Julien Leparoux, who rode previously winless Irap to victory in Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, picked up right where he left off when racing resumed in Lexington on Wednesday.
Leparoux rode winners in the second (Bottle Walk), fourth (Secede) and eighth (Doll Face) races Wednesday to increase his Spring Meet-leading victory total to seven. He also won three races Saturday.
Leparoux, who won the jockey title at last year’s Fall Meet, has at least three mounts Thursday, including 4-1 co-second choice Dream Dancing in the $125,000, Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes.
▪ Susan and Jim Hill’s Gio’s Calling surged past favored Alasaal in deep stretch to win the featured $72,000 Haphazard Purse for 4-year-olds and up by three-quarters of a length before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 9,437.
Trained by Brian Lynch and ridden by Luis Saez, Gio’s Calling returned $23.60, $9.60 and $5.
Strong field for Jenny Wiley
Lady Eli will make her 2017 debut Saturday when she headlines a field of eight fillies and mares entered Wednesday for the $350,000, Grade 1 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes.
Trained by Chad Brown, the 5-year-old Lady Eli will be making her first start since a nose defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last November. Lady Eli has won seven of her nine career races, including three Grade 1 wins.
Lady Eli will battle three other Grade 1 winners in Catch a Glimpse, Time and Motion and Illuminant.
Catch a Glimpse won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland and during one stretch in 2015-16 put together seven graded stakes victories, is winless in her last four outings.
Bonuses for buyers, sellers
Keeneland bills its September Yearling Sale as “the world’s most important Thoroughbred sale,” and to bolster that claim Wednesday, it announced it will begin awarding bonuses to sellers and owners of its prime “Book 1” sale yearlings who go on to win Grade 1 stakes races during their 2- and 3-year-old campaigns.
“The Book 1 Bonus was created to reward sellers and owners from the sales ring to the winner’s circle,” Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason said.
Keeneland is committing $750,000 to the new rewards pool for 2017.