BARN NOTES: Venetian Harbor staying at Keeneland after victory

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VENETIAN HARBOR STAYING PUT AT KEENELAND FOLLOWING
LEXUS RAVEN RUN VICTORY

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Keeneland) – Trainer Richard Baltas has a string of horses at Churchill Downs, but for now Venetian Harbor will remain at Keeneland following her neck victory over Finite in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2).

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“She will stay at Keeneland for now, and we will see how she is doing in the next few days,” Baltas said via text Sunday morning.

Owned by Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Domenic Savides, Venetian Harbor may have earned herself a spot in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) here on Nov. 7, a spot that co-owner Joseph Ciaglia said was likely after the race.

Venetian Harbor found herself on an uncontested lead and was able to hold off Finite to secure her second Grade 2 victory.

The runner-up finish by Finite came on her first start on dirt in seven months.

“Yesterday was a big effort and we’ll see how she trains going forward,” said David Fiske, Racing and Bloodstock Manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds, the principal owner in the filly’s partnership group, via text. “There are no plans for her yet. We all were pleased to see her return to a level of competition that we thought she was capable of.”

Trainer Cherie DeVaux said Lael Stables’ Reagan’s Edge, who finished fourth beaten a nose for third and less than a length for the win, came out of the race in good shape.

“She ran her heart out yesterday and is a little tired this morning,” DeVaux said. “She is nominated to the (Qatar) Fort Springs (here on Nov. 7) but that may be coming back a little quick.”

ACCLIMATION PROCESS CONTINUES FOR HIGHER POWER

Hronis Racing’s Higher Power, third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), continued his acclimation project at Keeneland Sunday morning by working 6 furlongs in 1:12.80 in company over a fast main track.

Working with Mongolian Hero, Higher Power posted splits of :13, :24.60, :36.80, :48.20 and 1:01.20, galloping out 7 furlongs in 1:26.60 under Juan Leyva, assistant to trainer John Sadler.

“He seems happy,” Leyva said. “He’s got two works left and that will tell us if he is up to running in the Classic.”

Sunday’s work was the third this month here for Higher Power, who shipped in from Southern California to have plenty of time to settle in at Keeneland before his expected Breeders’ Cup engagement Nov. 7.

Sadler has two other Breeders’ Cup hopefuls on the grounds: Hronis Racing’s Chaos Theory for the Turf Sprint (G1) and Paul and Karen Eggert’s Ollie’s Candy for the Distaff (G1).

On Sunday morning, Chaos Theory worked a bullet half-mile in :47.80 over firm turf with a final quarter-mile in :22.40. It was his first work since finishing fourth in the Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG on Oct. 3.

Ollie’s Candy, runner-up in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 4, is scheduled to work in the next couple of days, according to Leyva.

RAGING BULL (FR), WITHOUT PAROLE (GB) TOP SUNDAY TURF WORK TAB

Peter Brant’s Raging Bull (FR) and John Gunther and Tanya Gunther’s Without Parole (GB), the 2-3 finishers in the Oct. 3 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, began their serious preparations for likely starts in the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF by working a half-mile in company in :50 and :50.20, respectively, over a course labeled firm Sunday morning.

The duo makes up half of trainer Chad Brown’s possible starters in the Mile that also includes defending champion Uni (GB), winner of the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare here Oct. 3. Uni is owned by the partnership of Robert LaPenta, Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners and Bethlehem Stables.

Other horses with Breeders’ Cup designs working on the turf were:

Little Red Feather Racing, Gordon Jacobsen and Philip Belmonte’s Red King (Turf), who breezed 5 furlongs in 1:03.60 for trainer Phil D’Amato in company with Breeze Easy’s Outadore (Juvenile Turf-G1 or Juvenile Turf Sprint-G2), who was clocked in 1:03 for trainer Wesley Ward.

Also working 5 furlongs together for Ward were Susan Moulton, Marc Detampel and C J Thoroughbreds’ Amanzi Yimpilo (IRE) (1:03.80 for the Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Stonestreet Stables’ Campanelle (1:04.40 for the Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1).

GALLOPING OUT

Among trainer Steve Asmussen’s workers Sunday morning was Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s undefeated Yaupon, who worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 on his own in preparation for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Another Sprint possibility, L&N Racing’s Echo Town, worked a bullet half-mile in company with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) possible entrant Cowan in :59.40. Cowan is owned in partnership by the Heiligbrodts, Madaket Stables and Spendthrift Farm. …

Kaleem Shah, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Bellafina, second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to champion Covfefe, worked a half-mile in :48.40 in her first work since finishing sixth in the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs six weeks ago. 

HEROES DAY THANKS PEOPLE FOR THEIR COMMUNITY SERVICE

Three Central Kentuckians – Letitia Roark from Versailles, Laura Stark of Lexington and Thomas Shaddix from Stamping Ground – have been selected as grand prize winners among community heroes, and today each will receive a Keeneland Heroes Day at Home Tailgate from City Barbecue, $1,000 Visa gift card provided by UPS and other goodies.

The prizes are part of Heroes Day at Home in partnership with UPS and City Barbecue. Designed to honor front-line health care workers, first responders, members of the military, teachers and others, Heroes Day typically takes place at Keeneland, but is being celebrated this year virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeneland fans were asked to nominate deserving community heroes online.

Roark is a surgical technologist; Stark is a physical therapist in the ICU and Shaddix is with the National Guard while he coaches football and has attended classes to become a physician’s assistant.

As part of Heroes Day, 12 other people nominated for the recognition will receive a $250 Visa gift card provided by UPS. From Lexington are Mary Kindred Fuller, Michelle Goggin, Jessica Hatterman and Tara Beth Smith. Other Kentuckians are David Leon Parks of Clay City, Sharon Marie Czarnik of Hebron, Jason Angelle of London, Jeremy Harrell of Shelbyville and Brenton Abshire of Winchester.

Additional nominees were Thomas Kent Anderson of Miami, Ohio, and two residents of Virginia: Lori Rutledge of Disputana and John William Rutledge of Williamsburg. 

FALL MEET LEADERS

Through Oct. 17 (12 days of 17-day season)

Jockey   Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Tyler Gaffalione   80 17 14 12 $994,610
Florent Geroux   54 9 10 8 $789,169
Luis Saez   22 9 3 3 $1,182,436
Ricardo Santana Jr.   62 8 16 13 $645,359
Gerardo Corrales   28 7 2 5 $171,452

Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Mike Maker 39 10 4 4 $488,870
Steve Asmussen 48 8 9 7 $497,192
Brad Cox 25 8 8 2 $829,276
Chad Brown 30 5 6 5 $764,584
Robertino Diodoro 16 5 3 5 $238,820

 

Owner Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
M and M Racing (Mike Sisk) 6 4 1 0 $94,240
Steve Asmussen 7 3 1 1 $60,966


Ten owners are tied with two wins apiece.