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Barn Notes: Mississippi Delta heads Buffalo Trace field; Hawksmoor begins prep for Challenge Cup


Jackpot Ranch and Mike Rutherford’s Mississippi Delta, who finished 10th in Saturday’s First Lady (G1) going a mile, headlines a field of 12 plus four also-eligibles entered Tuesday for the 20th running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) for fillies and mares going 5½ furlongs on the turf Friday.

Trained by Mark Casse, Mississippi Delta won the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint as the favorite going 6½ furlongs in her start before the First Lady.

Florent Geroux, who was aboard for the victory at Kentucky Downs, has the mount Friday and will break from post position three.

Top challengers to Mississippi Delta include Pewter Stable and Armand Delaperriere’s Everything Lovely, runner-up in the $200,000 Turf Amazon at Parx in her most recent start, and the 1-2 finishers from Saratoga’s Smart N Fancy Stakes: Stuart Janney III’s Fair Point and Jack Swain III’s Miss Ella.

The field for the Buffalo Trace Franklin County with riders and weights from the inside is: Touch of Bling (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118 pounds), Late Spring (Corey Lanerie, 120), Mississippi Delta (Geroux, 120), Scatter Gun (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120), My Year Is a Day (FR) (Mitchell Murrill, 120), Everything Lovely (Joe Bravo, 120), Smoke Signals (James Graham, 120), Melaleuca (Robby Albarado, 120), Miss Ella (Joel Rosario, 120), Boom Bam Bing (Colby Hernandez, 118), Fair Point (Jose Ortiz, 120) and Full Tap (Julien Leparoux, 120). Also-eligible: Xoxo (Julien Leparoux, 120), Pin Up Gal (Rolando Aragon, 120), Bibby (Robby Albarado, 120) and Tesalina (CHI) (Jose Valdivia Jr., 120).

HAWKSMOOR BEGINS KEENELAND PREPARATION FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP PRESENTED BY LANE’S END

Lael Stables’ Hawksmoor (IRE), who arrived at Keeneland on Sunday from Europe, began her preparations for Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) by going a little more than once around Keeneland’s five-furlong Training Track with Steve Gaillard aboard.

“She shipped well,” said Chris Durham, who accompanied the filly for trainer Hugo Palmer. “She is a seasoned traveler and has been all over Europe. She did not like it much last year as a 2-year-old, but she thrives on it now.”

Hawksmoor has won one of four races this year with that score coming in the German One Thousand Guineas (G2). In her most recent start, Hawksmoor finished fifth beaten six lengths in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron (G1) at Leopardstown in Ireland.

“That was a very good race for her,” Durham said of the mile race that was won by three-time Group 1 winner Alice Springs (IRE). “The second horse (Persuasive [IRE]) had been unbeaten and the third filly (Qemah [IRE]) has won two Group 1s.”

Durham said the filly can be placed anywhere and has had success on the lead as well as stalking.

In her most recent start at the QE II distance of 1 1/8 miles, Hawksmoor set the pace in the Kilboy Estate Stakes (G2) at the Curragh and was caught late in finishing third.

Hawksmoor is scheduled for a schooling session at the starting gate Thursday.

SHARP HOPES MAJESTIC GALE EARNS BREEDERS’ CUP TICKET IN JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE

In last year’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), trainer Joe Sharp watched as Sapphire Kitten was caught at the wire by favored Harmonize.

On Wednesday, Sharp will be hoping for a little more luck when he sends Allan Peterson’s Majestic Gale postward in this year’s renewal of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, a “Win and You’re In” challenge race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.

“Majestic Gale is further along mentally than Sapphire Kitten was last year and more seasoned,” Sharp said. “She (Majestic Gale) has had four starts and last year Sapphire Kitten was making her first start around two turns.”

Majestic Gale is 2-for-2 on the grass with a maiden victory going a mile at Ellis Park and a victory in the one-mile Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 10.

“She beat a pretty soft field at Louisiana Downs and won easily,” Sharp said. “This is tougher, but we’ve always been real high on her. Hopefully she can take us to California. We will know a lot more after tomorrow.”

Sapphire Kitten was fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here, beaten only 1¼ lengths by Catch a Glimpse.

DIVINE HUMOR RETURNS TO KEENELAND FOR JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE

KY Doodles’ Divine Humor will make her turf debut in Wednesday’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), which marks her return to Keeneland. In April, the 2-year-old daughter of Divine Park was third in her career debut here. In her next start, she was second in a maiden race at Churchill Downs in which eventual Grade 1 winner Pretty City Dancer finished third. Divine Humor is coming off a maiden victory in September at Thistledown.

KY Doodles is Rebecca and Scott Roaden of Cynthiana, Ky., who purchased Divine Humor for $3,000 at Keeneland’s 2015 September Yearling Sale. The filly, who is out of a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sweet Reason, was among the five horses the couple bought at the sale to mark their entrance in Thoroughbred racing. For several years they have been breeding Thoroughbreds at their farm near Lexington and foaled 10 mares this year.

The Roadens, who also breed Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, intended to race Divine Humor on the turf earlier in her career, but two of her races were rained off the grass.

“She’s bred for the turf,” said Rebecca Roaden, a clinical psychologist who has a degree in animal behavior, about entering Divine Humor in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine. “It just depends on if she can go the distance, if she has a good trip.”

Divine Humor will make her first start for trainer Larry “Bubba” Harris Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel. Both are from Louisiana, which the Roadens consider a good omen. They love Mardi Gras so much their silks contain Mardi Gras colors of gold, purple and green. With a Labradoodle on front and back.

APPRENTICE KATIE CLAWSON GETTING NEW VIEW OF KEENELAND

Thanks to her time spent as an exercise rider, Katie Clawson certainly knows her way around Keeneland. She received a different view of the track last Saturday when she rode in a race here for the first time, finishing fourth aboard The Farm on 4’s homebred stakes winner Whateverybodywants in the third race.

“It was a great experience,” said the 19-year-old apprentice, who has ridden three winners since launching her career this year. “I love it here and I love to see all the fans.”

Clawson had ridden Whateverybodywants several times while an exercise rider for trainer Kellyn Gorder, who keeps a year-round division in Keeneland’s Rice Road stable area.

While living in Arizona, Clawson was seven when she began taking riding lessons. After she and her family moved to Brazil, Ind., she switched from riding horses with a Western saddle to riding jumpers and other horses in an English saddle. She was 13 when she decided to become a jockey.

“I remember the day I decided to be a jockey,” she said. “I had a pony that I would ride out in a field. It was so much fun. I was just starting to follow racing. I didn’t know what outlet to use to get into it.”

Through a mutual friend, Clawson met exercise rider and trainer Danielle Rosier, who works at Churchill Downs, and started making the connections that led to her career at the track. For Gorder, she rode her first winner on June 18 at Churchill. She later won a race for Rosier and scored a second victory for Gorder.

GALLOPING OUT

Jack Gilligan earned his first Keeneland victory when he rode Nelson McMakin’s homebred Favorite Coach to a neck victory in the first race on Sunday for trainer Phil Sims. Since launching his career in 2014, the native of England has won 102 races while riding primarily in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

PROBABLE FIELDS FOR UPCOMING STAKES

$500,000 QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP PRESENTED BY LANE’S END (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday) – Catch a Glimpse (Mark Casse), Harmonize (Bill Mott), Hawksmoor (IRE) (Hugo Palmer), Mokat (Richard Baltas), On Leave (Shug McGaughey), Outsider Art (Jonathan Sheppard), Queen Caroline (Michael Matz), Stays in Vegas (Jerry Hollendorfer), Time and Motion (James Toner), Try Your Luck (Mike Maker).

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UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

Wednesday, Oct. 12

Merchandise Pavilion: The Keeneland Shop’s new Merchandise Pavilion, located near the track’s Grandstand East entrance, features Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post.

WINS-DAY Challenge. Place a mythical $2 win and place wager on Keeneland Races 3-8. Entry fee is $10 with a guaranteed $2,500 pool. Limit three entries per person. The first 200 participants receive a free Daily Racing Form and an appetizer card from Malone’s. Visit Wagering Central to sign up.

Thursday, Oct. 13

Official Keeneland Tour. Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in October at 8:30 a.m. ET. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets ($8 per person; 12 and younger free).
Merchandise Pavilion: The Keeneland Shop’s new Merchandise Pavilion, located near the track’s Grandstand East entrance, features Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post.

Make-A-Wish-Day. Local Thoroughbred farms and organizations have teamed up with Keeneland to grant wishes for deserving children. Click here to meet them. They will present the trophies to the winning connections after each race. Participating farms and organizations are Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Ashford Stud, Shadwell Farm, Darley, Gainesway Farm, Shawnee Farm, Flaxman Holdings and Lane’s End.

Friday, Oct. 13

Official Keeneland Tour. Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in October at 8:30 a.m. ET. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets ($8 per person; 12 and younger free).

College Scholarship Day. One of Keeneland’s most popular promotions invites college students to enjoy a day at the races. Free general admission with a valid student ID and a chance to win one of 10 college scholarships awarded after each of the day’s races. NEW: Click here to register online and be entered to win an outdoor box for six at Keeneland for Thursday, Oct. 27.
Merchandise Pavilion: The Keeneland Shop’s new Merchandise Pavilion, located near the track’s Grandstand East entrance, features Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post.

The Hill. The popular free tailgate area, available Fridays and Saturdays, is located adjacent to the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center (accessible via Gate 4) and features food trucks, a jumbo TV screen to capture all the racing and college football action, wagering facilities, The Keeneland Shop kiosk and complimentary shuttles to the track. On Saturdays, fans can enjoy live Bluegrass music from noon-4 p.m. BETologists also will be available to answer fans’ questions.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on Races 7-10.

Saturday, Oct. 15

Sunrise Trackside, sponsored by LEX18 and Dunkin’ Donuts, offers activities for people of all ages beginning at 7 a.m. ET: Breakfast With the Works, a Southern-style breakfast (until 8:30 a.m.) while horses train on the main track; children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7-9 a.m.); guided walking tours departing from the welcome stand near the Paddock (8-10:30 a.m.); demonstration by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in the Paddock (9 a.m.); trackside handicapping seminar with expert handicapper Katie Gensler (11:30 a.m.); and Q&A session with a jockey in the Walking Ring (12:05 p.m.).

Merchandise Pavilion: The Keeneland Shop’s new Merchandise Pavilion, located near the track’s Grandstand East entrance, features Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post.

The Hill. The popular free tailgate area, available Fridays and Saturdays, is located adjacent to the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center (accessible via Gate 4) and features food trucks, a jumbo TV screen to capture all the racing and college football action, wagering facilities, The Keeneland Shop kiosk and complimentary shuttles to the track. On Saturdays, fans can enjoy live Bluegrass music from noon-4 p.m. BETologists also will be available to answer fans’ questions.

Craft Beer Tent. The tent on the North Terrace patio offers a special selection that includes Keeneland Fall Ale, produced by Country Boy, along with Ethereal Brewing Common Ale, SweetWater 420, Kentucky Ale College Heights, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire, Stella Artois, Country Boy Cougar Bait, Shock Bait and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Nitro.

$1 Pick 6 on final six races of the day.

Sunday, Oct. 16

Kids Club Family Day. Keeneland Kids Club members and their families will receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating. Visit the North Terrace from 12-3 p.m. for free children’s activities, including face painting, crafts and more.

Merchandise Pavilion: The Keeneland Shop’s new Merchandise Pavilion, located near the track’s Grandstand East entrance, features Keeneland-branded apparel and accessories. Open race days from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes after the final post.

National Handicapping Challenge/Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Handicapping Challenge. The Fall Meet’s live bankroll contest awards as many as six qualifying spots to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5 and up to six qualifying spots to the 2017 $2.5 million DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

$1 Pick 6 on final six races of the day.

From Keeneland Communications


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