G3 Winner Sparkle Blue Headlines $225K Keertana

May 24, 2023

Sparkle Blue makes the grade in the Valley View (G3) Oct. 28, 2022 (Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Augustin Stable and Catherine Peake’s Grade III winner Sparkle Blue headlines a field of 12 filly and mare turf marathoners that entered Saturday’s 10th running of the $225,000 Keertana Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 ½-mile Keertana will go as Race 10 of 11 with a post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 12:45 p.m.

Trained by Graham Motion, Sparkle Blue recorded the most prominent victory of her nine-race stand three starts ago when she defeated California Angel by 2 ½ lengths in the Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland. The daughter of Hard Spun capped her 3-year-old season with a narrow third-place finish behind Rhea Moon and School Dance in the American Oaks (GI) at Santa Anita.

In her first start of her 4-year-old season, Sparkle Blue finished sixth in the Modesty (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.

Sparkle Blue will be ridden Saturday by Vince Cheminaud from post No. 10.

Sinfiltre victorious first time against winners April 16 at Keeneland (Coady Photography)

Chief among Sparkle Blue’s competition is Wertheimer and Frere’s Sinfiltre. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sinfiltre won her last two starts, a 1 3/16-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park over the Tapeta surface and a 1 ½-mile first-level allowance contest on turf at Keeneland. Jockey Luis Saez has the riding assignment from post 4.

Other talented fillies and mares in the Keertana include three last-out Keeneland allowance winners: Gentry Farms’ Lovely Princess; Roger Keith Long’s Miss Yearwood; and Bronwood Farm’s Quality Star.

Here is the complete Keertana field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Lady Arsinoe (Julien Leparoux, Bill Mott); Quality Star (Joe Talamo, Paulo Lobo); Under One Sky (Gerardo Corrales, Juan Cano); Sinfiltre (Saez, Pletcher); Miss Yearwood (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes); Exit Soul (Florent Geroux, Michael McCarthy); Lovely Princess (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); I’m So Sorry (Jareth Loveberry, Brian Lynch); Talbeyah (IRE) (Cristian Torres, Mark Casse); Sparkle Blue (Cheminaud, Motion); Implosion (Rey Gutierrez, Steve Margolis); and Viburnum (Adam Beschizza, Kelsey Danner).

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