Keeneland Barn Notes for April 15

December 11, 2015

• PLETCHER SCHEDULES SUNDAY WORK FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNER CARPE DIEM • UNITARIAN GOES FOR REPEAT IN SATURDAY’S DIXIANA ELKHORN

Horse Racing Betting Bonus
• DECEPTIVE VISION RETURNS TO THE DIRT FOR 2015 DEBUT IN FRIDAY’S HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE • UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES • SPRING MEET LEADERS

PLETCHER SCHEDULES SUNDAY WORK FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNER CARPE DIEM

Trainer Todd Pletcher has spent the past couple of days at Keeneland checking out the barn that has produced a meet-leading seven victories with three stakes wins.

Included in the Keeneland contingent is Toyota Blue Grass (G1) winner Carpe Diem, one of five Pletcher horses that have a chance to appear in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Three of the horses – Materiality, Stanford, Itsaknockout – are in Florida.

Madefromlucky, fourth in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1), arrived at Keeneland Monday after flying into Louisville.

Carpe Diem has been on the track when it first opens in the morning or at the end of training hours.

“He has looked very good,” Pletcher said. “He has handled the moisture in the track very well and I applaud Keeneland for having a terrific track.”

Pletcher, who has won the Toyota Blue Grass three times, plans to work Carpe Diem here Sunday morning with the ship date to Churchill Downs to be determined.

“He likes a quiet environment and he is doing so well here. We will play that by ear,” said Pletcher, who plans to ship the remainder of his Derby prospects to Louisville next Tuesday along with Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) hopefuls Angela Renee, who is at Keeneland, and Eskenformoney, who is in Florida.

“Angela Renee will work here in the morning,” Pletcher said of the runner-up in the Central Bank Ashland (G1). “My plan is to be in Florida for Eskenformoney’s work Friday, the colts on Saturday and then be back here Sunday for Carpe Diem.”

In addition to the Derby and Oaks, Pletcher plans to be a major player in most of Churchill’s other 11 graded stakes that weekend particularly with horses that have run here this meet.

“We have not ruled out the Woodford Reserve (Turf Classic, G1) with Jack Milton,” Pletcher said of the winner of the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1). “(Grade 1 Madison runner-up) Stopchargingmaria is headed to the La Troienne (G1) and (Grade 3 Ben Ali winner) Protonico for the Alysheba (G2).

“The Alysheba would be a prep for the Stephen Foster (Handicap, G1) to be run June 13. He likes Churchill and either we run back on short rest or wait two months.”

UNITARIAN GOES FOR REPEAT IN SATURDAY’S DIXIANA ELKHORN

Robert Evans’ Unitarian will attempt to become the fourth horse to win the Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) in consecutive years Saturday when he faces 10 rivals in the 30th running of the $250,000 event at 1½ miles on the turf.

The Dixiana Elkhorn will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. ET post time. First post Saturday is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Unitarian comes into the Dixiana Elkhorn off a victory in the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 31. Javier Castellano, who was aboard that day and also for the Dixiana Elkhorn triumph last year, has the riding assignment Saturday and will break from post position four.

The other back-to-back winners of the Dixiana Elkhorn are African Dancer (1998-1999), Kim Loves Bucky (2002-2003) and Musketier (GER) (2010-2011).

In Unitarian’s most recent Keeneland race, he was fifth in the Sycamore (G3), the Fall Meet’s equivalent of the Elkhorn. The winner that day was Augustin Stable’s Holiday Star, who will make his 2015 debut Saturday.

Trained by Graham Motion, Holiday Star will break from post position six under Rajiv Maragh. The field for the Dixiana Elkhorn, from the inside out, is as follows: Dramedy (Joe Bravo, 118 pounds), Biz The Nurse (IRE) (Luis Saez, 118), My Afleet (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Unitarian (Castellano, 118), Cary Street (Paco Lopez, 120), Holiday Star (Maragh, 118), Java’s War (James Graham, 118), Optimizer (Corey Lanerie, 118), Aldous Snow (Jose Lezcano, 118), Dynamic Sky (Julien Leparoux, 118) and Xtra Luck (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118).

DECEPTIVE VISION RETURNS TO THE DIRT FOR 2015 DEBUT IN FRIDAY’S HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE

Sam-Son Farm’s Deceptive Vision has not raced on dirt since February 2013 at Fair Grounds, but on the dirt is where she will be Friday when she makes her 2015 debut in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) at 1 1/16 miles.

“She’s a very nice filly and she won twice on the dirt in New Orleans,” trainer Malcolm Pierce said. “She performs equally well on both turf and dirt and I figured this was a little easier spot than the (April 11) Jenny Wiley, which was a Grade 1.

“I had two spots in mind and opted for the dirt.”

John Velazquez will ride the 5-year-old Canadian-bred mare for the first time Friday in what Pierce hopes will be the kick off to a huge year on the grass.

“(Woodbine has) a pretty good turf series that starts at the end of May,” Pierce said. “I would like to get three races in at Woodbine to be eligible for a Sovereign Award.”

Pierce has another Sam-Son runner slated for a 2015 debut on Saturday with Aldous Snow in the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) at 1½ miles on the turf.

“The weather is really against us,” Pierce said referring to a stormy forecast for the next couple of days in the Lexington area. “He doesn’t like soft turf; with him, the firmer the better.”

UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

$150,000 Bewitch (G3) (Entries taken Tuesday, April 21, race on Friday, April 24) – Anipa (GB), Antonia Autumn, Appealing Cat, Caroline Thomas, Danza Cavallo (FR), Kitten’s Point, Maximova, Meri Shika (FR), Samiam, Stellaris, Super Sky, Tabreed (GB), Tuttipaesi (IRE), White Rose.

  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

OTB Cash Rewards

OTB Cash Rewards

Make your Greyhound Racing & Horse Racing wagers count even more! Earn daily OTB Cash Rewards at many Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racetracks.
  • Easy to understand rate schedule
  • No confusing point conversion programs
  • Use to wager or withdraw as cash

Watch Live Horse Racing

Watch Live Horse Racing Online For Free
Watch horse racing online from your iPhone, iPad, Android or Tablet. Choose from the best Thoroughbred & Harness race tracks around the world with up-to-the-minute data and live video feeds.

Horse Betting News