Transylvania, College Day Highlight Keeneland Opener

(Edited press release)

Trainer Darrin Miller revised his playbook on Tuesday, making the call to enter Sedgefield in Keeneland’s opening-day Central Bank Transylvania (gr. IIIT) rather than the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) on April 14.

Miller said the move to the $150,000 Transylvania, for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf, is an attempt to accumulate additional graded stakes earnings toward a berth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

“The Blue Grass is coming up very strong, and Sedgefield is sitting on the tail-end of the earnings list,” he said. “Possibly this is a good opportunity to pick up more graded stakes money. Maybe it’s an untraditional route to the Derby, but he has proven himself on the turf.”

A full-brother to grass star English Channel, Sedgefield has recorded two wins in seven career starts—all on the turf or Polytrack—for earnings of $172,593. The colt has finished in the money in all four starts this year, including a win in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park, and second-place finishes in the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III), Hallandale Beach, and Lane’s End (gr. II). Sedgefield races in the colors of Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton’s Silverton Hill LLC.

Also slated to go postward are Lucky Seven Stable’s U D Ghetto, winner of last year’s Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park, and fifth behind Curlin and Officer Rocket in his last start, the Rebel (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. 

The complete field for 19th running of the Central Bank Transylvania is as follows: Cajun Mon (W. Martinez), U D Ghetto (C. Lanerie), Codeword (J. Castellano), Royal War Academy (J. Graham), Lure My Daisy (A. Quinonez), In Jest (C. Velasquez), Marcavelly (E. Prado), Cobrador (G. Gomez), Sedgefield (R. Bejarano), and Everyman (J. Leparoux).   

Also on the Friday card, Sackatoga Stable’s Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby, is entered in the eighth race, an allowance test.

Opening day is also known as “College Scholarship Day,” an annual rite of spring for many area college students.

In addition to ten $1,000 scholarships, this year college students also can register to win one of 10 video iPods, courtesy of Apple Inc., to be given away during the afternoon.

“College Scholarship Day is fast becoming one of our most popular events, and the generosity of Apple in donating video iPods only increases the level of excitement for the day,” said Christa Marrilla, special events coordinator for Keeneland.

During last year’s spring and fall meets, nearly 3,000 students from more than 50 different colleges registered for scholarships, which are sponsored by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

General admission is free for all full-time college students who present a valid ID when entering through the grandstand east entrance. Students must register to participate in the drawings, with scholarships and video iPods to be given away following each of the afternoon’s races. The first 1,000 students to register receive a free Keeneland College Scholarship Day T-shirt, courtesy of APS Communications.