Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Wednesday, September 14, 2016

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/14/2016 #
  • Wellabled Looks Ahead for Road to Breeders’ Cup
  • Lassie Winner Diadura Eyeing Keeneland Stakes


Carolyn Wilson’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity winner Wellabled is likely to make his next start on the turf at Keeneland, with a run at the Breeders’ Cup a year-end goal according to trainer Larry Rivelli. The juvenile colt gave sire Shackleford his first graded-stakes winner with a 7¾-length romp in the feature race at Arlington International Racecourse on Sept. 10. With E. T. Baird aboard, Wellabled took the lead out of the gate and never looked back in the seven-furlong synthetic sprint.

“He came out good, he went to the track today and was bouncing around,” Rivelli said. “The Bourbon [at Keeneland] is the most realistic spot I think we’ll run him in next.”

The Grade III Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9 is 1 1/16 miles on the turf for 2-year-olds. The race is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade I $1,000,000 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park. Wellabled finished second by a head in his only turf start, the 5½-furlong Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 19.

“There’s a race that’s at 6½ furlongs for a $100,000 at Presque Isle [The Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes], but I want to try him two-turns and see if we can keep going further with him,” Rivelli explained. “If I want to point him to the Breeders’ Cup I have to make up my mind in the next race. I’ll work him on the turf; I’m not going to experiment with the dirt. If he runs good in that race, I’ll run him in the one mile [Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf]. If for some reason he doesn’t get in, or it doesn’t work, they also have a 6½ furlong down-the-hill on the turf that’s an undercard race for $100,000 [the Juvenile Sprint Stakes]. We’ll see how he runs two turns on the turf; if he runs like he did [in the Arlington-Washington Futurity] we’ll shoot for Breeders’ Cup. He ran an 88 Beyer, which I think is pretty good for 2-year-olds this time of year.”

Rivelli saddled his first Breeders’ Cup starter last year in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland with Cocked and Loaded, winner of the 2015 Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. Cocked and Loaded finished fifth in the field of 14 behind future Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.


Victress in the Arlington-Washington Lassie on Sept. 10, Empyrean Stables and Two Princesses Stable’s Diadura, a 2-year-old daughter of Hard Spun now undefeated in two starts, will eye a start at Keeneland after the meeting at Arlington International Racecourse has concluded. Out of Grade II-placed mare Daytime Promise, Diadura defeated 10 other juvenile fillies going seven furlongs on the Polytrack under rider C. H. Marquez, Jr. The Mike Stidham trainee came from eight lengths off the pace, made a fearless push between horses on the turn and drew off to win by 5½ lengths.

“She looked great; came out the race well,” Stidham said. “We’re going to ship to Keeneland after the [September Yearling] sale is over and work her on the dirt. If she works really well over the dirt we’ll consider the Alcibiades. If she doesn’t work well on the dirt, then we’d maybe consider something like the Jessamine on the turf.”

The Grade I $400,000 Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 8, a 1 1/16-miles race on the main track for 2-year-old fillies, is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park. The Grade III $150,000 Jessamine Stakes is also 1 1/16 miles, albeit on the turf, and is a “Win and You’re In” for the one-mile Grade I $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.