Touch of the Blues, the venerable 6-year-old horse trained by Neil Drysdale, headlines Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Saturday marks day two of the meets Fallstars Weekend with a host of races with World Thoroughbred Championships implications.
Touch of the Blues, who has had a notorious string of bad luck in his races, found a bit of good fortune last time in winning the $1-million Atto Mile (gr. IT) at Woodbine by a half-length over Soaring Free. Gainsborough Farm's homebred was second in the Shadwell Turf Mile a year ago, missing by a neck to the ill-fated Landseer.
Touch of the Blues, to be ridden again by Kent Desormeaux, faces nine over the turf course at Keeneland. Post time for the $600,000 race is 5:32 p.m. All starters will carry 126 pounds.
The French-bred Touch of the Blues won the Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar prior to his Atto Mile score on Sept. 14. He finished 10th in last year's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) after being hindered by Landseer, who fell and was later euthanized.
Sam-Son Farm's Soaring Free and Atto Mile third-place finisher Perfect Soul, return to do battle at Keeneland. Charles Fipke's Perfect Soul has a 5-3-1 lifetime slate from 13 starts. The Sadler's Wells 5-year-old was fifth in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), but beaten less than a length. He won an allowance race at the spring meet at Keeneland by 5 1/2 lengths going 1 1/8 miles for trainer Roger Attfield.
Drawing post one in the Shadwell Turf Mile is Darley Stable's Trademark, a South African-bred 7-year-old who enters the fray off back-to-back grade II wins at Saratoga. Ridden by Richard Migliore, Trademark won the 1 1/8-miles Bernard Baruch Handicap by 4 3/4 lengths, then won the 1 1/16-miles Fourstardave Handicap by two lengths.
Other contenders in the contentious cast include Della Francesca, Stage Call, and Honor in War. Della Francesca defeated Rouvres and Volponi while a 16-1 shot in the Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on Sept. 13 at Belmont Park. WinStar Farm's Stage Call, a stakes winner over the Keeneland turf is coming off an allowance win at Saratoga following a 15-month layoff. Honor in War shortens to a mile off a series of 1 1/4-mile races including a victory in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT). Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), Keeneland, one mile, turf, $600,000, 3-year-olds and up.
PP, Horse, Jockey
1, Trademark, Richard Migliore
2, Inesperado, Pat Valenzuela
3, Perfect Soul, Edgar Prado
4, Touch of the Blues, Kent Desormeaux
5, Stage Call, Pat Day
6, Soaring Free, Todd Kabel
7, Honor in War, David Flores
8, Della Francesca, Jorge Chavez
9, Naraingang, Brice Blanc
10, Fredericktown, Rafael Bejarano