04/13/2011 3:33PM

Keeneland: Court Vision will be allowed to run in Maker's Mark Mile under new trainer's name

Photos By Z/Keeneland
Court Vision may be unable to run in the Maker's Mark Mile because of a licensing issue with trainer Rick Dutrow.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Court intervention has kept the aptly named Court Vision in the field for the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile. Although he was expected to be scratched after the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission denied trainer Rick Dutrow a license, the commission has decided that Court Vision, the 8-5 morning-line favorite, will be permitted to run under the name of a new trainer, Justin Sallusto.

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Regardless of what has transpired off the track, the Maker’s Mark will still be worth $300,000, and victory on the track still will come hard-earned. Clearly, Court Vision and his daunting bankroll of $2.6 million gives the race a whole other dimension, especially in consideration of his solid prior efforts at Keeneland – a victory in the 2009 Shadwell Turf Mile and a second in the Maker’s Mark last year – and a series of sharp workouts leading into this.

Robby Albarado has the call aboard Court Vision, who was assigned post 1 in a field of eight older horses. Meanwhile, a few of the others might be able to give the favorite a run for his money.

Furthest Land, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and Workin for Hops, in sharp form after wintering in New Orleans, look as good as any in what shakes out as a wide-open race.

Furthest Land, with Julien Leparoux to ride for trainer Mike Maker, will break from the outside post. The 6-year-old Furthest Land went off form after the Breeders’ Cup but seemed to be more himself in two races this winter at Gulfstream Park.

“He ran a big race first time back in Florida,” said Leparoux, referring to a Feb. 12 allowance win. “If I can get him to relax, I think we could be there with them.”

Workin for Hops, with Rosie Napravnik riding for Mike Stidham, gave gut-wrenching efforts when narrowly beaten in the Fair Grounds Handicap and Muniz Memorial.

“You could just see how hard he was digging down, just absolutely trying his guts out,” said Stidham. “He’s a game son of a gun. The mile and an eighth in the Muniz might have been a little too far, especially against those really good horses. Hopefully the mile will work just right for him.”

Other prominent runners in the 23rd Maker’s Mark include Get Stormy and Society’s Chairman.

Get Stormy, now 5, will be trying to snap a four-race losing skein after reeling off a torrid 7-for-8 streak between his 3- and 4-year-old seasons. Javier Castellano rides for Tom Bush.

Society’s Chairman, trained by Canadian icon Roger Attfield, has run well over the Keeneland turf in seasons past, having posted a 2-1-1 record from 5 starts. Jose Lezcano has the mount.

Rounding out the lineup are Zifzaf, Bim Bam, and Turallure.

The Maker’s Mark, run as the Fort Harrod from 1989-1996, has been won by such standouts as Opening Verse (1991), Tejano Run (1996), Artie Schiller (2005), Miesque’s Approval (2006), and Kip Deville (2007-08). The 2010 running was won by Karelian, with Leparoux riding for Rusty Arnold.

Maker’s Mark Day always is one of the most popular of the spring meet. Fans line up by the hundreds before dawn to get autographs on their memorabilia, most notably the souvenir Maker’s Mark whisky bottles sold just for this occasion.

The Maker’s Mark goes as the ninth of 10 races, with post time set for 5:23 p.m. Eastern. Two allowances (races 5 and 8) and the fourth 2-year-old race of the meet (race 1) also are on the card. First post is 1:15.

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