â€¢ HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE ATTRACTS FIELD OF NINE â€¢ SAHAM TAKES STEP UP IN WEDNESDAYâ€™S RESCHEDULED TRANSYLVANIA PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT
HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE ATTRACTS FIELD OF NINE
Alpha Delta Stablesâ€™ My Miss Sophia, runner-up to champion Untapable in last yearâ€™s Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), heads a field of nine fillies and mares entered Tuesday for Fridayâ€™s 21st running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare will go as the ninth race on Fridayâ€™s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. ET post time. First post time Friday is 1:05 p.m.
Now trained by Bill Mott, My Miss Sophia will be making her 2015 debut. Joel Rosario has the mount on My Miss Sophia, who won the Gazelle (G2) last year prior to the Kentucky Oaks. She will break from post position eight.
Two other Grade 2 winners are in the field and each will carry top weight of 120 pounds under conditions of the race: Sam-Son Farmâ€™s Deceptive Vision and James Tafel LLCâ€™s Tiz Windy. Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Deceptive Vision did all of her running in 2014 on the grass with a record of 5-2-1-2. The 5-year-old mare won the Canadian (G2), finished second in the Dance Smartly (G2) and was third in the E.P. Taylor (G1) and Nassau (G2). John Velazquez has the mount for the first time and will break from post position three in Deceptive Visionâ€™s 2015 debut. Tiz Windy, trained by Carl Nafzger, won the Indiana Oaks (G2) last October. She closed 2014 with a fifth-place finish against older runners in the Falls City Handicap (G2).
Tiz Windy has started once in 2015, finishing fifth in the Royal Delta (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 21. Julien Leparoux, who was aboard that day, has the call Friday and will break from post position nine.
The field for the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare, from the rail out, is as follows: Lunar Surge (Corey Lanerie, 118 pounds), Liberated (Joe Bravo, 118), Deceptive Vision (Velazquez, 120), Twenty in One (Paco Lopez, 118), Blue Violet (Kerwin Clark, 118), Pretty Fancy (Javier Castellano, 118), Handmade (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), My Miss Sophia (Rosario, 118) and Tiz Windy (Leparoux, 120).
SAHAM TAKES STEP UP IN WEDNESDAYâ€™S RESCHEDULED TRANSYLVANIA PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT
As the rain came down Tuesday morning at Keeneland, trainer Brendan Walsh could only look on with a wry smile.
He trains Saham, who on Wednesday is slated to make his stakes debut in the $100,000 Transylvania (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select going 1 1/16 miles over what figures to be a soft turf course, which would be a first for him.
â€œHeâ€™s kind of been through the wringer,â€ Walsh said of the Lemon Drop Kid colt, who is owned by Sultan Bin Mishal.
Saham made his grass debut two starts back and was favored in a field of 11 at Gulfstream Park, but ducked in at the start and dropped jockey Corey Lanerie.
â€œIt was very frustrating for that to happen. It set him back a little bit but he came back fine,â€ Walsh said. â€œYou never know what will happen when they gallop around there. I had never worked him on the grass but the Lemon Drop Kids really like the grass.â€
Three weeks later, Saham broke his maiden with Paco Lopez aboard to earn a shot at the Transylvania, initially scheduled for opening day April 3. However, inclement weather forced postponement of the dayâ€™s final four races that included the Transylvania.
â€œI think the extra week to 10 days have helped him,â€ Walsh said of Saham, who worked a half-mile on the main track April 5. â€œIt is a short field tomorrow but I know Wesley (Ward with Luck of the Kitten), Chad (Brown with Night Prowler) and Bill (Mott with A Lot) are in there and hopefully we can make a case for him too.
â€œA soft course is not a concern, because this course drains well.â€
Saham is nominated to the $250,000 American Turf (G2) to be run May 2 at Churchill Downs, but the time frame might be too snug for Walsh.
â€œHe looks like the kind of horse that will need some time between races,â€ Walsh said. â€œWe will see how it goes, but there are tons of races out there for him.â€ â€ƒ
UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
$250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, race on Saturday, April 18) â€“ Aldous Snow, Biz The Nurse (IRE), Cozy Kitten, Dynamic Sky, Holiday Star, Javaâ€™s War, My Afleet, Reflecting, Unitarian. Possible: Smooth Stone.
$150,000 Bewitch (G3) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 21, race on Friday, April 24) â€“ Caroline Thomas, Danza Cavallo (FR), Meri Shika (FR), Samiam, Super Sky.
SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through April 12 (seven days of racing)
Jockey Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses Javier Castellano 35 9 3 3 $685,111 Shaun Bridgmohan 25 5 5 0 $254,251 Brian Hernandez Jr. 25 5 2 5 $223,036 Julien Leparoux 33 4 6 4 $673,283 John Velazquez 19 4 5 4 $984,000 Jose Lezcano 24 4 2 3 $225,335 Rajiv Maragh 7 4 0 0 $266,970
Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses Todd Pletcher 18 7 5 1 $1,238,853 Kiaran McLaughlin 10 6 0 0 $264,358 Mark Casse 16 3 5 0 $341,223 Wesley Ward 16 3 4 2 $153,589 Larry Jones 10 3 3 1 $454,167 Mike Maker 11 3 2 0 $108,638 Chad Brown 12 3 1 2 $319,422
Owner Wins Godolphin Racing LLC (Lessee) 6 Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey 4 Brereton C. Jones 2 Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf et al) 2