Keeneland: All the special events at a special meet

All about Keeneland’s spring meet, as compiled by the track’s publicity office

MONDAY, APRIL 1

Keeneland’s 2019 Spring Meet opens Thursday, April 4, with a 3 p.m. ET first post.

First post for the remainder of meet is 1:05 p.m. The 16-day season runs through Friday, April 26.

Keeneland is closed Easter Sunday, April 21.

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Click here for the lists of nominations and past performances
for Keeneland’s April 4-7 opening weekend stakes.

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Click here for the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) Weekend microsite dedicated to Keeneland’s April 4-7 opening weekend stakes.

SPRING MEET OPENS THURSDAY WITH SPECIAL EVENTS

For the first time in 60 years, Keeneland will open the Spring Meet on a Thursday. Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has proclaimed that day, April 4, to be “Keeneland Day in the Bluegrass!”

The Thursday opener means the Spring Meet will not lose a day because of Easter Sunday, April 21, when Keeneland is closed. Prior to 1960, the Spring Meet often opened on Thursday when the season was shorter.

Opening day for the 2019 Spring Meet will be a community-wide celebration starting with an afternoon of eight races. Music in partnership with The Burl, a popular live music venue in Lexington, will be featured in the Paddock area. Drink specials also will be offered.

Following the day’s final race, the popular Central Bank Thursday Night Live at Keeneland will begin in the Paddock area. This marks the first time the event will be held here.

Here is the schedule of opening-day events:

Gates open: 1 p.m. ET           Admission: $5; children 12 and under free.                 Parking: Free

Jockey Autograph Signing: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Racing fans can meet jockeys competing at Keeneland as well as retired jockeys – from Hall of Famers to history makers and Keeneland favorites – and participate in an autograph signing to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Event takes place in the area outside the Walking Ring.

First race: 3 p.m.

Feature race: Post time is 6:18 p.m. for the inaugural running of the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint, a 5½-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds.

Final race: 6:51 p.m. post time

Central Bank Thursday Night Live at Keeneland: The Zach Longoria Project will perform in the Paddock area from 7-8:30 p.m.

BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF SPRINT WINNER BULLETIN
HEADLINES OPENING-DAY INAUGURAL PALISADES TURF SPRINT

Bulletin winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last fall at Churchill Downs. Coady Photography photos

WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing’s Bulletin, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs, will make his 2019 debut Thursday when he headlines a field of 14 and two also-eligibles for the inaugural running of the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds.

The 5½-furlong grass test will serve as the opening-day feature of the 16-day Spring Meet, which runs through April 26. First post time Thursday is 3 p.m. ET with the Palisades scheduled as the seventh race with a 6:18 p.m. post time.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bulletin is undefeated in two starts, winning the Hollywood Beach at Gulfstream going 5 furlongs in his debut last September. Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the Breeders’ Cup victory, has the mount and will break from post position 12.

Hat Creek Racing’s Chelsea Cloisters, who finished second, beaten 2¾ lengths by Bulletin, in the Breeders’ Cup, will challenge the boys again Thursday. Trained by Wesley Ward, Chelsea Cloisters will break from post position 13 and be ridden by Albin Jimenez in her 2019 debut.

Also making his 2019 debut in the Palisades is John Oxley’s Strike Silver. Winner of the Indian Summer here last fall, Strike Silver endured a troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and finished seventh behind Bulletin.

Trained by Mark Casse, Strike Silver will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post position 11.

The field for the Palisades Turf Sprint, with riders and weights, from the inside is: Yes I Am Free (Tyler Gaffalione, 118 pounds), Vivid Verse (Adam Beschizza, 118),Tobacco Road (Corey Lanerie, 118), Joyful Heart (Luis Saez, 118), Vogt (Florent Geroux, 118), Real News (Joel Rosario, 118), Hawaiian Noises (Luan Machado, 118), Gladiator King (Leonel Reyes, 118), Abyssinian (John Velazquez, 118), Mick’s Star (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Strike Silver (Leparoux, 118), Bulletin (Castellano, 123), Chelsea Cloisters (Jimenez, 118) and Dom Carlos (IRE) (Jose Ortiz, 118). Alsoeligible: Uncapped (Gaffalione, 118) and Front Office (Robby Albarado, 118).


WIN WIN WIN KEENELAND-BOUND FOR TOYOTA BLUE GRASS

Live Oak Plantation’s Win Win Win is preparing to hit the road again, this time heading west to Kentucky from his home base at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Maryland.

“We are leaving tomorrow and should be there Wednesday morning,” trainer Mike Trombetta said Monday morning.

The purpose of the trip is Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2), which offers 170 qualifying points toward the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the first four finishers.

“It was between the Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial,” Trombetta said. “I was a little concerned about the deeper track in New York. I would get to keep the same rider (Irad Ortiz Jr.) if we did the Blue Grass, and I think that track will be a little more conducive to his style.”

Win Win Win picked up 10 points with his third-place finish in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G3) in his most recent start March 9. That 10-point total puts Win Win Win at 31st on the leaderboard for the Derby, which is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box.

“He has done very well since the Tampa Bay Derby and we came back to Fair Hill because that’s home,” Trombetta said. “I kept him at Tampa after the Pasco (Jan. 19) to keep him out of the colder weather.”

Win Win Win, who set a Tampa Bay track record with his 7¼-length victory in the 7-furlong Pasco, had his final prerace work Saturday at Fair Hill, going 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 over the all-weather surface.

GALLOPING OUT

Calumet Farm’s homebred Oxy Lady will bypass Saturday’s $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) in favor of the $500,000 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park on April 12, according to trainer Jack Sisterson.

“She is definitely not running this weekend,” Sisterson said of Oxy Lady, who worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 on Friday in her first breeze since finishing second in the Busher at Aqueduct on March 9.

“She will work Friday, weather permitting and see how she is after that and go to Oaklawn. She only has one two-turn win at Belterra, and she needs to step up on a bigger stage to justify running in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).”

OPENING WEEKEND STAKES PROBABLES

Nine stakes worth $2.85 million will be run during the opening week of Keeneland’s 16-day Spring Meet that opens Thursday, April 4. Click here for the lists of nominations and past performances for the stakes.

See above for entries for the opening-day Palisades Turf Sprint. According to Stakes Coordinator Tiffany Bourque, here are the prospective field for the remaining stakes:

$150,000 KENTUCKY UTILITIES TRANSYLVANIA (G3) (Entries taken Tuesday; race Friday, April 5 – Dunph (Mike Maker), Go Away (Eddie Kenneally), Henley’s Joy (Maker), Louder Than Bombs (David Fawkes), Magnificent McCool (Steve Asmussen), More Ice (Jerry Hollendorfer), Spectacular Gem (James Baker), The Black Album (FR) (Rodolphe Brisset), War Film (Asmussen) and Weekly Call (Doug O’Neill).

$1 MILLION TOYOTA BLUE GRASS (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, April 6  Admire (Dale Romans), Chess Chief (Stewart), Dream Maker (Mark Casse), Hoffa’s Union (Casse), Lucky Lee (John Servis), Market King (D. Wayne Lukas), Mr. Ankeny (Romans), Moonster (Romans), Parsimony (Doug O’Neill), Signalman (Kenny McPeek), Sir Winston (Casse), So Alive (Todd Pletcher), Somelikeithotbrown (Mike Maker), Vekoma (George Weaver) and Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta). Possible: Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer), Joevia (Greg Sacco) and Tax (Danny Gargan).

$500,000 CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, April 6 – Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin), Bizwhacks (Doug O’Neill), Chocolate Kisses (Mark Casse), Feedback (Chad Brown), Jaywalk (John Servis), Lady Kate (Eddie Kenneally), Needs Supervision (Jeremiah O’Dwyer) and Restless Rider (Kenny McPeek). Possible: Naughty Joker (Wesley Ward) and Orra Moor (Todd Pletcher).

$300,000 MADISON (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, April 6) – Amy’s Challenge (Mac Robertson), Cathedral Reader (Dallas Stewart), Late Night Pow Wow (Javier Contreras), Shamrock Rose (Mark Casse), Spiced Perfection (Peter Miller) and Sultry (Eddie Kenneally).

$250,000 COMMONWEALTH (G3) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, April 6) – Bobby’s Wicked One (Al Stall Jr.), Copper Town (Todd Pletcher), Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook), New York Central (Steve Asmussen), Rickiesinthehouse (Larry Rivelli), Runaway Ghost (Todd Fincher), Still Having Fun (Tim Keefe), Storm Advisory (Anthony Quartarolo), Uno Mas Modelo (Quartarolo) and Warrior’s Club (D. Wayne Lukas).

$200,000 SHAKERTOWN (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, April 6) – Angaston (Lon Wiggins), Bound for Nowhere (Wesley Ward), Captain Scotty (Peter Miller), Chaos Theory (Brendan Walsh), Disco Partner (Christophe Clement), Imprimis (Joe Orseno), Jazzy Times (Wes Hawley), Latent Revenge (Greg Foley), Richard’s Boy (Miller) and Shakhimat (Roger Attfield).

$200,000 APPALACHIAN (G2) PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday, April 7) – Angel Alessandra (Peter Miller), Beautiful Ballad (Mark Casse), Catch a Thrill (Casse), Clause (Chad Brown), Hard Legacy (Norm Casse), Primela (FR) (Cherie DeVaux), Princesa Carolina (Kenny McPeek) and Regal Glory (Brown).

$150,000 BEAUMONT (G3) PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday, April 7) – Another Time (Barbara Minshall), Fancy Dress Party (Ben Colebrook), Mother Mother (Bob Baffert) and Power Gal (JPN) (Mark Casse).


OPENING WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS

Celebrating its 80th anniversary, the Keeneland Library is one of the world’s largest repositories of information related to the Thoroughbred. In its exhibit “Herbert Haseltine: The Gold Standard,” visitors will see two prominent works from the latter period of the acclaimed sculptor of the early 20th century: “The Thoroughbred Horse” and “Portrait of the Racehorse Tom Fool.” The exhibit “From the Vault: Jockeys” features 26 images dating from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century from the Library’s archive of more than 1 million negatives and photographic prints. Varied memorabilia from Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Arcaro, Ted Atkinson and Bill Shoemaker accompany the photographs. The Library is open weekdays at no charge from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Official Keeneland Tours – Keeneland offers a selection of year-round, guided racing and sales tours, including Behind-the-Scenes Racing Tours, Owner’s Experience Tours and Backstretch Tours with a Day at the Races. Behind-the-Scenes Sales Tours will be offered April 8-9. On Saturdays during Sunrise Trackside, free guided tours begin every 20 minutes from the welcome stand near the Paddock and Walking Ring from 7:30-10 a.m.

Tuesday, April 2

The Keeneland Shop’s A Taste of the Races – From 4:30-7:30 p.m., shoppers will enjoy specialty spring cocktails provided by Grey Goose. The first 200 attendees will receive a complimentary cocktail in the all-new Keeneland Heritage Catstudio glass as a gift. Shoppers also will receive an exclusive 20-percent discount on all in-store purchases (some exclusions apply), on-site personalization from Barbour and other special offers.

Wednesday, April 3

Post Draw for the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) – Begins approximately at 11:15 a.m. Streamed live on Keeneland.com and Facebook Live.

Thursday, April 4 – Opening day

Jockey Autograph Signing – Fans can meet jockeys competing at Keeneland as well as retired jockeys – from Hall of Famers to history makers and Keeneland favorites – and participate in an autograph signing to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Event takes place in the area outside the Walking Ring from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

The Keeneland Shop Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore Millinery (April 4-6) and Trunk Show with Darren K. Moore (April 4-6).

Central Bank Thursday Night Live at Keeneland – The Zach Longoria Project will perform in the Paddock area from 7-8:30 p.m.

Friday, April 5

 

The Hill – Fans who like to tailgate will enjoy the festive atmosphere of The Hill, where they can watch races on a jumbo TV and place wagers. The Hill also features food trucks, The Keeneland Shop kiosk and complimentary shuttles to the track. On Saturdays, bluegrass music presented by The Burl, a popular live music venue in Lexington, will perform from noon to 4 p.m.

College Scholarship Day – Full-time college students from Kentucky and beyond will vie for $30,000 in scholarships on College Scholarship Day, which Keeneland holds in partnership with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Two $10,000 Runhappy Scholarships will be awarded in addition to $1,000 scholarships awarded after each of the day’s 10 races. One Runhappy Scholarship and one of the $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who work in the Thoroughbred industry or have parents who work in the industry. Pre-register online by 5 p.m. April 4 to pass the line. Students receive free general admission April 5 and can register at the College Zone in the North Terrace, which will have music, free snacks and prize drawings.

$200,000 Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG. Includes races 7-10.

The Keeneland Shop Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore Millinery (April 4-6) and Trunk Show with Darren K. Moore (April 4-6) and Maui Jim (April 5-6).

Saturday, April 6 Sunrise Trackside – The day begins early for racehorses. Keeneland invites you and your family to experience their mornings with Breakfast With the Works, which features breakfast for purchase and trackside commentary (7-8:30 a.m.) while horses train on the main track. The event includes children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7:30-9:30 a.m.); guided Keeneland tours that depart from the welcome stand near the Paddock (7:30-10 a.m.) and Paddock demonstration of a farrier from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital (9-9:30 a.m). Parking and admission to the morning events are free.

The Hill – Fans who like to tailgate will enjoy the festive atmosphere of The Hill, where they can watch races on a jumbo TV and place wagers. The Hill also features food trucks, The Keeneland Shop kiosk and complimentary shuttles to the track. On Saturdays, bluegrass music presented by The Burl, a popular live music venue in Lexington, will perform from noon to 4 p.m.

The Keeneland Shop Milliners Corner with Christine A. Moore Millinery (April 4-6) and Trunk Show with Darren K. Moore (April 4-6) and Maui Jim (April 5-6).

$300,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five (races 6-10) and $400,000 Guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four (races 7-10) Presented by TVG

NYRA Cross Country Wager featuring the Toyota Blue Grass (G2), Central Bank Ashland (G1) and Madison (G1) from Keeneland and the Wood Memorial (G2) and a second race from Aqueduct.

Sunday, April 7

Kids Club Family Day – The Keeneland Kids Club is our Official Kids Club for fans 12 and younger. Members and their families are invited to enjoy a special day at the races with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating. Children’s activities will take place in the North Terrace from noon to 3 p.m.

TVG-PDJF Telethon – Hall of Fame jockeys and TVG personalities at Keeneland and Santa Anita will participate in a second telethon to raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) live on TVG. Racing fans and industry stakeholders may call, chat and contribute at 1-844-TVG-PDJF from noon to 7 p.m. ET. Donations are accepted any time at https://pdjf.org/donate/. Last year’s inaugural telethon raised nearly $230,000.

Tuesday, April 9

Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale – The auction, free and open to the public, begins in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion at 2 p.m.

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Jennie Rees