JUDY THE BEAUTY PUTS PERFECT KEENELAND MARK ON LINE IN THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA • UNDRAFTED TOPS BIG FIELD FOR SATURDAY’S WOODFORD PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT
JUDY THE BEAUTY PUTS PERFECT KEENELAND MARK ON LINE IN THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA
Owner-trainer Wesley Ward’s Judy the Beauty, the reigning champion distaff sprinter of 2014, heads a field of eight entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 35th running of the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at six furlongs on the main track.
The Thoroughbred Club of America, one of five graded stakes on Saturday’s 10-race program, is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) to be held here Oct. 31. Judy the Beauty is the defending champion in that race.
Post time for the Thoroughbred Club of America, which is carded as the sixth race, is 4 p.m. ET. First post time is 1:05 p.m.
Now 6, Judy the Beauty broke her maiden at first asking at Keeneland in 2011 and has won her next three starts here including victories in the 2013 renewal of the Thoroughbred Club of America and the 2014 Madison (G1).
Third in the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga in her most recent start, Judy the Beauty will break from post position three and be ridden by Mike Smith.
Judy the Beauty could become the second two-time winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America, as could Speedway Stables’ Leigh Court, the race’s defending champion.
Now trained by Mike Stidham, Leigh Court took the 2014 race by three lengths and then closed out 2014 with a fifth-place finish behind Judy the Beauty in the Breeders’ Cup. Victor Espinoza has the mount on Leigh Court, who will break from post position five.
The only two-time winner of the race is Excitable Lady (1982 and 1983).
The field for the Thoroughbred Club of America with jockeys and weights from the rail out is as follows: Heykittykittykitty (Ricardo Santana Jr., 120 pounds), Desert Valley (Robby Albarado, 118), Judy the Beauty (Smith, 120), Sweet Whiskey (Florent Geroux, 120), Leigh Court (Espinoza, 120), Spelling Again (Shaun Bridgmohan, 122), Fioretti (Sophie Doyle, 120) and Brown Eyed Mary (Corey Lanerie, 120).
UNDRAFTED TOPS BIG FIELD FOR SATURDAY’S WOODFORD PRESENTED BY KEENHE ELAND SELECT
Wes Welker and Sol Kumin’s Undrafted, winner of Diamond Jubilee (G1) at Royal Ascot in June, headlines a full field of 14 and two also-eligibles entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 19th running of the $150,000 Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select.
The Woodford, run at 5½ furlongs on the turf, is the first of five graded stakes on Saturday’s 10-race program and will go as the fifth race with a 3:25 p.m. (ET) post time.
Trained by Wesley Ward, who won the 2014 running of the Woodford with No Nay Never, Undrafted is coming off a runner-up finish in the More Than Ready at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 5. Kent Desormeaux will ride Undrafted, who will break from post position five.
Chief among Undrafted’s competition is Something Extra, winner of the 2015 Shakertown (G3), Keeneland’s Spring Meet equivalent of the Woodford.
Owned by John Menary and trainer Gail Cox, Something Extra has two graded-stakes placings since the Shakertown victory and is a multiple graded-stakes winner. Mike Smith will ride Something Extra and break from post position six.
Also in the field is Silverton Hill’s Havelock, winner of the Woodford in 2011 and 2013. Trained by Darrin Miller, Havelock returned from a year layoff to win his most recent start at Indiana Grand on Sept. 8. Joe Rocco Jr., has the mount and will break from post position eight.
The field for the Woodford with riders and weight from the inside out is as follows: Channel Marker (Francisco Torres, 122 pounds), Mongolian Saturday (Florent Geroux, 120), Shore Runner (Kendrick Carmouche, 120), Amelia’s Wild Ride (Jose Lezcano, 120), Undrafted (Desormeaux, 124), Something Extra (Smith, 122), Mongol Bull (James Graham, 120), Havelock (Rocco Jr., 120), Hogy (Chris Emigh, 120), Quick Dagger (Chris Landeros, 120), Sharp Sensation (Jose Lezcano, 120), Stacked Deck (Luis Saez, 120), Holy Lute (Santiago Gonzalez, 120) and Speechify (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120). Also-eligibles: Summation Time (Julien Leparoux, 120) and Cyclogenisis (Corey Lanerie, 118).
STICKSSTATELYDUDE GETS HIS CHANCE IN SATURDAY’S CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY
The coming-out party for Sticksstatelydude was supposed to be the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 7. Because of a temperature, it did not happen.
“There were allergies up there and I had to walk him for four days,” trainer Greg Burchell said. “He has moved forward from that and had a good work (:47.60 for a half-mile) at Churchill last Friday and galloped out well.”
Owned by the estate of Alvin “Stick” Haynes, John Ferris, Brad Ward and his wife Beth’s Pack Pride Racing, Sticksstatelydude will step out on center stage Saturday in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run here Oct. 31.
Sticksstatelydude represents half of the stable for Burchell, who grew up in Central Kentucky and will turn 55 in December.
“I have been around the track all my life with just a handful of horses and went to grade school and middle school here with Kiaran (McLaughlin),” Burchell said. “It is a dream come true just to run at that level. To win this and go on to the Breeders’ Cup and then maybe the Triple Crown campaign would be the icing on the cake.”
Sticksstatelydude debuted on June 27 at Churchill Downs, finishing second to Mayor Mac for trainer Greg Foley.
“I waited until the last night at Churchill to run six (furlongs),” Burchell said. “All the big guys had first-timers in there … Dale (Romans), Al (Stall), Bret (Calhoun) and Steve Asmussen. He handled the big crowd, the lights, everything fine.
“He’s never had a bad day. I never run my 2-year-olds in the spring over there, but he jumped through all the hoops the right way.”
Sticksstatelydude was 8-1 in the debut, but in his second start, he was even money at Saratoga. “He was a big tout horse and he ran in Kiaran’s name, which may have cost me a few points (in the odds),” Burchell said. “But he had been working well and really was touted.”
The son of First Dude did not disappoint in winning by two lengths in a field of 10 going six furlongs with Ready Dancer running second and Isotherm, who won Saturday’s Pilgrim (G3) finishing fourth.
“He took the worst of it and was next to last at the half-mile pole,” Burchell said. “He ran a big race.”
Off that performance, the Hopeful was penciled in as the next step. Burchell brought him back to Churchill Downs where the colt has had two works for the 1 1/16-mile Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity.
“I think the two turns will help him as much as anything,” Burchell said of Saturday’s race. “He has a good cruising speed that should keep him close so he won’t have that much to do late.”
MARQUEE MISS LOOKS TO STAY PERFECT IN FRIDAY’S DARLEY ALCIBIADES
Joe Ragsdale’s Marquee Miss did not waste any time making her presence felt on the race track by winning the seven-furlong Arlington-Washington Lassie by three lengths in her career debut. From that victory on Aug. 29, Marquee Miss will step into deeper waters when she goes postward in Friday’s $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1).
“She is a big, strong filly and she is all route,” trainer Ingrid Mason said about the filly. “She’s not like Sarah Sis was last year.”
Sarah Sis, by Sharp Humor, gave Mason her first Keeneland victory last fall when she won a 6½-furlong sprint in which she defeated Lovely Maria, who would go on to win this year’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Ragsdale, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., also owns Sarah Sis, now a two-time Grade 3 winner with earnings of more than $400,000. Both fillies were bought for $20,000.
“That’s the magic number,” Mason said with a laugh. “I liked Marquee Miss’ looks. She was well put together and I liked her pedigree (Cowboy Cal out of a Marquetry mare). She was the right price and for $20,000, I thought I had stolen her.”
Florent Geroux will have the mount Friday and break from post position two in the 1 1/16-mile main track test. She will be one of two starters on Friday for Mason, who seeks to build on a banner 2014 Fall Meet.
Mason has 26 stalls this meet, up from 16 last fall when she started 15 runners with five wins, four seconds and three thirds for an 80 percent in-the-money rate. Her five victories tied for seventh in the trainer’s standings.
The Darley Alcibiades is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run here Oct. 31.
PROSPECTIVE FALL STARS SUNDAY STAKES FIELDS
The Oct. 2-4 opening weekend of Keeneland’s Fall Meet features nine graded stakes, including seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races. Click here for the Fall Stars microsite on Keeneland.com for information about the contenders and more.
Entries for the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) and $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) on Friday were drawn Tuesday. Entries for the stakes on Saturday -- $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), $400,000 First Lady (G1), $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and $150,000 Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select (G3) – were drawn Wednesday.
Here is the list of stakes probable starters for the remainder of the Fall Stars Weekend stakes as compiled by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman and Stakes Coordinator Allison DeLuca:
SUNDAY, OCT. 4 (Entries taken Thursday) $500,000 JUDDMONTE SPINSTER (G1) (Win and You’re In Distaff Division): Probable: Diva’s Diamond, Flashy American, Frivolous, Got Lucky, Lovely Maria, Tiz Windy, Untapable, Yahilwa. Possible: Mei Ling. $250,000 DIXIANA BOURBON (G3) (Win and You’re In Juvenile Turf Division): Probable: Airoforce, Camelot Kitten, Expected Ruler, Finnegan (IRE), Hot Ore, Hunter O’Riley, Runaway King, Sallisaw, Surgical Strike, Tequila Joe, Unbridled Daddy, Uncle Brennie.