When Charitable Man goes to post in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 11, he will be making his first start since winning the Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park on Sept. 13.
Neal McLaughlin, brother of and assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, said the road to the Blue Grass has been a long one. He was asked when did it become apparent that the return to the races from a saucer fracture of a shin was doable.
“Actually it was after his first breezes,” McLaughlin said. “They were really strong and showed us where he was fitness-wise. He just kept going real strong and showed us he was fit.”
Charitable Man galloped a mile and a quarter April 7 with exercise rider Pat Correa up. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr., Charitable Man had his final work for the Blue Grass on April 5, going five furlongs in :59.60.
Alan Garcia has the mount on Saturday.
Trainer Darrin Miller said that Silverton Hill Cliffy's Future will work April 8. with Miller in the saddle.
Sired by 2004 Blue Grass winner The Cliff's Edge, Cliffy’s Future galloped a mile and a half April 7 with Miller up. Jesus Castanon will have the mount Saturday.
Miller will be shooting for a second victory in the Blue Grass, having scored in 2007 with Dominican. That year, Dominican won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park prior to the Blue Grass. Cliffy’s Future enters this year’s race off a similar score.
Miller was asked if he is getting any similar good vibrations as you did two years ago with Dominican.
“Not exactly,” Miller said with a laugh. “They are completely different horses and I am still trying to figure him out. Todd Pletcher had him here last year and at Aqueduct, while Dominican, I had him all of his 2-year-old year and he liked it here so much. He really thrived on this track.”
Hamdan al Maktoum’s Mafaaz, winner of the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes in England last month, spent another morning on the Keeneland training track April 7. With exercise rider Miguel Moya up, Mafaaz backtracked once around the training track alongside a pony and then galloped a mile before returning to the quarantine barn.
“He will go to the main track in the morning,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden.
Mafaaz is remaining in the backside of the quarantine barn rather than moving to the less-confining Rice Road side of the barn.
“He is quite comfortable back here, he’s eating good and very happy where he is,” Reynolds said. “It is quiet back here and on the other side there is a lot of activity on the training track and with the sales.”
Gosden and jockey Richard Hills are expected to arrive in Kentucky the night before the Blue Grass.
Frankfurt Stable’s Massone was scheduled to arrive at Keeneland from California on April 7. Trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, who will be seeking his eighth Keeneland stakes victory, Massone will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
IEAH Stables’ Patena walked the shedrow at Barn 28 a day after working five furlongs in 1:00. Trainer Rick Dutrow said Patena would return to the track the following morning. Robby Albarado has the riding assignment on Saturday.
Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain galloped a mile under exercise rider Keith Harris. The Al Stall Jr. trainee will be ridden by Julien Leparoux on Saturday.
Samotowka Stable’s Theregoesjojo walked the shedrow a day after working a half-mile in :48 for trainer Ken McPeek. Third in the Florida Derby (gr. I) in his most recent start on March 28, Theregoesjojo will have a new rider on Saturday – Calvin Borel.
Trainer Bill Mott gave two thumbs up when he was asked how WinStar Farm’s Hold Me Back was doing. The Giant's Causeway colt, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on April 5, galloped April 7. Kent Desormeaux, who rode Hold Me Back to victory in the Lane’s End (gr. II) at Turfway, will be aboard the colt again in the Blue Grass.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that Join in the Dance was good the morning after the Sky Mesa colt worked four furlongs in :49.60. The colt walked the shedrow on April 7 and is scheduled to return to the track the next day. Join in the Dance, who will be ridden in the Blue Grass by John Velazquez, is owned by brothers Jake and Reed Ballis, brothers Reagan and William Swinbank and by Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis.
The morning after Hello Broadway worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.40, trainer Barclay Tagg said the colt walked the shedrow on April 7. Tagg entered Hello Broadway in an April 10 allowance race.
“If it doesn’t go, I’ll probably take a look at the two stakes, the one Saturday and the one the following Saturday,” Tagg said. Those two stakes would be the Blue Grass this Saturday and the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) on April 18. A colt by Broken Vow racing for breeder Elizabeth J. Valando, Hello Broadway is a half-brother to grade I winner Nobiz Like Shobiz.