03/31/2010 11:00PM

Blue Grass, not Derby, is Codoy's big race


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Unlike most of the 3-year-olds that will race next Saturday at Keeneland in the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes, Codoy is very unlikely to run back in the Kentucky Derby, regardless of result.

Or so says Mark Hubley, who trains Codoy for the Bred to Win Partners LLC of brothers Jimmy and Larry Doyle and Frank Costa and his daughter Kitty.

"I'm pretty convinced that he cannot run on dirt," said Hubley. "He likes Poly, and he's probably better on grass. I see a lot of purse and a Grade 1" in the Blue Grass.

Codoy will be one of the longer prices in the field for the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass, which is expected to get at least six others: Aikenite, Giant's Tomb, Interactif, Odysseus, Make Music for Me, and Paddy O'Prado. Drosselmeyer and Homeboykris are considered possible.

Codoy finished first in his only start this year, the Feb. 27 Battaglia Memorial over Polytrack at Turfway, but the son of Bernstein was disqualified to second for interference. His best race at 2 was a runner-up finish to Interactif in the Bourbon Stakes over the Keeneland turf in October, but he followed that with a last-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Arnold has horse for hunch players

On his way home from Florida to Kentucky on the weekend of March 27-28, trainer Rusty Arnold had the privilege of playing 18 holes at the site of the Masters, Augusta National Golf Course, in Augusta, Ga.

"I'd never played there before," said Arnold, a longtime golf enthusiast. "It was unbelievable, especially the greens. I'm a pretty good putter, but I four-putted twice."

With the 2010 Masters and the return of Tiger Woods set for this coming week, what Arnold will do here Saturday is quite a coincidence. In the eighth race, a $67,000 turf allowance, Arnold will send out an 8-year-old gelding named Tiger Woodman.

Graham closing in on riding milestone

Jockey Jimmy Graham figures to hit the 1,000-win milestone at some point in this meet, as he entered Friday action with 996 career wins.

Graham most recently was second to Shaun Bridgmohan in the jockey race at Fair Grounds. Graham, a 30-year-old native of Ireland, came to the United States in 2003 and enjoyed his best year yet in 2009, when his mounts earned more than $6.1 million.

Castellano intends to be Keeneland regular

Unlike in prior years, when he would travel here only for specific engagements, Javier Castellano will be here every day of the meet and on to Churchill Downs through the Derby, according to agent Matt Muzikar. Considering Castellano had a sensational meet at Gulfstream Park and led the jockey standings before departing, he figures to have a terrific month.

Castellano, 32, is best known as the jockey of Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year.

Goncalves expects to return next week

Jockey Leandro Goncalves will return to riding Wednesday, according to agent Steve Elzey. Goncalves has been out since mid-February after undergoing surgery to have bone spurs removed from both hips.

Among the upcoming mounts that Goncalves will have is Satans Quick Chick, winner of the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes here last fall. She is expected to return April 16 in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare.

Fields expected to average about nine horses

For those keeping score at home, average field size here last spring was 9.38 horses per race.

"We're hoping to be able to match up pretty close to that number again this spring," said racing secretary Ben Huffman.

Keeneland averaged 10-horse fields last fall, when more 2-year-olds are ready to run and help fill races.

* The spring-meet stakes schedule hits full stride next week. On tap are the Grade 2 Beaumont on Wednesday, the Grade 1 Vinery Madison on Thursday, the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile on Friday, and a quartet on Saturday consisting of the Blue Grass, the Grade 2 Commonwealth, the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley, and the Grade 3 Shakertown.

* Live chats on Keeneland racing are being held every day through the track website, keeneland.com. The sessions are hosted by Jeremy Plonk and begin daily at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

* Penny Chenery and Diane Lane have been named the grand marshals of the 2010 Pegasus Parade, held each year in downtown Louisville on the Thursday evening before the Derby. Chenery owned Secretariat, and Lane, the highly decorated actress, plays Chenery in the Disney movie "Secretariat," due for release later this year.

* Golfing legend Arnold Palmer, 79, has informed Churchill officials that he intends to attend the Derby for the first time this year.