Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM

Prado wins eight over weekend


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Trainer John Ward and jockey Edgar Prado both had sensational weekends at Keeneland.

Prado won eight races, including four of the six graded races: the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity with Sky Mesa and the A.P. Indy aboard Dixie Tactics on Saturday, and the Spinster with Take Charge Lady and the Shadwell Mile with Landseer on Sunday. Prado is atop the jockey standings, but his lead probably will be short-lived because he plans to ride mostly at Belmont Park the rest of the meet.

Including Sky Mesa, Ward won with 4 of 7 starters. His other winners all came in maiden races: Bluegrass Spirit ($6.60) won Friday, and Perfectly Stunning ($7.20) and Flying Jazz ($15.20) won Sunday.

Ward said almost his entire stable was affected by "some kind of bug" at the Saratoga meet, but the horses clearly have recovered. "We've got some awfully nice young horses in the barn right now," he said.

Ward said Perfect Story, a half-sister to 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given, probably will run again, toward the end of the meet. Perfect Story finished second as the favorite in the fifth race Saturday in her career debut.

Perfect Story made a big mid-race move after getting away to a slow start in the seven-furlong race. She is a 2-year-old filly by Tale of the Cat out of Turko'sTurn.

Perfect Drift feeling fine

Perfect Drift came out of his victory in Saturday night's Indiana Derby in fine shape, trainer Murray Johnson said Sunday at Keeneland. Perfect Drift, wearing blinkers for the first time, captured the $414,700 race by three-quarters of a length over Easyfromthegitgo.

Perfect Drift, a gelding who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, was making his first start since a dismal performance in the June 9 Belmont Stakes.

Johnson said he did not know where the gelding would start next, although the Fayette Stakes here Oct. 26 is a logical possibility. The Indiana Derby, said Johnson, "was about the last chance to stay in with 3-year-olds."

Serving the sponsor

Simulcast fans who were annoyed by Keeneland's refusal to use color-coded saddlecloths for some of its major races last weekend will just have to grin and bear it.

Although Keeneland broke its long-standing tradition last year, becoming one of the last tracks in North America to switch to color-coded towels for everyday races, the track still uses uniform towels for major stakes with corporate sponsors. Five such races were run here opening weekend.

Rogers Beasley, Keeneland's director of racing, acknowledged that color-coded towels are easier for race-watchers to decipher, especially on television, but said Keeneland will continue using uniform towels in sponsored races.

"It's part of their deal," he said. "They pay all this money to sponsor these races, and there are just certain things they get to do."

Color-coded towels are used in stakes without sponsors, such as the Phoenix and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, the highlight of the coming weekend.

Blow, Bucky, blow

Bucky Sallee, who for 38 years has summoned horses to the racetrack as the Keeneland bugler, will blow his 10,000th Keeneland call to post before the second race Wednesday.

Sallee, 73, has been the Keeneland bugler since 1964. Dressed in his signature black top and hat and green jacket - he changes to a red jacket on major stakes days - Sallee sounds his bugle twice before each race. He plays "Boots and Saddles" as horses step onto the track from the paddock runway, and he toots a few bars from "Assembly" with two minutes to post.

"Each time I walk out on that track, I realize what a great job I have," said Sallee.

Scholarship day

Scholarships worth $1,000 each will be given away here Friday to 10 college students. The donations are being co-sponsored by Keeneland and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

Registered students with a valid college I.D. card are eligible for the random drawings, which will be held after each of nine races. A 10th scholarship will be awarded to someone with a parent who works in the racing industry. Students must be present to win.

* Churchill Downs racing secretary Doug Bredar was at Keeneland Saturday distributing condition books for the Louisville track's fall meet, which begins Oct. 27.

* Unlike at previous meets, Keeneland is posting will-pays on television monitors for the pick four before the final leg.

* Paul Holthus, vice president of the Tex Sutton airline chartering business, is back at work after suffering several major injuries in an Aug. 1 motorcycle accident in Lexington. Holthus, 40, was not wearing a helmet. Holthus is the son of Bob Holthus, a Midwest-based trainer for over 50 years. Paul Holthus trained for about 15 years and was a jockey agent for several years.