BREEDERS’ CUP WINNERS STOPCHARGINGMARIA AND WAVELL AVENUE HEAD DEEP MADISON LINEUP
Combine two Breeders’ Cup winners, three other Grade 1 winners and an additional three Grade 2 winners and the result is a top-flight edition of the $300,000 Madison (G1) for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track Saturday.
A total of 13 runners were entered Tuesday for the 15th running of the Madison, one of three Grade 1 races on Saturday’s 11-race program. The Madison will go as the afternoon’s ninth race with a 5:20 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 12:35 p.m.
Town and Country Racing’s Stopchargingmaria won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) here last fall to push her earnings to more than $2.9 million. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Stopchargingmaria will use the Madison as her seasonal debut as she did last year when she finished second in the race.
Javier Castellano has the mount and will break from post position 12.
Michael Dubb, David Simon, Head of Plains Partners and Bethlehem Stables’ Wavell Avenue closed her 2015 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Trained by Chad Brown, Wavell Avenue will be ridden by Julien Leparoux in her 2016 debut and break from post position three.
The other Grade 1 winners in the field are Harold Queen’s Sheer Drama, Forum Racing IV’s Birdatthewire and Stonestreet Stables’ Cavorting.
Among the Grade 2 winners entered is 2015 Keeneland Fall stakes victor Fioretti (Thoroughbred Club of America) as well as Dancing House and Spelling Again.
The field for the Madison, with rider and weight, from the rail out is: Cavorting (Jose Lezcano, 118 pounds), Sheer Drama (Joe Bravo, 118), Wavell Avenue (Leparoux, 123), SundayRules (Edwin Maldonado, 120), Birdatthewire (Drayden Van Dyke, 123), Fioretti (Sophie Doyle, 120), Dancing House (Luis Saez, 120), Clothes Fall Off (Corey Lanerie, 120), Enchanting Lady (Martin Garcia, 118), Super Majesty (Alex Solis, 118), Thirteen Arrows (Florent Geroux, 118), Stopchargingmaria (Castellano, 120) and Spelling Again (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120).
DEFENDING CHAMPION SOMETHING EXTRA FACES 11 RIVALS IN SATURDAY’S SHAKERTOWN
John Menary and trainer Gail Cox’s Something Extra will face 11 foes Saturday as he attempts to become the second repeat winner of the $200,000 Shakertown (G2) run at 5½ furlongs on the grass.
The 20th running of the Shakertown will go as the eighth race on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 4:42 p.m. ET post time.
Something Extra will be using the Shakertown as his season debut as he did last year when he scored a wire-to-wire victory. Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on Something Extra, who will be trying to match the double of Soaring Free in 2004-05. Something Extra will exit post position four.
Favoritism in the race likely will go to Power Alert AUS, who finished fourth as the favorite in last year’s race. Owned by AJ Suited Racing Stable LLC and trainer Brian Lynch, Power Alert brings a two-race win streak into the Shakertown off victories in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and Silks Run. Julien Leparoux has the mount and will break from post position one.
Also expected to draw support will be Wes Welker and Sol Kumin’s Undrafted. Fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) here last fall in his most recent start, Undrafted won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer for trainer Wesley Ward. John Velazquez has the mount Saturday and will break from post position 10.
The field for the Shakertown, with rider and weight, from the inside is: Power Alert (AUS) (Leparoux, 120 pounds), Latent Revenge (Francisco Torres, 120), Summation Time (Javier Castellano, 120), Something Extra (Bridgmohan, 120), American Sailor (Luis Saez, 120), Sylven Park (Mitchell Murrill, 120), Rocket Heat (Edwin Maldonado, 120), Bye Bye Bernie(Florent Geroux, 120), Commute (Jose Lezcano, 120), Undrafted (Velazquez, 120), Woodland Walk (Perry Ouzts, 120) and The Great War (Albin Jimenez, 120).
WELL-BALANCED FIELD OF 10 ENTERED IN $250,000 COMMONWEALTH
Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s millionaire Departing and a trio of recently turned 4-year-old graded stakes sprint winners headline a field of 10 entered Tuesday for Saturday’s 30th running of the $250,000 Commonwealth (G2) at seven furlongs on the main track.
The Commonwealth will be run as the seventh race on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 4:05 p.m. post time.
Trained by Al Stall Jr., Departing is a multiple graded stakes winner whose lone race at Keeneland was a runner-up finish in the Fayette (G2) in 2014. Robby Albarado has the mount and will break from post position eight.
Jerry Durant’s Holy Boss, winner of the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga last summer and fourth in his most recent start in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) here last fall, is a three-time stakes winner. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Holy Boss will be ridden by Florent Geroux and break from post position nine.
Rick Westerman’s Ready for Rye won the Swale (G2) last year and was graded stakes-placed in three other sprints. Trained by Tom Albertrani, Ready for Rye will break from post position two and be ridden by Javier Castellano.
Suzanne Stables’ Barbados, runner-up to champion Runhappy in last fall’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) here, won the Hutcheson (G3) last year and enters Saturday’s race off a victory in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 20. Barbados will break from post position 10 under Luis Saez for trainer Mike Tomlinson.
The field for the Commonwealth, with rider and weight, from the rail out is: Clearly Now (Jose Valdivia Jr., 118 pounds), Ready for Rye (Castellano, 120), Far Right (Corey Lanerie, 118), Viva Majorca (Julien Leparoux, 118), Mylute (James Graham, 118), Ami’s Flatter (Martin Garcia, 118), No Hiding Place (Albin Jimenez, 118), Departing (Albarado, 118), Holy Boss (Geroux, 120) and Barbados (Saez, 118).
CARINA MIA WORKS FOR CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND
Three Chimneys Farm’s Carina Mia, who will make her 2016 debut in Saturday’s $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), worked three furlongs in :35.20 on a fast track Tuesday after the renovation break. Ridden by exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly is trained by Bill Mott.
Mott’s son Riley, who is overseeing the Keeneland string, was pleased with the move by Carina Mia, who set Keeneland’s 6½-furlong track record last October in winning her second career start.
“That’s exactly what we were looking for,” Riley Mott said. “She went to the pole nice and easy and finished up good. That’s her. She doesn’t need much more. She has a good bottom from (training) this winter at Payson (Park in Florida), so this was just a little maintenance.”
A half-sister to Miss Match (ARG), winner of the 2011 Santa Margarita Invitational (G1), Carina Mia opened her career last October at Keeneland, running second to Stageplay on Oct. 10. She returned 19 days later with a 9¼-length victory in track-record time at the same distance. In the process, she set the 1:15.18 track record.
At Churchill on Nov. 28, Carina Mia defeated Stageplay by 4¼ lengths in the Golden Rod (G2).
Riley Mott has seen a change in Carina Mia from the first time she was at Keeneland last fall.
“Mentally, she’s grown up quite a bit,” he said. “She’s very relaxed and professional in her training. I think if she runs up to her training, she should have a big shot.”
Three Chimneys Farm, agent, paid $410,000 for Carina Mia at Keeneland’s 2014 September Yearling Sale. The filly has another Keeneland connection. Her dam is a full sister to Miss Linda (ARG), winner of the 2001 Overbrook Spinster (G1).
Another Central Bank Ashland contender who worked Tuesday was Glenn S. Bromagen’s Weep No More, who worked a half-mile in :49.60. Rusty Arnold trains the Mineshift filly.
Harold Queen’s Sheer Drama, unraced since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) here last fall, arrived at Keeneland Monday afternoon for an anticipated start in Saturday’s $300,000 Madison (G1) at seven furlongs.
“She gets fit pretty easy and we needed a place to start,” trainer David Fawkes said. “We want to run in the race at Churchill Downs (the Grade 1 La Troienne on May 6) and that gives us four weeks.”
Sheer Drama was a two-time Grade 1 winner in 2015, taking the Delaware Handicap and the Personal Ensign and ran second in the La Troienne and Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs.
“I’d like to run the two races at Churchill and then go to the race she won last year at Delaware with the eventual goal of getting to the Breeders’ Cup,” Fawkes said. “I am going to enter here (for the Madison) and see how it comes up. There is always the Oaklawn race (the Grade 1 $600,000 Apple Blossom at 1 1/16 miles on April 15).” …
LNJ Foxwoods’ Super Majesty worked a half-mile in :49.60 before the renovation break in preparation for the Madison for trainer Steve Asmussen.