04/06/2013 2:57PM

Keeneland: Blue Grass workers out in force

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
Palm Beach Stakes winner Rydilluc was one of four horses to work at Keeneland on Saturday morning for the Blue Grass.

No fewer than a half-dozen workouts were recorded at several Kentucky venues Saturday as final serious preparations were made for the annual marquee race at Keeneland, the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.

Four of those works came over the Polytrack at Keeneland, where the $750,000 Blue Grass will be run Saturday for the 89th time. Foremost among them were moves by Rydilluc, who went seven furlongs in 1:28.40 with Edgar Prado up, and Uncaptured, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 with Miguel Mena. Both of those colts figure among the favorites in a wide-open renewal of the Blue Grass, which goes at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack.

Trainer Mark Casse is particularly excited about how Uncaptured has trained in the weeks before and after the colt made his 3-year-old debut by finishing second to Black Onyx in the March 23 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

“That was really a challenge, to get him to the point where he ran as well as he did at Turfway,” said Casse. “Running a mile and an eighth over a track playing that slow . . . I thought he ran a huge race, and the good thing is he should really benefit from it moving forward to the Blue Grass.”

[BLUE GRASS STAKES: Get Keeneland PPs, watch video previews]

The two other Keeneland works, both at five furlongs, came from Dewey Square (1:03) and Undrafted (1:01.60).

Some 75 miles down the road in Louisville, Casse also had Dynamic Sky out for work at Churchill Downs, with the colt going five furlongs in 1:01.40 over a fast main track. Also, Fear the Kitten breezed the same distance for Mike Maker at the Trackside training center, going in 1:02.20.

Keeneland is expecting a full gate of 14 for the Blue Grass, with perhaps two more also-eligibles listed on the program. As many as 19 are regarded as prospective starters by the Keeneland racing office.

Meanwhile, Java’s War, a late-running second to Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby in his last start, had been scheduled to work Saturday at Gulfstream Park, but wet conditions led trainer Ken McPeek to postpone in the hopes of having a better track Sunday.

Other horses expected to work early this week toward the Blue Grass include Falling Sky, Noble Tune, and Charming Kitten.

The Blue Grass anchors a sensational Saturday card that also will include the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, Grade 1 Madison, Grade 3 Commonwealth, and Grade 3 Shakertown.

Five rivals for Wise Dan

It looks as if Wise Dan will face about five other older horses, including a pair of accomplished California shippers, when the 2012 Horse of the Year makes his 6-year-old debut Friday in the Grade 1, $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile.

Suggestive Boy and Silentio, the respective one-two finishers in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile last month on the Santa Anita turf, were scheduled to arrive in Kentucky on Tuesday from California as the main challengers to Wise Dan in the Maker’s 46, for which entries will be drawn Tuesday.

Other probables include Data Link, Keep Up, and Skyring.

Rumor possible for Madison Stakes

Keeneland racing officials are hoping to attract another California standout, Rumor, for The $300,000 Madison next Saturday. Rumor, trained by Richard Mandella, won the Grade 3 Las Flores at Santa Anita in her most recent start. The 5-year-old mare was scheduled to breeze Sunday.

Either way, a sizable field is shaping up for the Madison, a seven-furlong race, according to Keeneland’s stakes coordinator, Scott Jones.

The Madison was won last year by Eclipse champion Groupie Doll, who continues to reside on the Frankfort, Ky., farm of owner-trainer Buff Bradley. Groupie Doll is expected to race later this year.

“She’s doing well,” Bradley said Saturday. “I’m going to bring her in [to Churchill] right after the Derby.”