by Keeneland Press Release
October 7, 2018
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Current prevailed in a three-horse photo in Sunday’s Dixiana Bourbon (G3) despite having the shoe on his left front foot come loose.
“I don’t know where it happened in the race,” said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “He is good this morning.”
Even though there were three noses on the wire, DePasquale thought Current had won.
“I was watching on the monitor in the Grandstand and all the commentators (on TVG and NBC) thought he won,” DePasquale said. “I was surprised it took so long to put the result up.”
The end result was a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2 for Current. DePasquale, who will be with Pletcher’s Churchill string, was uncertain when Current would move on to Louisville but expected the colt would remain at Keeneland for the time being.
Current was ridden by Jose Ortiz and was the third winner of the day for the trainer-jockey combination. They won the third with D’ambrosio and the seventh with Into Mystic. It marked the first three-win day for a rider or trainer during the meet.
Bloom Racing Stable’s Dixiana Bourbon runner-up, Henley’s Joy, is scheduled to return Tuesday to trainer Mike Maker’s home base at Trackside Training Center in Louisville.
Maker said Monday that the Breeders’ Cup remains under consideration.
David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse, said plans are undecided for Gary Barber’s War of Will, who set the pace as the favorite in the Dixiana Bourbon before finishing fourth.
“He looked like he had control of the race turning for home,” Carroll said. “He might have lost his momentum when he switched leads but we still think a lot of him and hopefully he has some big days ahead of him.”
E Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ champion Good Magic roared past Flameaway in the upper stretch and went on to score a 1½-length victory in the 94th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds before a crowd of 14,269 on a brisk Saturday afternoon. For the day, Keeneland set wagering records for all-sources handle, Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools. Total all-sources handle was $22,634,861, eclipsing the previous record of $21,736,983 set on April 9, 2016. The All-Stakes Pick Four ending in the Toyota Blue Grass did $1,065,002 versus the previous record of $733,800 set on April 8, 2017. The All-Stakes Pick Five handled $899,196, smashing the previous record of $653,827 on April 20, 2013. On Sunday, Keeneland will offer a Pick 6 carryover of $30,688. In the Toyota Blue Grass, Good Magic, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, covered the 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:50.18. It was the first victory in the race for Brown and Ortiz. The victory also gave Good Magic 100 points toward the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 5 at Churchill Downs. Good Magic has 134 points toward the Derby, a total that will safely get him in the Derby starting gate that is limited to 20 starters. The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Good Magic’s earnings to $1,855,000 with a record of 5-2-2-1. His other victory came in last fall’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) that earned him the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old of 2017. Purchased for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Good Magic is a Kentucky-bred son of Curlin out of the Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good. Longshot Arawak led the field of 14 through early fractions of :23.55 and :47.40, with Flameaway in closest pursuit. Meanwhile, Ortiz had Good Magic racing in the clear in fifth place. As the field reached the far turn, Flameaway took over with Good Magic moving to his immediate outside and Sporting Chance ranging up in third. Good Magic took charge early in the stretch and erased any doubt of the outcome. However, in deep stretch, Sporting Chance veered to the outside under Luis Saez and forced Free Drop Billy and Irad Ortiz Jr. to alter course. Sporting Chance finished three-quarters of a length in front of Free Drop Billy but was disqualified from third to fourth because of interference. The elevation of Free Drop Billy gave him 20 Derby points and 44 overall. Sporting Chance received 10 points to raise his total to 12. Good Magic returned $5.20, $3.60 and $2.80. Flameaway, who has 70 points toward the Derby, returned $5 and $3.80 under Jose Lezcano with Free Drop Billy returning $3.60 to show. Following Sporting Chance in order were Blended Citizen, Kanthaka, Tiz Mischief, Marconi, Zing Zang, California Night, Gotta Go, Machismo, Determinant and Arawak. Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET. Headlining the card are two stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the $200,000 Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association at a mile on the turf and the $150,000 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select contested over the Beard Course of 7 furlongs, 184 feet on the main track. Quotes from the $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) Chad Brown (winning trainer of 8-5 favorite Good Magic) On the difference between Good Magic’s Toyota Blue Grass victory and his third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 3 in his last start “In hindsight, (heading into the Fountain of Youth) he was probably a couple of works short. If you want to stay on the (Kentucky) Derby (G1) trail, you have to run when it’s time to get started. This horse came out of that race real well – bigger, stronger and has had some impressive workouts since. We were pretty confident coming into this race. I love the way he did it today. “We’ll get him over to Churchill (Downs) and give him at least one work over the track and hopefully get him out to a mile and a quarter and hopefully he can handle it.” On whether today’s performance resembled Good Magic’s win in the 2017 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) “It did remind me of it. Jose (Ortiz) rides this horse so well, and once again he put him in a position to win the race. I loved where he was all throughout the race – became a matter of is he good enough and fit enough today? “I thought it was an outstanding performance. He was well-placed early and kept steady throughout. Maybe we dock one point where it looked like he jumped a shadow near the wire, but that’s him. He’s going to look around a little bit. I was really happy how he ran today. For only two starts this year, I was hoping to be peaking for the Derby and hopefully we’ll advance another step on Derby Day. Looks like is a very good crop of horses this year and it’s going to be a tough race. “This is our first Blue Grass – we ran second the last two years. Once you get a little taste of that – Keeneland in the spring – you start looking to bring one back next year to win this race. It’s important – I’m so happy to win this race.” On seeing snow on the ground this morning “I was worried. The timing for the Derby – I really don’t’ want to run (Good Magic in a Derby prep) beyond today. As happens in Kentucky, (the weather) can change by the hour. Thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful day. “He seems to love Keeneland. I’m going to think about (his schedule leading to the Derby), talk to my staff about it, talk to my team. Right now, I’m leaning toward leaving him here a couple of weeks, maybe getting his first breeze out of the way here, on a track I know he likes. Then get him over to Churchill – he’ll have at least one work at Churchill.” Jose Ortiz (winning rider) “It was perfect, we had a good trip. We broke really well and everything went really well. The way I planned was to sit back a little bit off the front and everything turned out perfect. I was pretty confident on him because I know he’s a good horse out of the gate. I knew he was going to help me a lot and I was going to have a clear road to the first turn.” On the meaning of winning the Toyota Blue Grass for Chad Brown “It means a lot. I really love Keeneland, I’m going to stay here for the whole meet. I really want to win a title here.” Jose Lezcano (rider of runner-up Flameaway) “I got pressured the whole way around; (Flameaway) never got a breather. And you see, he's very tough. He keeps running and he kept trying. I was happy to see him do well.” Mark Casse (trainer of Flameaway) “He never gave up. He’s just so classy, you’ve got to love him. I got what I asked for. I said I wanted a fight at the top of the lane, and we got one. Unfortunately, we were second-best today. I think Chad (Brown) did a tremendous job. It’s one thing to train a horse to be a champion, and another to train them after they’re champions. We’ve beaten the winner of the Wood (Memorial-G2, Vino Rosso) twice already. I think we can hold our head high. (Flameaway will) be heading home (to Churchill Downs) probably tomorrow.” Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of Free Drop Bill, who finished fourth and was elevated to third following the disqualification of Sporting Chance) “He ran a good race. When I ask him, he goes. I finished fourth, but he ran a good race. He did everything I wanted him to do. I'm pretty happy with him. He'll be all right in the Derby.” Luis Saez (rider of Sporting Chance, who finished third and was disqualified to fourth) “I thought he was going to win. He was perfect (until) we came to the wire. When I hit him he (veered) out. He did it twice today. I don't know why he does that. He was perfect today up until then.” D. Wayne Lukas (trainer of Sporting Chance) “He has shied twice with Luis with the left-handed stick and I guess he doesn’t like it. He has never given any indication in the morning (training sessions). He is probably the easiest horse in the barn to train. “We needed those 40 points (for second place) to get to the Derby and now we only have 12.” Julien Leparoux (rider of sixth-place finisher Kanthaka) “We had a good trip. He traveled very nice for me. The winner came from the outside of me, and went by pretty early. I just could not keep up with him.” Corey Lanerie (rider of seventh-place finisher Tiz Mischief) “I had a good trip. My horse didn’t show any speed. I was lucky enough to find a path on the rail, but when he got through, he just couldn’t get it done today.”
From New York Racing Association Press Release The 149th Belmont Stakes (G1) Quotes Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Tapwrit (No. 2) and third-place finisher Patch (No. 12): "Tapwrit was getting a beautiful trip. It was everything we talked about in the paddock before the race. We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep." On winning his third career Belmont Stakes: "It's our home base and I think that's always an advantage. We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance." Jose Ortiz, winning jockey aboard Tapwrit (No. 2): "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain. I'm very happy right now. I'm happy for the owners and for Todd [Pletcher] for giving me the opportunity." "The distance, I was sure he could handle it. It was a great training job by Todd. I always liked him and we always had a lot of faith in him. Today he showed up. I'm very happy." Graham Motion, trainer of runner-up and beaten 5-2 favorite Irish War Cry (No. 7): "It actually wasn't our plan to be on the lead. We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, but he had to go to Plan B and [jockey] Rajiv [Maragh] did a great job. At the eighth pole, I thought we might be home free, but it's the Belmont. It's a tough race. "I'm very proud of how he ran. I thought he ran a very game race. Yes, it's very vindicating - for the horse and for me and the owners and everyone. I thought he ran very game, honestly. "We were hoping we might get a little bit of a stalking trip but we had to go to Plan B and Rajiv did a great job. He went three-quarters [of a mile] in [1:14]. Turning for home, I thought we might have it but it's a long way home." Rajiv Maragh rider of runner-up Irish War Cry (No. 7): "He ran a real good race. He tried hard to the end. When I straightened up I had horse left and I knew it was going to take a really big run from another hose to catch me. I was pretty confident turning for home. I saw the other horse coming and obviously a race of this magnitude I'm going to ride hard to the wire, and even when I was ahead you know they're going to be coming at you, but my horse never really gave up. He ran hard to the end he just got a little bit overpowered late in the race, but I'm proud of his effort. "I was more disappointed in the Kentucky Derby, but I felt like I had a good shot at winning turning for home. I didn't want to get any emotions come and cloud my judgement so I kind of just rode my race. It was a little bittersweet. When you get that close to winning the Belmont stakes, and finishing second, but the horse came back and showed his true colors, and I'm glad he showed up and ran this race today. He ran hard." John Velazquez, rider aboard third-place finisher Patch (No. 12): "He ran a very good race. [It was a] good trip. The whole race, that's where we broke and where we were, I thought he ran a good race. He finished up really well. He can run with a good kick." John Shirreffs, trainer of fourth-place finisher Gormley (No. 3): "I thought he ran really well. I'm pleased with the effort he made. He bobbled a little out of the gate but he recovered nicely. I thought he ran a very creditable race. Victor [Espinoza] said he started looking around a little bit, so we probably can improve on that. This is the first time he's gone the mile-and-a-half and they are young 3-year-olds. I didn't think the distance was a problem for him. When the horse came back he wasn't breathing all that hard. We'll take him back to California, and we may come back east with him. It depends upon how things are going. If they're going well, there's a possibility of Saratoga." Victor Espinoza, rider aboard fourth-place finisher Gormley (No. 3): "I think he ran a great race. He missed the break. He stumbled a little bit because he was moving around and the other two horses [next to him] squeezed me just a little, but he's quick, so I thought I could get out of that mess and sit just off the speed. I had an excellent trip, but down the lane he was still just a little immature. He really didn't help me to go forward. I have to believe that blinkers would help him. As he gets older, I believe that he's going to improve." Florent Geroux, jockey aboard Hollywood Handsome (No. 5): "I got squeezed pretty hard coming into the first turn. My horse clipped heels. I almost went down and I lost my stirrup. He was bleeding underneath his leg, it looked like."