Keeneland Barn Notes: Daddy Is a Legend Returns to Lexington

(Daddy Is a Legend is back at Keeneland / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:


She has spent the better part of 2018 campaigning against the best in her division, and now Susan and Jim Hill’s Daddy Is a Legend is back at Keeneland seeking a third graded stakes victory.

Trained by George Weaver, Daddy Is a Legend looms as the filly to beat in Friday’s $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3). The race is run over the course where she broke her maiden last fall.

“We decided to wait for Keeneland following her last race,” Weaver said of Daddy Is a Legend, who finished third behind RushingFall in the Lake Placid (G2) on Aug. 18 at Saratoga. “She has had a busy campaign and we wanted her fresh for her race here.”

The two-month break from the races is the longest the daughter of Scat Daddy has had in 2018, a year in which she has compiled a record of 5-1-0-2, all in graded stakes company. Her victory came in the Lake George (G3) in July at Saratoga going the Pin Oak Valley View distance of 1 1/16 miles.

A good performance Friday could send Daddy Is a Legend back to Del Mar where she won the Jimmy Durante (G3) last fall. Weaver said the $300,000 Matriarch (G1) at a mile on Dec. 2 is under consideration for the filly.

Manny Franco, who has been aboard Daddy Is a Legend in her past three starts, has the mount Friday.


Usually when runners from Europe come to Keeneland, they arrive the week of the race.

Godolphin’s Poetic Charm (GB) has been here almost two weeks preparing for Friday’s $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3).

“She was going to come with another horse (Art du Val [GB]) on the seventh, but he was a non-runner (for the Dixiana Bourbon-G3),” said Christiane Harley, assistant to trainer Charles Appleby. “There was another plane coming over on the third to pick up some yearlings, so she came over on that plane.”

Harley has accompanied Poetic Charm from England in two starts in France, where she won the Prix de la Cochere against older fillies at Longchamp and placed second in the Prix de Lieurey (G3) at Deauville.

“She’s a good traveler and very easy to train,” Harley said. “She has done well here, but we have only been able to get on the turf twice because of the rain.”

Poetic Charm, who will be ridden by Mike Smith on Friday, trained on Keeneland’s all-weather training track and took several laps around the Walking Ring Tuesday morning.


There will be no Breeders’ Cup for 3 Batterhams and Reay’s Nyaleti (IRE), who finished third in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1).

“We are heading back to Europe,” said Hayley Kelly, exercise rider for the Mark Johnston-trained filly. “She is going to run next in Italy (in the Nov. 4 Premio Lydia Tesio-G1 at a mile and a quarter).”

Nyaleti had been under consideration by her connections for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3. …

Fatale Bere (FR), who was fractious at the gate in the QE II, returned to California Monday. Trainer Leonard Powell said the filly, owned by the partnership of the Benowitz Family Trust, Head of Plains Partners, Mark Mathiesen and the trainer’s wife, Mathilde Powell, had not had any gate issues prior to Saturday’s race.

“We will regroup and point to the American Oaks (G1) in late December at Santa Anita,” Powell said via text. …

Woodford Racing’s recent two-time Kentucky Downs winner, Campaign, worked a half-mile on a sealed track Tuesday morning in :51.60 in preparation for Thursday’s $100,000 Sycamore (G3) at 1½ miles on the grass. …

Keeneland racing analyst Tom Leach interviewed trainer Brad Cox about running Arklow in Thursday’s Sycamore (G3). …

Jockey Rogelio Miranda earned his first Keeneland victory when he rode Paul Clayman and Tamara Faulkner’s Bella Noire to win Sunday’s fourth race at odds of 19-1. Trained by Larry Demeritte, the 2-year-old Temple City filly won the about 7-furlong race by 4¾ lengths in 1:30.88.


Tommy Massis of Toronto is the king of Keeneland handicapping contests. On Sunday, he rode a $1,000 win bet on 19-1 shot Bella Noire in Keeneland’s fourth race to a win in the BCBC-NHC Challenge. His winning total of $20,800 bested second-place finisher Blake Jessee of Carmel, Indiana, by nearly $8,000.

Massis, who also won the BCBC at Keeneland in 2015, took home $30,000 for his latest win, along with a fully paid $10,000 berth in the BCBC at Churchill Downs and a fully paid entry plus expenses into the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship in February in Las Vegas.

Runner-up Jessee, who collected $15,000 in prize money in addition to a BCBC and NHC berth, had a memorable week in the Bluegrass. He got married Saturday, Oct. 6; celebrated in a Keeneland Corporate Suite with his bride and their families the next day; traveled to Thistledown on Saturday, Oct. 13, to oversee Loooch Stables’ entries in the Best of Ohio championship for state-breds; and returned to Keeneland on Sunday to cash for $12,865.

Sunday’s tournament drew 167 entries (53 of which qualified online with the cooperation of and and awarded BCBC and NHC spots to the top five finishers; NHC spots to sixth through eighth place; and prize money to 15th place.

Also securing BCBC and NHC spots were third-place finisher Jonathon Kinchen of Austin, Texas (double qualified and ineligible for another NHC entry); fourth-place finisher David Rink of Chicago and fifth-place finisher Faron McCubbins of Mount Washington, Kentucky.

NHC spots went to respective sixth- through ninth-place finishers Steven Shaffer of Prospect, Kentucky; Marshall Gramm of Memphis; Nick Tammaro of Houston; and Ken Hopkins of Flushing, New York (eligible due to double qualifying status of Kinchen).

Click here for complete standings.




$250,000 LEXUS RAVEN RUN (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday) – Alter Moon (trainer Chad Brown), Amy’s Challenge (Mac Robertson), Blamed (Bill Mott), Bronx Beauty (Anthony Margotta Jr.), Chauncey (Steve Asmussen), Divine Queen (Buff Bradley), Dream Pauline (Kiaran McLaughlin), Everyonelovesjimmy (Ian Wilkes), Kelly’s Humor (Brad Cox), Moonshine Memories (Simon Callaghan), Shamrock Rose (Mark Casse), She’s a Gypsy (Helen Pitts-Blasi), She’s Pretty Lucky (Eddie Kenneally), Take Charge Paula (McLaughlin), True Royalty (John Sadler).

$125,000 ROOD & RIDDLE DOWAGER (G3) (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday) – Daring Duchess (trainer Mike Maker), Res Ipsa (Ian Wilkes), Savannah Belle (Brian Lynch), Vexatious (Neil Drysdale), Viva Vegas (Derek Ryan). Possible:Amboseli (James Cassidy), Beach Flower (Mac Robertson), Coco Channel (Charlie LoPresti).

$200,000 HAGYARD FAYETTE (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 24; race Saturday, Oct. 27) – Guest Suite (trainer Neil Howard), Hence (Steve Asmussen), Leofric (Brad Cox), Name Changer (Alan Goldberg), Nice Not Nice (Buff Bradley), Prime Attraction (James Cassidy), Rated R Superstar (Kenny McPeek).


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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