Keeneland Racing

Keeneland Racing

Mathea Kelley

Juvenile Behavior: Welcome 2nd-Time Starters

Wesley Ward entry, including Bring the Heat filly, again looks formidable.

When Keeneland resumes its spring juvenile racing schedule Thursday, April 18 with a 4 1/2-furlong race for fillies, the field is scheduled to include two runners with previous starts.

Eleven fillies have been entered in Thursday's race, including Antonio Otero's Mad Princess, who finished fourth in a juvenile race for fillies on opening day April 5; and Tommy Short and William Simcoe's Deliver, who finished sixth in that same race. The previous three juvenile races this spring at Keeneland have been filled with first-time starters.

While that experience will help, trainer Wesley Ward again appears formidable with the entry of first-time starters Mary At the Cove and Bluesville.

Ward is the owner-breeder of Bluesville, by Bring the Heat. Ward trained stakes-placed Bring the Heat, who stood at Doug and Karen Arnold's Buck Pond Farm in Versailles, Ky. Bring the Heat died as a result of cancer in February of this year.

Ward has supported the stallion with many of his mares and Bring the Heat foals have proven precocious, including filly One Hot Wish, whose 2007 4 1/2-furlong track record of :48.87 at Keeneland still stands; and filly Billie Bob, who set a track record for the same distance (:52.29) in 2007 at Hollywood Park.

Ward trains Mary At the Cove for owner-breeder Brereton Jones. Mary At the Cove is by Brother Derek, by Benchmark, the 2006 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner who currently ranks 14th on the second-crop sire list. The first starter for Mary At the Cove, Holiday Lunch, by Harlan's Holiday, won his debut on the Polytrack at Arlington Park last year.

Another filly out of a mare boasting success with 2-year-olds is Lightning Appeal, who is out of the Skip Away mare Fly Away Angel. Both starters out of stakes-winning Fly Away Angel have won races in their juvenile seasons. A homebred for Bernard Schaeffer, Lightning Appeal will have to break from the outside post in the field of 11.

The picks: Bluesville, Lightning Angel, Mad Princess