(Keeneland / Coady Photography)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred Ziyad (GB), whose European form shows second- and third-place finishes in the past two Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, will make his U.S. debut Thursday when he headlines a field of 10 in the 26th running of the $150,000 Sycamore (G3).
The 1½-mile turf marathon for 3-year-olds and up will go as the eighth race on Thursday’s nine-race program with a 4:57 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Graham Motion, who has won the Sycamore three times, Ziyad will be making his second trip to North America. Last year he ran third as the favorite in the Pattison Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine.
Sixth in the Qatar Prix Foy (G2) at Longchamp in France in his most recent start, Ziyad will be ridden in the Sycamore by Manny Franco and break from post position 10.
Other horses to watch in the Sycamore are Aquaphobia, owned by the partnership of Paradise Farm Corp., David Staudacher, Hooties Racing and Skychai Racing, and Trinity Farm’s Red Knight.
Aquaphobia, winner of the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth in July, will be making his first Keeneland start since April 2017 and third start here overall. Trained by Mike Maker, Aquaphobia was third in the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga in his most recent start.
Florent Geroux will ride Aquaphobia and break from post position six.
Trained by Bill Mott, Red Knight came off a 7½-month layoff to run second in the Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12 behind Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1)-bound Arklow. Second in the 2019 Elkhorn (G2) in his lone Keeneland start, Red Knight will break from post position two and be ridden by James Graham.
Runnymoore Racing’s Postulation, second at 35-1 in this year’s Elkhorn that was run in July during Keeneland’s Summer Meet, is back to try the Sycamore for a third time. Trained by Michael Matz, Postulation was sixth in the race in 2016 and third last year.
Julien Leparoux will have the mount and break from post position one.
The field for the Sycamore, from the inside with riders and weights, is: Postulation (Leparoux, 121 pounds), Red Knight (Graham, 121), He’s No Lemon (Rafael Bejarano, 121), Split the Wickets (Colby Hernandez, 121), Big Agenda (Tyler Gaffalione, 121), Aquaphobia (Geroux, 125), North Dakota (Corey Lanerie, 121),Morning Stride (Gabriel Saez, 121), Eons (Brian Hernandez Jr., 121) and Ziyad (GB) (Franco, 121).
BREEDERS’ CUP CANDIDATES ON SATURDAY WORK TAB
Several horses with aspirations to compete in the Nov. 6-7 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland worked Saturday morning.
Hronis Racing’s Higher Power, pointed toward the $6 million Classic (G1), covered 6 furlongs on the dirt track labeled fast in company in 1:13.80 under Juan Levya for trainer John Sadler. Also, Calumet Farm’s Distaff (G1) hopeful, Vexatious, went a half-mile in :49 for trainer Jack Sisterson.
Trainer Wesley Ward worked three Breeders’ Cup candidates on a turf course labeled good: Susan Moulton, Marc Detampel and CJ Thoroughbreds’ Amanzi Yimpilo (IRE) went a half-mile on her own in :52.80, and Stonestreet Stables’ Campanelle (IRE) and Breeze Easy’s Outadore covered a half-mile together in :53.20 and :54, respectively.
Also working on the grass was Little Red Feather Racing, Gordon Jacobsen and Philip Belmonte’s Red King. Trained by Phil D’Amato, Red King covered 5 furlongs in 1:03.20 in his second Keeneland work before a possible start in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on Nov. 7.
Three fillies pointing toward next Friday’s Pin Oak Valley View (G3) also worked on turf: Merriebelle Stable’sWalk In Marrakesh (IRE) covered a half-mile in :49.40; Marc Detampel, TSF Thoroughbred Racing and Rebecca Hillen’s Outburst (GB) went a half-mile in :49.80 and Susan and John Moore’s Princess Graceworked a half-mile in :51.40.
GOT STORMY, INTO MYSTIC DOING WELL FOLLOWING
BUFFALO TRACE FRANKLIN COUNTY DUEL
Got Stormy and Into Mystic, who finished noses apart in Friday’s 5½-furlong Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3), were doing well Saturday morning, according to their connections.
Gary Barber’s Got Stormy, who boosted her earnings to $1,991,378, returned to Churchill Downs at 8:45 last night, said David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse.
“She’s tired, but she ate up and jogged soundly this morning,” Carroll said. “The plan is to stay (at Churchill) and come back to Keeneland Breeders’ Cup week.”
Got Stormy, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) last year at Santa Anita, is under consideration for that race or the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), both on Nov. 7.
Plans are undetermined for G. Chris Coleman and Brad King’s Into Mystic, who was just caught at the wire by Got Stormy.
“That was a very tough beat,” said trainer Brendan Walsh, who has had Into Mystic for three races. “That was a very good filly that beat her. We got checked a little in the turn, but that’s racing.”
Into Mystic has run twice at 5½ furlongs for Walsh with her other start producing a victory at Ellis Park in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint.
“We know exactly what we have now,” Walsh said. “We’ll see how she comes out of this race and look around for something.”
DIODORO HAS DAY TO REMEMBER FRIDAY AT KEENELAND
M & M Racing of Mike Sisk zoomed to the top of the Keeneland owner standings Friday with three winners from three starters. All were ridden by David Cohen and trained by Robertino Diodoro.
“There was a lot of texting going on yesterday afternoon,” Diodoro said. “I think he was in Dallas. He hasn’t been in the game long, but we need more owners like him.”
Friday rivaled the day that Godolphin and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had April 15, 2017, here when they won with all four entrants, including Dickinson in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) and Watershed in the Ben Ali (G3).
“I don’t think I have gone three-for-three for the same owner in one day,” Diodoro said. “And definitely not at Keeneland, and that’s the most important thing.”
Nomizar started the day with a 10¾-length romp in the second race at odds of 3-1. New Mexico-bred Ghostly Who won the fourth race by 7½ lengths at odds of 6-1, and Strike That took the eighth race by a head at 6-1.
Diodoro, whose main base of operations was Turf Paradise for 10 years before he relocated to Oaklawn Park, is a relative newcomer to the Kentucky circuit.
“A year or two ago, I tried to get more involved,” said Diodoro, who has ranked third in wins in North America the past two years. “You can’t beat the facilities here, at Churchill and at Ellis and the purses are good.”
Diodoro began training in 1995 and has amassed more than 2,500 wins. However, things really began to take off in 2014 with Diodoro averaging more than 230 victories a year with a 23-26 percent win rate.
“I’m only one person,” Diodoro said. “I’ve got good owners and they are good guys and I’ve got good help with guys that have been with me for a while.”
Among the horses Diodoro has here is Southern Equine Stable’s Keepmeinmind, runner-up in last Saturday’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) who is pointing toward the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
“He is doing well,” said Diodoro, whose previous Breeders’ Cup starter was Grade 3 winner Broadway Empire, who finished ninth in the Dirt Mile (G1) in 2013. “(Keepmeinmind) will work next weekend, but for now we are taking it day by day.”
During his banner day on Friday, Diodoro had two other runners for Heads Up Racing finish third in two races behind his runners. For the meet, he is 100 percent in the money with a 9-4-2-3 mark.
His 10th starter, Blacktop Legend, comes in this afternoon’s fourth race.
“He is in a little deep,” Diodoro said. “It is his first time for us.”
Keeneland is now posting daily information about the placement of the starting gate and run-up distances onKeeneland.com for the remainder of the Fall Meet as a reference for handicappers and horsemen. As at any race track, in an effort to preserve the track for the duration of the race meet while assuring the safest racing surface possible, Keeneland has multiple gate placement options for the turf course that create varying run-up distances. Run-up distances for races conducted on the main track will remain consistent. The information appears on the page listing current track conditions:https://www.keeneland.com/racing/horsemen/current-track-conditions …
Keeneland Racing Analyst Tom Leach interviews Darley America President Jimmy Bell about Godolphin’s Micheline in today’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana.
THIRD WEEK STAKES PROBABLES
$150,000 PIN OAK VALLEY VIEW (G3) (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 16) – Outburst (GB) (Eddie Kenneally), Princess Grace (Mike Stidham), Stunning Sky (Mike Maker), Walk In Marrakesh (IRE) (Ignacio Correas IV), Witez (Ian Wilkes).
$200,000 LEXUS RAVEN RUN (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 14; race Saturday, Oct. 17) – Center Aisle (Chad Brown), Fair Maiden (Eoin Harty), Finite (Steve Asmussen), Four Graces (Ian Wilkes), Grand Cru Classe (Bill Mott), Reagan’s Edge (Cherie DeVaux), Sconsin (Greg Foley),Secondary Market (Brown), Secret Keeper (Cliff Sise), Tonalist’s Shape (Saffie Joseph Jr.), Venetian Harbor (Richard Baltas). Possible: Impeccable Style (Brendan Walsh).
$125,000 ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER (G3) (Entries taken Thursday, Oct. 15; race Sunday, Oct. 18) – Always Shopping (Todd Pletcher), Hungry Kitten (Shug McGaughey), Over Thinking (Vicki Oliver), Quiet Dignity (Mike Maker), Siberian Iris (IRE) (Richard Mandella).
FALL MEET LEADERS
Through Oct. 9 (6 days of 17-day season)
|M and M Racing (Mike Sisk)||3||3||0||0||$69,240|