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Kentucky notes: Groupie Doll caps McKee's eventful weekend
By Marty McGee
LEXINGTON, Ky. - It was an unforgettable weekend for jockey John McKee. On Friday, he and his wife, Shelly, had their first child, a boy named Max. On Saturday, McKee was thrown hard to the Keeneland Polytrack when his mount in the fourth race, Save the World, broke down.
On Sunday morning, with X-rays having proven negative for what initially was believed to be a broken hand, McKee was aboard Groupie Doll at Churchill when the star filly had another workout toward the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
Trainer Buff Bradley was elated with the way McKee got Groupie Doll to relax in her five-furlong drill in 59.60 seconds.
“She can go a lot faster,” Bradley said. “John did a great job, sore hand and all.”
McKee, 31, has ridden 1,377 winners in his 11-year career. The Ohio native is a former leading rider at Churchill, Oaklawn Park, Turfway, and River Downs.
McPeek stops skid
Ken McPeek finally rid himself of the dreaded “duck” when he sent out I’m Your Luv to win a maiden race Saturday. The win came after 39 straight losses to open the meet. The losing skein was notable if only because McPeek has been the leading trainer here at four of the last six meets, including the last three fall meets (2009-11). He also has won 20 stakes here, including three Grade 1’s with Take Charge Lady, the dam of Take Charge Indy.
I’m Your Luv was ridden by Victor Lebron, which was a stroke of misfortune for jockey David Cohen, who has been riding first call for McPeek this fall in his first full Keeneland meet. Cohen is 0 for 43 into Wednesday.
Second maiden win for Make a Fortune
Make a Fortune won a maiden race – again. Having been disqualified from a winning debut in May after testing positive for a banned medication, the 4-year-old colt was eligible for a maiden condition when he prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths in the sixth race here Saturday, returning $8.80 as second choice.
Make a Fortune is owned by Gary and Mary West and had been trained by Bret Calhoun, who is serving a 30-day suspension for the disqualification. The colt competed Saturday in the name of trainer Jay Severs.
◗ The final handicapping contest of the Keeneland meet takes place Wednesday on races 3-9. Entry fee is $10, with the first 200 participants getting a free Daily Racing Form .
There is a jackpot carryover of $23,717 in the $1 super high five on the last race Wednesday.
◗ The Thursday feature, a $56,000 allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf, is restricted to 3-year-olds that have not won a graded stakes. Perhaps as a sign that the meet is dwindling to a quiet end, both the Wednesday and Thursday cards include maiden-claiming routes for $15,000, the lowest such price so far in that category at the meet.
◗ Churchill opens its 21-day fall meet Sunday with the first of two Stars of Tomorrow programs exclusively for 2-year-olds. The co-featured races are the Grade 2 Pocahontas for fillies and the Grade 3 Iroquois for colts and geldings. The meet runs through Nov. 25.
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
- 2.Posted 12/10/2013 02:23PM
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- 4.Posted 12/11/2013 03:32PM
- 5.Posted 12/10/2013 07:22PM