Keeneland

There’s a hot jockey at Keeneland and he’s burning up the big-money races

A must-see last-to-first finish in Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland

Delta Prince, with Javier Castellano aboard, waited, waited and waited some more before finally engaging in the stretch and roaring past the entire field to win the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland on Friday, April 12, 2019.
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Delta Prince, with Javier Castellano aboard, waited, waited and waited some more before finally engaging in the stretch and roaring past the entire field to win the $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Jockey Javier Castellano has proven he’s as good a bet as any, so far, this Keeneland Spring Meet, especially with a stakes race on the line.

But in the featured ninth race Friday, you might not have thought it till the end.

Castellano, the meet’s leading jockey with five stakes wins and 13 wins overall in 24 starts, guided Delta Prince from dead last to first in the stretch run to win the 31st running of the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile on the turf.

““I tried to take my time and let the race develop,” Castellano said, perhaps understating after not making his move until Delta Prince was well out of the final turn.

Former players with the Kentucky Men's basketball team signed Maker's Mark 2012 championship bottles at Keeneland Friday (April 12, 2019.)

Castellano asked and Delta Prince answered with a burst as they swung to the middle lane, making up 7 lengths and then some to hit the wire a length and an half in front of the seven-horse field.

“He’s grown up and matured into a really nice horse,” trainer Jimmy Jerkens said of his horse, who went off as the 8-5 favorite. “When (Castellano) swung him out, he looked like he was starting to kick in. But I was really nervous down the backside. It looked like the leaders were really rolling. ... I know this stretch is pretty long. If (Javier) swung him and he kicked in right away, I thought he might have a chance. And he did.”

It was the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred’s first Grade 1 stakes win and first win since his only other graded stakes victory, the King Edward at Woodbine last June.

Clyde’s Image, a 46-1 shot finished second making for a payout of $20.60 on a $2 place bet, a $675 exacta and a $1,302.40 trifecta. Third choice Qurbaan finished third.

Castellano was aboard Vekoma for last Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. He also has the Transylvania and the Madison to his credit this spring with more than $1.6 million in prize money.

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Javier Castellano rode Delta Prince to victory in the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland on Friday. Keeneland photo

Bill Murray, Part II

Bill Murray, the legendary comic actor who popped up in downtown Lexington on Thursday night, made an appearance at Keeneland on Friday, as well.

Murray presented the trophy for the seventh race, which included a pair of julep cups. “Anybody have any bourbon?” Murray asked.

Murray breezed through the press box on his way to and from the announcer’s booth where he signed its guest book.

And he appeared outside the paddock with his son Luke and family. Luke Murray is a Louisville men’s basketball assistant coach.

Last shot at Derby

Saturday’s $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (Grade 3) offers a last-gasp chance to earn entry into next month’s Kentucky Derby and two entries have legitimate shots to win their way in.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux will be looking for back-to-back Stonestreet Lexington wins with Sueno, who has 28 Road to the Kentucky Derby points and needs the 20 the Lexington offers to the winner to secure Desormeaux’s fourth straight Derby appearance.

Last year, Desormeaux’s My Boy Jack came from way off the pace to capture the Lexington and finished fifth in the Run for the Roses.

Trainer Blaine Wright’s Anothertwistafate will also be vying for a Derby spot, but also needs all 20 points for the winner.

Record try

Keeneland also has the $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (Grade 1) for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up Saturday. The Chad Brown-trained Rushing Fall will be going for a record-tying fourth graded stakes win at Keeneland to match Wise Dan and Take Charge Lady.

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