04/11/2012 4:03PM

Keeneland: Strong undercard on Blue Grass Day

Barbara D. Livingston
Zagora is the horse to beat in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley.

Besides the Blue Grass, three other graded stakes are on the 12-race Saturday card at Keeneland. The most important is the Grade 1, $300,000 Jenny Wiley, which drew two of the better horses in the filly-mare turf division in Aruna and Zagora.

Zagora may have an edge in the 1 1/16-mile race, having already raced twice this year, winning both times, while Aruna makes her first start since the Breeders’ Cup. Daisy Devine, a winner of her last three starts, figures as third choice in a field of just six. Heavenly Landing, Tapitsfly, and Bay to Bay round out the field for the Jenny Wiley, which goes as the eighth of 12 races.

Also carded for Saturday are the Grade 2, $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (race 9) and the Grade 3, $100,000 Shakertown (race 10). The Commonwealth could have Comedero as a slight favorite in a field of seven older horses, while the Shakertown is a terrific betting race that drew 10 turf sprinters, including Chamberlain Bridge, Perfect Officer, Havelock, and Great Mills.

Incidentally, post time for the 12th race Saturday, a first-level turf allowance, is set for 6:50 p.m. Eastern, quite possibly the latest end to a program in track history.

Coalport has built-in rooting section

One of the better races on the Friday undercard is the seventh, a first-level turf route for which Coalport is the morning-line favorite while exiting four straight stakes.

“We’re trying to tune him up” for the May 4 American Turf at Churchill, said breeder-owner Ken Ramsey.

Ramsey said Coalport is named for a tiny burg near his hometown of Artemus, Ky., in Knox County. “Everybody in the whole town is rooting for him,” Ramsey laughed.

Ramsey, known for his enthusiasm for leading horses into the winner’s circle, said he has named an unraced 2-year-old for himself. “Leadem In Ken is his name,” he laughed. Another of his 2-year-olds is named Buckwheat in honor of Julian “Buck” Wheat, the late horsemen’s relations director at Churchill.

[BLUE GRASS: Get PPs and wager on Saturday's Keeneland card]