â€¢ LADY SABELIA, SAMâ€™S SISTER TOP FIELD OF SIX SPRINTERS FOR GRADE 1 MADISON â€¢ C. ZEE RETURNS TO KEENELAND FOR SHOT AT COMMONWEALTH
LADY SABELIA, SAMâ€™S SISTER TOP FIELD OF SIX SPRINTERS FOR GRADE 1 MADISON
Mrs. Frank Wrightâ€™s Lady Sabelia, winner of her past four races and six of her past seven, and Mark DeDomenico, Jerry Hollendorfer and George Todaroâ€™s Grade 1 winner Samâ€™s Sister headline a field of six sprinters entered Tuesday for Saturdayâ€™s 14th running of the $350,000 Madison (G1).
The seven-furlong main track test for fillies and mares will go as the sixth race on Saturdayâ€™s 11-race program that features four other graded stakes, including the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1). First post Saturday is 12:35 p.m. ET with the Madison scheduled for 3:28 p.m.
Trained by Robin Graham, Lady Sabelia won the Barbara Fritchie (G2) in her graded stakes debut in her most recent start that came at Laurel on Feb. 14. In that race she defeated Samâ€™s Sister, who finished fourth as the favorite in the field of 10.
Horacio Karamanos has the mount on Lady Sabelia, who will break from post position four. Prior to her setback in the Barbara Fritchie, Samâ€™s Sister posted victories in the La Brea (G1) and Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita. Trained by Hollendorfer, Samâ€™s Sister will be ridden by Gary Stevens and break from post position one.
Another intriguing member of the Madison cast is Town and Country Farmâ€™s Stopchargingmaria. A five-time graded stakes winner with triumphs in the Alabama (G1) and Coaching Club of America Oaks (G1), Stopchargingmaria will be making her first start in more than six months and first start at the Madison distance since a runner-up finish in the Spinaway (G1) as a 2-year-old in 2013. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Stopchargingmaria will break from post position three and be ridden by John Velazquez.
The field for the Madison, from the rail out, is as follows: Samâ€™s Sister (Stevens, 123 pounds), Wedding Toast (Jose Lezcano, 118), Stopchargingmaria (Velazquez, 118), Lady Sabelia (Karamanos, 120), Clearly Confused (Julien Leparoux, 118) and Princess Violet (Junior Alvarado, 118).
C. ZEE RETURNS TO KEENELAND FOR SHOT AT COMMONWEALTH
Jacks or Better Farmâ€™s C. Zee, runner-up to champion Work All Week in last fallâ€™s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) here, tops a field of seven sprinters entered Tuesday for Saturdayâ€™s 29th running of the $300,000 Commonwealth (G3) at seven furlongs on the main track. The Commonwealth will go as the seventh race on Saturdayâ€™s 11-race program with an approximate post time of 4:05 p.m. ET.
Trained by Stanley Gold, C. Zee won the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) in his most recent start under Edgard Zayas. He retains the mount for Saturday and will break from post position seven with C. Zee.
Invading from California for the race is C R K Stableâ€™s Kobeâ€™s Back.
Now trained by Peter Eurton, Kobeâ€™s Back won the San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita last year and returned after a more than seven-month layoff to run second in the San Carlos (G2) at Santa Anita on March 7 in his 2015 debut.
Gary Stevens has the mount on Kobeâ€™s Back and will break from post position two.
The field for the Commonwealth, from the inside out, is as follows: I Got It All (Channing Hill, 118 pounds), Kobeâ€™s Back (Stevens, 118), Bourbon Courage (Paco Lopez, 118), Rocket Time (Calvin Borel, 118), Jessicaâ€™s Star (James Graham, 118), Hip Four Sixtynine (Robby Albarado, 118) and C. Zee (Zayas, 120).
UNDRAFTED, POWER ALERT HEADLINE SATURDAYâ€™S SHAKERTOWN
Wes Welkerâ€™s Undrafted, last seen finishing third beaten a half-length in the 2014 Breedersâ€™ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita, and James Covello, AJ Suited Racing Stable LLC and Brian Lynchâ€™s Power Alert (AUS), who is undefeated in two U.S. starts, top a field of 13 entered Tuesday for Saturdayâ€™s 19th running of the $125,000 Shakertown (G3).
The Shakertown, run at 5Â½ furlongs on the turf, will be run as the eighth race on Saturdayâ€™s 11-race program with a post time of 4:42 p.m. ET.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Undrafted won the Jaipur (G3) last June at Belmont Park and trained over the Keeneland turf course prior to his Breedersâ€™ Cup run last year. Undrafted worked Tuesday morning here over the grass on the first day of turf training this spring.
John Velasquez, who was aboard Undrafted in the Jaipur victory and last year in the Breedersâ€™ Cup, has the call Saturday and will break from post 13.
Power Alert, trained by Lynch, won the Silks Run at Gulfstream on March 14 in his most recent start. Both of his U.S. victories have come at five furlongs with Julien Leparoux aboard. Leparoux will be back aboard Saturday and break from post position 10.
The field for the Shakertown, from the inside out, is as follows: Mellow Fellow (Juan Vargas, 118 pounds), Go Blue Or Go Home (Miguel Mena, 118), Zee Bros (Paco Lopez, 118), Something Extra (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Choctaw Chuck (Taylor Rice, 118), Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ) (Florent Geroux, 118), Mosler (Jose Lezcano, 118), Heavenâ€™s Runway (Junior Alvarado, 118), Channel Marker (Francisco Torres, 118), Power Alert (AUS) (Leparoux, 118), Ameliaâ€™s Wild Ride (Roberto Alvarado Jr., 118), Tightend Touchdown (Joe Bravo, 118) and Undrafted (John Velazquez, 118).
PEACE AND WAR CLEARS QUARANTINE, BEGINS CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND PREPARATIONS
Qatar Racingâ€™s Peace and War, winner of last fallâ€™s Darley Alcibiades (G1) in her lone U.S. start, cleared quarantine Tuesday to begin her stateside preparations for Saturdayâ€™s Central Bank Ashland (G1).
With regular exercise rider Tegan Clark up, Peace and War jogged one circuit of the five-eighths mile training track, walked through the Paddock and saddling ring before jogging nearly three-quarters of a mile on the main track.
Trainer Olly Stevens liked what he saw from the filly, who arrived here from Europe on Sunday morning.
â€œShe is better mentally now than she was last year,â€ Stevens said. â€œI want to give her a couple of easy days and let her go an eighth of a mile Thursday after the break.â€
Stevens said the filly worked at home last Thursday, jogged on a treadmill Friday and galloped on the treadmill Saturday before shipping to the U.S.
WORK TAB The first day of grass works for the Spring Meet brought out a contingent of horses from trainer Wesley Wardâ€™s barn. Seven Ward horses worked, including two winners from last fallâ€™s Breedersâ€™ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita.
Working first was Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Hootenanny, who covered five furlongs in 1:02.40 around the â€œdogsâ€ while working in company with Sunset Glow, runner-up in the Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Sunset Glow was clocked in 1:02.80 with internal fractions for both being :26 and :39.60.
Next up was Undrafted, the third-place finisher in the Breedersâ€™ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). Working in company with Emotional Kitten, Undrafted was clocked in 1:04 with fractions of :26 and :40.40. Undrafted is scheduled to make his 2015 debut in Saturdayâ€™s Shakertown (G3).
Working on her own was Breedersâ€™ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) winner Judy the Beauty, who covered a leisurely half-mile in :53.
Multiple graded stakes winner Delaunay worked a half-mile in :47.80 before the morning renovation break on the main track for trainer Tom Amoss.