10/05/2011 3:20PM

Keeneland: Leparoux in good position to repeat as leading rider


Although the Keeneland jockey colony once again is brimming with world-class talent, Julien Leparoux should have ample opportunity to earn his seventh riding title here. Leparoux, the leading rider at the spring meet with 19 winners, is expected to miss only one day, Oct. 16, during the 17-day meet, according to his agent, Steve Bass.

Among the other top riders expected here the entire duration are Robby Albarado, Calvin Borel, Kent Desormeaux, and Edgar Prado, all of whom also intend to ride through the Churchill Downs meet.

One notable returnee is Shane Sellers, an eight-time Keeneland titlist who has not ridden regularly here since he retired in 2004. Sellers, 45, has ridden primarily in his native Louisiana since returning to the saddle in 2009.

Garrett Gomez will be here daily only through Oct. 15, while a number of other top jockeys, such as John Velazquez, Rajiv Maragh, Alan Garcia, and Joel Rosario, will only make spot appearances.

Yankee Fourtune heads rich turf allowance

Besides the Alcibiades and Phoenix, the 10-race Friday opener also includes four allowances (races 3, 5, 7, 10), with the richest of those being a $58,000 classified race for older horses at a mile on turf.

Yankee Fourtune, a multiple graded winner at 3, is among the large field in the race, which also drew such seasoned veterans as Cherokee Artist, Blues Street, Moryba, Ready Set, and Anak Nakal, who have combined to earn more than $3.5 million among them.

Hollinger is expected to scratch to run instead at Woodbine, a move that could allow one of the also-eligibles, Pinckney Hill or Sporty, into the race.

Fox goes from trainer to vet

Greg Fox is returning to veterinary practice after dispersing the public stable he had trained since 2005. Fox, 49, said he will begin working next week at Payson Park in south Florida for the group headed by Dr. Jim Prendergast.

During his years as a trainer, Fox won such major races as the 2007 Lexington Stakes with Slew’s Tizzy, the 2010 Firecracker Handicap at Churchill with Tizdejavu, and the 2010 River City Handicap with Battle of Hastings. He won 65 races from 457 starters from a stable that reached its peak with about 24 runners.

“I’d like to think that my years as a trainer will help me better understand how tough it is out there for horsemen as I get back to practicing veterinary medicine,” said Fox, whose primary base will remain in Lexington.

◗ Keeneland and United Tote are introducing technology called “FastBet” at this meet that will allow ontrack patrons to wager through their SmartPhones or iPads. Fans can sign up for FastBet, which is free of charge, through a new ontrack service site called Wagering Central or at any information window.

KEENELAND FALL MEET: View stakes schedule, watch live video for every race day