Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Keeneland Rolls Out Grade 1 Green Carpet - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Keeneland Rolls Out Grade 1 Green Carpet

In Italian winning the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland

While Keeneland's opening weekend featured major prep races for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, week two at the Lexington, Ky., track's spring meet rolls out the  green carpet for a pair of Grade 1 grass stakes for older runners – Friday's main event, the Maker's Mark Mile attracted eight colts and geldings, while Saturday features nine fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles in the Jenny Wiley Stakes.

Saturday is also last call for Kentucky Derby points, with 40 points up for grabs in Keeneland's G3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes on a 20-8-6-4-2 basis to the top five finishers. Winchell Thoroughbreds' Disarm, one of the 11 3-year-olds entered, needs a top three finish to move into the Kentucky Derby field.

There is one other race on Saturday with Triple Crown implications. The Federico Tesio at Laurel Park is billed as a “Win Today, See You In May” automatic entry for Triple Crown nominees into the G1 Preakness Stakes – middle Jewel of the Triple Crown – on May 20.

Oaklawn's 12-race program on Saturday has two graded stakes – the G3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap matching 10 veteran speedsters going six furlongs, and the G1 Apple Blossom Handicap, where Clairiere will attempt to turn the tables on Secret Oath, winner of the G2 Azeri Stakes at the Arkansas track last month.


5:16 p.m. – Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland

All eyes will be on Godolphin's Irish-bred Modern Games, who has made three trips to North America for trainer Charles Appleby and come away with three G1 victories and an Eclipse Award as champion turf male of 2022. Installed the 3-5 morning line favorite, the 4-year-old Dubawi colt has not raced since winning the G1 Breeders' Cup Mile last Nov. 5 over the same Keeneland grass course.

There are two other G1 winners in the field. Graham Motion-trained Speaking Scout won the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar last December for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and the Mr Speaker gelding acquitted himself nicely with a third-place finish at 24-1 odds behind Atone in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28. Brazilian-bred In Love has two wins over the Keeneland turf for Bonne Chance Farm and Stud RDI, including a victory in the G1 Keeneland Turf Mile during the 2021 fall meet.

Maker's Mark Mile Entries


5:16 p.m. – Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland

Steve Asmussen-trained Disarm didn't have the best of luck when having to await racing room on the turn for home in the G2 Louisiana Derby, and by then front-running Kingsbarns was home free. The Gun Runner colt doesn't need a win to get enough points to squeak into the Derby field, and he appears to be rounding into good form after two starts off a layoff. Godolphin's First Mission is only a maiden winner last out but the Street Sense colt ran fast for Brad Cox and could be dangerous.

Stonestreet Lexington Entries

5:48 p.m. – Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland

Trainer Chad Brown and owner Peter Brant won this race last year with Regal Glory – Brown's fourth win in the race in five years and fifth overall – and they have two entrants in this year's renewal, including 7-5 morning line favorite In Italian. A 5-year-old Dubawi mare, In Italian enters off a five-month layoff following a pair of strong efforts at Keeneland last fall – winning the G1 First Lady wire to wire and finishing second in the G1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, when the 1 3/16 miles may have been a tad long for her.

Don't overlook Queen Goddess, who won the G3 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf in January for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. Trained by Michael McCarthy, she's done most of her racing in California, winning three graded stakes, including the G1 American Oaks after it was transferred from turf to the main track.

Jenny Wiley Entries

5:58 p.m. – Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn

A quick perusal of the past performances suggests there is a ton of early speed in the lineup for this six-furlong fixture, which should set things up for a closer. But which closer?

Tejano Twist, owned by JD Thoroughbreds and Joey Keith Davis, rallied from far back to win the G3 Whitmore Stakes last out at Oaklawn when Chris Hartman stablemate Edge to Edge insured a pace duel. The latter is back again today and will be hustling early, giving Tejano Twist the conditions he needs for his best effort.

Tom Kagele's Radical Right is another late runner. Formerly based in the Mid-Atlantic and trained by Dale Capuano, the First Samurai gelding is now trained in California by Peter Miller, whose best successes have come with sprinters.

Count Fleet Sprint Handicap Entries

7:12 p.m. – Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn

Briland Farm's Secret Oath appeared to benefit from a brief freshening following a nine-race 3-year-old campaign in 2022 that ended with a fifth-place finish in the G1 Breeders' Cup Distaff. The G1 Kentucky Oaks winner has an exceptional record at Oaklawn, winning four of five starts – her only defeat coming against colts when third in the G1 Arkansas Derby. The Arrogate filly has been installed the 4-5 morning line favorite here.

Clairiere chased Secret Oath home after having some traffic problems on the turn for home in the Azeri and Stonestreet Stables' Curlin mare almost always brings her “A” game. She finished second to Letruska in last year's Apple Blossom, her only other start at the Hot Springs track. Only four were entered, but this year's edition of the Apple Blossom almost has the feel of a match race – unless Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's Hot and Sultry manages to steal away to an easy lead and just keeps on going.

Apple Blossom Entries

Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Become An Insider

Support our journalism and access bonus content on our Patreon stream

Learn More