The Day at the Races: Leparoux off to fast start at Keeneland

awincze@herald-leader.comApril 4, 2014 

University of Louisville students Katie Kestley, Hannah Harris and Sadie Phillips studied a program Friday at the paddock. They were among an opening-day Keeneland crowd of 15,169.

PABLO ALCALA — Lexington Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Friday's figures: On-track attendance, 15,169; on-track betting, $1,205,413.40; total betting including simulcast, $8,258,189.22.

This day last year: On-track attendance, 22,921; on-track betting, $1,343,952; total betting including simulcast, $9,398,399.

Coming up: Saturday's Grade I Central Bank Ashland Stakes features a field of 13 including multiple graded stakes winner Testa Rossi. Testa Rossi will be trying the synthetic surface for the first time while Ken McPeek-trainee Rosalind was second in the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland in October.

Final furlong

■ Jockey Julien Leparoux got off to a fast start, winning three races on Friday's opening-day card including two for trainer Ken McPeek.

■ Stewart Elliott, who guided champion Smarty Jones to victory in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, notched his first-ever win at Keeneland when he won Race 7 aboard graded stakes winner Sisterly Love.

■ Saturday's fifth race, a 11⁄8-mile allowance test on the turf, features a stakes-quality field with Grade I winners Up With the Birds, Boisterous and Forte Dei Marmi in the field of seven.

■ John Oxley's Coastline put in his final major work for next Saturday's $750,000 Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes by working 5 furlongs in company in 1:00.40. With jockey Stewart Elliott aboard, the gray Speightstown colt posted fractions of :12.40, :23.80 and :35.20 while racing on even terms with Noble Bird, a 3-year-old maiden.

ALICIA WINCZE HUGHES

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