A full gate of 14 runners is looking like a strong possibility for the 90th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) Saturday, April 12, the centerpiece of the 15-day Keeneland spring meet that opens Friday, April 4.
According to racing secretary Ben Huffman and stakes coordinator Scott Jones, 13 horses are considered as probable and another three are possible for the 1 1/8-mile test that offers 170 points toward the 140th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with 100 points, and a guaranteed spot in the starting gate, going to the winner.
The Blue Grass is limited to 14 starters. If more than 14 are entered April 9, preference will be given to graded stakes winners and then highest earnings. Only three editions of the Blue Grass have attracted 14-horse fields: 1954, 1974, and 2013.
Heading the list of probables is Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Bobby's Kitten. Trained by Chad Brown, Bobby's Kitten won the Pilgrim (gr. IIIT) last fall at Belmont Park and finished third as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. Bobby's Kitten won his 2014 debut March 9 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Also on the probable list are the top two finishers from the Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, Gala Award and Mr Speaker, and the 2-3-4-5 finishers from the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral (gr. III), Harry's Holiday, Coastline, Asserting Bear, and Big Bazinga.
Expected to venture to Keeneland from California is Dance With Fate, runner-up in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields in his most recent start. Trained by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate finished second in the FrontRunner (gr. I) and Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) as a 2-year-old.
Other probables for the race, which last year saw Java's War edge eventual Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Palace Malice, are Divine Oath, Extrasexyhippzster, Pablo Del Monte, Vinceremos and Woodfield Springs. Possible entrants include Cleburne, Danza, and Ring Weekend.