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After being eased during his seasonal debut in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park, Protonico bounced back with an easy victory in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, April 11 at Keeneland.
Protonico, winner of the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) and runner-up in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) to close 2014, will carry top weight of 120 pounds in a field of six entered for the April 11 Ben Ali (gr. III) at Keeneland.
4-year-old earned his first graded win with an impressive victory in the Ben Ali. More
Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' Frac Daddy returned to Keeneland and returned to winning ways April 19, taking the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at the Lexington oval.
Successful Dan, coming back off a layoff of nearly 10 months, dictated an easy pace and held off the pursuing Boisterous in the final furlong to post a one-length victory in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) April 21 at Keeneland.
There was a time when "the other Dan" was Wise Dan, who went on to become Horse of the Year. On April 21 fans will witness the return of the original, Successful Dan, in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland.
Morton Fink's reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan muscled his way through five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 flat April 4 at Keeneland, setting himself up perfectly for a 2013 debut in the April 12 Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT).
Wise Dan, Morton Fink's 2012 Horse of the Year, turned in his second work of the season at Keeneland March 2, a four-furlong move in :49 1/5. Stablemates Turallure and Successful Dan are also training well.
The 31st running of the 1 1/8-mile event sets up as a faceoff between two of the country's top older horses--Pin Oak Stable's Alternation and Morton Fink's Wise Dan.
Wise Dan, a grade I winner in his final start of 2011, picked up right where he left off in his first race of the year, romping by 10 1/2 lengths while setting a Keeneland Polytrack record in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes.
Wise Dan, a four-time stakes winner last season, will begin his 2012 campaign in the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 22 at Keeneland.
Wertheimer and Frere's Kentucky homebred Exhi had no problem returning from his six-month layoff, as he took a short field wire-to-wire in the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 23 for his second graded stakes win at Keeneland.
Despite making his season debut, multiple stakes winner Exhi figures to be well-backed in a short field entered for the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 23 at Keeneland.
Favored Dubious Miss, icily ridden by Calvin Borel, led nearly all the way to register his third consecutive win over Keeneland's Polytrack in the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) April 18.
Just as Well, the lone grade I winner in a field of eight older horses going 1 1/8 miles on the Keeneland Polytrack, has been assigned top weight of 123 pounds for the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 18.
Grade II winner Parading has been retired from racing and will join his sire, successful stallion Pulpit, at stud in 2010 at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.
Stuck wide on the backstretch of the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III), jockey Kent Desormeaux took a chance when he encouraged Parading to take control over his pace rivals heading into the final turn. The decision paid off when Parading ran away in upper stretch on the way to his first graded stakes victory April 19 at wet and windy Keeneland.
Seven runners have entered the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, but on paper the race comes down to a battle between three starters. Peter Vegso's Go Between, Turtle Bird Stable's Sir Whimsey, and Knob Hill Stable's Leonnatus Anteas head up the 1 1/8-mile event over the main track April 20.
William Farish picked up his third straight win the in $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) when Alumni Hall held off favored Pies Prospect in the stretch on a gloomy, damp afternoon at Keeneland.
Breeder/owner William S. Farish will be seeking his third-straight win in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) Thursday at Keeneland Race Course with his 4-year-old colt Alumni Hall.
Multiple grade I winner and earner of more than $2-million, Evening Attire will be looking for his first win of the year when he headlines a talented field of seven in Thursday's $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III), going 1 1/8-miles at Keeneland.
On Thursday Midway Road is scheduled to make his first start since June. His trainer Neil Howard is also looking ahead to the next starts for Breakaway, Gradepoint, and Shadow Cast.
Michael Tabor's Duckhorn proved to be in his element on the wet track at Keeneland Sunday, taking the $103,984 Ben Ali Stakes by seven lengths over New Orleans Handicap winner Parade Leader.
Broken Vow beat Perfect Cat by 4 3/4 lengths Friday in the $106,800 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) as Keeneland wrapped up its spring meeting.
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