A week before the opening of Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet, fields are beginning to take shape for the April 8-10 weekend that will feature 10 stakes worth $4.55 million.
According to Stakes Coordinator Baley Hare, eight colts are considered probable entrants for the 98th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on April 9 and six fillies are considered likely starters in the 85thrunning of the $600,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) on opening day.
Topping the list of Toyota Blue Grass probable entrants is Lucky Seven Stable’s Smile Happy, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in November and runner-up in the Risen Star (G2) Presented by Lamarque Ford at Fair Grounds in his lone 2022 start.
Repole Stables, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest, winner of the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct last fall and the Suncoast (L) at Tampa Bay Downs to open 2022, tops the list of Central Bank Ashland probable entrants.
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April 8 races. Entries taken Tuesday.
$600,000 CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND (G1) – Awake At Midnyte (trainer Doug O’Neill), Cocktail Moments (Kenny McPeek), Happy Soul (Wesley Ward), Interstatedaydream (Brad Cox), Miss Mattie B (Bob Hess Jr.), Nest (Todd Pletcher).
$400,000 KENTUCKY UTILITIES TRANSYLVANIA (G3) – Coinage (Mark Casse), Credibility (Casse). Possible: Freedom’s Way (Eddie Kenneally), Red Danger (Brian Lynch).
$400,000 LAFAYETTE – Home Brew (Brad Cox), Ignitis (D. Wayne Lukas), Surfer Dude (Dallas Stewart), Tejano Twist (Bret Calhoun), Unified Report (Stewart). Possible: My Prankster (Todd Pletcher).
April 9 races. Entries taken Wednesday.
$1 MILLION TOYOTA BLUE GRASS (G1) – Emmanuel (Todd Pletcher), Ethereal Road (D. Wayne Lukas), Fenwick (David Fisher), Golden Glider (Mark Casse), Grantham (Mike Maker), Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek), Volcanic (Casse), Zandon (Chad Brown). Possible: Blackadder (Rodolphe Brisset).
$500,000 MADISON (G1) – Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin), Center Aisle (Paulo Lobo), Cilla (Brett Brinkman), Club Car (Ben Colebrook), Just One Time (Brad Cox), Kimari (Wesley Ward), Lady Rocket (Cox).
$400,000 APPALACHIAN (G2) PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION – Ouraika (FR) (Graham Motion), Spendarella (Motion), Trobairitz (Neil Pessin).
$350,000 SHAKERTOWN (G2) – Barraza (Vladimir Cerin), Beer Can Man (Phil D’Amato), Chess Master (Kerri Ravin), Filo Di Arianna (BRZ) (Mark Casse), Gear Jockey (Rusty Arnold), Just Might (Michelle Lovell), Natural Power (IRE) (Jeff Hiles).
$300,000 COMMONWEALTH (G3) – Long Range Toddy (Dallas Stewart), O Besos (Greg Foley). Possible:Aloha West (Wayne Catalano).
April 10 races. Entries taken Thursday.
$400,000 BEAUMONT (G3) PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT – Matareya (Brad Cox).
$200,000 PALISADES (L) – Circle Back Jack (Sarah Hamilton).