Keeneland Barn Notes for April 6

December 10, 2019

• BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER LADY ELI WORKS FOR 2015 DEBUT • PEACE AND WAR TO REMAIN AT KEENELAND FOR A WHILE AFTER CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND RUN

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• DIVINING ROD SEEKS TO REBOUND FROM TAMPA BAY DERBY IN SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON • GALLOPING OUT • MONDAY WORK TAB • UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

BREEDERS’ CUP WINNER LADY ELI WORKS FOR 2015 DEBUT

Sheep Pond Partners’ Lady Eli, winner of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), is scheduled to make her 2015 debut Sunday in the $125,000 Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association. On Monday, the 3-year-old Divine Park filly worked five furlongs on the yielding turf course in 1:04.80. Clockers caught her final quarter-mile in :23.60.

“She looked really good,” trainer Chad Brown said. “She worked fabulous, so she’s ready to go for Sunday.”

Brown said Lady Eli, a Keeneland sales grad, received some time off following the Breeders’ Cup and spent a “quiet winter down in Florida. We gave her some time off. We gradually started to pick up her training at Palm Meadows, and she’s picked it up nicely each week.”

Lady Eli arrived here April 1 to continue preparations for the Appalachian, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

“I liked the timing of it, get her a race over the Keeneland surface,” he said about the race. “Kick off the year here and see how it goes.”

Last year, Brown also won Breeders’ Cup races with Dayatthespa in the Filly and Mare Turf (G1) and Bobby’s Kitten in the Turf Sprint (G1). Dayatthespa has been retired. Brown is expecting Bobby’s Kitten to join his Keeneland string in the coming days after completing a freshening at owner Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky.

PEACE AND WAR TO REMAIN AT KEENELAND FOR A WHILE AFTER CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND RUN

Trainer Olly Stevens found himself doing some second-guessing following the last-place run by Qatar Racing’s Peace and War in Saturday’s $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1).

“I knew she was in trouble at the three-eighths pole,” Stevens said Monday morning. “I hate to admit it, but I probably should have done more with her and waited two weeks. That is why those guys that have been doing it for 50 years have got it down pretty good.”

Sidelined by a minor injury after her victory in last fall’s Darley Alcibiades (G1), Peace and War was beaten 17 lengths in her return to the races.

“She will stay here for now and probably have a work in about 10 days,” Stevens said. “We will discuss our options with Ben (Huffman, Racing Secretary at Keeneland and Churchill Downs) for Oaks Week.

“She showed a lot of speed (Saturday) so the Eight Belles is an option and maybe the Edgewood, which is the same day (May 1).”

The $200,000 Eight Belles (G3) is run at seven furlongs on the main track, and the $150,000 Edgewood (G3) is run at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Nominations for both races close Wednesday. Stevens had hoped to pick up enough points in the Central Bank Ashland to move up on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard. However, Peace and War only has the 10 points she earned for winning the Darley Alcibiades.

“I doubt we will get in the big race,” Stevens said of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). “We are 30th and 16 horses would have to come out of consideration for the race.”

DIVINING ROD SEEKS TO REBOUND FROM TAMPA BAY DERBY IN SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON

The journey down the Triple Crown trail for Lael Stables’ homebred Divining Rod hit a bump in the road last month with a third-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).

Now, instead of pressing on to try to accumulate points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), Divining Rod will attempt to rebound in Saturday’s $250,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

“We nominated him for the Triple Crown in case we wanted to do that,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “It just didn’t work out the way we wanted and now we are just taking it one race at a time.” Divining Road started his 2015 campaign with a runner-up finish in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. However, in the Tampa Bay Derby, he set the pace before fading to third, beaten 7½ lengths by Carpe Diem, who would come back Saturday to win the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) here.

“It is hard to be ambitious off a race like that,” Delacour said. “He is not up to the task yet.” Divining Rod has worked three times since the Tampa Bay Derby, two in Florida and once at Keeneland.

“I got him going a half-mile in :48 and out in a minute and change,” Delacour said of the Sunday work. “I was very happy with that.”

Saturday could be a big day for Delacour and Lael Stables as their stellar grass sprinter Ageless is expected to make her 2015 debut in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway.

“She is probably going to run,” Delacour said. “She is at Tampa Bay now and will get here Tuesday.”

A three-time stakes winner on grass last year, Ageless won the Giant’s Causeway here in the spring and returned in the fall to run second in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County.

She closed 2014 with a fourth-place finish against the boys in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita. She finished three-quarters of a length behind winner Bobby’s Kitten and only a neck and a nose out of second.

GALLOPING OUT

Peggy Dunleavy, assistant to trainer Ian Wilkes, said that Silverpocketsfull (third in the Central Bank Ashland) and Gorgeous Bird (sixth in the Toyota Blue Grass) exited their races well and left Monday to return to Churchill Downs. 

WORK TAB Eclipse Award winner Judy the Beauty, prepping for her 2015 debut, worked five furlongs on a turf course rated as “yielding” in 1:06.60 with the “dogs” in the middle of the course. Trained by Wesley Ward, the champion female sprinter of 2014 worked in company with Shrinking Violet and Richies Party Girl and finished her last quarter of a mile in :24.20.

UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

$300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) (Entries taken tomorrow, race Friday, April 10) – Grand Arch, Home Run Kitten, Jack Milton, Karibu Gardens, Legendary (GB), Long On Value, Sayaad, Za Approval. Possible: Summer Front.

$300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, April 11) – Ball Dancing, Eden Prairie, Emotional Kitten, Filimbi, Hard Not to Like, Personal Diary, Satin Gold, Starstruck (IRE). Possible: Samiam.

$250,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, April 11) – Divining Rod, Henry Jones, Tiznow R J.

$150,000 Ben Ali (G3) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, April 11) – Ami’s Holiday, Farhaan, Golden Ticket, Java’s War, Mail, Neck ‘n Neck, Protonico.

$100,000 Giant’s Causeway (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, April 11) – Ageless, Believe in Charlie, Free as a Bird, Gal About Town, Home Journey, Jewel of a Cat, Katie’s Eyes, Liberated.

$250,000 Adena Springs Beaumont (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, April 12) – Delightful Joy, Divine Dawn, Fantastic Style, Majestic Presence, Taylor S, Zeven. Possible: Harlan’s Destiny, Perchance.

$125,000 Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, April 12) – Lady Eli, Lady Zuzu, Leading Edge, Lismore, Mizz Money, Tiger Ride. Possible: Quality Rocks.

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