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Correas making Breeders’ Cup plans for repeat Spinster winner Blue Prize

Today’s dark-day Keeneland barn notes:


Trainer Ignacio Correas IV reported that Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) exited her repeat victory in Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) in good shape as preparations began for Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) run at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Ignacio Correas/Coady Photography

“She ate up everything last night and is good this morning,” Correas said of the 6-year-old mare, who became the fourth horse to win the Juddmonte Spinster in back-to-back years.

Last in the field of five in the early going, Blue Prize was steered to the outside at the head of the stretch by Joe Bravo and eventually wore down favored Elate.

“At the three-sixteenths pole, I saw they were not going away from her,” Correas said. “I didn’t know if she would win, but I knew she had a big chance.”

Blue Prize follows in the tradition of South American runners that get better with age, including the likes of another two-time Juddmonte Spinster winner, Bayakoa (ARG), who triumphed here at ages 5 and 6, and Paseana (ARG), the 1993 Juddmonte Spinster winner at age 6.

The 2019 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, with Blue Prize (far outside) winning for the second year. Coady Photography

Correas said he would start working on shipping plans for Blue Prize, who finished fourth in last year’s Distaff at Churchill Downs. The bulk of her training for the Distaff will be done here.

Elate, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, returned to trainer Bill Mott’s barn at Churchill after the race Sunday.

Whit Beckman, assistant to trainer Chad Brown, said Peter Brant’s third-place finisher, Dunbar Road, came out of the race fine with plans to be determined.

As the lone 3-year-old in the race and facing older horses in Grade 1 company for the first time, Dunbar Road was beaten only 1¼ lengths as the second choice. “She has a bright future,” Beckman said.


JSM Equine’s Peace Achieved returned to Churchill Downs Sunday night following his neck triumph in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) for 2-year-olds.

“I talked to (assistant) David (Carroll) this morning, and he said Peace Achieved was fine this morning,” said Allen Hardy, who oversees trainer Mark Casse’s Keeneland string.

The victory in the Dixiana Bourbon earned Peace Achieved a spot in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be run at a mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

Peace Achieved held off Vitalogy (GB) for the victory.

Trainer Brendan Walsh said Vitalogy was fine Monday morning with plans to be determined as to whether Vitalogy would remain here or go to Walsh’s barn at Churchill to prepare for a possible Breeders’ Cup run.

Vitalogy, who began his career in Europe with trainer Joseph O’Brien, is owned in partnership by Qatar Racing Limited, Marc Detampel and Bottle Rocket Stable.

Walsh already has a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) contender in Maxfield, winner of Saturday’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), who is going to do his pre-Santa Anita training here.


Within a span of 30 minutes Sunday, trainer Wesley Ward stamped his footprint all over the composition of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) to be run Nov. 1 at Santa Anita at 5 furlongs.

Breeze Easy’s undefeated Four Wheel Drive took the 6-furlong Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park by three lengths, and shortly afterward Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari unleashed a last-to-first run here to win the 5½-furlong Indian Summer.

“She’s kicking and bucking on her morning walk,” Ward said Monday morning of Kimari, who beat the boys for the second time in her career. “ ‘The Four Wheeler’ will be arriving soon.”

Both the Indian Summer and Futurity were Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.


Trainer John E. Cox earned his initial Keeneland win when Fascilitator, a 4-year-old gelding by The Factor he owns with Tom Baser, took the first race Sunday. Alex Canchari rode Fascilitator to a neck victory in the 7-furlong race in 1:25. …

Two half-sisters to Peace Achieved, winner of Sunday’s Dixiana Bourbon (G3), are cataloged to Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale. Paramount Sales, agent, is consigning Hip 1013, Elandess, a winning daughter of Scat Daddy in foal to Bolt d’Oro. Ballysax Bloodstock, agent, is consigning Hip 1282, The Sense Angel, a winning daughter of Mineshaft in foal to Overanalyze. The November Sale is Nov. 6-17. Click here for the online catalog.



$500,000 QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP PRESENTED BY LANE’S END-G1 (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday) – Invited horses: Café Americano (trainer Chad Brown), Cambier Parc (Brown), Carnival Colors (GB)(Mike Stidham), Castle Lady (IRE) (Henri-Alex Pantall), Kelsey’s Cross (Patrick Biancone), Lady Prancealot (IRE)  (Richard Baltas), Magnetic Charm (GB) (William Haggas), Maxim Rate (Simon Callaghan), Princesa Carolina (Kenny McPeek), RegalGlory (Brown), Varenka (Graham Motion).



All Year

Official Keeneland Tours – A variety of guided walking tours showcase Keeneland’s racing and sales operations. Click here for more information.


Through March 2020

The Keeneland Library Presents “A Day in the Life: Volume I” – This new exhibit features the work of early Turf photographer John C. Hemment. The Keeneland Library is home to the largest known surviving body of work of Hemment, a photographer during the late 19th and early 20th century. A virtual counterpart of the Hemment exhibit is atkeenelandlibrary.omeka.net/exhibits. Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the Library is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

WINS-Day Challenge Sponsored by Malone’s – Handicappers of all levels can test their skills through this contest, which has a guaranteed $2,500 pool. The entry fee is $10.

Thursday, Oct. 10

Make-A-Wish Day – For 12 years, Keeneland and local Thoroughbred farms and organizations have granted wishes for deserving children of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Children and their families will receive a VIP experience at Keeneland that includes presenting a trophy after each race and meeting jockeys. Racing fans may make a donation to Make-A-Wish in the Wishing Well near the Keeneland Paddock. This year’s sponsors are Ashford Stud, Claiborne Farm, Denali Stud, Flaxman Holdings/Frizzy Foundation, Gainesway Farm, Godolphin, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Horse Country, Keeneland, Lane’s End Farm, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Shadwell Farm, Spendthrift Farm, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, Stonestreet Farm, Taylor Made Stallions and WKYT.

The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman Pacific.

Friday, Oct. 11

Big Blue Day at the Races – Keeneland will welcome Big Blue Nation the day before the University of Kentucky football team hosts the University of Arkansas. UK students, alumni, faculty and staff will receive free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seating with valid UK IDs, and other special activities throughout the day will help fans cheer for the Wildcats.


Buffalo Trace Giveaway – On the day the Buffalo Trace Franklin County is the featured race, fans can enter to win a VIP Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience. The first 2,000 people to register will receive a free Buffalo Trace drawstring bag with a pair of Buffalo Trace sunglasses.


The Hill – Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.


$200,000-guaranteed Friday Pick Four Presented by TVG.


The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman Pacific and Forme Millinery.

Saturday, Oct. 12


Sunrise Trackside – Families, out-of-town guests, longtime Keeneland fans and others will enjoy spending a morning at the track before the races begin. Watch racehorses train over the track and enjoy Breakfast With the Works and trackside commentary (7-8:30 a.m.); take photos with a life-size cutout of Secretariat (7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.); children’s activities in the Kids Club Corner (7:30-9:30 a.m.); free guided tours of the grounds (7:30-10 a.m.) and a demonstration by the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center in the Paddock (9 a.m.).


Secretariat Festival – Keeneland is the new home of this annual event that celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner. TheSecretariat Bronze Monument created by Jocelyn Russell and commissioned by the City of Lexington – and set to be permanently located in the roundabout at Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive in Lexington – will be unveiled outside the main entrance of the Keeneland Sales Pavilion at 10:45 a.m. Click here for more information about the festival. Events in the Sales Pavilion will take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Hill – Keeneland’s official tailgate lot features a jumbo screen to watch live racing and football, wagering booths, live music, local food trucks and free shuttles to the Grandstand.

Keeneland Fall Challenge handicapping contest. Click here for more information and to register.

The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman.


$300,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Presented by TVG

Sunday, Oct. 13

Kids Club Family Day – The Keeneland Kids Club is for fans 12 and younger. A day at the races for members and their families will include free general admission, access to reserved Grandstand seating and special activities including taking photos with a life-size cutout of Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Secretariat Festival – This annual event celebrates the beloved Triple Crown winner. Click here for more information about the festival. Events in Keeneland’s Sales Pavilion take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

handicapping tournament – The tournament, which drew a record 171 entries in 2018, will award as many as five spots to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita and eight spots to the National Handicapping Challenge in Las Vegas in 2020. Click here for more information and to register.

The Keeneland Shop presents Milliners Corner with Dorfman.





Through Oct. 6 (3 days of 17-day season)



Jockey Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Javier Castellano 21 7 4 4 $904,654
Jose Ortiz 26 5 5 2 $869,861
Florent Geroux 19 3 3 1 $268,960
Joel Rosario 15 2 3 3 $543,313
Julien Leparoux 20 2 3 2 $320,658
Corey Lanerie 17 2 2 0 $144,326


Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Mark Casse 15 2 4 1 $462,772
Brad Cox 8 2 2 0 $387,505
Mike Maker 7 2 2 0 $158,887
Brendan Walsh 6 2 1 0 $405,206
Arnaud Delacour 4 2 1 0 $115,500
Chad Brown 6 2 0 1 $358,625
Peter Miller 3 2 0 0 $187,972


Owner Wins
Godolphin (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al 2



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.