Apr 24, 2014 1:05 PM
SPECIAL: Tom Leach interviews trainer Christophe Clement about Aigue Marine (GB), racing today in the $150,000 Bewitch (G3), and talks to trainer Roger Attfield, who will send out Forte Dei Marmi (GB) in Friday's $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (G2).
KEENELAND STAKES WINNER ANGEL TERRACE OPENS YEAR IN BEWITCH
With the likes of 2013 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) runner-up and Group 1 winner Romantica (G3), multiple Grade 3 stakes winner Inimitable Romanee, Group 1 winner Viva Rafaelz (BRZ) and Grade 2 winner Caroline Thomas, today's $150,000 Bewitch (G3) features an accomplished field of 12 fillies and mares racing 1½ miles on turf. But only one of them has a stakes win on Keeneland's turf course. She is Augustin Stable's Angel Terrace, winner of the Pin Oak Valley View (G3) during Keeneland's 2012 Fall Meet.
The Bewitch marks the 2014 debut for Angel Terrace, a 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper who last raced at Keeneland in October 2013 and was third in the Rood & Riddle Dowager at the Bewitch's distance of 1½ miles.
"The races are always tough at Keeneland, but for a Grade 3, it's about as tough as it gets," trainer Jonathan Sheppard said about today's stakes.
Julien Leparoux, the leading rider with 18 wins entering Thursday's card, will ride Angel Terrace and break from post eight.
Angel Terrace is a homebred racing for George Strawbridge Jr.'s Augustin Stable. The Augustin-Sheppard-Leparoux team won the Bewitch in 2009 with Winter View.
LEPAROUX, CASSE, OXLEY LEAD STANDINGS AS MEET NEARS END
With two days remaining in Keeneland's Spring Meet, jockey Julien Leparoux is poised to earn his 10th title as the Keeneland meet's leading jockey. That will tie him with Racing Hall of Famer Steve Brooks, a leading rider here in the 1940s through early 1960s, for third.
Leparoux, an Eclipse Award-winning rider as an apprentice and a journeyman, has 18 wins here prior to the start of racing today. Stewart Elliott, who is riding at Keeneland for the first time, is second with 11 victories.
Leparoux is named on six horses today and eight horses Friday.
The race for leading trainer is tighter as Mark Casse has eight wins, one more than Ken McPeek and Wesley Ward. After Thursday scratches were announced, Casse has one horse racing today and has three horses entered Friday.
McPeek has horses in three races today and four races Friday.
Ward entered horses in two races today and six races tomorrow.
The season's fourth-winningest trainer is Graham Motion with six victories. Motion has horses in three races today and three races tomorrow.
The leading owner is John C. Oxley, who has four wins with horses he owns singly and in partnership. Gary Barber is second with three wins.
DIXIANA FARM RECOGNIZES GROOMS ON CLOSING DAY
William J. Shively's Dixiana Farm has become the sponsor of the 29th Elkhorn (G2), the traditional closing-day feature of Keeneland's Spring Meet. The purse for Friday's race was increased $100,000, to $250,000, but the prizes that day aren't limited to racehorse owners.
Dixiana is sponsoring a "Best Turned Out Award" that will recognize a groom with a horse competing in the Mata Hari (sixth race), the Tower Hill (eighth race) and the Dixiana Elkhorn (ninth race). In the Paddock prior to each race, a representative from Dixiana Farm will judge the horses on their appearance, including the cleanliness of their tack, and on the appearance of their grooms. The groom selected for presenting the best turned-out racehorse in each race will receive $500.
Dixiana also is the sponsor of the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) on Sunday, Oct. 5, during Fall Stars Weekend.
RECYCLING EFFORTS HELP KEEP KEENELAND GREEN
Keeneland has welcomed some of the largest crowds in track history during the 2014 Spring Meet, attracting more than 39,000 and 34,000 fans on Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and Coolmore Lexington (G3) Days, respectively.
Crowds of that size produce large amounts of trash in the form of race programs, mutuel tickets, paper napkins and food containers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass, all gathered by the track as part of its Keeneland Green recycling program.
To date, officials reported they have amassed more than 60 tons of recyclable material during the Spring Meet. Topping the list of materials was paper products, with 21 tons collected, followed by 21 tons of cardboard.
"We find a means of disposal for all of the waste that's produced, recycling paper, cardboard, glass, used cooking oil, scrap metal, electronics, tires, wood pallets and muck," Keeneland Project Administrator John Howard said.
Keeneland's recycling program is a large-scale operation that continually explores and implements environmentally safe ways of waste management. In 2009, the program was expanded to install 150 recycling bins throughout the grounds to help sort the large amount of waste generated annually during the two race meets and four horse sales.
In 2013, Keeneland safely disposed of more than 150 tons of recyclable materials, including 59 tons of mixed paper products, 55 tons of cardboard, 18 tons of wood pallets, 10 tons of scrap metal, seven tons of used cooking oil, and four tons of electronics.
While undeniably effective and efficient, the recycling program can be labor intensive. During the Spring and Fall race meets, several employees are stationed in a facility on the property to feed cardboard, paper products and aluminum cans into compactors. The material is then bailed and stored until it is hauled away by various removal companies.
The recycling program also extends to the stable area. In addition to the 150 tons of materials that were recycled in 2013, approximately 16,000 tons of muck and compost were sent to mushroom farms.
CELEBRATE OAKS AND DERBY DAYS AT KEENELAND
Keeneland will hold the biggest party in Lexington for the May 2 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Fans will be able to watch and wager on those races and other races from Churchill Downs as well as other major tracks in North America on both days.
Fans are welcome to picnic in the Paddock and Walking Ring or watch the Churchill races on the infield tote board from the Grandstand seats. Tables in the dining rooms and Clubhouse are sold out, but concessions and bars will be open throughout the Grandstand. Here are additional details:
Advance wagering. Advance wagering on Churchill's full card on Oaks Day will be available Thursday, May 1, at Keeneland's drive-thru wagering windows and at The Thoroughbred Center on Paris Pike beginning at 8 a.m. ET. Wagering in the Grandstand begins at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Drive-thru wagering on Oaks Day, Friday, May 2, will be available from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park. Grandstand mutuel windows at Keeneland will open at 10 a.m.
Post time for the Oaks is 5:49 p.m.
Advance wagering on Churchill's full card on Derby Day and the Oaks/Derby Double will be available Friday, May 2, at Keeneland's drive-thru wagering windows, Kentucky Horse Park and The Thoroughbred Center beginning at 8 a.m.
On Derby Day, drive-thru wagering opens at 7:30 a.m. at Keeneland and at 8 a.m. at the Kentucky Horse Park, and will continue until post time of the Derby (approximately 6:24 p.m.). Grandstand mutuel windows will open at 10 a.m.
Oaks Day: Admission to Keeneland is free on Oaks Day.
Tickets are still available for the annual Martinis on the Lawn on Oaks Day. Fans can enjoy an upscale celebration in the Clubhouse and Club Lawn from 3:30-7:30 p.m. that includes a light buffet, cash bar, live jazz music, and simulcast of the Longines Kentucky Oaks. Tickets are $40 each and may be purchased by clicking here.
Derby Day: Admission is $5 per person, and children 12 and under will be admitted free.
A limited number of tables remain for the Derby Bash at the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center. Tickets are $65 per person for a table of eight in the Entertainment Center and $55 per person for a table of eight in the Keene Barn. The Bash will offer a Keeneland-themed buffet, snack bar after 3 p.m., live music, cash bar, Kentucky Derby souvenir program and simulcast of the Derby.
Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.
Among the horses competing this weekend during the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park is 2001 Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate Supplize. Emily Beshear, daughter-in-law of Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, will ride the 14-year-old son of Will's Way, whose show name is Here's To You. A $1,700 RNA at the September Sale, Supplize was winless in three races and earned $1,290. At Rolex, horses compete in dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Click here for more about Here's To You.
SPRING MEET LEADERS
Through April 23 (13 days of racing)
Jockey Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Julien Leparoux 87 18 5 12 $710,492
Stewart Elliott 64 11 6 5 $450,235
Joe Rocco Jr. 58 9 11 7 $460,935
Alan Garcia 43 9 3 3 $608,578
Javier Castellano 41 8 7 8 $660,025
Rosie Napravnik 67 7 13 8 $367,832
Joel Rosario 48 7 7 9 $584,446
Shaun Bridgmohan 40 6 3 2 $424,575
Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Mark Casse 38 8 5 6 $487,916
Ken McPeek 31 7 1 4 $536,575
Wesley Ward 25 7 3 4 $444,650
H. Graham Motion 36 6 3 4 $320,184
Christophe Clement 16 5 2 1 $278,936
Mike Maker 47 4 6 8 $209,004
Tom Amoss 9 4 1 1 $77,551
John C. Oxley 4*
Gary Barber 3
Drake Racing Stables (Shirley and Tim Girten and Karol Germany), Muirfield Farm (Doug and Len Labuda) and Mike Lobalzo 2
Gary L. and Mary E. West Stables Inc. 2
JMJ Racing Stables LLC (Dennis Narlinger) 2
Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey 2
Klaravich Stables Inc. (Seth Klarman) and William Lawrence 2
Loooch Racing Stable Inc. (Ron Paolucci) 2
Magdalena Racing (Ken McPeek, et al) 2*
Maggi Moss 2
Phipps Stable 2
Wesley A. Ward 2
CLOSING WEEK SPECIAL EVENTS
Thursday, April 24
Lexington Herald-Leader Subscriber Appreciation Day. All Herald-Leader subscribers will receive free general admission with the coupon found on the front page of the Thursday, April 24, edition of the newspaper. Herald-Leader personalities will be available to meet with fans throughout the day.
Friday, April 25 - Closing Day
Concert on the Lawn presented by Dixiana Farms will benefit the Markey Cancer Center. The event, to be held on the Clubhouse Lawn beginning at 6 p.m., features a free concert by Lexington's own Laura Bell Bundy and Sundy Best.