America caught just one flash of the talent Qatar Racing's Peace and War displayed last year, when the War Front filly came to Keeneland with a tremendous rally to upset the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at odds of 23-1.
But after missing the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with a slight tear of the tiny XYZ ligament at the base of her fetlock, Peace and War is back at the Lexington oval with an eye on the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 4—a race that could send her forward to the May 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
The Olly Stevens trainee cleared quarantine March 31 to begin her stateside preparations for the Ashland, an event worth 100 points to the winner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
With regular exercise rider Tegan Clark up, Peace and War jogged one circuit of the five-eighths mile training track and walked through the paddock and saddling ring before jogging nearly three-quarters of a mile on the main track.
Stevens liked what he saw from the filly, who arrived here from Europe the morning of March 29.
"She is better mentally now than she was last year," Stevens said. "I want to give her a couple of easy days and let her go an eighth of a mile Thursday after the break."
Stevens said the filly worked at home last Thursday, March 26, jogged on a treadmill Friday, and galloped on the treadmill Saturday before shipping to the U.S. She departs post 3 in a field of seven for the 1 1/16-mile Ashland, and will have Julien Leparoux in the irons at 3-1 on the morning line.
Lovely Maria could be one on the improve for Brereton C. Jones and trainer Larry Jones. The Majesticperfection filly took a Jan. 26 allowance event wire-to-wire at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots before running second there to eventual Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) victress I'm a Chatterbox in the Feb. 21 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III). Rider Kerwin Clark lost the whip aboard Lovely Maria and the two were outfinished by I'm a Chatterbox, who drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
Clark will ride Lovely Maria, 7-2, once again from Post 6.
Angela Renee, a Siena Farms homebred trained by Todd Pletcher, took the Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) last September at Santa Anita Park but finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1. Wheeled back to the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack, she finished third, but her season debut did not go so well as she wound up racing wide throughout to finish fourth in the Rachel Alexandra.
The daughter of Bernardini will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from Post 4.
West Coast Belle also ran less-than-ideally in the Rachel Alexandra, finishing sixth after a wide trip of her own. Trainer Wayne Catalano is still loooking to get a victory for Gary and Mary West's homebred Tapit filly in what will be the third outing of her 3-year-old year. Undefeated in three starts as a juvenile, she came back from taking the Nov. 29 Golden Rod (gr. II) at Churchill Downs to finish fourth in the Jan. 17 Silverbulletday Stakes after getting bumped at the break.
Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on West Coast Belle from the outside.
Mark Stanley's Temper Mint Patty won against her own New York-bred company by 13 1/2 lengths when she took the seven-furlong Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park straight off her maiden win at first asking for trainer Dale Romans. The daughter of Congrats was third in the Feb. 28 Herecomesthebride Stakes last time out at Gulfstream Park with no rally, and will attempt to do better here at odds of 12-1) from Post 2 with Corey Lanerie.
The Horse Racing Radio Network's live broadcast from Keeneland will include the Blue Grass, Ashland, and Madison Stakes, as well as coverage of the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial from Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park. Coverage will air from 4-7 p.m. EDT on Sirius 93 and XM 208 as well as locally in the Lexington market on HANK 96.1 FM, with live streaming of all HRRN broadcasts provided on the networks website, www.horseracingradio.net. Streaming can also be accessed on mobile phones and tablets by clicking the "Listen Live" button on the HRRN home page.
Olly Stevens discusses Peace and War: Keeneland, Saturday, April 04, 2015, Race 9
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Lassofthemohicans (KY) Paco Lopez 121 Brendan P. Walsh - 2 2Temper Mint Patty (NY) Corey J. Lanerie 121 Dale L. Romans - 3 3Peace and War (FL) Julien R. Leparoux 121 Olly Stevens - 4 4Angela Renee (KY) John R. Velazquez 121 Todd A. Pletcher - 5 5Silverpocketsfull (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 121 Ian R. Wilkes - 6 6Lovely Maria (KY) Kerwin D. Clark 121 J. Larry Jones - 7 7West Coast Belle (KY) Shaun Bridgmohan 121 Wayne M. Catalano -
Keeneland, Saturday, April 04, 2015, Race 9