AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – April 6, 2021

Keeneland clock racingAGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors and horse racing fans.  In April we have a special focus on Kentucky horses to watch.

KEENELAND

SAUCY LADY T (Race 1 at Keeneland, April 2, 2021) – 2yo firster was a well beaten 4th in the Keeneland spring meet opener, but she rallied sneaky well for a 5% debut barn and quickly galloped out in front of the field.  The granddaughter of Tapit could move forward off this race and surprise at a price in the right spot.

JEANNIE’S BEEPBEEP (Race 2 at Keeneland, April 2, 2021) – this live runner was racing inside of horses and then boxed in badly turning for home.  Had to cry out for room and then finished gamely along the rail to get 2nd behind the logical winner.  Consistent and honest racehorse can dirt or turf.

BODE BY YOU (Race 3 at Keeneland, April 2, 2021) – 2yo from the John Hancock barn flew home late in a gallant placing behind the upset wire to wire winner.  You don’t see many 2yos make up that type of ground in these 4 1/2 furlong events, and the barn is only 9% with debut runners.

STAND BY YOU (Race 6 at Keeneland, April 2, 2021) – First time starter showed a lot of grit and professionalism by navigating her way through traffic, mostly on the inside, and finishing willingly down the lane.  Solid third place show that she can move forward off of.  Bred to be a nice runner.

ILLIOGAMI (Race 6 at Keeneland, April 2, 2021) – What a trip.  Was last for half the race and had numerous traffic issues before unleashing a powerful late run to catch the loose Chad Brown horse in the short stretch.  Tapit filly could have a big future.

24 hours in Horse-racing Heaven in the Bluegrass

copyright Rich Nilsen

Keeneland paddock (copyright All Star Press)

Before the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, there is Keeneland in April.

Every spring, Lexington’s historic track fills with life. Some of it, you see. Most, you don’t.

The crowds that pack into Keeneland for spring racing feel the buzz at the rail and the betting windows, see the picture of the paddock, experience the rush of each race. There’s much more unseen to see here.

For 24 hours, Herald-Leader visual journalists Alex Slitz and Caitlyn Stroh looked inside that part of Keeneland.

Source: [Video link] Keeneland Around the Clock: Spend 24 hours in horse-racing heaven

This Many Fans Allowed at Upcoming Keeneland Spring Meet

Horse Racing in the Covid-19 Era

Keeneland has announced plans to allow a limited number of fans to attend its 2021 Spring Meet, to be held April 2-23.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Keeneland to cancel the 2020 Spring Meet and hold an unprecedented five-day Summer Meet in July. The 2020 Summer and Fall Meets and Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland were closed to fans.

Keeneland clock racingFor this year’s Spring Meet, Keeneland will make available a limited number of pre-sold ticket packages including dining, Grandstand reserved seating and general admission.

Keeneland will announce details about how to purchase ticket packages and pricing on Monday, March 1. Fans are encouraged to visit keeneland.com/newsletter to sign up for ticket alerts in the coming weeks.

Keeneland will also allow limited access to race participants, sponsors, box holders and Club members.

“The enthusiasm and loyalty of our fans are what make Keeneland so special,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We have missed their presence on race days and we are excited to welcome them, albeit in limited number, back to Keeneland. We appreciate the support of the Central Kentucky community this past year, and we hope this step is the first toward somewhat normal operations in the fall.

“While our team has worked diligently on a plan for expanded attendance this spring, the safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority,” Arvin added. “As such, our COVID-19 protocols remain in place and will be strictly enforced during the Spring Meet.”

In accordance with Keeneland’s COVID-19 safety measures, all individuals will be required to wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while on the grounds. Health screenings and temperature checks will resume at all entrance gates for the race meet.

Source: Keeneland.com

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Jan. 26

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at Tampa Bay Downs paddock. Copyright AGOS

Check out our AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

SANTA ANITA

CHARMAINE’S MIA (Race 8 at Santa Anita, Jan. 9, 2021) – Moved into the barn of Phil D’Amato and what do you know – the mare improved by leaps and bounds.  At 16-1 odds she dominated a very strong group here that included multiple stakes winners.  There is no reason she can’t keep running big in turf sprints for her new outfit.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

JUSTLYREWARDED (Race 6 at Tampa Bay Downs, Jan 6, 2021) – Broke from a tough outside post and then raced wide throughout.  Worse yet, the 7yo gelding was racing against the grain of an inside speed bias.  Better-than-it looks 4th place finish for owner/trainer Peter Knoll.

MY BROTHERSLEDGE (Race 7 at Tampa Bay Downs, Jan 6, 2021) – The best closer in this turf race  made a strong early run against the eventual wire to wire winner.  The 6oy was the only horse with a shot down the stretch but had to settle for 2nd.  He ran a ‘winning race’ with new jockey Hector Diaz in the irons.

 

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Oct. 25

Know thy Keeneland TrainersComplimentary Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

KEENELAND

TRIBULATION (Race 5 at Keeneland, Oct. 16, 2020).  Toss this start as this second time starter stumbled badly at the start.  It was his first start going two turns and as a son of Medaglia D’oro he is clearly bred for a route of ground.  Ran very well in his debut prior for trainer Dallas Stewart.

LITTLE BELLA (Race 10 at Keeneland, Oct. 16, 2020).  Paddy O’Prado filly has really improved since the barn moved her to the dirt.  Despite the rise in class she surged late to catch a nice horse who looked home free down the lane.  Although she can turf, she looks better on the main track.

PIMLICO

COMPLETED PASS (Race 6 at Pimlico, Oct. 1, 2020) – The Robert Bone runner broke a step slow in this 5 furlong turf dash in honor of the late, great Jim McKay.  He raced between horses early before unleashing a powerful late run to nearly catch the front-running winner.

GIGGLING (Race 8 at Pimlico, Oct. 1, 2020) – This filly tried to steal the race in a 5 furlong turf dash that was loaded with early speed but she faltered late over the yielding ground.  Look for her back on her preferred dirt surface, especially in a situation where she can get loose on the front end.

When is the Breeders’ Cup?

Keeneland clock racingIs the Breeders’ Cup Cancelled?

The good news is that the race goes on with the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.  The popular, annual event features purses worth over $31 million with race horses coming from all over the world to compete.  The dates are Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, KY.

The bad news concerning the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland is that, just like many other sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans will not be in attendance.

Top trainers with horses that will play a major factor include Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher and Aidan O’Brien.

Horseplayers can view all of the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup prep race videos here.  Start handicapping now as the two cards are not easy to decipher.  Follow additional Breeders’ Cup news and notes right here on agameofskill.com

 

 

No Fans at Keeneland Meet which Begins Oct. 2

Keeneland black and white

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

Keeneland announced that its 2020 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, will be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be permitted to attend the live race meet.

Keeneland conducted its five-day Summer Meet in July without spectators but did allow a limited number of owners and essential personnel to attend.

“The safety of our employees, our participants and our fans remains Keeneland’s top priority,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We have the most loyal fans in the world and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome them back for live racing. The decision to close the meet to the public was made after consulting with local and state government officials and public health experts and monitoring how various sporting venues and events around the world have operated during the pandemic. With the guidance of these experts and lessons learned from recent events, we know this is the responsible course of action.”

“Sunday’s kickoff of the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which is followed by the Fall Meet, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the November Breeding Stock Sale, marks the beginning of a significant three months of business for Keeneland and the horse industry as a whole,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “It is paramount that we conduct our sales and racing operations in a safe and responsible manner that promotes the health and success of everyone involved.

“We will remain flexible and vigilant leading up to and throughout our Fall Meet to ensure that we observe the most current health and safety protocols and respond to any changes in a timely and thoughtful manner,” Arvin added.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, strict compliance with the following health and safety protocols will be required for participants and employees while they are at Keeneland. Similar protocols were in place for the Summer Meet and are in effect for Keeneland’s current September Yearling Sale:

·       Individuals permitted to come onto the Keeneland grounds will be credentialed or ticketed in advance. Seating will be assigned and properly social distanced on race days.

·       Participants include those with a competing horse, including a limited number of owners and trainers. Keeneland also will allow limited access to sponsors, box holders and Club members.

·       Keeneland will not permit any general admission or walk-up attendees. Credentialed participants will be assigned a seat for the race day.

·       Keeneland will maintain records to allow for contact tracing.

·       Health screenings, including a series of questions and temperature checks, will continue at all entrance gates.

·       All individuals must wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while at Keeneland.

Keeneland Gets Approval for Short Summer Meet

“We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing,” Ellis Park General Manager Jeffrey Inman said. 

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Race Dates Committee has approved Keeneland’s request to conduct a spectator-free, five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12, 2020.

copyright Rich Nilsen

Keeneland paddock (copyright All Star Press)

“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We also thank Ellis Park for their cooperation in this process and for making these non-traditional dates available to Keeneland. We look forward to sharing more details about the Summer Meet in the coming weeks.”

The latest news on the Del Mar Summer meet

Keeneland plans to host 9-10 races each day of the Summer Meet, and feature 10 graded stakes traditionally run during the track’s Spring Meet, anchored by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

Source: Keeneland

What Wager won this year’s Keeneland’s Grade One Gamble?

Faron McCubbins Closes with a Rush to Capture Keeneland’s Grade One GambleFaron McCubbin Wins Another Big Tournament

Overcoming inclement weather and late changes to the contest landscape, Faron McCubbins of Mount Washington, KY hammered the 9th race at Keeneland with an $800 exacta on 8-10 that paid $28,560, resulting in an incredible final bankroll of $31,560 that bested 180 other contestants in the Grade One Gamble. For his efforts Faron takes home $35,000 in prize money, a fully paid Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berth at Santa Anita worth $10,000, and an entry into the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship at Bally’s Las Vegas.

The day began with steady rain that caused all races to be taken off the turf; multiple scratches resulted in decimated fields. Contest management added 3 races from Gulfstream and 2 races from Aqueduct to the contest menu, and the changes resulted in a very competitive contest that was decided at the wire.

Long- time leader Dan Slattery of Bethesda, MD, who cashed for $19,000 on Gulfstream’s 4th race, was passed late by the huge play of McCubbins, but took home his bankroll of $18,449.80 plus $18,000, a fully paid BCBC spot and an NHC entry.

Stakes Action on Saturday

Know thy Keeneland TrainersMichael Tabor, Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Moonshine Memories heads a field of 14 3-year-old fillies and two also-eligibles entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 20th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).

The 7-furlong main track test 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 Simon Callaghan, Moonshine Memories won her first three races as a 2-year-old, including the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Chandelier (G1).

The Lexus Raven Run represents her third trip east from her Southern California base. Moonshine Memories finished fourth in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont in June and in her most recent start was third in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga on Sept. 2.

Mike Smith has the mount and will break from post position nine.

Oklahoma Classics Cup Night

If Shotgun Kowboy is going to make his mark on Oklahoma Classics history Friday night at Remington Park, he will have to defeat four rivals while breaking from the outside post position, number five, in the 1-1/16 miles event.

Shotgun Kowboy is attempting to win his third $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, the richest event on the $1,000,000 Oklahoma Classics Night of stakes events for eligible Oklahoma-bred Thoroughbreds. Bred, owned and trained by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Okla., Shotgun Kowboy won the Classis Cup in 2015 and in 2017. A third victory in the race would put him alongside Mr Ross (1999-2001) and Zee Oh Six (2002, 2005-2006), as the only horses to capture the top event in the series three times.

Jockey David Cabrera receives the call on Shotgun Kowboy for the first time in the 6-year-old gelding’s career. A son of Kodiak Kowboy from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane, Shotgun Kowboy has earned $1,267,501 overall with 12 wins (seven at Remington Park), five times finishing second and another five races where he was third. He will make his 31st career start when he leaves the gate on Friday night.

Shotgun Kowboy is the first horse to win the Grade 3, Oklahoma Derby (2015) and then win the Oklahoma Classics Cup. The Classics series started in the fall of 1993, shortly after the legendary Oklahoma-bred Clever Trevor had retired. Clever Trevor is the only other Oklahoma-bred horse to have won the Oklahoma Derby, known as the Remington Park Derby in 1989, when he took the inaugural edition of the top event in Oklahoma.

Shotgun Kowboy seeks his fourth career victory in the Oklahoma Classics. He started his career in the state-bred series with a win in the $100,000 Classics Juvenile in 2014. Only four horses have won four or more Oklahoma Classics races in its history. Highland Ice won five Classics races with Notable Okie, Okie Ride, and She’s All In each winning four.

Shotgun Kowboy enters the Classics Cup off a third-place effort in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup behind Hence on Sept. 30. Earlier this year, Shotgun Kowboy, won the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, defeating Mubtaahij, out of National Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Mubtaahij was the winner, by eight lengths, of the Grade 2, $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai in 2015. He then competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby and finished fourth to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes that year.

Tuff Kid is among those trying to spoil Shotgun Kowboy’s party Friday night. Tuff Kid raced second, beaten 5-1/4 by Shotgun Kowboy, in the Classics Cup last year. He was fourth in the 2016 edition of the race behind winner Phantom Trip, when Shotgun Kowboy skipped the event.

Claimed on August 31 for $30,000 for new owner GK Racing of Driftwood, Texas and new trainer Karl Broberg, Tuff Kid is normally a deep closer in his best efforts and will add blinkers for the first time in his career for the Classics Cup. A 5-year-old gelding by Don’t Get Mad from the Wild Again mare Tuff Chick, Tuff Kid will be ridden by Ramon Vazquez for the first time in his career.

Hyper Drive is the only other contestant in the Classics Cup to have started previously in the race, finishing seventh behind Phantom Trip in 2016. Owned by Henry Thilmony of Minneapolis, Minn. and trained by Randy Oberlander, Hyper Drive last won on April 16 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. in a starter allowance race at the same 1-1/16 miles distance of the Classics Cup.

Making his first start in the Classics Cup will be Rowdy The Warrior, a 4-year-old trained by Donnie Von Hemel, the all-time leading trainer by wins in the Oklahoma Classics with 26. Also entering the race for the first time is Night Strike, a 3-year-old trained by Bret Calhoun who won an Oklahoma-bred allowance race at 1 mile-70 yards at Remington Park on Sept. 6.

The field for the Oklahoma Classics Cup by post position and program order, with trainer and jockey:

1. Night Strike – Bret Calhoun, Jamie Theriot

2. Hyper Drive – Randy Oberlander, Lindey Wade

3. Rowdy The Warrior – Donnie Von Hemel, Luis Quinonez

4. Tuff Kid – Karl Broberg, Ramon Vazquez

5. Shotgun Kowboy – C.R. Trout, David Cabrera

The Classics Cup is the sixth of 10 races on Oklahoma Classics Night and will start at approximately 9:25pm. The other stakes events during the evening include:

Race 1, 7:07pm: $130,000 Distaff Turf, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)

Race 4, 8:31pm: $130,000 OKC Turf Classic, 3 and up, 1-1/16 miles (turf)

Race 5, 8:58pm: $130,000 Sprint, 3 and up, six furlongs

Race 7, 9:52pm: $130,000 Distaff Sprint, fillies and mares, 3 and up, six furlongs

Race 8, 10:19pm: $145,000 Distaff, fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 mile-70 yards

Race 9, 10:45pm: $100,000 Juvenile, 2-year-olds, six furlongs

Race 10, 11:26pm: $100,000 Lassie, 2-year-old fillies, six furlongs

The Primetime Pick 4 wager (races 7-10) on Oklahoma Classics Night will carry a guaranteed minimum betting pool of $100,000. The wager is comprised of all stakes events for the evening.

Source: Press Releases