Horses

The Day at the Races: Hall of Fame jockeys to be feted at Keeneland

Jockey Pat Day (right) talked to race-goers and other jockeys after surpassing Don Brumfield’s record of 716 wins at Keeneland, a record that Brumfield held since 1972. Day rode Unbridled Time to victory in the second race on April 19, 2000.
Jockey Pat Day (right) talked to race-goers and other jockeys after surpassing Don Brumfield’s record of 716 wins at Keeneland, a record that Brumfield held since 1972. Day rode Unbridled Time to victory in the second race on April 19, 2000. Lexington Herald-Leader

Wednesday’s figures: On-track attendance, 10,527; on-track betting, $640,217.50 ; total betting including simulcast, $4,997,835.88.

This day last year: On-track attendance, 8,459; on-track betting, $608,152; total betting including simulcast, $5,228,623.

Coming up: A nine-race card is on tap for Thursday. Multiple graded stakes winner Vyjack, 18th in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, is part of an overflow field of 11 entered for the day’s seventh race going 1 mile on the turf.

Final furlong

▪ Unbeaten juvenile champion Nyquist had another routine morning at Keeneland, combining a jog with a gallop over a fast main track before the renovation break. Owned by Reddam Racing, Nyquist walked alongside a pony as they backtracked to the eighth pole, where they broke off in a jog to the seven-eighths pole. After standing about a minute, Nyquist broke off and galloped a little more than a mile under regular morning partner Jonny Garcia. “We go by what Jonny says, and he said Nyquist felt really good this morning,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “Jonny is very happy with him.”

▪ The 6-year-old mare Fancy Hat became the first racing fatality of the 2016 Keeneland Spring Meet when she broke down on the far turn of the day’s eighth and final race Wednesday. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who was aboard the daughter of Eddington, walked to First Aid under his own power and said Fancy Hat had suffered a fatal fracture. “Just an unfortunate accident,” Hernandez said. Owned by Stonelea Stable and trained by Thomas Drury Jr., Fancy Hat had won four of her 15 previous starts. The chestnut mare went off as the 8-5 favorite in the 1 1/16 -mile race on the main track. 

▪ On Friday, Keeneland will honor one of the largest contingents of Racing Hall of Fame jockeys ever assembled. Fans are invited to help celebrate these riding legends during a day filled with recognition, highlighted by an autograph signing from 2-3 p.m. on the North Terrace. Among the jockeys scheduled to appear are Keeneland’s all-time leading rider, Pat Day; 1978 Triple Crown winner Steve Cauthen; Don Brumfield, who holds 16 Keeneland riding titles and won the 1966 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Kauai King; three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens (Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, Silver Charm in 1997); three-time Derby winner and recently retired Calvin Borel (Street Sense in 2007, Mine That Bird in 2009, Super Saver in 2010); two-time Derby winner Chris McCarron, (Go For Gin in 1994, Alysheba in 1987); two-time Derby winner Jacinto Vasquez (Foolish Pleasure in 1975, Genuine Risk in 1980); Laffit Pincay Jr., who rode Derby winner Swale in 1984; and Randy Romero, one of only three jockeys to win six races in one day at Keeneland. Riders will talk about their accomplished careers during a Q&A session in the Keeneland Walking Ring that begins at 12:05 p.m.

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