Casse, Leparoux team with maiden
Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Julien Leparoux got off to a hot start on Keeneland’s opening weekend, and their victories included stakes with 2-year-olds Heavenly Love and Flameaway. They’ll look to keep the momentum with the younger set when they team up with Discovered in Keeneland’s fifth race Thursday, a $65,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds going a mile on the turf.
The race, one of four for juveniles on the 10-race Thursday card, includes several youngsters who have been flattered by the competition in their initial outings, including Discovered. A John Oxley colorbearer, Discovered finished second in his debut to Catholic Boy, subsequent winner of the Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes. In his next outing, Discovered was sixth in an off-the-turf maiden race. He bounced back to finish third in a maiden race at Kentucky Downs behind Tigers Rule, who crossed the line second by a nose to Flameaway in the off-the-turf Bourbon Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland. Tigers Rule was demoted to third for interference in the Bourbon.
Royal Holiday, who starts for Wesley Ward, was second to Tap Daddy in a maiden race at Kentucky Downs. Tap Daddy crossed the line third, beaten two noses, in the Bourbon and was promoted to second after being bumped by Tigers Rule in the stretch.
Coming out of the same maiden race as Tap Daddy and Royal Holiday are thirdplace True Loyalty, who has landed on the also-eligible list for Thursday, and sixth-place Lion’s Share, who had trouble in the maiden race. An Animal Kingdom colt, Lion’s Share was a $550,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of 2-year-olds in training. He may appreciate stretching out from six furlongs to the mile for trainer Dale Romans.
Hallie’s Hero, trained by Ben Colebrook, was third on debut. Runner-up Souper Smart came back to win impressively at Churchill Downs.
◗ The ninth race is a $67,000 allowance for 2-year-old fillies that features Waki Patriot, multiple stakes-placed earlier this year for trainer John Hancock. The Beyer Speed Figure of 69 she earned running third in the Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park is the highest number in the field.
My Peeps has won two of her three starts, both by open lengths and for trainer Jack Van Berg.
Quick Quick Quick is coming off a maiden victory at Saratoga in which she bested Navajo with a 67 Beyer. Navajo subsequently came back to win at Belmont.
◗ The 3-year-old Singing Bullet, who finished third in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes over the summer at Saratoga, steps up to face older horses in Thursday’s eighth race, a $69,000 optional-claiming event. An Adena Springs homebred, Singing Bullet is trained by Romans, and is by Hard Spun and out of multiple Grade 1 winner Life At Ten.
Just Move On finished second to stakes winner Uncontested in an optional claimer at Churchill Downs last out, his first start in 10 months.
The field Thursday also includes Grade 1-placed Matrooh and graded stakesplaced Frammento.