WOODFORD PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT WINNER LEINSTER TUNES UP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP RUN
LEXINGTON, K. (Keeneland) – Amy Dunne, Brenda Miley, Westrock Stables and Jean Wilkinson’s Leinster began serious preparations for a second run in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) by working a half-mile in :49.40 over a turf course labeled good Thursday morning at Keeneland.
Working on his own with Crystal Conning aboard, Leinster recorded fractions of :11.60, :24.80 and :37.40, according to Keeneland clockers.
“Looked good to me,” trainer Rusty Arnold said of Leinster’s first work since winning the Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select on Oct. 3.
Leinster finished seventh last year in the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
“Compared to last year at this time, he’s doing much better,” said Arnold, who has had 13 Breeders’ Cup starters with his first coming in 1996.
“In retrospect, I ran him too much last year. He won the race in New York (the Troy-G3) and that would have been enough to get him in (the Breeders’ Cup). Then I ran him at Kentucky Downs and then BACK here in the Woodford, which I shouldn’t have done. He didn’t run bad (finishing second), but I just think he had lost his edge a little bit.”
In other Thursday works by Breeders’ Cup hopefuls:
Ranlo Investments’ Golden Pal, who figures to be one of the main players in the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) on Nov. 6, worked 5 furlongs on the turf in 1:02.80 in company with Hat Creek Racing’s Illegal Smile (IRE). Golden Pal started 3 lengths in back of Illegal Smile, who is two-time stakes-placed on the turf at Woodbine, and finished a length in front. Both are trained by Wesley Ward.
Working on the fast main track was DARRS Inc.’s Extravagant Kid, who covered a half-mile in :47.80 for trainer Brendan Walsh. Runner-up to Leinster in the Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select, Extravagant Kid also is under consideration for the Turf Sprint.
Also working for Walsh was The Cool Silk Partnership’s Midnight Sands, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.80. Midnight Sands is under consideration for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
David Bernsen and Jeffrey Lambert’s Lasting Legacy, under consideration for the $2 million Sprint (G1), worked a half-mile in :47.60 for trainer Bob Hess.
GAFFALIONE CLOSING IN ON FALL MEET RIDING TITLE
With his win aboard Union Maiden in Wednesday’s seventh race, jockey Tyler Gaffalione recorded his 19th victory of Keeneland’s Fall Meet to give him a seven-win edge over Florent Geroux with three days remaining in the season that concludes Saturday.
With a third riding title practically in his grasp – previous titles came at the 2018 Fall Meet and 2020 Summer Meet – Gaffalione is looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Nov. 6-7.
“I ride six for Mark Casse, two for Mike Maker – although I am not sure which ones – and (one) for Doug O’Neill in the Juvenile (Hot Rod Charlie),” Gaffalione said, listing the trainers of horses under Breeders’ Cup consideration.
Among the Casse six-pack is Gary Barber’s Got Stormy, who Gaffalione rode to victory in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) here on Oct. 9. She is being pointed to the $1 million Turf Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 7.
Gaffalione, who has ridden in the past four Breeders’ Cups, is seeking his first victory in the World Championships. He was second in the Mile (G1) with Got Stormy at Santa Anita and with Chelsea Cloisters in the 2018 Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Gaffalione’s other probable mounts for Casse are War of Will (Dirt Mile), March to the Arch (Mile), Gretzky the Great (Juvenile Turf), Dirty Dangle (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Spanish Loveaffair (Juvenile Fillies Turf).
KEENELAND PART OF SATURDAY’S CROSS COUNTRY PICK 5 WAGER
On Saturday, closing day of Keeneland’s Fall Meet, the Cross Country Pick 5 wager will feature racing action from Keeneland and three other tracks in a wager hosted by the New York Racing Association.
The race order and approximate post times (ET) are as follows:
Leg 1 Keeneland race 7 (4:24 p.m.)
Leg 2 Woodbine race 7 (4:29 p.m.)
Leg 3 Belmont race 9 (4:31 p.m.): Iroquois
Leg 4 Belmont race 10 (5:05 p.m.): Empire Classic
Leg 5 Monmourh race 11 (5:12 p.m.): Pinot Grigio
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are available at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers.
The minimum wager for the Cross Country Pick 5 is 50 cents. Every week features a mandatory payout of the net pool.
FALL MEET LEADERS
Through Oct. 21 (14 days of 17-day season)
|Ricardo Santana Jr.||70||9||18||8||$706,195|
|M and M Racing (Mike Sisk)||6||4||1||0||$94,240|
|Godolphin (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al)||14||3||1||1||$452,390|
|Silverton Hill (Bonnie and Tommy Hamilton)||5||3||0||0||$104,993|