OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Together (IRE) was scheduled to return to Ireland on Sunday, a day after her impressive 1 1/4 - length victory in the 28th running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).
"She came out of the race well and now we'll take her back home," said Kieran Murphy, assistant to trainer Aidan O'Brien. "She didn't have to run very hard and she was pulling away at the end. She had a great trip and Colm (O'Donoghue) rode her perfectly. I think she can run even better."
The QE II triumph capped a profitable stay for Together at Keeneland with Saturday's $240,000 check being added to a $70,000 check for running second the previous Saturday in the First Lady (G1).
"We were happy with her the whole time she was here," Murphy said. "We were happy with everything here. The treatment and hospitality we received couldn't have been better."
Murphy said it is possible the 3-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) could return to Kentucky for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on November 4-5.
"We'll see how she came out of the race back home and they'll have 10 days or so to make a decision," Murphy said regarding the Breeders' Cup.
Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup betting at Off Track Betting
In other Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup news:
Trainer Tom Proctor, who saddled runner-up Marketing Mix, was wishing Together had left Keeneland a week earlier.
"I wish they hadn't run her back in a week. My filly was 3 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of them," Proctor said, adding with a laugh, "I would have looked like a superstar."
Marketing Mix now has a record of 3-2-1-0 on the turf.
"She is good this morning," Proctor said. "She will probably go to the farm for a while and then probably start her back at Tampa (Bay Downs). They have races for her there."
Trainer John Shirreffs' two QE II starters, Nereid (third) and Star Billing (sixth), came out of the race well, according to groom Francisco Lael, who said the fillies would return to California on Monday morning.
"She's good. She's just tired," said Jimmy Toner about Phillips Racing Partnership's Winter Memories, who finished fourth as the 7-5 favorite. Winter Memories was attempting to join her dam, Memories of Silver, as QE II winners. The race marked the final start of the year for the El Prado (IRE) filly, who will receive some time off at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington. Winter Memories then will head to Palm Meadows training center in Florida to prepare for her 4-year-old season that is expected to include an April appearance at Keeneland.
Team Valor International's Summer Soiree, who set the pace before fading to fifth, came out of the race well, according to trainer Graham Motion.
"She's fine this morning and will go back to Fair Hill," Motion said. "She might possibly run next in the Matriarch and get her back to a mile."
The Matriarch, a $250,000 Grade 1 grass test at Hollywood Park, is scheduled for November 25. Motion won the race last year with Gypsy's Warning (SAF).
DIVITO PLANNING LUKE OF YORK'S NEXT STAR
Trainer Jimmy DiVito was so focused on yesterday's Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes with Luke of York that he hadn't been considering the colt's future after the race. The 2-1 favorite ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Luke of York nosed out Voodoo Daddy to win the six-furlong stakes with Larry Zip another nose back in third.
"I knew he could run. I knew he was a nice horse," DiVito said about the Florida-bred son of Put It Back. "To think beyond that race he ran yesterday, it was a wait-and-see type of thing."
Luke of York is unbeaten in two six-furlong races on Polytrack (his first win, which came at Arlington, also was by a nose). The colt's next race might be at the Breeders' Cup World Championships, although the colt is not nominated.
"We're probably going on over to Churchill," DiVito said, adding, "It costs a lot of money to supplement to the Breeders' Cup."
Luke of York is the first racehorse owned by George Michaels, a commodities trader in Chicago. DiVito, who said he met Michaels through another one of his owners, bought Luke of York specifically for him for $23,000 at a Florida 2-year-olds in training sale in June.
"It's unbelievable. First horse ... Keeneland," DiVito said about Michaels' beginner's racing luck. "I think the odds of that would be astronomical, wouldn't they?"
CHILEAN GROUP 1 WINNER ASHTAR TOPS FIELD OF EIGHT FOR THURSDAY'S SYCAMORE
Green Grass Stable's Ashtar (CHI), winner of the Group 1 El Derby at Valparaiso in Chile in February, will carry 125 pounds and concede five pounds to his seven rivals in Thursday's 17th running of the $100,000 Sycamore Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.
Trained by Ruben Cardenas, Ashtar is winless in three starts in the United States since his El Derby triumph at the Sycamore distance. Hector Berrios, who has the ridden the 4-year-old colt in his past two starts, has the assignment Thursday on Ashtar, who will break from post position five.
The Sycamore, won last year by Brass Hat, marks a rematch among the 2-3-4 finishers from last month's Bowling Green Handicap (G2) at 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park.
Amerman Racing Stables' Center Divider, an allowance winner here this spring, finished second in the Bowling Green, a neck ahead of Ninety North Racing Stable's Bold Hawk, who was a half-length in front of Andreas Jacobs' Sanagas (GER).
The field for the Sycamore, from the inside out, is as follows: Odds On (BRZ) (Edgar Prado, 120 pounds), Eagle Poise (Robby Albarado, 120), Bold Hawk (Corey Nakatani, 120), Center Divider (Julien Leparoux, 120), Ashtar (CHI) (Berrios, 125), Sanagas (GER) (Rajiv Maragh, 120), Tahoe Lake (BRZ) (Manny Cruz, 120), Bim Bam (Kent Desormeaux, 120).
SAEZ TO HAVE FOLLOW-UP EXAM MONDAY AFTER SPILL
Jockey Gabriel Saez was released from the University of Kentucky Medical Center Saturday night after being injured in a spill in the 10th race at Keeneland.
"He was released last night and we went out and got something to eat," said Ruben Munoz, Saez's agent. "He's sore, but his spirits are good. He's a warrior and if it was up to him, he'd ride today, but that's not happening."
Saez's mount, Irish Exchange, clipped heels with Coup in deep stretch, throwing Saez to the Polytrack.
"We are going to get it checked out again tomorrow," Munoz said of Saez, who was complaining of hip and shoulder pain after the spill. "He's got a hoofprint right in the middle of his back."
Larry Jones, trainer of Irish Exchange, said the filly was fine.
"All she is worried about this morning is eating," Jones said. "When we were running down to get to her, we didn't know what to expect, but when we got there, she got up. I had them take her around the screen they had put up to show everybody she was OK.
"Gabe is going to be fine, too, but he's going to be sore. When we went to get the silks, there was a big horseshoe print right (on the silks)."
Keeneland's Saturday card began with a daily double of trainers recording their first victories at the track. In the first race, trainer Eric Heitzmann sent out Russell Welch's Taisteal Culle, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly ridden by Shane Sellers, to win the six-furlong claiming race by two lengths in 1:10. Trainer Susan Anderson won the second race with Robert Nastanovich's Six Pack Abs. Ridden by Ben Creed, the 7-year-old gelding won the seven-furlong starter allowance race by a length in 1:21.86.
Yesterday marked Keeneland's 75th anniversary, and the track drew 27,712 fans for the 10-race card that included the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes and an on-track appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales. The attendance marked the highest figure to date for the 2011 Fall Meeting, surpassing the 26,003 on the previous Saturday. Keeneland's average attendance for the first seven days of the 17-day season is 17,947.
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