Kirkendahl in 'Rafael Spotlight for Singer Keith
Date Posted: 1/12/2005 5:51:53 PM
Last Updated: 1/15/2005 2:22:13 PM

If Kirkendahl wins Saturday's $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park, it will be music to the ears of the colt's owner, country singing star Toby Keith.

Keith's Dream Walkin Farms Inc. races the son of Menifee. Keith also bred Kirekendahl.

"He's (Keith) the No. 1 country and western singer in the country, I think," said Ted West, father of trainer Ted H. West, who trains the undefeated Kentucky-bred bay colt.

Kirkendahl won his only two races, both sprints, at Hollywood Park late last year. The San Rafael is at a mile, but West doesn't see that as a problem.

"Conformation-wise, he looks like a route horse and he's bred to be a route horse, so we'll see what happens on Saturday," West said. "We missed a little training because of the weather but not a lot, and everybody else missed as much training as we did so we're all going in even."

Spanish Chestnut, impressive three-length winner at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 27, is doing well despite the recent rains. "He's coming up to the race good," trainer Patrick Biancone said of the Florida-bred colt. "We missed some time because of the weather, but it shouldn't matter much because he ran 19 days ago."

Probables for the San Rafael are: Chips Are Down, Rene Douglas; Dover Dere, Jon Court; Iced Out, Tyler Baze; Going Wild, no rider; Kirkendahl, Kent Desormeaux; and Spanish Chestnut, Gary Stevens.


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