04/25/2016 1:26PM

Lanerie on brink of second straight title

Barbara D. Livingston
Corey Lanerie has a one-win lead in the jockey race with three days to go.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With just three days left at the 16-day Keeneland spring meet, Corey Lanerie is in position to be the leading rider for the second straight meet. Lanerie enters Wednesday with 14 winners, one more than Javier Castellano, who rides the balance of the meet, and Luis Saez, who does not.

Lanerie has become the dominant jockey at Churchill, where he has topped the standings at 10 of the last 11 meets, but his title last fall at Keeneland was his first.

“It’s not your top priority, but yes, it’s always in the back of your mind,” said Lanerie. “Keeneland is such a prestigious meet that you’d love to be able to say you’re the leading rider.”

Among trainers, Mike Maker is on his way to his fourth Keeneland training title after going on a tear last weekend. Maker sent out six winners – two Friday, three Saturday, and one Sunday – to bring his total to 10, three more than Mark Casse. Maker set the track record at the 2013 spring meet with 25 winners.

Among owners, Ken and Sarah Ramsey will extend their Keeneland record by winning their 17th title.

◗ When a filly named Dear Elaine won the eighth race Saturday at Keeneland, race-caller Kurt Becker made two different mentions about how the victory had to be an emotional one for her owners.

He was right. Dear Elaine is named for the late Elaine Klein, who campaigned horses for years with her husband, Bert, and son, Richard. She died in July 2013 after a lengthy struggle with breast cancer.

“Neither my dad nor I could be there, but of course we were very moved watching on TV,” said Richard Klein, who happened to celebrate his 58th birthday Saturday. “It’s got to be in the top three moments that we as a family have ever had in racing.”

Dear Elaine, a 3-year-old homebred filly by Broken Vow, won the maiden race by 2 3/4 lengths with a perfect trip under Lanerie. Klein said she could run next in a Churchill allowance for trainer Charlie LoPresti.

◗ Jockey Jesus Castanon escaped serious injury when his mount fell in the fifth race Friday at Keeneland. Castanon took off mounts for the rest of the Friday card and Saturday but was back to ride one race Sunday. The horse who fell, Spikechevious, also was not seriously hurt.