Keeneland Barn Notes for April 7

December 10, 2019

• JACK MILTON LOOKS TO CONTINUE PLETCHER’S FAST START • DON’T TELL SOPHIA NOMINATED BUT WILL PASS ON HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE

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• WORK TAB • UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

JACK MILTON LOOKS TO CONTINUE PLETCHER’S FAST START

Three Grade 1 races were run at Keeneland on Saturday, and trainer Todd Pletcher had his fingerprints on all of them with a victory and two seconds.

On Friday, Gary Barber’s Jack Milton will look to continue the barn’s fast start in the 27th running of the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).

“He is doing well and coming into the race the right way,” said Tristan Barry, assistant to Pletcher. “He worked well here on Saturday (a half-mile on the main track in :47.80).”

Jack Milton, now 5, won the Transylvania (G3) in 2013 in his lone start on the Keeneland turf course. In 2014 he won the Poker (G3) and began 2015 with a fourth-place finish in the Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 21.

“This race was one that was on the radar for him,” Barry said. “We thought he ran very well in his last race. He had a wide trip that day in his first start off a (five-month) layoff.”

This Saturday, Barry said the barn will have a presence in the $250,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) and run Protonico in the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3).

A two-time Grade 3 winner last year and runner-up in the Clark (G1), Protonico worked a half-mile in :47.20 on Sunday, the fastest of 86 at the distance that morning.

“He’s doing very well and we expect him to run well,” Barry said.

Pletcher also has Unitarian in his barn and he is expected to defend his title in the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) on April 18.

Through the first two days of the meet, Pletcher has sent out seven runners with two wins, three seconds, a third and a fourth. Kiaran McLaughlin is the only other trainer to have two victories.

“This is a tough meet and everybody comes in loaded for bear,” Barry said. “We just hope to get lucky and win a few.”

Pletcher won Spring titles here in 2005 and 2008, ironically both years when he saddled the winner of the Toyota Blue Grass, a feat accomplished by his Carpe Diem on Saturday. Pletcher also shared the Fall title last year.

Barry said that Carpe Diem, Central Bank Ashland (G1) runner-up Angela Renee and Madison (G1) runner-up Stopchargingmaria would return to the track Wednesday.

DON’T TELL SOPHIA NOMINATED BUT WILL PASS ON HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE

Blame it on the weather.

Trainer and co-owner Phil Sims has nominated 2014 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) winner Don’t Tell Sophia to the 21st running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) to be run April 17, but the 7-year-old millionaire will not make the race.

“The weather was so bad at Oaklawn that we missed some time and then we had more bad weather when we came back here,” Sims said Tuesday morning before Don’t Tell Sophia galloped after the break under regular morning partner Kerrin Meyer. “If Oaklawn had gone fine, she likely would have run in the Doubledogdare.”

Following her Juddmonte Spinster victory, Don’t Tell Sophia finished second to Eclipse Award winner Untapable in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and completed 2014 with a runner-up finish in the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs.

“Right now, I am just putzing around with her,” Sims said. “The Fall is the goal. She’ll probably run a couple of times in the summer and then two here in October.”

The two here in October would be a repeat run in the Juddmonte Spinster and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Sims is looking at the $200,000 Fleur De Lis (G2) at Churchill on June 13 as the likely starting point for Don’t Tell Sophia, who has compiled a record of 24-11-6-3 for earnings of $1,382,479.

WORK TAB

Juddmonte Farms’ Filimbi, winner of the Goldikova (G2) last November at Santa Anita and third as the favorite in the First Lady (G1) here last October, worked three furlongs in :35.60 over a fast track before the morning renovation break in preparation for a likely start in Saturday’s $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1). Her time was the best of 15 at the distance.  

UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES

$300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) (Entries taken tomorrow, 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 tomorrow, race Saturday, April 11) – Divining Rod, Henry Jones, Sakima, Tiznow R J.

$150,000 Ben Ali (G3) (Entries taken tomorrow, 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 tomorrow, 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, Runway Ready.

$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) – Asia, Lady Eli, Lady Zuzu, Leading Edge, Lismore, Mizz Money, Tiger Ride. Possible: Quality Rocks.

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