Pickin’ Time Picks His Spot in Saturday’s Perryville

October 23, 2021

Micheline And Her Special Housing Return To Keeneland For Sunday’s Rood & Riddle Dowager; Upcoming Prospective Stakes Fields

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Saturday’s 13th running of the $150,000 Perryville for 3-year-olds going 7 furlongs attracted nine runners with one omission to the delight of trainer Kelly Breen.

“It’s a wide-open race and I don’t see a Jackie’s Warrior in there,” said Breen, whose Pickin’ Time ran second in his most recent start behind Jackie’s Warrior in the Gallant Bob (G2) at Parx on Sept. 25. 

Jackie’s Warrior looms as the probable favorite for the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6.

A New Jersey-bred son of Stay Thirsty owned by breeder John Bowers Jr. (Roseland Farm Stable), Pickin’ Time is back sprinting after chasing heavyweights such as Hot Rod Charlie and Mandaloun in the Haskell (G1) in July.

“Mr. Bowers ran a horse in the Haskell 21 years ago (Thistyranthasclass, who finished fifth) and didn’t think he would have another one,” Breen said. “He asked me to run, and I couldn’t deny him the opportunity.”

Pickin’ Time won two stakes as a 2-year-old, including the Nashua (G3) going a mile. Following a fourth-place finish in the Mucho Macho Man (L) at Gulfstream on Jan. 2, he received nearly a five-month vacation.

“His first race back (in the Jersey Derby), the race came off the grass and I thought it would be easier on him, but he was never comfortable and then he got thrown to the wolves (in the Haskell),” Breen said. “Since he went back to sprinting he has a win (in a state-bred stakes at Monmouth) and the nice effort to finish second to Jackie’s Warrior.

“I think he can go longer. This is a nice middle-distance race to build his confidence to get him going longer.”

Pickin’ Time is among the five horses Breen has at Keeneland. One of them, Persisto, runs in this afternoon’s third race. Breen also trains Edge Racing’s Yes This Time, a Grade 3 winner pointing to the $150,000 Bryan Station going a mile on the turf on Oct. 30.

Micheline And Her Special Housing Return To Keeneland 
For Sunday’s Rood & Riddle Dowager

Michline with Nik Juarez up wins the Sorority at Monmouth. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Godolphin’s Micheline, runner-up in the 2020 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana, is coming to Keeneland for another try over the turf course. The 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini out of 2007 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) winner Panty Raid is among the 10 fillies and mares entered for Sunday’s $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3).

Once again Micheline will have her special accommodations – a traveling stall of wood-lined farm gates with a fitted tarp for a ceiling – that is set up outside trainer Mike Stidham’s barn.During her early training in Florida, Micheline was so claustrophobic that she was turned out in a paddock instead of residing in the barn. Before she relocated to Stidham’s base at Fair Hill training center in Maryland, an outdoor stall was built. 

“Whenever she leaves Fair Hill, her portable stall goes with her,” Stidham said. “She is happy and comfortable in that.”

The unique stabling is undeniably a success as Micheline has won five of 17 starts and earned $680,103. Except for her unplaced effort in Keeneland’s Darley Alcibiades (G1) in 2019, Micheline has raced exclusively on turf.

In addition to being picky about her stabling, Micheline prefers a specific grass footing that is not too soft. In her most recent effort, she was a close sixth in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (L) last month but encountered slight interference in the race that compromised her chances.

“It all has to do with the race track,” Stidham said. “As long as the grass is firm, she will run her ‘A’ race. She tried to do that at Kentucky Downs but everywhere she went through the stretch, she got stopped and had nowhere to go. And she only got beat a couple of lengths.”

Florent Geroux, who rode her in the Queen Elizabeth II Presented by Dixiana, is back on board from post position six in the Rood & Riddle Dowager.

Potential Breeders’ Cup Horses Work Today

Extravagant Kid and Tarabi – two horses being considered for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar – worked over a fast main track Friday morning.

DARRS Inc.’s Extravagant Kid worked a half-mile in :49.40 in his final Keeneland work before an expected start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) on Nov. 6.

Trained by Brendan Walsh, the earner of more than $1.6 million posted fractions of :12.60, :24.80, :37, :49.40 and out 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 while working on his own at 7:30 a.m. following the first track maintenance renovation period.

Fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint here last fall, Extravagant Kid is scheduled to leave Saturday morning for Indianapolis and a FedEx flight to California.

Working right after Extravagant Kid was Spinaway (G1) runner-up Tarabi, who breezed 5 furlongs in company in 1:00.20. Owned by LBD Stable, Manganaro Bloodstock and David Ingordo, Tarabi is under consideration for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run Nov. 5.

Cherie DeVaux trains Tarabi

Galloping Out

Keeneland Racing Analyst Tom Leach talks to trainer Mac Robertson about Two Emmys in today’s Sycamore (G3). He talks to Mark Casse about the trainer’s horses in Keeneland’s two Saturday stakes: Soup and Sandwich in the Perryville and Souper Sensational and Miss Speedy in the Lexus Raven Run (G2).

Upcoming Prospective Stakes Fields

$150,000 Rubicon Valley View (G3), Friday, Oct. 29 – Adventuring (trainer Brad Cox), Arm Candy (Steve Asmussen), Breaker of Chains (George Weaver), Core Values (Vicki Oliver), Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek), Flown (Brendan Walsh), Gam’s Mission (Cherie DeVaux), Oliviaofthedesert (McPeek), Oyster Box (Graham Motion), Queenship (IRE) (Joseph O’Brien), Saranya (Cox), Tobys Heart (Brian Lynch). Possible: Inajiffy (Joe Sharp).

$150,000 Myrtlewood, Friday, Oct. 29 – Jester Calls Nojoy (Todd Pletcher), Sweet Dani Girl (Carlo Vaccarezza), Towser (Justin Nixon), Verylittlecents (Randy Morse), You Look Cold (Rob O’Connor).

$200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), Saturday, Oct. 30) – Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey), Fort Peck (Robertino Diodoro), King Fury (Kenny McPeek), Major Fed (Greg Foley), Manhattan Up (Diodoro), Night Ops (Brad Cox), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Miguel Silva). Possible: Trident Hit (Ron Moquett).

$150,000 Bryan Station, Saturday, Oct. 30)–Camp Hope (Kenny McPeek), Cellist (Rusty Arnold), Hush of a Storm (William Morey), Perfect Silent Cat (Wesley Ward), Point Me By (Eddie Kenneally), Scarlett Sky (Shug McGaughey), Yes This Time (Kelly Breen). Possible: Kentucky Pharoah (Jack Sisterson).

$150,000 Bowman Mill, Saturday, Oct. 30 –Chattalot (Steve Asmussen), Hope in Him (Joe Orseno), My Prankster (Todd Pletcher), Nakatomi (Wesley Ward). Possible: Lucky Shot (Dee Poulos).

Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet runs through Saturday, Oct. 30. 
Post time for the first race each day is 1 p.m. ET. No racing Mondays and Tuesdays.

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.

Keeneland Barn Notes

Photo: Pickin’ Time #6 with Nik Juarez riding won the $100,000 New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap at Monmouth Park on Sunday August 29, 2021. (Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

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