Breeders’ Cup winner Mogolian Saturday returns to Keeneland
Mongolian Saturday’s victory in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland was memorable not only because the gelding at odds of 15-1 was the longest shot to win a race during the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships but because his connections, including owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj and trainer Enebish Ganbat, wore their native Mongolian attire and enthusiastically posed for photos with fans.
The Breeders’ Cup victory launched Mongolian Saturday, a $60,000 purchase at Keeneland’s 2011 September Yearling Sale, on an international tour. He made two starts at Sha Tin in Hong Kong – Hong Kong Sprint (G1) and Chairman’s Sprint Prize (G1) – and raced twice in England – Kings Stand (G1) at Royal Ascot and Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket. Dagyadorj and Ganbat continued to wear their Mongolian outfits, and at Royal Ascot they met Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Mongolian Saturday finished no better than fifth in those four races.
“The horse is doing good now,” Ganbat said. “We were racing outside the U.S. but not so good. In England, a (veterinarian) found (he had a) big ulcer.”
Mongolian Saturday underwent treatment for the ulcer and resumed training in September at Arlington Park. He returns to competition in Saturday’s Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select and will be ridden by Chicago-based jockey Carlos Montalvo, who rode him early in his career. Florent Geroux, who was aboard the gelding to win the Breeders’ Cup will be at Belmont Park.
A year ago, Mongolian Saturday and Geroux were second in the Woodford, which was rained off the turf course and run on the muddy main track. The gelding drew the outside post in Saturday’s 12-horse race.
“It’s OK,” Ganbat said about the post. “From the outside, he won the Breeders’ Cup. I would be happy if he can get third because he hasn’t run since July.”
Ganbat said if Mongolian Saturday performs well Saturday, he will earn a trip to this year’s Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita.
“Because of this nice horse, I was travelling like a rich tourist,” Ganbat said with a laugh. “I have had more fun this year. I want to do it again.”
What A View brings Kenny Black back to Keenland in a new role
Kenny Black is no stranger to Keeneland, but his role this week is a different one. Black shipped What a View to town for Saturday’s $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
“I was galloping horses here when I was 14 when my dad was here, and I went to Woodford County (High School) for a while,” said Black, 52. “Then I rode here in the mid-‘80s and in 2002 I was here for two weeks for the filming of ‘Seabiscuit.’ I was in the scene where the jockey pushed another jockey off his horse. I was the pusher, not the pushee.”
His role this time is as trainer. Black brings What a View into the Shadwell off a six-month layoff.
“He had run 10 times in eight months and after he won the Grade 1 (Frank E. Kilroe Mile), we thought we might have a Breeders’ Cup horse and needed to give him a break sometime,” Black said.
Owned by Finish Line Racing, The Elwood Johnston Trust and Taste of Victory Stables, What a View could have walked out of his own barn at Santa Anita where Black has 15 horses and run in Saturday’s $200,000 City of Hope Mile (G2).
“There are two reasons for coming here,” Black said. “The first is seven figures versus $200,000 and he likes soft ground that I thought he would have a better chance of getting here rather than out there.”
In his past three victories, What a View has won on courses labeled as “good” or “yielding.”
What a View has won his past four races, all with Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux aboard. In fact, Desormeaux has been aboard for all six of What a View’s victories.
Desormeaux has the mount Saturday and will break from the far outside post 11. No horse that broke outside of post nine has won the Shadwell, but that does not bother Black.
“I love the draw,” Black said. “He has been outside in a lot of his wins. He has won from 9, the 10 twice and the 11.”
Irish filly Now Or Never set to take on Tepin
Qatar Racing’s Now Or Never (IRE) will chase a bit of history as well as champion Tepin in Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady (G1).
No 3-year-old filly has won the previous 18 runnings of the race. Few of those renewals have featured a runner of the stature of Tepin, who brings an eight-race win streak into the First Lady.
“It’s a Grade 1 and a mile on the turf,” trainer Michael O’Callaghan said of the decision to bring Now Or Never from Europe. “At home, these kinds of races are pretty much finished up for the year.”
Now Or Never will represent the first starter in the U.S. for O’Callaghan, who just turned 28. She enters the First Lady off a fourth-place finish behind Alice Springs (IRE), runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) here last fall, in a Group 1 mile test at Leopardstown in Ireland last month.
“She is Group 1 placed and a Group 3 winner,” O’Callaghan said. “We gave her a break after Ascot (after running in the Group 1 Coronation). She was a close fourth. She made the lead a furlong out and just got caught.”
Now Or Never, who arrived at Keeneland on Sunday, will be ridden by Luis Saez in the First Lady.
“She loves the weather here and is really thriving,” O’Callaghan said. “She may stay here for next week’s Queen Elizabeth (II Challenge Cup-G1 Presented by Lane’s End). We will see how it goes this Saturday.”
Keeneland sponsors to honour grooms of best turned out horses
On selected days during Keeneland’s 2016 Fall Meet, the grooms of racehorses determined to have the best overall appearance in the Saddling Paddock will be recognized in a special ceremony before each race as part of the Best Turned Out Awards. The grooms will receive cash prizes ranging from $250 to $500.
On Friday, which kicks off the season, representatives of Darley, which sponsors the $500,000 Alcibiades (G1), and Stoll Keenon Ogden, sponsor of the $250,000 Phoenix (G2), will select horses in separate races throughout the day.
Judges like to see horses with shiny hair, flowing tails and tidy manes and grooms wearing neat clothing.
“The Best Turned Out Awards give Keeneland and our sponsors the opportunity to recognize the efforts of the grooms who work so hard with these horses every day,” Keeneland Sponsorship Director Bonnie Senft said.
Sponsors will present Best Turned Out Awards on these days:
Friday, Oct. 7: Darley, Stoll Keenon Ogden
Saturday, Oct. 8: Shadwell Farm, Claiborne Farm, Thoroughbred Club of America
Sunday, Oct. 9: Juddmonte Farms, Dixiana Farm
Friday, Oct. 21: Pin Oak Stud
Sunday, Oct. 23: Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital
Saturday, Oct. 29: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
PROBABLE FIELDS FOR UPCOMING STAKES
$150,000 JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE (G3) (Entries taken Saturday, race Wednesday) – Divine Humor (Antonio Pizzuro), La Coronel (Mark Casse), Liberale (FR) (Chad Brown), Lipstick City (Chad Brown), Lull (Christophe Clement), Majestic Gale (Joe Sharp), Queen Del Valle (Reid Nagle), Rum Go (Tom Proctor), Sweeping Paddy (Dale Romans).
$100,000 BUFFALO TRACE FRANKLIN COUNTY (G3) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, Oct. 14) – Everything Lovely (Kathleen Demasi), Fair Point (Shug McGaughey), Full Tap (Mike Stidham), Late Spring (Vicki Oliver), Melaleuca (Brian Michael), Miss Ella (Graham Motion), My Year Is a Day (FR) (Chris Davis).
THIS DAY IN KEENELAND HISTORY: OCT. 6
Keeneland’s 2016 Fall Meet, which opens Friday, marks the track’s 80th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, Barn Notes throughout the Fall Meet will look back at memorable races and track highlights from Keeneland’s rich history.
Here are a few highlights from Oct. 6:
1990: Racing Hall of Famer Bayakoa (ARG) wins the Spinster (G1) (now the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster to be run Sunday) for the second consecutive year.
1991: Preakness (G1) winner Summer Squall defeats Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Unbridled by three lengths in the Fayette (G2) (now the Grade 2, $200,000 Hagyard Fayette to be run Oct. 29, closing day of the 2016 Fall Meet).
2001: David P. Holloway Racing’s 9-year-old Bet On Sunshine wins the Phoenix Breeders’ Cup (G3) (now the Grade 2, $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix), a race he also won in 1997. Calvin Borel rides Bet On Sunshine for trainer Paul McGee.
2012: Champion Groupie Doll wins the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) (a $250,000 race to be run Saturday) by 6½ lengths. She goes on to win her first of two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Rajiv Maragh rides Groupie Doll for trainer William “Buff” Bradley.
2013: Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient wins the Juddmonte Spinster (G1). Six months earlier, she won the Central Bank Ashland (G1) during the Spring Meet.