Weekend Lineup: Keeneland Turf Takes Center Stage - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Weekend Lineup: Keeneland Turf Takes Center Stage

Spring racing at Keeneland

A pair of Grade 1 races on the Keeneland turf course highlight this weekend's graded stakes action in North America, with the boys running Friday in the Maker's Mark Mile and fillies and mares running Saturday in the Jenny Wiley.

Also on Saturday at Keeneland is the Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, the G3 Lexington, which offers 3-year-olds a final chance to make it into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

Oaklawn's Saturday feature is the G3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, featuring the return of champion Jackie's Warrior for trainer Steve Asmussen. He faces off against the streaking Bob's Edge, trained by Larry Jones.

Laurel Park features a quartet of stakes races on Saturday as well, highlighted by the Federico Tesio, a “Win and You're In” for the 2022 Preakness Stakes.

 

Friday

5:16 PM – G1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland

Cannon Thoroughbreds' Smooth Like Strait, runner-up in the 2021 FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF, headlines a field of 11 horses entered Sunday for Friday's 34th running of the $600,000 Maker's Mark Mile (G1) for 4-year-olds and up to run on the turf course.

Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait will be making his 2022 debut in the Maker's Mark Mile and will have regular rider Umberto Rispoli aboard when he exits post position six. An earner of more than $1.4 million, Smooth Like Strait compiled a 7-1-5-1 record in 2021 with his losses coming by less than a half-length. His victory came in the Shoemaker Mile (G1).

Smooth Like Strait is not the only Grade 1 winner in the field.

Trainer Paulo Lobo will send Keeneland stakes winners for Bonne Chance Farm and Stud R D I: In Love (BRZ) and Ivar (BRZ). The former won the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) last fall; the latter took the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in 2020. Alex Achard will be aboard In Love from post one, and Joe Talamo is on Ivar from post five.

The other Grade 1 winner in the field is Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm's Count Again, who is coming off a win in the Frank Kilroe Mile in March at Santa Anita for trainer Phil D'Amato. Joel Rosario has the mount from post seven.

Maker's Mark Mile Entries

Saturday

5:16 PM – G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland

Peachtree Stable's Tawny Port, runner-up in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) in his most recent start, heads a field of 11 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for Saturday's 40th running of the $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The race serves as the final points race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) with 34 points up for grabs on a 20-8-4-2 scale to the first- through fourth-place finishers. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners that pass the entry box.

Trained by Brad Cox, Tawny Port picked up 40 points for his Jeff Ruby finish, a figure that is good for 20th place on the Road to the Derby leaderboard. Florent Geroux has the mount Saturday and will exit post nine.

Two other entrants, Julie Gilbert and Aaron Sones' Ethereal Road and Edge Racing, Medallion Racing and Parkland Thoroughbreds' In Due Time, have accumulated 20 points and could enhance their Derby prospects with a victory Saturday.

Ethereal Road wheels back seven days after finishing seventh in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). Second in the Rebel (G2) to pick up his 20 points, Ethereal Road is trained by D. Wayne Lukas and will break from post four under Victor Espinoza.

In Due Time picked up his 20 Derby points with the runner-up finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) for trainer Kelly Breen. Paco Lopez retains the mount and will break from post two.

Lexington Entries

5:48 PM – G1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland

Peter Brant's Regal Glory and Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Robert LaPenta's Shantisara (IRE) top a field of six fillies and mares entered Wednesday for Saturday's 34th running of the $500,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Trained by four-time Jenny Wiley winner Chad Brown, Regal Glory and Shantisara bring multiple race win streaks into Saturday's race.

Regal Glory closed 2021 with a victory in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar and opened 2022 two months later by taking the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Regular rider Jose Ortiz has the mount and will depart post position four.

Shantisara brings a three-race win streak into her 2022 debut highlighted by a 5-length victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana here last fall. Flavien Prat, who has been aboard for all three of those victories, has the call Saturday and will break from post position three.

Jenny Wiley Entries

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