(Letruska / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

LETRUSKA CONCLUDES LOCAL PREPARATIONS
FOR BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF

St. George Stable’s homebred superstar mare Letruska finished her Keeneland preparations Saturday morning for her anticipated start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in two weeks at Del Mar.

With trainer Fausto Gutierrez looking on, Letruska jogged twice around the main track shortly after 6:30 a.m. and was scheduled to depart shortly before noon for a van ride to Indianapolis to board a FedEx flight to California.

A winner of six of seven starts in 2021, including the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) here Oct. 10, Letruska has divided her time during morning training hours between Keeneland’s main track and the all-weather training track.

“Everything has gone well for her since the Spinster,” said Gutierrez, who had Letruska based here most of the summer and for nearly two months following her victory in the Personal Ensign (G1) Presented by Lia Infiniti on Aug. 28 at Saratoga.

Letruska has raced at seven tracks in the U.S. since coming here from Mexico in 2019, but she never has raced at Del Mar.

“It is a long trip out there, and this (travel schedule) will give her a few extra days to get acclimated,” said Gutierrez, who had an earlier flight Saturday and planned to be in California to meet Letruska when she arrives at Del Mar later today.

(Blowout / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

POTENTIAL BREEDERS’ CUP HORSES WORK TODAY

 Seven horses with aspirations to compete in the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup World Championships – including four stakes winners during Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend on opening weekend of the Fall Meet – worked over a turf course labeled good Saturday morning

Peter Brant’s Blowout (GB), winner of the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare and a candidate for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 6, worked a half-mile on her own in :50.80 for trainer Chad Brown. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Phoenix Thoroughbred III’s Tiz the Bomb, winner of the Castle & Key Bourbon (G2) and a candidate for the $1 million Juvenile Turf (G1) on Nov. 5, worked 5 furlongs on his own in 1:01.80 for trainer Kenny McPeek. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Also working for McPeek was Arriba Arequipa’s Reina de Mollendo (ARG) who covered 5 furlongs in 1:06.40 on her own in preparation for a possible Filly and Mare Turf start. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Trainer Wesley Ward worked a trio of runners headed by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg’s Golden Pal, winner of the Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG.

Winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) and a candidate for this year’s
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), Golden Pal drilled 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 with splits of :24.20, :37.20, :49 and 1:00.80. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Other Ward workers were Hat Creek Racing’s Averly Jane, winner of the Indian Summer (L) Presented by Keeneland Select, and Gregory Kaufman’s Kaufymaker, second in the Indian Summer. Working together for possible starts in the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint, the undefeated Averly Jane covered 5 furlongs in 1:03.40 and Kaufymaker went the distance in 1:03.80. (Click here for a video of the works.)

Calumet Farm’s Channel Cat, prepping for a possible second start in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), worked 5 furlongs on his own in 1:02.20 with splits of :25.20, :38.60, :50.40 and 1:02.20 for trainer Jack Sisterson.

Three other possible Breeders’ Cup runners posted works on the fast main track.

Also working for Calumet and Sisterson was Lexitonian, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.60. Winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) two starts back, Lexitonian is a candidate for the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Peter Brant’s Dunbar Road, runner-up to Letruska in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1), worked a half-mile in :49 for trainer Chad Brown in preparation for a likely third start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

Dare To Dream Stable’s American Sanctuary, fourth in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), worked a half-mile in :48.40 for trainer Chris Davis. He is possible for the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

(Spooky Channel / Coady Photography)

NO TRICK, SPOOKY CHANNEL PROVIDES BARKLEY WITH MAJOR TREAT

NBS Stable’s Spooky Channel returned to trainer Jason Barkley’s barn at Louisville’s Trackside Training Center Friday night at 7:30 and was doing well Saturday, the day after his narrow victory over Grade 1 winner Two Emmys in the Sycamore (G3).

For the 32-year-old Barkley, Spooky Channel delivered his first graded stakes victory, which came on the heels of his first stakes victory with the same runner in the Remington Green Sept. 26 at Remington Park.

“No big celebration last night, just started the prep work for today,” Barkley said via text.

The 6-year-old Spooky Channel, the star of Barkley’s 32-horse stable, came to the barn at the end of April as an $80,000 claim at Churchill Downs.

“We liked his consistency and with the purse structures what they are, there will be plenty of opportunities for him,” Barkley said.

With no grass racing in Kentucky until next spring at Keeneland, Barkley expects to hit the road with Spooky Channel.

“The plan for him will most likely be the ($75,000) Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes (going 1 1/16 miles on the turf) the day after Christmas at Fair Grounds with that being a steppingstone for the John B. Connelly (Turf Cup-G3) at Sam Houston that he won last January,” Barkley said.

 UPCOMING PROSPECTIVE STAKES FIELDS

$150,000 Rubicon Valley View (G3) (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 29) – Adventuring (trainer Brad Cox),Arm Candy (Steve Asmussen), Breaker of Chains (George Weaver), Core Values (Vicki Oliver), Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek), Flown (Brendan Walsh), Gam’s Mission (Cherie DeVaux), Oliviaofthedesert (McPeek), Oyster Box (Graham Motion), Queenship (IRE) (Joseph O’Brien), Saranya (Cox), Tobys Heart (Brian Lynch). Possible: Inajiffy (Joe Sharp).

$150,000 Myrtlewood (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 29) –Jester Calls Nojoy (Todd Pletcher), Kant Believe It (James DeVito), 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), Fort Peck (Robertino Diodoro), King Fury (Kenny McPeek), Major Fed (Greg Foley), Manhattan Up (Diodoro), Night Ops (Brad Cox), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Miguel Silva). Possible: Trident Hit (Ron Moquett).

$150,000 Bryan Station (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 27; race Saturday, Oct. 30) – Camp Hope (Kenny McPeek), Cellist (Rusty Arnold), Hot Blooded (Carlos David), 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). Possible: Kentucky Pharoah (Jack Sisterson).

$150,000 Bowman Mill (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 27; race Saturday, Oct. 30) – Chattalot (Steve Asmussen), Freelancer (Brendan Walsh), Hope in Him (Joe Orseno), My Prankster (Todd Pletcher), Nakatomi (Wesley Ward). Possible: Lucky Shot (Dee Poulos), Roger McQueen (Larry Rivelli).

FALL MEET LEADERS

Through Oct. 22 (11 days of 17-day season)

 

Jockey   Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Tyler Gaffalione   73 21 8 4 $1,314,706
Florent Geroux   60 10 7 9 $955,384
Brian Hernandez Jr.   55 8 8 8 $894,651
Rafael Bejarano   45 5 4 7 $409,114

Six jockeys tied with four wins apiece.

Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Wesley Ward 22 8 4 3 $563,276
Brad Cox 30 7 4 7 $726,797
Mike Maker 42 7 3 6 $620,033
Chad Brown 14 5 5 1 $1,082,047
Kenny McPeek 31 5 3 6 $653,236

 

Owner Wins
Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) 3
Paradise Farms Corp. (Peter Proscia) and David Staudacher 3

 

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

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 organization begins at 8:30 a.m. Mini tours of Keeneland are available at the Welcome Stand in the Paddock.

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.

$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 following Race 4 trophy presentation (2:55 p.m.).