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Las Vegas, NV - Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky will play host to the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile this Saturday, October 4. A terrific purse of $1 million will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go one mile on Keeneland's turf track. A berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile is also on the line.
Eight older entries will line up in the Shadwell Turf Mile - race 9 on Keeneland's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:45 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all eight combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.
Wise Dan - The terrific six-time Eclipse Award winning and defending two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan looks to be on track for another Championship campaign. He enters this weekend on a terrific four race win streak -the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap last time out at Saratoga August 30, the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf way back in May (right before colic surgery), the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Miles and a predictable win in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He was the runaway winner in Horse of the Year, Four-year-old & up male and Male turf (3yo&up) in 2013 and 2014, has won 13 of his 14 last races ahead of this weekend and 18 of his last 20 races overall including the Breeders' Cup Mile two years in a row - virtually untouchable. Wise Dan hasn't finished worse than second since October 2011 - impressive! He is simply the most dominant horse on the planet right now - no reason to think differently about this weekend. Wise Dan will depart from post 6 with John Velazquez in the saddle.
Seek Again - made his North American debut December 1 and won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park and followed that with a second behind Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 3, an OK third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 7 and another terrific win - in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap last time out August 9. This after seven career starts in Britain yielded three wins and two second place finishes including a win at York. He has looked very good in his North American starts and could challenge again Saturday for trainer Bill Mott. Joel Rosario will ride from the far outside post.
Silver Max - actually beat Wise Dan in the 2013 Shadwell Turf Mile and then went on to a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He has just two starts in 2014- a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Firecracker Stakes at Churchill Downs June 28 was followed by a disappointing sixth last time out in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga August 9. He won six straight between March and July of 2012 as well including the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes and the Grade 2 Virginia Derby - nobody could touch him! He struggled a tad after that but bounced back and had a terrific second half of 2013 - a win in the minor Opening Verse Stakes last June 1 in gate-to-wire fashion by 9 1/2 lengths, another win by 5 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth July 28, a terrific score in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch August 31 at Saratoga to go along with the Shadwell Turf shocker. He has won four of his last six starts and his win over Wise Dan certainly has opened few eyes. He looks for a bounce back after an uncharacteristic effort last time out with Robby Albarado aboard from post 4.
Kaigun - Mark Casse trained gelding looked good at the end of 2013 -a good third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes November 16 and an Allowance score at Woodbine in August. He has eight starts in 2014 - a second last time out in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile followed his best result in some time - a win in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine August 10. He also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream February 22. Other results include a fifth in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth July 6 after a good second in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes June 7 at Belmont Park, a fourth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 3 and a good second in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile behind Wise Dan at Keeneland in April. Kaigun has been in there with some top competition and has fared well. He will be looking to keep a nice streak going with Patrick Husbands in the saddle from gate 5.
Shadwell Turf Mile betting online at Keeneland Race Course with OffTrackBetting.com
Optimizer - was last seen running a good second in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga August 30 which followed a twelfth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes way back on April 25, a ninth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March and seven months away. In 2013 he won the Grade 2 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap and the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap February 23 to go along with a second in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 4 - beaten by Wise Dan. He followed that with a third in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 18 and continued his good run with another solid result - a second in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap June 8. Optimizer seemed to snap his 2014 slump and looks to build on a good effort last time out. He departs from post 2 with Alan Garcia guiding him.
Sayaad - Kiaran McLaughlin pupil has 13 career starts with five wins and two second place finishes and enters off a fourth in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap August 30 after a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap August 9 and a nice three race win streak including the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park and the minor Dance of Life Stakes August 25. His only other graded stakes action came last June - a fifth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park. Sayaad makes just his fourth start of 2014 Saturday looking to rebound from two off the board finishes. He leaves from the rail with Julien Leparoux in the irons.
Grand Arch finished third in the Grade 2 Sky Classic at Woodbine last August 18 and continued to look good in his next six starts - a second in the minor Labeeb Stakes in October, a third in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November, a terrific win in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at Woodbine June 22 and a good second in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga August 9 included. Last time out was a bit of a hiccup however - a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile September 14. Grand Arch has placed in 14 of 15 career starts with four wins, five seconds and six thirds and looks for a bounce back Saturday. David Moran rides from post 3 Saturday.
Two Notch Road - has 18 career starts with four wins and two third place finishes and is coming off by far his best result in some time - a win in the minor Punch Line Stakes at Laurel Park September 13 after failing to place in his previous four starts. Two Notch Road hasn't been great but will surely be confident after a win last time out. He leaves from post 7 with Paco Lopez aboard.
Race 9 on Keeneland Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
|1||Sayaad||J. Leparoux||K. McLaughlin|
|2||Optimizer||A. Garcia||J. Fernandez|
|3||Grand Arch||D. Moran||B. Lynch|
|4||Silver Max||R. Albarado||D. Romans|
|5||Kaigun||P. Husbands||M. Casse|
|6||Wise Dan||J. Velazquez||C. LoPresti|
|7||Two Notch Road||P. Lopez||G. Thompson|
|8||Seek Again||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
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