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Keeneland barn notes: Blue Prize works for Spinster repeat

Today’s Keeneland barn notes compiled by the track’s publicity team:


Blue Prize winning last year’s Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland. Coady Photography

Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) completed her major preparations for next Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) by working 5 furlongs in 1:03 over a fast main track Saturday morning.

Working on her own at 7:30 a.m., Blue Prize posted fractions of :13, :25.80, :38.20 and 1:03.

“I got her going out seven-eighths in 1:27,” trainer Ignacio Correas IV said of Blue Prize, who will attempt to become the fourth horse to win the Juddmonte Spinster in consecutive years.

The Juddmonte Spinster is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race with the winner getting a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Blue Prize finished fourth in last year’s Distaff at Churchill Downs.

Now 6, Blue Prize has compiled a 4-1-1-2 record this year and enters the Juddmonte Spinster off a victory in the Summer Colony last month at Saratoga. Prior to that, Blue Prize chased likely Juddmonte Spinster rival Elate in the Fleur de Lis (G2) and Delaware Handicap (G2).

“She came back to me (in the spring) in great shape, and I am very happy with her,” Correas said. “We will find next weekend if we go to the Breeders’ Cup.”


Morticia won Kentucky Downs’ $500,000, Grade 3 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint in her last start. Coady Photography

Trainer Rusty Arnold already has one horse for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in Susan and Jim Hill’s Totally Boss. In the next two weeks, he hopes to add two more.

On Saturday morning, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s multiple stakes winner Morticia worked a half-mile on the main track in :48.80. On Sunday morning, Amy Dunne’s Leinster is scheduled to work on the turf.

Both horses are nominated to next Saturday’s 23rd running of the $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select.

“If Leinster runs in the Woodford, she will go in the Buffalo Trace,” Arnold said, referring to the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) on Oct. 11. “I always work her on the dirt, and she went great this morning.”

Morticia, who has compiled a career mark of 25-10-6-5 for earnings of $989,669, has three victories this year, including her most recent start in the Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs three weeks ago.

“I’d like to go to the Breeders’ Cup with her if she wins,” Arnold said. “The race this year (Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1 at Santa Anita) is 5 furlongs and I have to consider it. If it was still 6½ (furlongs) down the hill, I wouldn’t.”

Totally Boss punched his Breeders’ Cup ticket with a victory in the Runhappy Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs, a race in which Leinster finished third.

“Leinster has the Grade 3 win at Saratoga (in the Troy) and at Kentucky Downs (when finishing third in the Runhappy Turf Sprint) he beat the favorite (Imprimis) and Stormy Liberal, who he was giving weight to,” Arnold said.

Leinster is a half-brother to Stormy Liberal, who has won the past two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.


In April during a casual conversation, trainer Charlie LoPresti mentioned, “I may have another good one. Not as good as the last one but a good one.”

Get Western easily won Kentucky Downs’ Old Friends Stakes in spite of trying to jump a shadow near the finish. Grace Clark/Kentucky Downs photo

The “last one” was two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan. Next Saturday, Ward Pitfield’s Get Western will try to follow in Wise Dan’s footsteps in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

Get Western tuned up for the Shadwell Turf Mile by working a half-mile on the fast main track in :49 Saturday morning. Working on his own, Get Western posted fractions of :12.60, :25, :49 and out five-eighths in 1:02.40.

“He had a bullet work here last week, and he galloped out strong today,” LoPresti said of Get Western, who won the Old Friends at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 5. “He has made some noise this year (winning three of his past four starts). I know we are taking a shot, but I think he deserves a chance.

“He’s no Wise Dan, but then I haven’t seen any Wise Dans on the grass or the dirt,” LoPresti said of the two-time Shadwell Turf Mile winner.

Now 4, Get Western finished his 2018 campaign in a stakes at Kentucky Downs and did not return to the races until April.

“He was not 100% after the Kentucky Downs (race), and he just got some time off,” LoPresti said. “When he came back, he was a different horse. He was bigger, stronger. He is a full brother to Clyde’s Image, who just got beat in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) here in April and the Get Stormys are running well.”

Get Western and Clyde’s Image are by Get Stormy, whose two Keeneland graded stakes wins include the 2011 Maker’s Mark Mile (now the Maker’s 46).


The following is a list of probable starters for Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend stakes on the first three days of the Fall Meet compiled by Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Allison De Luca.

*$400,000 DARLEY ALCIBIADES-G1 (Entries taken Tuesday; race Friday, Oct. 4) – Alandra (trainer Shug McGaughey), Gone Glimmering (Tom Amoss), Heir of Light (Norm Casse), Micheline (Mike Stidham), My Gift From Above (Greg Sacco), Perfect Alibi (Mark Casse), Spitefulness (Phil D’Amato), Western Taffy (Mark Casse).

*$250,000 STOLL KEENON OGDEN PHOENIX-G2 (Entries taken Tuesday; race Friday, Oct. 4) – American Pastime (Bob Hess), Engage (Steve Asmussen), Heartwood (James Chapman), Hog Creek Hustle (Vickie Foley), Lexitonian (Jack Sisterson), Promises Fulfilled (Dale Romans), Recruiting Ready (Stan Hough), Whitmore (Ron Moquett), Zipp On By (Rey Hernandez).

*$1 MILLION SHADWELL TURF MILE-G1 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, Oct. 5) – Admission Office (Brian Lynch), Bandua (Jack Sisterson), Divisidero (Kelly Rubley), Emmaus (IRE) (Conor Murphy), First Premio (Mark Casse), Get Western (Charlie LoPresti), Lucullan (Kiaran McLaughlin), March to the Arch (Mark Casse), Next Shares (Richard Baltas), Real Story (Ignacio Correas IV), Robin of Navan (FR) (Harry Dunlop), Suedois (FR) (David O’Meara), Synchrony (Mike Stidham), Vintager (GB) (Charles Appleby). Possible: Valid Point (Chad Brown), Van Beethoven (Aidan O’Brien).

*$500,000 CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY-G1 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, Oct. 5) – Ajaaweed (Kiaran McLaughlin), By Your Side (Eddie Kenneally), Enforceable (Mark Casse), Flap Jack (Jack Sisterson), Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher), January Won (Kenny McPeek), Tap It to Win (Mark Casse).

*$400,000 FIRST LADY-G1 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, Oct. 5) – Awesometank (GB) (William Haggas), Conquest Hardcandy (Michelle Nihei), Hanalei Moon (Mark Casse), Indian Blessing (GB) (Ed Walker), Juliet Foxtrot (GB) (Brad Cox), Marina’s Legacy (Aaron West), Mitchell Road (Bill Mott), Ms Bad Behavior (Richard Baltas), Rushing Fall (Chad Brown), Simply Breathless (GB), Vasilika (Jerry Hollendorfer).

*$250,000 THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA-G2 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, Oct. 5) – America’s Tale (Bernie Flint), Chalon (Arnaud Delacour), Danuska’s My Girl (Jerry Hollendorfer), Dawn the Destroyer (Kiaran McLaughlin), Mia Mischief (Steve Asmussen), Ours to Run (Larry Jones), Razorback Lady (Patrick Biancone), Talk Veuve to Me (Rodolphe Brisset).

$200,000 WOODFORD PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT-G2 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday, Oct. 5) – Bound for Nowhere (Wesley Ward), Extravagant Kid (Brendan Walsh), Imprimis (Joe Orseno), Leinster (Rusty Arnold), Seven Trumpets (Dale Romans), Stubbins (Doug O’Neill). Possible: Morticia (Rusty Arnold), Wet Your Whistle (Mike Trombetta).

*$500,000 JUDDMONTE SPINSTER-G1 (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday, Oct. 6) – Blue Prize (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV), Dunbar Road (Chad Brown), Elate (Bill Mott), She’s a Julie (Steve Asmussen), Vexatious (Jack Sisterson). Possible:Sally’s Curlin (Dale Romans).

*$250,000 DIXIANA BOURBON-G3 (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday, Oct. 6) – Bama Breeze (Ben Colebrook), Cadet Connelly (Teresa Connelly), Deviant (Danny Pish), Ete Indien (Patrick Biancone), Field Pass (Mike Maker), Fighting Seabee (Kenny McPeek), Gear Jockey (Rusty Arnold), Invader (Wesley Ward), Kid Mercury (Graham Motion), Peace Achieved (Mark Casse), Peruvian Boy (Ignacio Correas IV), Vitalogy (GB) (Brendan Walsh).

*$200,000 INDIAN SUMMER (Entries taken Thursday; race Sunday, Oct. 6) – Chimney Rock (Mike Maker), Fast Scene (Tim Hamm), Johnny Unleashed (Eric Foster), Kimari (Wesley Ward), Mystic Lancelot (Todd Pletcher), Old Chestnut (Mark Casse), Song Rived (Mark Casse).

*Breeders’ Cup Challenge race


Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Heider Family Stables and Madaket Stables’ Mia Mischief, who figures to be one of the favorites for next Saturday’s $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), worked a bullet 5 furlongs in :59.40 here Saturday morning. She is trained by Steve Asmussen. …

“Keeneland Magazine on TV,” a 30-minute program that chronicles stories about Central Kentucky life and culture from the print edition of Keeneland magazine, airs Sunday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. ET on The CW Lexington. The episode features the Beaumont Inn, Camp Nelson, Peter O’Callaghan and his Woods Edge Farm and Keeneland’s Fall Meet stakes for 2-year-olds.



Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.