A well-matched field of 3-year-old sprinters passed the entry box for Sunday's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. The seven-furlong race carries a purse of $100,000 added. Heading the cast is Fabien Ouaki and Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy.
A son of Mr. Greeley bred in Kentucky by James E. Jones, Whywhywhy returned to sprinting in the Swale Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park and checked in third behind runaway winner Midas Eyes and Posse, whom he'll meet in Lexington. A winner of three graded stakes last year, including the grade I Futurity, Whywhywhy tackled two turns in his sophomore debut, finishing fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at Gulfstream. Stable rider Tony Farina has the call on the Biancone-trained colt.
Lorraine and Rod Rodriguez's Bossanova breezed impressively Tuesday morning over the local surface for trainer Christopher Paasch and if he runs to that work, he is definitely the horse to beat. The son of Pine Bluff has tremendous speed and will have Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey in the saddle.
Bred in New York by Kent and Katy Wiechert , Bossanova broke his maiden in his second try on Dec. 22 at Hollywood Park, getting six furlongs in 1:09.32. In his only start since, he finished fifth in the San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita in early January.
Trainer Rafael Becerra is high on the chances of Roll Hennessy Roll in the Lafayette. The son of Hennessy was off poorly in the Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita but was flying at the finish behind Kentucky Derby hopeful Buddy Gil. The Baldwin has been his lone start at three. Becerra will give a leg-up to Shane Sellers on the multiplestakes winner, who has settled into Keeneland nicely and has looked strong in his morning gallops.
Roll Hennessy Roll, owned by Stan Fulton, was bred in Kentucky by Just the Beginning Farm. A winner of four of seven starts, he has earned $150,449, having won the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III), Ruidoso Thoroughbred Futurity, and Los Ninos Stakes last year at two.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse was a resounding winner in his 2003 debut at Fair Grounds after a successful season as a juvenile. He ran a nice second in the Swale at Gulfstream and should be set for a corker on Sunday. He calls the Steve Asmussen barn home and will be ridden by Corie Lanerie. By Silver Deputy, out of the Rahy mare Raska, Posse was bred by Robert E. and Lawana L. Low in Kentucky. He's earned $233,615 with a 3-2-1 slate from nine starts.
Overbrook Farm's Quick Draw is coming off a victory in the Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park on the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) undercard. He is very quick and might take the field all the way if Pat Day can get him to relax a bit early. The son of Tale of the Cat is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.
Lazy Lane Farms's Battle Won is lightly-raced but undefeated. Trainer Frankie Brothers has named regular rider Willie Martinez to pilot the son of Honor and Glory who is making his stakes debut.
Lafayette Stakes (gr. III), seven furlongs, 3-year-olds, $100,000
PP, Horse, Rider
1, Battle Won, Willie Martinez
2, Posse, Corie Lanerie
3, Whywhywhy, Tony Farina
4, Roll Hennessy Roll, Shane Sellers
5, Quick Draw, Pat Day
6, Bossanova, Jerry Bailey