(Vexatious / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Calumet Farm’s Vexatious, winner of the Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga over champion Midnight Bisou, continued working toward a probable start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 7 with a half-mile breeze in :50.20 Saturday morning shortly after the track opened for training.

“She always goes at 5:30,” trainer Jack Sisterson said. “She wants to go early and loves being outside. When the weather is nice, she will spend a lot of time out in the paddock.”

Saturday’s work was the fifth half-mile breeze for Vexatious since finishing fifth behind champion Monomoy Girl in the La Troienne (G1) last month at Churchill Downs.

Sisterson also worked Calumet’s True Timber, who is under consideration for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on Nov. 7. True Timber worked 5 furlongs in company in 1:02.60 over the fast main track.

Sisterson took over the training of True Timber following Kiaran McLaughlin’s retirement from training. True Timber has run three times for Sisterson, beginning with a third-place finish behind top Breeders’ Cup contender C Z Rocket going 6½ furlongs here in July.

A millionaire, the 6-year-old True Timber has eight graded stakes placings on his resume but no graded victories.

“He’s a horse that deserves to win a big race; he tries hard every time,” Sisterson said. “He’s probably not a three-quarters horse and it was my mistake to run him in the (6-furlong) Vosburgh (G1) and he drew the rail. He had run so well in the (7-furlong) Forego (G1) beaten a little more than a length when he was third.”

Also working toward a possible Breeders’ Cup engagement was Southern Equine Stable’s Keepmeinmind.

Runner-up in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) here on Oct. 3, Keepmeinmind worked a half-mile in :49.20 with jockey David Cohen aboard.

“He worked fantastic,” trainer Robertino Diodoro said of the work at 7:30 a.m. following the first track maintenance renovation break. Keepmeinmind is targeting the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance on Nov. 6.

At The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) winner Ivar (BRZ) worked a half-mile in preparation for the Fan Duel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF.

“He went a half in an easy :50 like we planned,” trainer Paulo Lobo said via text about Ivar, who is owned by the partnership of Bonne Chance Farm and Stud RDI.



The top three finishers in Friday afternoon’s $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3), who finished a length apart, might meet again in the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs on Nov. 14.

Paradise Farms Corp. and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Stunning Sky, who rallied for a half-length victory over Princess Grace, came out of the race fine, according to Nolan Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker’s Keeneland assistant. She is scheduled to return to Maker’s main base at Trackside Training Center in Louisville in the next couple days.

Maker indicated via text that the Mrs. Revere would be the next logical spot for Stunning Sky, who posted her first stakes victory Friday.

Stunning Sky’s win was the second of the day for Maker and gave him a 10-8 advantage over Brad Cox in the race for leading trainer after 11 days of the 17-day Fall Meet that ends next Saturday. Maker has won six Keeneland training titles, including last fall.

Trainer Mike Stidham said he “would certainly look at” the Mrs. Revere for Susan and John Moore’s Princess Grace, who was making only her third start and first in stakes company.

“That was some performance the way she pulled away in the stretch against those types of accomplished horses,” Stidham said. “The only disappointing thing was she didn’t get the win. We were over the moon with her performance.”

Closing fast to get third only a half-length behind Princess Grace was G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s homebredHow Ironic.

“She’s good this morning and we’ll look at the Mrs. Revere,” trainer Vicki Oliver said. “We always knew she had the talent. She’s a deep closer and sometimes things just don’t set up for her, but yesterday she got the pace to run at.”


In selected races during Keeneland’s 2020 Fall Meet, grooms of racehorses determined to have the best overall appearance in the Paddock are recognized with Best Turned Out (BTO) awards. On Friday, Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stud presented these $300 BTO honors on the day it sponsored the Pin Oak Valley View (G3):


Race 3: Alex Barientu, groom of Patty H.

Race 4: Billy Birdsall, groom of Risk Manager,

Race 7: Jose Becerra, groom of Power End.

Race 8: Gabriel Del Cid, groom of Manny Wah.

Race 9 (Pin Oak Valley View): Salvador Martinez, groom of Antoinette.




Through Oct. 16 (11 days of 17-day season)


Jockey   Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Tyler Gaffalione   74 15 12 11 $896,476
Florent Geroux   48 9 9 8 $763,661
Luis Saez   22 9 3 3 $1,182,436
Ricardo Santana Jr.   57 7 15 12 $572,079
Gerardo Corrales   25 7 2 3 $161,332


Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Mike Maker 35 10 3 4 $467,787
Brad Cox 24 8 7 2 $815,076
Steve Asmussen 44 7 8 6 $429,512
Chad Brown 28 4 6 5 $720,650
Robertino Diodoro 14 4 3 4 $216,420


Owner Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
M and M Racing (Mike Sisk) 5 3 1 0 $75,040