Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

Sisterson works his Falls Stars Weekend roster

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

Jack Sisterson. Coady Photography

Starting with Vexatious at 5:30 a.m. on the dirt and concluding with Bandua at 10 a.m. on the turf, trainer Jack Sisterson had his Calumet Farm roster of Fall Stars Weekend hopefuls go through their final major preparations Sunday morning at Keeneland.

Vexatious came to Sisterson’s barn in May after beginning her career with Neil Drysdale and posting a victory via disqualification in last fall’s Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) on the grass. Next Sunday she will try to add a dirt score to her resume in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1).

“I think she is better on the dirt,” Sisterson said after Vexatious worked a half-mile in :48 with Adam Beschizza aboard. “You look back to when she was 3 in 2017 and she ran against the boys, finishing third behind (eventual Breeders’ Cup winner) Battle of Midway (in an allowance race at Santa Anita), and was fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

“I asked the farm if it would be OK to pencil in the Spinster and work back from there.”

Vexatious returned to the dirt for the first time in 13 months when she finished second to Juddmonte Spinster rival Blue Prize (ARG) in the Summer Colony at Saratoga. Since that race, Vexatious has worked four times here counting Sunday morning.

“She should have no excuse after that,” Sisterson said of the work that opened with a :24 quarter and a five-eighths gallop out in 1:00.40. “I got her the last eighth in :11 and 1 and she had a good gallop out.”

Bandua will be cutting back in distance for the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) following a third-place finish in the 1¼-mile Arlington Million (G1) and a victory in the 1 3/16-mile Arlington Handicap (G3).

“He’s a horse that’s full of energy and we had confidence in him to run him a mile on the dirt (in the Grace 3 Westchester),” Sisterson said. “I wish I had a whole barn like him. He tries every time.”

Bandua finished his Shadwell Turf Mile preparation Sunday morning by working a half-mile on the firm Keeneland turf course in :49 with Beschizza up. He covered the final quarter-mile in :23.40.

Also working for Sisterson were Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) hopeful Lexitonian and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) candidate Flap Jack.

With Beschizza aboard and working in company with Speed Effect, Lexitonian covered a half-mile in :47.20 and galloped out five-eighths in :59.80. Lexitonian returns to the dirt after finishing seventh in the Nevada State Bank Franklin-Simpson (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12.

“We are going to keep him on the dirt,” Sisterson said of Lexitonian, who has two stakes wins this year on the dirt.

Flap Jack, who scored his first win in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, worked a half-mile in company with Truculent in :47.20 with Sophie Doyle aboard. Flap Jack galloped out five-eighths in 1:00.

Flap Jack was fifth in his lone dirt start, but Sisterson was not discouraged by that.

“He missed the break that day, rushed up six wide and then got tired,” Sisterson said. “He worked well out of the gate and after that I said, ‘I think we may have something here.’ ”


George Turner and Clipper Logistics’ Suedois (FR), who pulled a 9-1 upset in the 2017 running of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), arrived at Keeneland’s quarantine barn Sunday at 7:15 a.m. along with three other horses from Europe.

Trained by David O’Meara, Suedois is expected to pass the entry box Wednesday for Saturday’s $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that earns the winner a fees-paid berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Two other Shadwell probables were on the plane with Suedois: Godolphin’s Vintager (GB), trained by Charles Appleby, and Haven’t A Pot and Richard Foden’s Robin of Navan (FR), trained by Harry Dunlop.

Also arriving Sunday morning was Mr. P.K. Siu’s Indian Blessing (GB). Trained by Ed Walker, Indian Blessing is expected to run in Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1), a Win and You’re In race for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

The horses should clear isolation early Tuesday and go to the track that morning.


Twenty-seven horses worked over a firm Keeneland turf course Sunday morning, many in preparation for Fall Stars Weekend that kicks off the 17-day Fall Meet.

Next Shares working on the Keeneland turf Sept. 29 for Saturday’s $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile, which he won last year. Coady Photography

Among the workers was defending Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) winner Next Shares, who worked 5 furlongs in company with First Lady (G1) candidate Storm the Hill in 1:02.20. Fractions on the work were :12.40, :25.40, :38.60, :50.40 and 1:02.20.

Trainer Wesley Ward worked six horses, including Bound for Nowhere (Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select-G2), who worked 5 furlongs in company in 1:01.40, and Kimari (Indian Summer), who worked 5 furlongs in company in 1:02.

Other workers of note were Ms Bad Behavior (First Lady) going 5 furlongs in 1:03.40; Fighting Seabee (Dixiana Bourbon-G3) going 5 furlongs in company in 1:03.20; Bama Breeze (Dixiana Bourbon) going a half-mile in :49.80 in company; Leinster(Woodford) going a half-mile in :48.40; Simply Breathless (GB) (First Lady) going 6 furlongs in company in 1:17.40; andVitalogy (GB) (Dixiana Bourbon) going a half-mile in :50.40.


Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing’s Concrete Rose, who ascended to the top of the 3-year-old filly turf ranks following victories in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) and Saratoga Oaks Invitational, continues to progress well from surgery for a hairline fracture of her right front, according to trainer Rusty Arnold.

“I haven’t seen her for three or four weeks, but the surgery went well and the prognosis is good,” Arnold said of the filly, who has won six of seven starts in her career that includes a triumph in last fall’s JPMorgan Jessamine Chase (G2). “She will get 90 days off, and I plan to pick her up Dec. 1 when we head to Florida and look for a race for her probably in March.”



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), Bowies Hero (Phil D’Amato), 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), Van Beethoven (Aidan O’Brien), Vintager (GB) (Charles Appleby). Possible: Valid Point (Chad Brown).

*$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). Possible: Big City Bob (Jorge Duarte).

*$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), Just Wonderful (Aidan O’Brien), Marina’s Legacy (Aaron West), Mitchell Road (Bill Mott), Ms Bad Behavior (Richard Baltas), Rushing Fall (Chad Brown), Simply Breathless (GB) (Neil Drysdale), Storm the Hill (Phil D’Amato), 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), Spiced Perfection (Peter Miller), 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).

*$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 (Rusty Arnold), 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), Rockcrest (Nigel Burke), Song River (Mark Casse).

*Breeders’ Cup Challenge race



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.