July 16, 2024

Bell’s the One, Golden Pal highlight Keeneland undercard

Bell's The One wins the Dream Supreme Stakes at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Along with the centerpiece event, the $1 million Blue Grass (G1) for Kentucky Derby contenders, Saturday’s 11-race program at Keeneland features four stakes of interest on the undercard.

Madison (G1) – Race 7 (3:55 p.m. ET)

A major player in the female sprint ranks, Grade 1 winner Bell’s the One will open her six-year-old season in the $500,000 Madison (G1) at seven furlongs. The Neil Pessin-trained daughter of Majesticperfection has won her last two starts, including October’s Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at Keeneland, and the seven-time stakes queen will be rallying from off the pace with Corey Lanerie.

Kimari, an odds-on allowance scorer when making her 2021 opener at Gulfstream on March 3, will make a title defense in the 10-horse field. Unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) two back, the versatile performer defeated Bell’s the One when winning last year’s Madison. Tyler Gaffalione rides for Wesley Ward.

Brad Cox has a pair of contenders in Just One Time and Lady Rocket. A two-time Pennsylvania-bred stakes winner last year, Just One Time captured the Jan. 29 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream when making her first start for Cox last time. Flavien Prat picks up the mount. Three-time stakes winner Lady Rocket, last seen capturing the Go for Wand (G3) at Aqueduct in early December, will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Kalypso, winner of the La Brea (G1) two back, will make her first start for Steve Asmussen. She exits a third in the Feb. 5 Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita, and Gerardo Corrales will pick up the mount. Center Aisle, who stretched her win streak with a one-length wire-to-wire score in December’s Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream last out, is also entered.

Shakertown (G2) – Race 8 (4:30 p.m. ET)

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) victor Golden Pal, unbeaten from two Keeneland turf appearances and winner of his last five U.S. stakes attempts, tops 11 turf sprinters in the $350,000 Shakertown (G3). Trained by Ward, the four-year-old colt easily captured last year’s Woodford (G2), as well as the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), at Saturday’s 5 1/2-furlong distance on the local turf, and the Uncle Mo colt figures to be a prohibitive favorite with Irad Ortiz.

Other runners include multiple Grade 2 hero Diamond Oops, eight-time stakes winner Just Might, unbeaten Filo Di Arianna, and Barraza, who invades with a four-race win streak following a 2 3/4-length tally in Feb. 20 San Simeon (G3) at Santa Anita.

Commonwealth (G3) – Race 5 (2:45 p.m. ET)

Nashville, who established a new track record when winning the six-furlong Perryville S. at Keeneland in 2020, will bring high speed to the $300,000 Commonwealth (G3) at seven furlongs. Unbeaten from two Keeneland appearances, the Steve Asmussen-trained five-year-old opened 2022 with an unplaced finish in the King Cotton S. at Oaklawn, but Nashville rebounded with a confident-building allowance romp at Fair Grounds on March 18. Luis Saez takes over the reins.

Unplaced from a pair of stakes appearances last spring, Prevalence will step back up following an eye-catching frontrunning allowance romp at Gulfstream. Brendan Walsh trains the four-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt, and Gaffalione rides.

Other contestants include Endorsed, Sir Alfred James, and South Bend.

Appalachian S. – Race 6 (3:20 p.m. ET)

Eight sophomore fillies are set for the $400,000 Appalachian S. at a mile on turf.

Dolce Zel, winner of the March 12 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs when making her U.S. debut, merits serious respect for Chad Brown. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be back up on the French-bred daughter of Zelzal.

Graham Motion will send out Spendarella, who improved to 2-for-2 when leading wire-to-wire in the March 5 Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream, and Ouraika. The latter earned her first stakes triumph when rallying to a head decision in the Feb. 12 Sweet Life (G3) at Santa Anita last out.

Kneesnhips exits a win in the March 12 Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe Memorial S. at Fair Grounds, and An Agent Mistake invades for Doug O’Neill following a close second in the March 6 China Doll S. at Santa Anita. Skims, an English-bred daughter of Frankel, will make her first stakes start for Shug McGaughey after winning a mid-February allowance at Tampa Bay Downs as the odds-on favorite.