Sports

Keeneland's Day at the Races: Breeders' Cup contenders lighting it up

The Day at the Races

Wednesday's figures: On-track attendance, 9,561; on-track betting, $547,957.60; total betting including simulcast, $4,191,352.22.

This day last year: On-track attendance, 8,754; on-track betting, $607,170; total betting including simulcast, $4,494,699.

Coming up: There are no stakes races on Thursday's nine-race card. Stakes winners Irish You Well and Stephanoatsee face off in the day's third race going 11⁄16 miles on the main track.

Final furlong

■ With his ample team and a posse of admirers following, Grade I winner Runhappy became the talk of nearly everyone when he breezed 6 furlongs in 1:09.80. The move came after the 3-year-old Super Saver colt and leading candidate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 31, was vanned to Keeneland from The Thoroughbred Center where he is stabled with trainer Maria Borell.

Clockers caught Runhappy in fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :34.60, :46.40, :58, 1:09.80 and out in 1:23 and 1:36.80.

"It was pretty explosive at the beginning," Borell said. "I was like, 'Easy boy.' He definitely really wanted to go in the beginning. I had guessed he was going to do 1:10. That's just how this horse is. Omar was asking him to slow down."

Runhappy has won his past four races, including the Grade I King's Bishop at Saratoga and the Grade III Phoenix at Keeneland.

"He came out of the Phoenix really excellent; we couldn't ask him to be training any better," Borell said. "He's training better for this race than he was before the King's Bishop and the Phoenix, so he's really coming into himself."

■ Fioretti, winner of the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America on Oct. 3 at Keeneland, worked 5 furlongs Wednesday at The Thoroughbred Center. "It was an awesome work," said jockey Sophie Doyle, who notched her first career graded stakes victory in the TCA. "She worked in company and (trainer) Anthony (Hamilton) got her in 1:02 and 2. I was confident before her last race and I am more confident now."

Hamilton said the work was similar to the one prior to the TCA in which Fioretti earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Oct. 31.

■ Corey Lanerie bagged three winners on Wednesday's card, including the featured $58,000 Elm Tree Purse aboard Wayne Catalano-trainee Vigilante, to take an 18-16 lead over Julien Leparoux in the race for meet-leading jockey. Lanerie is seeking his first Keeneland meet title.

ALICIA WINCZE HUGHES

  Comments