Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

Large Field Expected for Blue Grass Stakes

Grade II winner Santiva among 10 or 11 expected for April 16 race at Keeneland.

Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman said the Lexington track is expecting field of 10 or 11 for the 87th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) on April 16.

Topping the list of probables is Tom Walters’ Santiva , runner-up in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland last fall and winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs to close out 2010. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Santiva finished second in his 2011 debut, the Risen Star at Fair Grounds in February.

Others considered as probable for the 1 1/8-mile test are Team Valor International’s Crimson China, Stuart Janney III’s Data Link , Joseph Witek’s Joes Blazing Aaron, West Point Thoroughbreds’ King Congie, Richlyn Farm’s Powhatan County, Mill House’s Queen'splatekitten, James Covello and James Dolan’s Swift Warrior, Gaillardia Racing’s Wilkinson, and All In Stable’s Willcox Inn. Considered as possible for the Blue Grass is California-based Jakesam, owned by Bourque Goldstein Thoroughbreds.

On Monday, April 4, Wilkinson, sixth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in his most recent start, worked a half-mile in :49.20 over a fast track at Churchill Downs for trainer Neil Howard. The move was the third fastest of 22 at the distance.