Keeneland Barn Notes: Smooth Like Strait is the lead singer of Maker’s Mark Mile


(Smooth Like Strait / Coady Photography)

From the Keeneland Media Team:


Thoroughbred Cannon’ Smooth as the straitvice-champion of the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) 2021 Presented by PDJF, headlines a field of 11 horses entered on Sunday for Friday’s 34and $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) race for kids 4 and up to run on the grass course.

The Maker’s Mark Mile will be the ninth race in Friday’s 10-race schedule with a start time of 5:16 p.m. ET. The first message is at 1 p.m.

Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait will make its 2022 Maker’s Mark Mile debut and will have regular driver Umberto Rispoli on board when it leaves sixth. Earning more than $1.4 million, Smooth Like Strait compiled a 7-1-5-1 record in 2021 with its losses less than half a length. His victory came in the Shoemaker Mile (G1).

Smooth Like Strait isn’t the only Grade 1 winner in the field.

Coach Paulo Lobo will send the winners of the Keeneland stakes for Bonne Chance Farm and Stud RDI: Lovers (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 on board 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 Re-count, who is coming off a victory in the Frank Kilroe Mile in March at Santa Anita for trainer Phil D’Amato. Joel Rosario has the post seven mount.

The field for the Maker’s Mark Mile, with runners and weights from the rail, is: In Love (BRZ) (Achard, 123 lbs.),Shirl’s Speight (Luis Saez, 123), Expiate (Tyler Gaffalione, 123), Masen (UK) (Flavien Prat, 123), Ivar (BRZ) (Talamo, 123), Smooth Like Strait (Rispoli, 123), Count Again (Rosario, 123), Somelikeithotbrown (Jose Ortiz, 123), Stopped piece (Go) (Florent Geroux, 123), Mission Mira (Julien Leparoux, 123) and Public sector (UK) (Irad Ortiz Jr., 123).


by Gregory Kaufman Kaufymaker and Waterville Lake Stable Derrynanewho finished a head behind running third and fourth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) respectively, headline a field of 10 3-year-old fillies entered on Sunday for Friday’s third TVG race Limestone at $200,000 ( L) travel 5 and a half furlongs on the grass.

TVG Limestone will be the seventh race in Friday’s 10-race schedule with a start time of 4:12 p.m. ET. The first message is at 1 p.m.

Scratched from the stockades (L) on Sunday afternoon for this spot, Kaufymaker will debut in 2022. Coached by Wesley Ward, she will reunite with Jose Ortiz, who was aboard the Breeders’ Cup in Del Mar. Kaufymaker will leave the post three .

Derrynane, winner of two of four starts, including the Woodbine Cares Stakes (L), will also make her 2022 debut. Trained by Christophe Clément, Derrynane will have regular rider Joel Rosario on board and start from position six.

The field for the TVG Limestone, with riders and weights from the rail, is: Thunder Love (GB) (Joe Talamo, 118 pounds), His world (IRE) (Irad Ortiz Jr., 120), Kaufymaker (Jose Ortiz, 118), Ruthin (GB) (Jean Velazquez, 118), Sin city gal (Reylu Gutierrez, 118), Derrynane (Rosario, 120), I lost my sock (Colby Hernandez, 118), Marie unbridled (Joe Bravo, 118), quick corey (Florent Géroux, 118) and Gunboat (Luis Saez, 118).


It was all smiles Sunday morning in trainer Chad Brown’s barn after Jeff Drown’s 2½ length win. Zandon in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1), which secured a spot in the starting grid of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) presented by Woodford Reserve on May 7.

“Things are good with him this morning,” said Baldo Hernandez, who oversees Brown’s Keeneland channel. “He ate it all last night.”

Brown had indicated after the race that Zandon would stay at Keeneland for the time being before going to Churchill Downs “maybe a few weeks before the Derby”.

Another horse that could go to Churchill with Zandon is Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Robert LaPenta’s Dolce Zel (FR)who finished second in Appalachia (G2) presented by Japan Racing Association.

If she were to go to Louisville, Dolce Zel could point to the May 6, $500,000 Edgewood (G2) presented by Forcht Bank to run 1 1/16 miles on turf.

“She came back fine,” Hernandez said. “She was a good filly (Spendarelle) who beat her.


Just once and Bell is the only onethe 1-2 finishers of Madison (G1) on Saturday, could find themselves four weeks from now in the $750,000 City Distaff (G1) Derby presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery at Churchill Downs on May 7.

“She came out of the race in good shape,” trainer Brad Cox said of Just One Time, who races for Warriors Reward and Commonwealth New Era Racing. “It was a tough race, and the race at Churchill is a possibility. We’ll take her back to Churchill in the next few days and let her tell us.

Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One, who finished three-quarters a length behind Just One Time in their first race in five months, will have the chance to go for a second victory in the Derby City Distaff.

“That’s always the plan,” coach Neil Pessin said.


The next morning golden friendThe dominating performance of to win the $350,000 Shakertown (G2) on his 2022 debut, coach Wesley Ward reflected on the status of Uncle Mo’s 4-year-old son:

“Ready to go to England.”

Golden Pal, who resides in a renovated tobacco barn on Ward’s Farm next to Keeneland, is due to make his next start in the King’s Stand (G1) on June 14 on the first day of the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting. He first raced at Royal Ascot two years ago, finishing second by a neck to the Shakertown foe The Lir Jet (ANGER) in Norfolk (G2).

“We’ll probably give him three weeks of galloping and jogging and resuming his work schedule,” Ward said of the Golden Pal preparations.

Shakertown marked Golden Pal’s first start since November, when he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in Del Mar for the second Breeders’ Cup victory of his career. The 3-5 favorite in the race, he and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. took the lead as they exited the starting grid and took a 4¾ length win.

Ward said he “was ready for this, to be completely honest.”

“In the work I’ve seen this year with him, he’s shown more strength – just like a kid going from college athlete to pro,” he continued. “He got stronger. He grew up. He’s really muscular. I expected a big effort as we have seen.

Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg, Golden Pal had six wins – all stakes – in nine starts and earned $1,473,431.

The Keeneland sales graduate, who was bred in Florida by Randall E. Lowe, has won three stakes here: 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), 2021 Woodford (G2) Presented by TVG and Shakertown.


Godolphin’s Breeding Prevalence picked up the first win of his career with a 2¼ length win in Saturday’s Commonwealth (G3), one of three wins on the day for coach Brendan Walsh.

“He didn’t do anything wrong yesterday,” Walsh said, relishing his second three-game win on Saturday in as many weeks.

Next for the 4-year prevalence could be the $750,000 Churchill Downs (G1) as part of the May 7 Kentucky Derby Day program in Louisville.

“That would be the natural next step,” Walsh said.

The first part of Walsh’s three-game winning streak came from Prevalence’s 3-year-old half-brother, Emirates Roadwho won Saturday’s second race for Godolphin.

“We will be looking for a compensation race with him,” Walsh said of Emirates Road, who was making his second career start. “He’s a late developer and he surprised me a bit yesterday because I thought he might need a fresh start. It’s good when they do that.

Walsh’s barn also includes a sibling of another accomplished racer he coached. She is Lovethe 3-year-old half-sister of the 1st year winner Maxfield – winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) here.

“They have similar mannerisms,” he said. “It’s the same with Emirates Road and Prevalence. They don’t really look the same but they act the same. Some horses seem to take a bit longer to prepare for the race, so it’s nice to watch in back and see what their older siblings were like. It’s nice to have that continuity.


Alice Clapham, assistant to trainer Graham Motion, said Gainesway Stable’s Spendarelle emerged from its 1¾-length victory in Saturday’s Appalachia (G2) presented by the Japan Racing Association in good order and would have returned to Motion’s home base at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland this week.

Spendarella completed a 3-year-old turf stakes sweep for Motion. On Friday, the head of Plains Partners’ Sy dog won Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3). Both Motion riders are unbeaten in three starts and both could be headed to races at Royal Ascot in England in June. …

Coach Brad Cox said Peachtree Stable Port Tawnyrunner-up Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park on April 2, is under consideration for Saturday’s $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3).

“He’s nominated and the race is on the line,” Cox said. “It’s totally on the table.”

The Stonestreet Lexington is the final points race to the Kentucky Derby with 34 points available on a 20-8-4-2 scale for first through fourth place finishers. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners who pass the entry box and Tawny Port has accrued 40 points, a total which is good for 20and on the ranking.


According to Keeneland Stakes coordinator Baley Hare, here are the potential fields for the April 16 stakes:

April 16 races. Registrations taken on Wednesday.

$500,000 JENNY WILEY (G1) – Leak (Eddie Kenneally), Navratilova (Rusty Arnold) Royal Glory (Chad Brown), Shantisara (IRE) (Brown), Waliyak (FR) (Edward Vaughan). Possible: Alms (Mike Stidham).

$400,000 STONESTREET LEXINGTON (G3) – Due Weather (Kelly Breen), Major General (Todd Plecher) midnight chrome (Jean Servis), Strava (Dallas Stewart). Possible: call me midnight (Keith Desormeaux) fast attack(Kenny McPeek) The captain too (John Ortiz). Possible: goodbye bobby (Todd Fincher) Port Tawny (Brad Cox).

$200,000 GIANT’S CAUSEWAY (L) – AG Indy (Todd Plecher) Luna Ambassador (Ben Colebrook) Campanelle(ANGER) (Wesley Ward) Caravel (Brad Cox), Switch of Control (Michelle Lovell), She Z (Chris Hartman) title hunter (José d’Angelo) Listen to my prayer (Vladimir Cerin), Jouster (Pletcher), social chatter (Vicki Oliver) Violence(Ian Wilkes).


Comments are closed.