SATURDAY, OCT. 12

Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet concludes Saturday, Oct. 26, with racing

Wednesdays through Sundays. Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. ET.



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·         FOCUS GROUP HEADLINES FIELD OF 11 FOR THURSDAY’S SYCAMORE

·         MORTICIA CONCLUDES CAREER AS A MILLIONAIRE

·         CLOSING-DAY HAGYARD FAYETTE ATTRACTS 35 NOMINATIONS

·         FORMER RACEHORSE HOCKEY SCHOOL SCORES IN NEW ROLE AT LYNCH BARN

·         GALLOPING OUT

·         UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

·         FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS

·         FALL MEET LEADERS

 

FOCUS GROUP HEADLINES FIELD OF 11 FOR THURSDAY’S SYCAMORE

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Focus Group tops a field of 11 entered Saturday for next Thursday’s 25th running of the $150,000 Sycamore (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going 1½ miles on the turf.

The Sycamore 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 Chad Brown, Focus Group comes into the Sycamore off a third-place finish in the Northern Dancer (G1) at Woodbine on Sept. 14.

Jose Ortiz will have the mount and break from post position five.

The field for the Sycamore, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Changi (Sophie Doyle, 118 pounds), Midnight Tea Time (Brian Hernandez Jr., 121), Space Mountain (Corey Lanerie, 121), Nakamura (Javier Castellano, 121), Focus Group (Ortiz, 125), Postulation (Jorge Vargas Jr., 121), My Boy Jack (James Graham, 121), Blended Citizen (Joe Bravo, 121), Zumurudee (Tyler Gaffalione, 121), Marzo (Florent Geroux, 121), Golden Dragon (Rayan Gazader, 121).

MORTICIA CONCLUDES CAREER AS A MILLIONAIRE

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Morticia closed the book on a stellar career Friday afternoon with a runner-up effort to Oleksandra (AUS) in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3).

“I’m pretty sure that’s it. There’s not much left for her to do and I think now she will go to the farm where she grew up,” trainer and co-breeder Rusty Arnold said. “We’ve got our two horses (Totally Boss and Leinster) for the Breeders’ Cup (Turf Sprint-G1) and there are six or seven other good ones, so it will be up to one of those two to carry the banner for us.”

With Friday’s $30,000 check, Morticia increased her career bankroll to $1,019,669 with a record of 26-10-7-5-5. The daughter of Twirling Candy made all of her starts on the turf except for her debut as a 2-year-old in 2016 at Ellis Park, where she finished sixth in an off-the-turf race.

“I know how lucky I am,” Arnold, who bred Morticia with Humphrey, said. “I have a one-broodmare band (the Mr. Greeley mare Halloween Party) and I have a millionaire out of her.”

Never worse than fourth in any of her 25 turf starts, Morticia won at nine tracks, including twice at Keeneland that featured a triumph in the 2017 Buffalo Trace Franklin County.

Her first Keeneland start came in April 2017 when she finished second in the Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association going 1 miles.

“I never tried her two turns again because she was doing so well sprinting and she won three stakes right after that,” Arnold said. “In the Appalachian, (Grade 1 winner) La Coronel ran by her in the stretch and she beat (two-time Grade 1 winner) New Money Honey and that good filly of Brendan Walsh’s (Proctor’s Ledge).”

Morticia won’t be headed to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and neither will Team Valor International’s Oleksandra, trained by Neil Drysdale.

Girls Know Best, who finished a neck behind Morticia in third, might head to California, according to trainer and part-owner Eddie Kenneally.

The $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy (G3) at 5½ furlongs on the turf is part of the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup undercard. Kenneally has two of his horses pointed to the World Championships: Scabbard (TVG Juvenile-G1) and Abscond (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1).

“I’m not sure (about the Maddy),” said Kenneally, who claimed Girls Knows Best here two years ago for $40,000. “There are a lot of races for her (at Gulfstream Park) such as the Abundontia (going 5 furlongs on Dec. 28) and the race she won a couple of years ago on Pegasus Day (the Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes also at 5 furlongs).”

Regarding the Breeders’ Cup, Kenneally said that Mike Smith would have the mount on Scabbard and Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Abscond.

CLOSING-DAY HAGYARD FAYETTE ATTRACTS 35 NOMINATIONS

Red Oak Stable’s Bal Harbour, runner-up in the recent Woodward Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Saratoga, and Calumet Farm’s Everfast, runner-up in this year’s Preakness (G1), are among 35 3-year-olds and up nominated to the 62nd running of the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) to be run at

1 1/8 miles over the main track on Saturday, Oct. 26, the closing day of the 17-day Fall Meet.

Bal Harbour, who has three other graded stakes placings this year, is trained by Todd Pletcher and one of six Pletcher nominees to the race. Pletcher won the Hagyard Fayette in 2015 with Race Day.

Dale Romans, who trains Everfast, has two other nominees to the Hagyard Fayette. They include Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s Mr Freeze, who won the Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs in his most recent start. Romans won the Hagyard Fayette in 2003 with M B Sea.

Other nominations of note include Wayne Davis’ Mocito Rojo, winner of his past five starts including the Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill, and WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing’s Quip, winner of this spring’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2).



FORMER RACEHORSE HOCKEY SCHOOL SCORES IN NEW ROLE AT LYNCH BARN

Revered for their athleticism and intelligence, Thoroughbreds are popular for an array of activities when their racing careers conclude. Three-time winner Hockey School did not even have to leave trainer Brian Lynch’s barn to find his new profession as a companion mount. Known as “ponies,” these multitaskers of any breed inspire calm in the racehorses while providing a vantage point for trainers to observe their runners exercising on the track each morning. 



Hockey School, a 6-year-old son of Hat Trick (JPN), made 22 starts and earned $148,377 from 2015-2018 for breeders and owners John and Jerry Amerman. A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Coffee Clique, he made one start at Keeneland during the 2016 Spring Meet.



When Hockey School no longer was competitive in the upper levels of racing, Lynch suggested to the Amermans that he be retired but remain with the Lynch team, and they readily agreed. Soon after making his final career start a year ago, Hockey School launched his new career.



“He took to it quite easily,” Lynch said about the gelding’s transition. “He went straight from an exercise saddle and bridle to the Western tack while still at the track and we just started riding him. He’s always been an easy horse to be around.”



Lynch said Hockey School “is a real people horse. Little kids and adults love to pet him when he puts his head over the rail during morning workouts. He has turned into a great pony. He seems to love his job.”

GALLOPING OUT

Keeneland racing analyst Tom Leach talked to these jockeys about their mounts in today’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1): Javier Castellano on Varenka and Jose Ortiz on Princesa Carolina. …

Keeneland is hosting the Secretariat Festival, an annual event that celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner, today and Sunday. This morning, the Secretariat Bronze Monument created by Jocelyn Russell and commissioned by the City of Lexington – and set to be permanently located in the roundabout at Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive in Lexington – was unveiled outside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, where events are taking place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Click here for more information. …

Jockey Julie Burke posted her first Keeneland victory Friday when she rode Tweety Show for owner-trainer Ron Isbell Jr. to win the fourth race, a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the turf, by a head in 1:42.03.

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

$150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 18) – Blowout (GB) (Chad Brown), Carnival Colors (GB) (Mike Stidham), Catch a Bid (Brown), Dalika (GER) (Al Stall Jr.), Hard Legacy (Norm Casse), Maxim Rate (Simon Callaghan), Princess Causeway (Ian Wilkes), She’sonthewarpath (Steve Margolis), Solar Kitten (Wilkes), Story Time (Tom Amoss), Turf War (Brown), Winning Envelope (Chris Block), Winter Sunset (Wayne Catalano).

$250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 16; race Saturday, Oct. 19) – Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin), First Star (Ron Ellis), Horologist (Richard Baltas), Indian Pride (Chad Brown), Needs Supervision (Jeremiah O’Dwyer), Oxy Lady (Jack Sisterson), Restless Rider (Kenny McPeek), Royal Charlotte (Brown).

$125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) (Entries taken Thursday, Oct. 17; race Sunday, Oct. 20) – Gaining (GB) (Brad Cox), Gentle Ruler (Ian Wilkes), Get Explicit (Barbara Minshall), Lafta (Patrick Biancone), Lemoona (Richard Baltas), Pantsonfire (IRE) (Richard Baltas), Sea Dream (BRZ) (Paulo Lobo), Vevina (Phil D’Amato), Violet Blue (James Toner).



FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS

All Year

Official Keeneland Tours – A variety of guided walking tours showcase Keeneland’s racing and sales operations. Click here for more information.

Through March 2020

The Keeneland Library Presents “A Day in the Life: Volume I” – This new exhibit features the work of early Turf photographer John C. Hemment. The Keeneland Library is home to the largest known surviving body of work of Hemment, a photographer during the late 19th and early 20th century. A virtual counterpart of the Hemment exhibit is at keenelandlibrary.omeka.net/exhibits. Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the Library is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Saturday, Oct. 12

 

Secretariat Festival – Keeneland is the new home of this annual event that celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner. Click here for more information about the festival. Events in the Sales Pavilion will take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.



The Hill – Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.

Keeneland Fall Challenge handicapping contest. Click here for more information.

The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman.

 

$300,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Presented by TVG.

 

Cross Country Pick 5. The New York Racing Association will host the wager, which will have the standard NYRA Pick 5 takeout (15%) and minimum wager (50 cents). There is a mandatory payout of the entire pool on Saturday. The races are Leg A: Belmont Race 8 (4:40 p.m.), Leg B: Keeneland Race 8 (4:57 p.m.), Leg C: Belmont Race 9 – Sands Point (G2) (5:13 p.m.), Leg D: Keeneland Race 9 – Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) (5:30 p.m.) and Leg E: Keeneland Race 10 (6:03 p.m.)

Sunday, Oct. 13

Kids Club Family Day – The Keeneland Kids Club is for fans 12 and younger. A day at the races for members and their families will include free general admission, access to reserved Grandstand seating and special activities including taking photos with a life-size cutout of Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Secretariat Festival – The annual event celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner. Click here for more information. Events in Keeneland’s Sales Pavilion take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.



Fall BCBC-NHC handicapping tournament – The tournament, which drew a record 171 entries in 2018, will award as many as five spots to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita and eight spots to the National Handicapping Challenge in Las Vegas in 2020. Click here for more information.

The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman Pacific.

 

 

FALL MEET LEADERS

 

Through Oct. 11 (6 days of 17-day season)

 

 

Jockey

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Javier Castellano

31

12

4

5

$1,123,642

Jose Ortiz

41

6

6

5

$1,029,271

Corey Lanerie

37

6

5

4

$288,635

Florent Geroux

35

4

6

3

$370,143

Julien Leparoux

32

4

6

3

$392,883

Joel Rosario

25

4

4

4

$673,496

 

 

Trainer

Starts

Wins

2nd

3rd

Purses

Chad Brown

13

5

0

1

$488,001

Brendan Walsh

11

4

2

0

$467,981

Mark Casse

17

3

4

1

$507,017

Peter Miller

5

3

0

0

$233,572

 

 

Owner

Wins

Godolphin (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al)

2

Ten Broeck Farm (David Mowat)

2