04/26/2013 5:35PM

Keeneland: Ramseys, Maker, Rosario do it again as Dark Cove wins Elkhorn

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Dark Cove, with Joel Rosario aboard, runs away from the field, winning the Elkhorn by 4 1/4 lengths.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Putting the proverbial icing on the cake, the owner-trainer-jockey team that dominated the 16-day spring meet at Keeneland had a final hurrah Friday when Dark Cove, exiting claiming races, ran off to a 4 1/4-length victory in the closing-day feature, the Grade 2, $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes.

Joel Rosario was aboard Dark Cove when the 6-year-old horse sped away from the opposition after turning for home in the 1 1/2-mile turf race, not only further extending his record for wins by a jockey at a Keeneland spring meet, but also those for Ken and Sarah Ramsey as owners and Mike Maker as trainer.

Dark Cove returned $19.80 after finishing in 2:30.84 over a firm course, with Side Road, a 23-1 shot, up late for second over Sky Blazer in a field of 11 older horses. Ioya Bigtime, the 5-2 favorite, faded to ninth after setting the pace, while Forte Dei Marmi did not complete the course after incurring an injury that was not life-threatening.

The Elkhorn marked the 24th of what would soon become 25 winners at the meet for the Ramseys, doubling the former record of 12 that they previously shared with two other entities, including the vaunted Calumet Farm in 1941. Remarkably, the same owner-trainer team also won the only remaining race of the meet when Tuscan Treasure captured the 10th race Friday as a 6-1 shot under Alan Garcia.

"I can't believe we doubled it," said Ken Ramsey, who said his only regret was that his wife, who has suffered serious health issues in recent years, became hospitalized as of Thursday. "It's been a great, great run."

The Ramseys were awarded a gold tray by Keeneland for a milestone in graded-stakes wins at their hometown track.

For Maker, the Elkhorn also was his 24th win of 25 at the meet. Two races earlier, Maker, a 44-year-old Michigan native, already had set a new Keeneland record for victories by a trainer at a single meet with Brandys Secret, a 6-year-old gray mare owned in partnership by personal friends from Louisville, Ky., Jimmy Shircliffe and Harvey Diamond.

Maker broke the record of 22 set at the 1989 fall meet by his former boss and mentor, D. Wayne Lukas. Maker already had set the Keeneland record for a spring meet several days earlier with his 17th winner.

"It's a real honor to do this," said Maker.

Rosario, riding regularly for the first time at a Kentucky track, won 37 races to break the former spring mark of 32 set in 1990 by Randy Romero. The all-time mark of 45 was set at the 1991 fall meet by Pat Day.

The $2 exacta (6-3) paid $378.60; the $1 trifecta (6-3-1) returned $1,066.50; and the 10-cent superfecta (6-3-1-2) was worth $675.26.

R More than 1 year ago
That may the best meet by any owner, trainer, jock combo, ever. Rosario gave every single horse he rode for Mike a legit chance to win. When you have an owner who runs to win, a trainer who is truly head and shoulders above his peers, and a jock riding with supreme confidence..... what else could possibly happen. If you could clone a horse, any horse. Give Mike that horse, then give any peer that horse, hes going to get the most run out of that horse 10 times out of 10. Being in and out of all these barns, and seeing how all the top guys do things, there is simply no guy better in the business. Dazz, what you say shows what a buffoon you are. How clueless you are. Any of you who haven't seen this guys work ethic, horsemanship, or know Mike personally, should really be ashamed to say something so ridiculous. Mike congrats.... You're the absolute best, even though you'd never say that to anybody, I say that with complete confidence. Couldn't happen to a better guy.
raymond wagner More than 1 year ago
hey dave, you are clueless about racing.top jock top trainer top owner.slow times and this horse loved distance.you must be a democrat
Dave More than 1 year ago
How do you figure? There are many others that are suspicious. Remember when baseball players suddenly started hitting 70 home runs? The record was 12 and they won 25! Sure Rosario is a great jockey, but the Ramseys have a top jockey on their horses every year at Keeneland. That is nothing new.
Dave More than 1 year ago
Hate to be suspicious but it's just really hard not to. A claimer who had never gone past 1 1/8 dusts a polished field of 1 1/2 turf horses?
dazz More than 1 year ago
With cobra venom, horses run fast and it is not detectable in blood or urine. Oh yeah, I did have the trifecta in the Elkhorn and the late double. I made $ off the cheaters too!
Chuck Seeger More than 1 year ago
So think about it - they've been racing at Keeneland for 78 years. Suddenly in 2013, an owner not only breaks the record for wins in a 16 day meet, but the barn DOUBLES the number. DON'T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL ME THE RAMSEY HORSES RAN WITHOUT SOMETHING IN THEIR SYSTEM. Look, you break a record by one or two wins, we get that. BUT TO DOUBLE THE RECORD - PLEASE. And I don't want to hear that "they've been pointing the barn for this meet". I suppose no other owner/trainer ever went the owner title in a short meet? Yet who ever in the history of horse racing ever shattered a record like this? Ken, make sure you share your trophy with your vet or whatever outside agency that provided the "gas" to achieve such an accomplishment. I respect you as someone who's not afraid to "send it in", but THIS DOES NOT PASS THE SMELL TEST. And the fact you bet means you're shafting all the other bettors. Finally, once again this raises no eyebrows amongst the racing media.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
I knew Rosario was special when he road my filly @ ggf.great sense of pace,not afraid to skim the rail.one of the best if keeps healthy
dazz More than 1 year ago
Rosario gets all the best horses to ride! Alan Garcia is much better rider.
B More than 1 year ago
Hope his streak holds up through the Derby!
richard cowles More than 1 year ago
Big deal at keene..Time to head back up north.Your vacation is over.You sure have a great agent.
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
Shug must be devastated he had to "settle" for Rosario on Orb. The guy is absolutely lights out right now
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Joel had to get away from Rafael to prove his worth and he did this meet. Move over johnny, an javier