Two Emmys tops field of 12 for Friday’s Sycamore

October 19, 2021

Shantisara (IRE) heading back to New York following triumph in queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup presented by Dixiana

LESINGTON, Ky. – Wolfe Racing and Hugh Robertson’s Two Emmys, winner of the Mr. D. (G1) at Arlington Park in his most recent start, headlines a field of 12 runners entered Sunday for Friday’s 27thrunning of the $150,000 Sycamore (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going 1½ miles on the grass.

The Sycamore will go as the eighth race with a 4:44 p.m. ET post time on the 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m.

Two Emmys has been a model of consistency in his past four starts that began with a runner-up finish in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) at Fair Grounds in March. Following a short layoff, Two Emmys returned at Arlington Park with a runner-up finish in an allowance/optional claiming test and next was second in the Arlington Stakes (G3).

James Graham, who was aboard for the front-running victory in the Mr. D., has the mount Friday and will depart post position 12.

The field for the Sycamore, with riders and weights from the inside, is: 

1. Glynn County (Tyler Gaffalione, 121 pounds)
2. Ajourneytofreedom (Corey Lanerie, 121)
3. Hierarchy (Reylu Gutierrez, 121)
4. Ry’s the Guy (Chris Landeros, 121)
5. Yamato (Joe Talamo, 121)
6. Spooky Channel (Julien Leparoux, 123)
7. Sole Volante (Florent Geroux, 121)
8. Breakpoint (CHI) (Ricardo Santana Jr., 121)
9. Bama Breeze (Brian Hernandez Jr., 121)
10. Another Mystery (Adam Beschizza, 121)
11. Kentucky Ghost (Rafael Bejarano, 121)
12. Two Emmys (Graham, 123).

Shantisara (IRE) heading back to New York following triumph in Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup presented by Dixiana

Shantisara with Flavian Prat up wins the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup presented by Dixiana for trainer Chad Brown not present and owners Michael Dubb and Market Stables represented by Anna Seitz and Family. (Keeneland)

It may have been a different week, but the upbeat sounds of success still reverberated at the Chad Brown barn.

Shantisara (IRE) and Technical Analysis (IRE) provided the barn with its second consecutive Grade 1 exacta sweep with their 1-2 finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana on Saturday.

“Those are two nice fillies, and they are in good shape this morning,” said Baldo Hernandez, who is overseeing the Brown string at Keeneland. “They may be going back to New York tomorrow.”

Shantisara, owned by the partnership of Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Robert LaPenta, surged to a record-setting 5-length victory over Klaravich Stables’ Technical Analysis.

The previous week, the Brown-trained duo of Blowout (GB) and Regal Glory ran 1-2 in the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare for owner Peter Brant.

Hernandez said Blowout and Regal Glory also would be heading back to New York with the Queen Elizabeth II runners.

Flavien Prat rode both Grade 1 winners with Jose Ortiz finishing second in both races. Prat will attempt to double up for Brown this afternoon at Woodbine when he rides Kalifornia Queen (GER) in the $600,000 E.P. Taylor (G1).

Trainer Brad Cox was pleased with the third-place effort of Michael De Broglio’s Burning Ambition in the filly’s graded stakes debut.

“I have no idea what I am going to do with her next since there is obviously no turf racing in Kentucky for a while,” Cox said. “Possibly the ($300,000) American Oaks (G1 at 1¼ miles on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita).”

Eclipse Thoroughbreds and TOLO Thoroughbreds’ Queen Goddess, who finished fifth in her stakes debut, will train at Churchill Downs the next couple of weeks and then ship to California trainer Michael McCarthy said via text.

Harris Farms’ Closing Remarks, sixth on Saturday, was scheduled to return to trainer Carla Gaines’ base at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

James Wigan’s Cloudy Dawn (IRE), seventh in her U.S. debut for trainer William Haggas, was scheduled to ship back to Europe on Monday, according to head lad Suraj Bissessur.

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Flippant is scheduled for a 2-3 month break following her eighth-place finish, according to Phil Oliver, husband of trainer Vicki Oliver.

Leaving for Europe today was Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Empress Josephine (IRE), who finished ninth as the favorite.

“The lack of cover early in the race didn’t help her,” said Kieran Murphy, who has overseen the filly’s training at Keeneland for Aidan O’Brien. “It was tough to come back that quick from what was a tough race last week for her (in the First Lady in which she was third).”

Murphy also said Katsumi Yoshida’s Nicest (IRE), who finished fourth for trainer Donnacha O’Brien, would not be leaving Sunday with plans to be determined.

Charles Fipke’s undefeated Lady Speightspeare, who was scratched at the starting gate prior to the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Dixiana, is scheduled to return to Woodbine on Monday.

“She’s OK this morning. It’s just disappointing to come all this way and not run,” said Ally Walker, assistant to trainer Roger Attfield. “She has a bit of a wild side, and yesterday she reared up four times in the gate and then tried to lay down.”


Whit Beckman, who in recent years served as the Kentucky assistant to Chad Brown, saddled his first U.S. starter Saturday afternoon at Keeneland. He came within a nose of his first U.S. winner when Maxis Stable’s Kewpie Doll came up a nose short of catching Afleet Diva in the fourth race.

“I have seven horses and am starting to build the stable,” said the 39-year-old Beckman, a graduate of St. Xavier High School in Louisville, who is based at Churchill Downs.

Prior to working for Brown, Beckman was an assistant to Todd Pletcher and Eoin Hardy and was a head trainer overseas for two seasons in Saudi Arabia. …

Trainer Brad Cox said Sunday morning that Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Turnerloose, third as the favorite in the Oct. 13 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2), remains on track for a start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 5 at Del Mar.

“We are still planning on going,” Cox said. “The only question is if she will be able to get in (if the race is over-subscribed).”


Three horses with possible Breeders’ Cup World Championships races on their horizons were part of a busy 193-horse work tab over a fast track Sunday morning.

Calumet Farm’s Channel Cat (Turf-G1) worked a half-mile in :49.60 and Lexitonian (Qatar Racing Sprint-G1) worked 5 furlongs in 1:03.80 for trainer Jack Sisterson.

Also working toward a possible Sprint start was WSS Racing and 4 G Racing’s Mucho (:48.40 half-mile) for trainer John Ortiz.


$250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 20; race Saturday, Oct. 23) – Caramel Swirl (trainer Bill Mott), Cilla (Brett Brinkman), Just Read It (Ray Handal), Minute Waltz (Phil Bauer), Miss Speedy (Mark Casse), Souper Sensational (Casse), Strong Silent (Dale Romans), Zainalarab (Chad Brown). Possible: Current Climate (Michelle Elliott), Joy’s Rocket (Steve Asmussen), Obligatory (Bill Mott).

$150,000 Perryville (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 20; race Saturday, Oct. 23) – Boca Boy (Cheryl Winebaugh), Emerald Forest (Shane Wilson), He’smyhoneybadger (Brad Cox), Irish Unity (Steve Asmussen), Pickin’ Time (Kelly Breen), Pipeline (Chad Brown), Ram (D. Wayne Lukas), Soup and Sandwich (Mark Casse).

$150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) (Entries taken Thursday, Oct. 21; race Sunday, Oct. 24) – Eesha My Flower (Ian Wilkes), English Affair (Rusty Arnold), Kelsey’s Cross (Patrick Biancone), La Lune (GB) (Edward Vaughan), Luck Money (Arnaud Delacour), Micheline (Mike Stidham), Summer in Saratoga (Joe Sharp). Possible: Adventuring (Brad Cox), Dalika (GER) (Al Stall Jr.).

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.


All year

Official Keeneland Tours. A variety of guided walking tours showcase Keeneland’s Thoroughbred racing and sales operations. Click here for more information.

Every race day

The new Keeneland Turf Pick 3 wager is offered on the final three turf races each race day. The minimum wager is $3 and will follow the same rules as the traditional Pick 3. The new wager has a 15 percent takeout, the same low takeout as Keeneland’s popular Pick 5 wager.

Keeneland Select Handicapping Challenge. Sport of Kings, the free horse racing contest website, has this new free online handicapping contest for casual fans and serious horseplayers. Participants make mythical selections on two Keeneland races for each day of the meet. Two seats to the 2022 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship will be awarded. To sign up, click here.

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

Keeneland Barn Notes

Top photo: Two Emmys, with James Graham up, wins the Mister D. Stakes (formerly the Arlington Million) over Domestic Spending at Arlington. (Coady Photography)

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