â€¢ JACK MILTON LOOKS TO CONTINUE PLETCHERâ€™S FAST START â€¢ DONâ€™T TELL SOPHIA NOMINATED BUT WILL PASS ON HILLIARD LYONS DOUBLEDOGDARE
JACK MILTON LOOKS TO CONTINUE PLETCHERâ€™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 Barberâ€™s Jack Milton will look to continue the barnâ€™s fast start in the 27th running of the $300,000 Makerâ€™s 46 Mile (G1).
â€œHe is doing well and coming into the race the right way,â€ said Tristan Barry, assistant to Pletcher. â€œHe worked well here on Saturday (a half-mile on the main track in :47.80).â€
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.
â€œThis race was one that was on the radar for him,â€ Barry said. â€œWe 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.â€
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.
â€œHeâ€™s doing very well and we expect him to run well,â€ 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.
â€œThis is a tough meet and everybody comes in loaded for bear,â€ Barry said. â€œWe just hope to get lucky and win a few.â€
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.
DONâ€™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 Donâ€™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.
â€œThe weather was so bad at Oaklawn that we missed some time and then we had more bad weather when we came back here,â€ Sims said Tuesday morning before Donâ€™t Tell Sophia galloped after the break under regular morning partner Kerrin Meyer. â€œIf Oaklawn had gone fine, she likely would have run in the Doubledogdare.â€
Following her Juddmonte Spinster victory, Donâ€™t Tell Sophia finished second to Eclipse Award winner Untapable in the Breedersâ€™ Cup Distaff (G1) and completed 2014 with a runner-up finish in the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs.
â€œRight now, I am just putzing around with her,â€ Sims said. â€œThe Fall is the goal. Sheâ€™ll probably run a couple of times in the summer and then two here in October.â€
The two here in October would be a repeat run in the Juddmonte Spinster and the Breedersâ€™ Cup Distaff.
Sims is looking at the $200,000 Fleur De Lis (G2) at Churchill on June 13 as the likely starting point for Donâ€™t Tell Sophia, who has compiled a record of 24-11-6-3 for earnings of $1,382,479.
Juddmonte Farmsâ€™ 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 Saturdayâ€™s $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1). Her time was the best of 15 at the distance. â€ƒ
UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
$300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) (Entries taken tomorrow, race Saturday, April 11) â€“ 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) â€“ Divining Rod, Henry Jones, Sakima, Tiznow R J.
$150,000 Ben Ali (G3) (Entries taken tomorrow, race Saturday, April 11) â€“ Amiâ€™s Holiday, Farhaan, Golden Ticket, Javaâ€™s War, Mail, Neck â€˜n Neck, Protonico.
$100,000 Giantâ€™s Causeway (Entries taken tomorrow, race Saturday, April 11) â€“ Ageless, Believe in Charlie, Free as a Bird, Gal About Town, Home Journey, Jewel of a Cat, Katieâ€™s Eyes, Liberated, Runway Ready.
$250,000 Adena Springs Beaumont (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, April 12) â€“ Delightful Joy, Divine Dawn, Fantastic Style, Majestic Presence, Taylor S, Zeven. Possible: Harlanâ€™s Destiny, Perchance.
$125,000 Appalachian (G3) Presented By Japan Racing Association (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, April 12) â€“ Asia, Lady Eli, Lady Zuzu, Leading Edge, Lismore, Mizz Money, Tiger Ride. Possible: Quality Rocks.