Saturday, March 30, 2002

Keeneland spring meet opens April 5

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., will host its 16-day spring race meeting April 5-26 with racing Wednesdays through Sundays. Post time each race day is 1:15p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m.

        The $750,000 Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes is April 13 and the $325,000 Grade II Coolmore Lexington Stakes is April 20. Both are important prep races for the May 4 Kentucky Derby. The $500,000 Grade I Ashland Stakes is an important prelude to the May 3 Kentucky Oaks.

        LATE DERBY NOMINEES: Fair Grounds Oaks winner Take Charge Lady, owned by Select Stable of Cincinnatians Feye and Jerry Bach, and San Felipe Stakes winner Medaglia d'Oro are expected to be late nominees today for the Triple Crown series.

        The fee nominating a horse at this point in the process is $6,000.

        The early nomination period, which required a fee of $600, ended Jan.19 with 405 3-year-olds nominated for the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

        Take Charge Lady is a stablemate of Derby contenders Harlan's Holiday and Select Stable's Repent in trainer Ken McPeek's barn, and is more likely to start in the Kentucky Oaks.

        TURFWAY PARK: De Bertie, the 9-5 morning line favorite under Lonnie Meche, will have to overcome the outside post in the field of 11 in today's $50,000 Fairway Fun Stakes for fillies and mares.

        The 1 1/16-mile race on the final Saturday of the meeting will be the 10th of 12 races.

        De Bertie, trained by Steve Flint, returns to Kentucky from south Florida, where she won two stakes at Gulfstream Park — the $75,000 Escena State Jan.11 and $75,000 Allen Paulson Handicap on Feb.24.


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- Keeneland spring meet opens April 5
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