Phipps Stable’s homebred Security Risk took the lead shortly after the start and then held off a wave of challengers in deep stretch to win the $76,000 Diamond A Farms Purse for 4-year-olds and up by a neck before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 9,405.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Jose Lezcano, Security Risk covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:42.20.
Security Risk is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of War Front out of the champion Unbridled mare Smuggler. The victory was worth $45,600 and increased his earnings to $225,997 with a record of 14-4-2-1.
Security Risk returned $12, $7.20 and $5. Some in Tieme (BRZ), ridden by Robby Albarado, rallied along the hedge to get second and return $22.60 and $10 with Conquest Typhoon finishing a half-length back in third under Corey Lanerie and paying $8 to show.
Racing resumes Thursday with a nine-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET.
ITSINTHEPOST (FR) HEADS FIELD OF 11 FOR SATURDAY’S DIXIANA ELKHORN
Red Baron’s Barn LLC’s Itsinthepost (FR), winner of the San Luis Rey (G2) at Santa Anita on March 25 in his most recent start, heads a field of 11 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 32nd running of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) for 4-year-olds and up.
Run at 1½ miles on the grass, the Dixiana Elkhorn will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Jeff Mullins, Itsinthepost has enjoyed a stellar 2017 with runner-up finishes in the San Gabriel (G3) and San Marcos (G2) before the triumph in the San Luis Rey at a mile and a half.
Regular rider Tyler Baze has the mount on Itsinthepost and will break from post position four.
Trainer Mike Maker, who has won this race twice including last year with Da Big Hoss, will send out four runners, three of which are graded stakes winners and the fourth is multiple graded stakes- placed.
The most recent stakes winner among the trio is Three Diamonds Farm’s Bigger Picture. Winner of the John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3) at Sam Houston Race Park on Jan. 29, Bigger Picture is a two-time Grade 3 winner. In his most recent Keeneland start, Bigger Picture finished second in last fall’s Sycamore (G3) at the 1½-mile distance.
Jose Ortiz has the mount on Bigger Picture and will break from post position five.
The day before Bigger Picture’s victory in Houston, Michael Hui’s Taghleeb posted his initial graded stakes score by winning the W.L. McKnight Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Luis Saez will ride Taghleeb and break from post position eight.
Maker’s third graded stakes winner is Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten. Winner of the 2015 McKnight who is a career earner of $948,701, Charming Kitten will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post position nine.
Completing the Maker contingent is Three Diamonds Farm’s Roman Approval. Joel Rosario has the mount and will break from post position 10.
The field for the Dixiana Elkhorn, from the inside, is: Interpol (Jose Lezcano, 118 pounds), Danish Dynaformer (Paco Lopez, 118), Red Rifle (Corey Lanerie, 118), Itsinthepost (FR) (Baze, 120), Bigger Picture (Ortiz, 118), Bullards Alley (Marcelino Pedroza Jr., 118), Grey Wizard (Joe Bravo, 118), Taghleeb (Saez, 118), Charming Kitten (Leparoux, 118), Roman Approval (Rosario, 118) and Chocolate Ride (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118).
WICKED LICK IN HOLDING PATTERN FOR KENTUCKY OAKS
The field for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) is limited to the top 14 point earners on the 30-race road to the May 5 race.
The series that began last September is over. Sitting at No. 15 is Lee Mauberret’s homebred Wicked Lick, who is at Keeneland with trainer Brendan Walsh.
“We are training like she will get in the Oaks,” Walsh said Wednesday morning. “Somebody will come out. It seems like every year, somebody drops out.”
Wicked Lick picked up the last 40 points of her 49-point total with a runner-up finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) at April 1. That figure looked solid until Ever So Clever and Chanel’s Legacy ran 1-2 in the Fantasy (G3) on April 14 to leapfrog Wicked Lick and into the top 14.
“That was the worst possible scenario for us,” Walsh said.
Wicked Lick, who also picked up points with a runner-up finish in the Silverbulletday and a fourth-place finish in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds, began her career on turf.
“She is a big-framed filly that wanted two turns,” Walsh said. “I started her at Ellis (going a mile). Then she broke her maiden at Churchill and I tried her in the stakes (JPMorgan Chase Jessamine-G3) here last fall and I don’t think she liked the course that day.”
It has been all dirt since for the daughter of Maclean’s Music. After finishing fifth in a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs in November, Wicked Lick compiled a 4-0-3-0 mark going two turns at Fair Grounds.
“She never runs a bad race,” Walsh said of Wicked Lick, who is scheduled to have her first work since the Fair Grounds Oaks here this weekend.
From Keeneland Communications