04/09/2012 1:57PM

Keeneland notes: Dullahan has barn's confidence

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Tom Keyser
Dullahan had a best-of-the-day five-furlong workout on Sunday over the Polytrack.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Compared to Paddy O’Prado, Dullahan already has quite a head start on the Triple Crown trail. While Paddy O’Prado was a late-blooming type who needed to get into the Kentucky Derby through the back door two years ago, Dullahan already has sufficient graded earnings to make the Derby field after winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity last fall at Keeneland.

Now the same connections – Donegal Racing and trainer Dale Romans – are hoping Dullahan can make the same kind of impression that Paddy O’Prado did in finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes and third in the Derby in 2010. Romans shipped Dullahan from his Churchill Downs base to Keeneland on Sunday morning for a final prerace work, which the chestnut colt accomplished by going a bullet five furlongs in 57.40 seconds over Polytrack.

“He came out of it great,” Romans said Monday morning. “He’s in great shape. Even though the work was fast, it was done the right way. We’re going in with some confidence because we know how well he ran over the Poly last fall.”

Dullahan, with Kent Desormeaux to ride again, is one of as many as 14 3-year-olds expected for the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass, for which entries will be drawn Wednesday morning at the annual breakfast draw. A notable new prospect surfaced Monday morning for the 1 1/8-mile race when trainer Gennadi Dorochenko informed Keeneland officials he intends to run back Hero of Order, the 109-1 winner of the Louisiana Derby, off 12 days’ rest.

Hansen, the 2-year-old champion of 2011 and a three-length winner of the March 3 Gotham Stakes, will be the Blue Grass favorite.

Ward barn a hot one

Wesley Ward was the only trainer to win more than one race during the two-day opening weekend of the 15-day spring meet, sending out three winners and two runners-up from his five starters. Ward also was hot at Woodbine at the same time, winning five races in three days there (Friday-Sunday).

Ward has starters in three races here the next two days, including New Believer – a remarkable 6 for 6 lifetime at Keeneland – in the third race Wednesday, and a pair of 2-year-olds in a maiden race Thursday.

On the flip side, Julien Leparoux had a rough first two days, winning with just 1 of 12 mounts, including a handful of favorites. Leparoux has won or tied for six of the last 12 riding titles here.

Kobiskie in the mix

His statistics say 0 for 0, but that’s for Keeneland. Back on his home Maryland circuit, however, trainer Dane Kobiskie has been sensational, going 34-for-81 as leading trainer at the recently ended Laurel Park meet.

Kobiskie, a 32-year-old former Marine, has entered All About Her in the second race Wednesday and has two more entries for Thursday. He actually got his start as an apprentice rider on the Kentucky circuit, riding for several months at Churchill and Ellis Park in 2005.

Daddy Nose Best breezes

At Churchill, Daddy Nose Best had his first workout since he captured the March 25 Sunland Derby, breezing five furlongs Monday morning in 1:02.40 over a fast track.

“I loved how he went,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “He went over the racetrack really well and he’s in great physical shape.”

◗ David Schneck of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association reports that about 1,800 students registered for the College Day scholarship raffle on Friday, opening day. Eight of the 10 winners of the $1,000 scholarships were local, while the other two were won by students at Oregon State University and Wake Forest. The KTA sponsors the raffles with the host tracks.

◗ Late nominations for the May 4 Kentucky Oaks and May 5 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic are due Wednesday, along with nominations to 10 other Derby-week stakes at Churchill.

Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Since the 2011 Juvenile Breeders Cup race , since 12 / 01 / 2011 - my TOP 6 are still all in tack , just switched around a tab bit , not much . I HAVE KEPT MY TOP 3 AS THE SAME - JUST NOW IN A DIFFRENT ORDER . I believed in HANSEN last year in the Juvenile , maybe after the BLUE GRASS , HANSEN goes back on Top of my list again . MUST WIN THOUGH - I am looking forward into watching HANSEN vs DULLAHAN in the BLUE GRASS .................... and BODEMEISTER must take the ARKANSAS DERBY by storm to make any kind of an Impact , though in my opinion - wont matter , because I dont care for the liking of GEMOLOGIST or BODEMEISTER in the Kentucky Derby , but would steal alot of Media attention
Jack Plant More than 1 year ago
You don't have a clue and I wish I could watch the expression on your face when Gemologist opens up and draws off in the 2nd fastest Derby ever. Come back and read this after the race.............
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Well Jack : Keep your hopes up . Bet what ever you desire Derby Day on GEMOLOGIST . W / P / S .................... I Would Even Go As Far To Say That GEMOLOGIST Will Not Even Complete The ( SUPERFECTA ) ! I have a bigger Clue than ya know . I already realize GEMOLOGIST will create all types of headlines leading into the Derby . As GEMOLOGIST deserves to be talked about . A Fabulous Colt . TRUST ME , it wont be GEMOLOGIST to lose the Derby , it will be ( JAVIER ) !
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
You can watch my expression on my face . All ya have to do is come to Churchill Downs MAY 5th - Call Me - I will be on the 4th Floor Jockey Club Suites Friday and Saturday . I would be more than Greatfull to take you up on your calling .
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Hey Doug, I'm looking forward to this weekends preps. As of right now, my top two are Union Rags and Creative Cause. I think Alpha has more upside than Gemologist, so I will move him up on my list as well. Gemologist has done nothing wrong, but I just don't like Todd's record when it comes to the Derby. The horse I have on my radar this weekend is Optimizer. I like how he ran in his last race, so I'm hoping he can move forward this weekend. Will see how the Bluegrass plays out, and hope that Hansen runs a nice race. Still think we have a quality field this year regardless if no one has stood out yet.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Hey Rodney , I would be alarmed over any Colt that came out of last years Juvenile Breeders Cup . They all seem to be coming around in Prime Time . HANSEN of course will be the Huge headline . You know OPTIMIZER will be waiting with WINGS when they turn for home . The question is : HANSEN ! I get this feeling HANSEN will put on one SOLID PERFORMANCE that just might wake analysis reporters up . Wowwwww Rodney , last Saturday was awesome . You and I both had DONE TALKING . I had DONE TALKING as my Best Upset Pic . If you remember , I had Picked 13 - 12 for the ILLINOIS DERBY , and of course the Easy Pic of GEM and Alpha in the WOOD MEMORIAL which my grandmother could have picked that out Huh ! Good Luck Rodney this SATURDAY ......................... Thanks for your input , always !
WILL More than 1 year ago
HIS GRANDMOTHER COULD HAVE PICKED IT BUT DID U? 610 FOR 100 BUT U HAVE TO BET IT.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Do your research , all ya have to do is go back and read my selection on the Wood Memorial and the Illinois Derby . I had selected both races in order , one two . I just got lucky
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
REVIEW : Wood Memorial Gemologist Gives Pletcher Another Shot ............................. you will read where I had selected 6 - 1 - 2 . REVIEW : Illinois Derby Distance , Class Question For Much Of Field .............................. at morning lines of 20 - 1 , this was my BEST BET OF THE DAY with a Trifecta 13 / all / all and also 13 / 12 / all & 13 / all / 12 .............................. I speak the truth . I would never say I picked something by predicting a race - and not really doing so . That is not cool . My picks are like anyone elses - ONLY WHAT YA BELIEVE IT WILL BE ! I just got lucky in what I truly believed in . I do my own homework , my own research , I have many friends that work with the thoroughbreds that I get heads up on as well , so that kinda helps time to time . This is just fun to do - nothing Personal ! Have a glorious day , and good luck this week-end at the races
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Rodney , not only Pletcher , but the jockey ( Javier ) . I wish ya could have been there to witness the drama between owner , trainer , jockey reguarding EL PADRINO . Javier caught so much heat over the careless ride that Javier gave EL PADRINO just because of him being ( FORCED ) away from UNION RAGS due to Javier jockey Agent . Javier KNOWS 100% The Best Colt He Has Riden Between This Years Derby Contenders - UNION RAGS - Hands Down . And the very first thing Javier did in the Florida Derby was to focus mainly on Leparoux with UNION RAGS , keeping Leparoux crowded thru out most of the race , which cost EL PADRINO chances on winning Big Time . Javier cant even sleep well at night losing the mount of UNIN RAGS . And TRUST ME Rodney , GEMOLOGIST worst nightmare in the Derby will be Javier .
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
As of 4 / 10 / 2012 .......... 1 UNION RAGS .......... 2 HANSEN ........... 3 CREATIVE CAUSE ........ 4 ALPHA ............. 5 TAKE CHARGE INDY ............. 6 DULLAHAN ................... 7 ? GEMOLOGIST or BODEMEISTER , which neither of those two will make much of an Impact in the Kentucky Derby . There Head-Lines will make alot of noise , but that is the Media for ya ! I Have Never Feared The Likes Of EL PADRINO . I was even teasing MW alot about being so high on EL PADRINO . And So Much can be said reguarding GEMOLOGIST as far as the Kentucky Derby . The Preakness is an Awesome fit for GEMOLOGIST ( at this time ) but who ducks the Kentucky Derby if they have gotten this far .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think the ride by Creative Cause was an over confident ride, I think the removing of blinkers helped him relax and not be too close to the pace, but if you noticed CC shorten stride for a moment to look at his competition, then started running again, in which he flew by #4 right after the finish........ as for the Wood, Alpha had to check pretty hard just after the first turn which cost him three + lengths easily. Plus he too galloped out better that Gem did!!
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
Creative Cause is still my firm choice for the Run for the Roses.He was beaten not by the other horse but by a poor, over-confident ride. Gemologist was scary with how he won. He won the Wood much easier than the margin of victory suggested and had a lot in hand!. Watch the race again and observe how confidently the joc rode him, with Gem finding another gear when he sensed the other horse. He is the danger to Creative Cause and should easily get 10 furlongs and beyond.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
O. J . Be very careful in what you believe ya see ! Ever since the 2011 Juvenile Breeders Cup - CREATIVE CAUSE has been on my Top 7 List for the 2012 Kentucky Derby , actually has been sitting 3rd and 4th on my list . Also Keep In Mind , You best have one sound Colt coming from the West coast into the Kentucky Derby because for what-ever-reason ( KENTUCKY DERBY ) sure has a way of bringing out the worst in them . I Honestly didnt care for CREATIVE CAUSE performance one bit , and I sure dont see ILL HAVE ANOTHER making any noise in Kentucky Derby . I see that Mike Watchmaker has put CREATIVE CAUSE on top of his Derby list : and moves ILL HAVE ANOTHER all the way up to like 4th ! I am very suprised that Mike is making such sudden moves . I dont believe blinkers off hurt CREATIVE CAUSE ability to Win at all . TRULY , I Believe We Have Already Seen The Best Of CREATIVE CAUSE At This Time , and I dont see CREATIVE CAUSE moving forward by winning the Derby . The West Coast to Derby just doesnt mix well either . There are afew Awesome Colts at this time where the Cream is rising to the top , and CREATIVE CAUSE had a perfect trip , and I thought the race was a HUGE Let Down ! And as far as GEMOLOGIST ..................... T R U S T M E : You will regret playing follow the leader with this Colt in the Derby . This Colt has an Awesome foundation and has been well spotted in his 5 for 5 career Wins thus far , but his last race didnt raise my eyebrowes either . In fact , ALPHA looked so much better even after getting beat . But that race was a let down as well as for what I look for in Derby preps . GEMOLOGIST - has NOT MUCH OF A CHANCE at being in the Superfecta even come May 5th . You can see me as a clown at this point ............. but TRUST ME , after May 5th , go back and read this again . You will see for your-self . My Huge Opinion , GEMOLOGIST will be in a world of trouble once the gate opens May 5th . CREATIVE CAUSE iffy at this time as a Superfecta threat