Las Vegas, NV -- The 27th running of the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes come our way this Friday, April 27th from Keeneland in Kentucky as the feature race on Keeneland's closing day. A purse of $150,000 is on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/2 miles on Keeneland's turf track.
A strong field of nine entries will take part in Race 9 on Keeneland's Friday schedule including the top four finishers from the recent Mac Diarmida Stakes. Post time is 5:13 PM. Let's take a look at the nine entries and the recent performances that brought each into Friday's race.
Muskatier - 10 year old Muskatier makes his 45th start on Sunday looking for his 11th win. Muskatier had a good 2011 winning three graded stakes races. Last time out he finished third at the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream on February 26th and before that he won the Grade 3 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder on November 26th. Prior to those results, Muskatier was a disappointing 6th in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine and had a pair of fifths in Grade 2 events at Woodbine.
Simmard - most recently was third in the Grade 2 Pan American Stake at Gulfstream on March 24th and before that nosed out Newsdad to win the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes on February 26th. Simmard had a second to Muskatier at the McKnight Handicap in November and also holds an impressive second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine in September. Sandwiched around the impressive results is a 13th in the Canadian International Stakes October 16th. Placing in all three recent Grade 2 starts certainly makes Simmard a contender this week.
Newsdad - most recently pulled off an impressive victory over Simmard at the Pan American Stakes and before that finished a close second to Simmard on February 26th in the Mac Diarmida. Prior to those impressive results Newsdad had an impressive seven length win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream on January 28th. In 15 career starts, Newsdad has four wins, two seconds and three third place finishes.
Skipshot - has raced five times already this year - a disappointing ninth last time out at the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic Stakes on March 4th and before that a third in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup Stakes on March 24th, a win in an Allowance on March 1st, an impressive fourth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes on February 5th and a third in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on January 7th. Skipshot has five wins in 21 career starts.
Center Divider - recently finished third in an Allowance race on this track on March 7th and before that finished fourth in the Mac Diarmida. Before that was a win at an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream on January 21st and a fourth at the W.L. McKnight Handicap in a race that Muskatier and Simmard went 1 - 2 in November.
Suntracer - After an impressive win at the Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds on November 25th Suntracer has struggled - a 10th at the Grade 2 Melvin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap on March 1st and a fourth at the Grade 3 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds on January 21st.
Point of Entry - won an Allowance last time out on this track March 12th and before that finished fourth and first respectively in Allowance races at Gulfstream.
Wilkinson - finished a distant eighth last time out in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds and before that was fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Fair Grounds on March 10th. Wilkinson did finish an impressive second at the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November at Churchill Downs and before that was a respectable third in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont in October.
Tahoe Lake - had a surprising second in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes on this track in October and followed that result up with a second and third respectively in a pair of Allowance races.
Race 9 on Keeneland's Friday card with a Post Time of 5:13 PM.
||Point of Entry
||C. McGaughey III