Bluegrass Stakes might have a spoiler

Apr 03, 2024 at 09:17 pm by Danny Brewer

Sierra Leone wins the Risen Star (photo by Hodges)

  A quick look at the 100th Bluegrass Stakes says it is a rematch of that Remsen battle between morning line heavyweights Sierra Leone and Dornoch. However, there are nine other entrants that will have a little something to say about that.

  Rewind to last December when a very game Dornoch refused to lose and got up by a nose over Sierra Leone at Aqueduct in the Remsen Stakes. Since then, both these colts have registered impressive wins on the Kentucky Derby trail. Dornoch was victorious in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his only start as a three-year old. Sierra Leone was very impressive in his only race as a three-year-old as well in winning the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

  The rematch takes place in the heart of horse country, but as we are well aware, sometimes these races within the race can be ruined by those that don’t know they are not supposed to be vying for victory. Who are potential crashers of this party?

  How about the number 3, Seize the Gray for veteran trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Having raced just two weeks ago at Turfway Park, this son of Arrogate finished a closing third in the Jeff Ruby Steaks. This Gray is 20-1 on the morning line.

  The number 11 is the Brad Cox trained Encino. This son of Nyquist has won both starts this year with all three of his lifetime starts coming at Turfway. Yes, he will need to step up in class here, but he does get the services of jockey Flavien Prat. Listed at 12-1 on the morning line, we will find out how he handles the Keeneland dirt.

    Sometimes when a trainer has more than one entrant, it can be the “other” horse that scores. The number 5 is Good Money for trainer Chad Brown, whose headliner is Sierra Leone. Having turned in some sizzling works of late, if he comes in you can make some of his namesake.

  The most likely scenario is of course one of the two favorites wins, but remember, this is a grade 1 horse race and it is Keeneland.

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