William S. Farish Jr.'s Pool Play will try to add a graded stakes victory on turf to a career resume that includes graded stakes scores on dirt and synthetic surfaces in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. II) Friday, April 25 at Keeneland.
In the 2011 edition of the traditional spring meet closing day feature race at Keeneland, Pool Play finished second to Musketier in the 1 1/2-mile turf test for older horses. After that effort, Pool Play secured the biggest win of his career when the 8-year-old Silver Deputy horse upset that year's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) field at Churchill Downs.
MOST WINS BY A HORSE: African Dancer 2, Kim Loves Bucky 2, Musketier (GER) 2.
MOST WINS BY A JOCKEY: Jerry Bailey 5. Active – John Velazquez 3.
MOST WINS BY A TRAINER: Roger Attfield 4.
BIGGEST LONGSHOT WINNER: Pellegrino (BRZ) (2006), paid $50.20 to win.
FASTEST TIME: African Dancer (1999) 2:27.84.
FACTOIDS: John Velazquez became just the second jockey to win this race three straight years last year aboard Point of Entry. Jerry Bailey won three in a row from 1998 to 2000.
Compiled by Gary Dougherty
Pool Play enters this year's Elkhorn off a sixth-place finish in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park, where he opened the season with a runner-up finish to Csaba in the Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III).
The field of 11 features several veteran Thoroughbreds capable of handling the distance, including Soribel Stable's Al Qasr, by Aptitude, who secured a group I victory last year in Argentina at about 1 1/2 miles on the turf and earned Horse of the Year honors in Peru.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will send out Phipps Stable homebred Reflecting after the 4-year-old Elusive Quality colt posted a two-length win at 1 1/2 miles on the Keeneland turf in an April 11 allowance race.
$150,000 Elkhorn (gr. II, race 9, approximate post time 5:13 p.m.) 4YO&Up, 1 1/2 miles, turf
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Sky Blazer (KY), R. Napravnik, 118, B. Tagg
2. Al Qasr (KY), E. Prado, 118, J. Garoffalo
3. Side Road (KY), G. Stevens, 118, K. McLaughlin
4. Helicopter (FL), A. Cox, 123, W. Rice
5. Reflecting (KY), R. Albarado, 118, C. McGaughey
6. Dark Cove (KY), J. Rosario, 118, M. Maker
7. Macho Bull (KY), B. Hernandez, 118, G. Dorochenko
8. Ioya Bigtime (IL), J. Sanchez, 118, C. Block
9. Pool Play (ON), M. Mena, 118, M. Casse
10. Forte Dei Marmi (GB), J. Leparoux, 118, R. Attfield
11. Al Khali (KY), G. Gomez, 118, W. Mott