT

The Cross Country Pick 5 returns Saturday, Oct. 23, featuring graded stakes from Keeneland and Belmont Park:

Leg A  Noble Damsel (G3) at Belmont, 4:21 p.m.

Leg B   Keeneland Race 8 allowance, 4:44 p.m.

Leg C   Hill Prince (G2) at Belmont, 4:52 p.m.

Leg D  Keeneland’s Lexus Raven Run (G2), 5:16 p.m.

Leg E   Keeneland Race 10 allowance, 5:48 p.m.

Click here for free Equibase past performances for the sequence. …

Susan and Jim Hill’s two-time Grade 3 winner Daddy Is a Legend was scratched from Wednesday’s sixth race “because she had a little fever in the morning and was not herself,” according to trainer George Weaver.

Now 6, Daddy Is a Legend has recorded three of her five victories at Keeneland. Have we seen the last of Daddy Is a Legend at the races?

“That is up to Jim (Hill),” Weaver said, referring to her owner. “The only thing that might be out there is the ($400,000) Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar. We know she loves the turf course out there.”

The 1-mile Matriarch, a race in which Daddy Is a Legend was second in 2018 and 2019, is scheduled for Nov. 28. Daddy Is a Legend won the Jimmy Durante (G3) as a 2-year-old in 2017 in her other start at Del Mar. …

Keeneland Racing Analyst Tom Leach talks to Andie Biancone, assistant to and daughter of trainer Patrick Biancone, about Sole Volante in Friday’s Sycamore (G1) and Kelsey’s Cross in Sunday’s Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3). He talks toBrian Hernandez Jr. about Bama Breeze in the Sycamore.

 

UPCOMING PROSPECTIVE STAKES FIELDS

$150,000 Rubicon Valley View (G3) (Entries taken Sunday, Oct. 24; race Friday, Oct. 29) – Arm Candy (trainer Steve Asmussen), Core Values (Vicki Oliver), Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek), Oliviaofthedesert (McPeek), Oyster Box (Graham Motion), Queenship (IRE) (Joseph O’Brien).

$150,000 Myrtlewood (Entries taken Sunday, Oct. 24; race Friday, Oct. 29) – Sweet Dani Girl (Carlo Vaccarezza), Towser (Justin Nixon), Verylittlecents (Randy Morse), You Look Cold (Rob O’Connor).

$200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 27; race Saturday, Oct. 30) – Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey), King Fury (Kenny McPeek), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Miguel Silva).

$150,000 Bryan Station (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 27; race Saturday, Oct. 30) – Camp Hope (Kenny McPeek), Cellist (Rusty Arnold), Hush of a Storm (William Morey), Perfect Silent Cat (Wesley Ward), Point Me By (Eddie Kenneally), Scarlett Sky (Shug McGaughey), Yes This Time (Kelly Breen).

$150,000 Bowman Mill (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 27; race Saturday, Oct. 30) – Chattalot (Steve Asmussen). Possible: Lucky Shot (Dee Poulos).


CHUNG OVERTAKES KINCHEN LATE TO CAPTURE
KEENELAND’S FALL BCBC/NHC CHALLENGE

On Oct. 16-17, Keeneland held two popular handicapping contest that attracted widespread participation.

In the Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge on Oct. 16, Don Chung of Moonlake, New York, nailed a $500 exacta in Keeneland’s 10th race to build his bankroll to $14,400 and take first place. With the move, Chung surpassed Jonathon Kinchen of Austin, Texas, who played the last race conservatively after hitting a $1,500 double in the ninth race and finished second with a bankroll of $13,503.

Blaise Brucato of Highland Heights, Ohio, and John Kostin of Hamilton, New Jersey, each parlayed a $450 exacta in the last race to finish tied for third with a total of $12,870.

This annual contest with a $3,500 buy-in drew 222 players from across the country, with 112 entries at Keeneland and 110 entries played through XpressBet, TVG, 4NJBets and NYRA Bets. The competition required players to wager a live bankroll of $2,500 with minimum of $400 on each of five Keeneland races and to wager a total of at least $2,500.

Prizes included seven berths in the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Del Mar in a few weeks, 11 spots in the National Handicapping Championship and more than $100,000 in prize money. (Click here for full results.)

On Oct. 17, Keeneland’s Fall $400 Challenge buy-in tournament had 152 entries and yielded one BCBC winner and three players advancing to the NHC. Doug Bredar of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, won the BCBC with an impressive $6,945 bankroll from an initial $250. Ed Deicke of Plainview, New York, finished second with $4,944; he already was double qualified for the NHC.

NHC seats went to third- through fifth-place finishers Bill Shurman of Danville, California; Blaise Brucato, with his second berth of the weekend, and Patrick Cronin of Bedford Hills, New York. (Click here for full results.)

Click here to learn more about wagering during Keeneland’s Fall Meet.

 

FALL MEET LEADERS

Through Oct. 20 (9 days of 17-day season)

 

Jockey   Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Tyler Gaffalione   57 16 5 3 $1,037,664
Brian Hernandez Jr.   46 8 8 7 $878,544
Florent Geroux   45 8 4 6 $795,755
James Graham   35 4 7 4 $330,318
Flavien Prat   17 4 5 1 $829,550
Rafael Bejarano   37 4 4 6 $377,451
Adam Beschizza   37 4 3 2 $275,502
Joel Rosario   12 4 1 2 $319,911

 

Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Wesley Ward 18 7 3 3 $491,896
Brad Cox 25 6 3 5 $661,481
Mike Maker 34 5 2 5 $512,815
Kenny McPeek 25 5 2 5 $637,537
Chad Brown 13 4 5 1 $1,031,647

 

Owner Wins
Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) 2
Hat Creek Racing 2
Juddmonte (Fahad bin Khalid) 2
Paradise Farms Corp. (Peter Proscia) and David Staudacher 2
Silverton Hill (Bonnie and Tommy Hamilton) 2
WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt) and Siena Farm (Anthony Manganaro) 2

 

 

FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS

All Year

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

Every race day

The new Keeneland Turf Pick 3 wager is offered on the final three turf races each race day. The minimum wager is $3 and will follow the same rules as the traditional Pick 3. The new wager has a 15 percent takeout, the same low takeout as Keeneland’s popular Pick 5 wager.

Keeneland Select Handicapping Challenge. Sport of Kings, the free horse racing contest website, has this new free online handicapping contest for casual fans and serious horseplayers. Participants make mythical selections on two Keeneland races for each day of the meet. Two seats to the 2022 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship will be awarded. To sign up, click here.

Every Friday and Saturday

The Hill. At this popular tailgating area, fans can watch and wager while enjoying the racing action from the Jumbotron and wagering tent, while food trucks and live music presented by The Burl create a festive atmosphere. No ticket or reservation is required for The Hill. Parking opens at 10 a.m. Live music and food trucks from noon to 4 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 22

$200,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Presented by TVG.

Every Saturday

Sunrise Trackside. This free Saturday morning program is geared toward families and offers a unique view of Thoroughbreds during training hours. Children’s activities from 8-10 a.m. include a meet and greet with Keeneland mascot Buckles, along with face painting, games and more. Fans can purchase coffee and donuts while watching horses train. The Keeneland Track Kitchen at the east end of the stable area (with no track view) is open for breakfast that includes “grab and go” and seating options. A 30-minute Paddock demonstration by an equine-related operation begins at 10 a.m. Mini tours of Keeneland will be available at the Welcome Stand in the Paddock.

 

Saturday, Oct. 23

$300,000 Guaranteed Pick 4.

Cross Country Pick 5, featuring graded stakes from Keeneland and Belmont Park.

Sunday, Oct. 24

Heroes Day Presented by Rubicon. This event honors members of the military (active duty and veterans) and first responders (law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and health care workers) and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. The Family Zone will offer free lunch provided by City BBQ and children’s activities for those families in the North Terrace from noon to 4 p.m. Keeneland will showcase a POW-MIA Chair of Honor in the Paddock. This program brings awareness to past and current POW-MIA military members through a partnership with The Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5. Heroes Day also will feature a spectacular flag unfurling on the main track between races.