From the Media Team at Keeneland:

OM VENTURES EAST FOR MAKER’S 46 MILE

It has been 12 years since trainer Dan Hendricks has been in Kentucky, that coming on Derby Day 2006 when he saddled Brother Derek to finish in a dead-heat for fourth behind Barbaro in the Run for the Roses.

What brings Hendricks to Kentucky this time is the Sareen Family Trust’s Om, one of the favorites for Friday’s 30th running of the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).

“I have nominated horses (in the East) before and I will ship anywhere as long as the horse fits,” Hendricks said. “But there has been rain or logistical issues that prevented us from running.”

The lure of the Maker’s 46 Mile was twofold.

“We got an early start this year and the timing of this race was good for May,” Hendricks said referring to races at Churchill Downs in early May or Santa Anita in late May. “Plus, this is a very prestigious race.”

Om comes into Friday’s race off a sixth-place finish in the Frank E. Kilroe (G1) at Santa Anita on March 10. Prior to that, Om ended a 12-race losing streak that spanned more than two years by winning the Thunder Road (G3).

“We never lost confidence in him,” Hendricks said. “He was running second and third and in some of those, circumstances not always went his way.”

Om finished second or third in eight of those races, 11 of which were graded. The toughest beat came in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita, where he came up a nose short of catching Obviously (IRE) at the wire.

The millionaire will be ridden Friday by Flavien Prat, who was aboard for the Thunder Road win.

PURSUIT OF DERBY POINTS BRINGS MY BOY JACK TO KEENELAND

The Road to the Kentucky Derby points game is becoming old hat to the stable of trainer Keith Desormeaux.

Last year, Sonneteer was on the bubble before making his way into the 20-horse field for Desormeaux. Now, the contender is My Boy Jack, who arrived at Keeneland Wednesday night from his Southern California base.

Owned by Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables, My Boy Jack is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 37th running of the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3). The race offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers.

My Boy Jack has 32 points and is just below the current line for the race that is limited to 20 starters with one spot already reserved for the European runner Gronkowski.

“If he had run second in the Louisiana Derby (G2), we would not be worrying about this,” said Julie Clark, assistant to Desormeaux. “He made that big move wide on the turn and (jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) couldn’t just stop his momentum.”

My Boy Jack had picked up two points with a third-place finish in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita in January and 10 for winning the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in February.

“Going to the Southwest worked out well but it didn’t have a lot of points,” Clark said. “This was his longest ship coming here, but the good thing is he is not going to ship (cross country) again as he will go to Churchill Downs after the race and get settled in over there.”

My Boy Jack walked through the Paddock Thursday morning and then galloped 1¼ miles under Morilio Garcia, an exercise that will be repeated Friday.

The last points race toward the Derby is Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1), which carries 170 points on a 100-40-20-10 basis.

Sonneteer, who was a maiden when he ran in the Kentucky Derby in which he finished 16th, earned his 30 points last year with a runner-up finish in the Rebel (G2) and a fourth-place effort in the Arkansas Derby. Sonneteer returned to California after the Arkansas Derby and then flew back to Kentucky the Saturday before the Derby.

“We knew a few days before entries were taken that we were getting in,” Clark said of Sonneteer, who wound up in the 20th spot on the leaderboard.

My Boy Jack can erase any of that suspense Saturday.

LILAC FIRE SURVIVOR GREYVITOS TO RUN IN STONESTREET LEXINGTON

Triple B Farms’ Greyvitos, who will face 11 other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3), walked the stakes barn shedrow Thursday morning while wearing a blanket that said, “Greyvitos – Lilac Fire Survivor.”

The son of Malibu Moon, trained by Adam Kitchingman, has faced his share of adversity over the past months. In December, he was evacuated from the Lilac Fire that engulfed San Luis Rey Training Center in Southern California, and early this year he underwent minor knee surgery. Despite the challenges, Kitchingman remains hopeful about the colt’s chance of making the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), with the next option being the Preakness (G1).

“The fire didn’t affect him, except for shipping around from place to place,” Kitchingman said. “That’s always a challenge, how they’re going to react; a new environment, new conditions, just trying to keep him healthy. The toughest thing was probably going through knee surgery and bringing him back.”

In November, Greyvitos won the Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar, and the following month picked up 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby for his victory in the Remington Springboard Mile (L). The Stonestreet Lexington will be his first race of 2018. The stakes is the final points race in Kentucky on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, awarding a total of 34 points to the top four finishers: 20-8-4-2.

“He hasn’t missed a beat; he’s worked every five or six days, galloped every day and has been wanting to do more,” Kitchingman said. “We’re still going to be on the bubble of whether we get into the Derby. I’m just happy that he’s back and doing well.”

Greyvitos arrived at Keeneland Wednesday evening, walked Thursday and will visit the track for the first time Friday.

“He’s pretty full of himself, so we’ll probably gallop; just go once around to take a little bit of the edge off of him,” Kitchingman said.

The Stonestreet Lexington marks the first time Kitchingman will run a horse he has trained himself at Keeneland.

“It’s not going to be easy, but I’m happy with how he’s training and I think he’s pretty fit,” he said. “It’s every trainer’s dream to go to the Derby. He’s done everything right. It’s been an adventure, to say the least.”

CHAD BROWN TRIO TAKES ON COOLMORE JENNY WILEY

Saturday’s $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) offered what trainer Chad Brown was seeking, so he entered three horses in the race: Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith’s Grade 2 winner Fourstar Crook, Martin S. Schwartz’s Grade 1 winner Off Limits (IRE) and Peter M. Brant’s Group 3 winner Sistercharlie (IRE).

“We have different goals for the three of them,” said Brown, who won the 2015 Jenny Wiley with Ball Dancing. “The race is available. The timing’s good. There’s not a lot of options this time of year for horses of this caliber. We’ll get them started here and see what happens.”

Five entrants in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley last ran March 10 in the Hillsborough (G2). Fourstar Crook won the race by a head from Proctor’s Ledge with La Coronel three-quarters of a length behind in third. Off Limits was fifth, and Lovely Bernadette was eighth.

“She is a very consistent horse,” Brown said about Fourstar Crook, a 6-year-old daughter of Freud, who won three of her five 2017 races, including the Dr. James Penny Memorial (G3) at Parx. “For her, a mile and a sixteenth is maybe a shade short. But she knows where the wire is. She wins a lot.”

Off Limits’ five wins last year included the Matriarch (G1), Athenia (G3) and Noble Damsel (G3).

“She had a great season last year. She only lost one time,” Brown said.

The Coolmore Jenny Wiley marks the 2018 debut for Sistercharlie, who has not raced since her second to stablemate New Money Honey in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) in July. In France, Sistercharlie won the Prix Penelope (G3) and was second in the Prix de Diane (G1).

“It’s a little short in distance,” Brown said about the Coolmore Jenny Wiley. “I don’t have a lot of options to get her started. On class, she’s good enough to win. She is more effective at slightly longer distances.

“She came over highly regarded, and she’s been a nice addition to our barn.”

Brown said his three runners all “come from off the pace. There’s going to be some sort of pace established, we hope. From there, they will have to work a trip out.”

Through the first four days of the 16-day Spring Meet, Brown leads all trainers with six wins. They include the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) with champion Good Magic, Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association with Rushing Fall and Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) with Analyze It.

Good Magic, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, returned to the track Wednesday.

“He’s moving really well,” Brown said.


DONA BRUJA (ARG) READY FOR COOLMORE JENNY WILEY

Trainer Ignacio Correas IV respects the 10 other accomplished horses in Saturday’s $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) but is primarily focused on how his own starter, Dom Felipe’s multiple graded stakes winner Dona Bruja (ARG), is training up to the race.

“We respect everybody but we are not scared of anyone,” Correas said. “It’s a Grade 1 at Keeneland.”

After running fourth in the 2017 First Lady (G1) at Keeneland during the Fall Meet, Dona Bruja did not race again until Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs in the Lambholm South Endeavour (G3). She won the race, finishing four lengths ahead of another Coolmore Jenny Wiley entrant, John Oxley’s La Coronel.

“We expected her to run a big race and she did,” Correas said about Dona Bruja.

The 6-year-old Dona Bruja was a Group 1 winner in her native Argentina before coming to the U.S. nearly a year ago and winning the Old Forester Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill Downs. She next won the Modesty (G3) and finished second by a half-length in the Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington.

“She was good last year,” Correas said. “She was unfortunate to lose those two races (Beverly D. and First Lady), but it’s turf racing. You make a mistake, you pay for it. Hopefully we don’t have mistakes (in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley) and we do good.”

Correas said Dona Bruja has been training “lights out.” Since the Endeavour (G3), she has three works over Keeneland’s main track.

“Running in a Grade 1 at Keeneland: It can’t get better than that and you can’t be more excited than that,” he said. “We have our horse the way we want, and that’s all we can do.”

MORTICIA LOOKS TO BUILD ON KEENELAND SUCCESS

  1. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Morticia has emerged as one of the top filly turf sprinters in the East. She will seek to enhance that status Saturday when she returns to the Keeneland grass in the 22nd running of the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway (L).

Trained by Rusty Arnold, who along with Humphrey bred the daughter of Twirling Candy, Morticia has compiled a 9-6-2-1 record on the grass. At Keeneland, she was second to La Coronel in the
1-mile Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association last spring and in the fall won the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) at the Giant’s Causeway distance of 5½ furlongs.

“She went to the farm after the race here in October,” Arnold said. “She shipped a lot last year (six tracks) and I thought she got tired toward the end of the year.”

In her return to the races, Morticia finished second in the Captiva Island at Gulfstream Park on March 10.

“I was very happy with her first race,” Arnold said. “She got a little tired. She went :43 and change (:43.75) and the filly (Blue Bahia) of (trainer) Jason Servis that beat her had already won two races during the meet and that was our first start.”

Jose Lezcano, who has ridden Morticia to five of her victories including the Buffalo Trace Franklin County, has the mount Saturday.

PROSPECTIVE FIELDS FOR UPCOMING STAKES

$100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, April 20) – Probable: Apologynotaccepted (trainer Brendan Walsh), Blue Collar (Eddie Kenneally), Jenda’s Agenda (Larry Jones), Julerette (Ben Colebrook), Mines and Magic (Vicki Oliver), Not Now Carolyn (Keith Desormeaux), Someday Soon (Will VanMeter), Tapa Tapa Tapa (Tim Hamm), Valadorna (Mark Casse), Well Humored (Arnaud Delacour). Possible: Ascertain (Todd Pletcher.)

$250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday April 18; race Saturday, April 21) – Probable: Big Bend (Tom Proctor), Bullards Alley (Tim Glyshaw), Call Provision (Chad Brown), Canessar (FR) (Arnaud Delacour), Hayabusa One (FR) (Peter Miller), Itsinthepost (FR) (Jeff Mullins), One Go All Go (Scooter Dickey), Oscar Nominated (Mike Maker), Some in Tieme (BRZ) (Kenny McPeek).