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HRN Original Blog:
Around the Oval with Melaina Phipps

Keeneland Breeders' Cup Challenge Races, Part 3

Only one Breeders’ Cup Challenge race on the card today at Keeneland: the $500K, GI Juddmonte Spinster Stakes for fillies and mares, 3yo and up. Run on the main track at a distance of 1 1/8 m, the lucky lady in this race will win her way right into the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.








The morning line for race 9 at Keeneland today has favored Aruna (4/1), Embur’s Song (5/1), and Pachattack (5/1). Aruna has proven herself on the turf with a win and a second at the 1 1/8 m distance, but there’s no way to tell how she’ll like Keeneland’s Polytrack. Embur’s Song has a lot of experience on synthetic surfaces, and has two wins at Keeneland, though no wins at this distance. If she can stretch out the extra 1/16 mile, I think she’s a good bet. I do like Pachattack, though, who has wins at Arlington Park (1 1/8m) and Woodbine (1 ¼ m), both on synthetic tracks. A long shot, but still a strong contender is La Gran Bailadora (20/1). She’s run exclusively on sytnthetic all year. The only time she’s run at this distance, she came in second to Pachattack, but  I’m hoping she can make the extra 1/16 mile this time around.


Juddmonte Spinster S.
October 09, $500,000, 3yo and up, f and m, 1 1/8M, Keeneland Race Course, 5:45 PM ET

 
ML
Post
Horse
Weight
Jockey
Trainer
6/1
1
124
J. R. Leparous
T. A. Pletcher
4/1
2
Aruna  4, f.
124
R. A. Dominguez
H. G. Motion
8/1
3
Tapitsfly 4, f.
124
R. Albarado
D. L. Romans
12/1
4
124
A. O. Solis
J. E. Sheppard
12/1
5
124
W. T. Buick
M. R. Frostad
20/1
6
124
C. J. Lanerie
M. J. Maker
5/1
7
Embur’s Song (CAN)4,f.
124
J. L. Castanon
T. A. Pletcher
50/1
8
124
J. C. Leyva
W. A. Kaplan
20/1
9
124
E. S. Prado
W. I Mott
---
SCR
---
----------------
----------------
12/1
11
124
J. R. Velasquez
C. R. McGaughey III
5/1
12
124
R. Maragh
G. A. Butler
12/1
13
124
G. K. Gomez
H. L. Zucker


 

 

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Meet Melaina Phipps

I came to horseracing only about a decade ago. (And no, I am no relation to the celebrated racing family of the same name.) My equine interests prior to that began, as they do for most young girls, with riding lessons and horse shows, and ended up with me playing polo while a graduate student at UVA and thereafter. It was entirely unexpected that I should spend time on the backstretch at Saratoga in the summer and on the rail at Payson Park in Florida in the winter watching some of the best trainers and horses in the country work. But that’s where I found myself and where my interest in this wild ride of an industry took shape. I don’t exercise racehorses; I don’t work with a trainer.  I watch, I listen, I ask a lot of questions, and I learn.  I enjoy supporting equine charities. Sometimes I bet a little.

I leave the handicapping and serious race talk and examination to those more knowledgeable than I. What I’d like to share through Around the Oval are some of the myriad observations, stories, histories, events, charities, places, and personalities that make up the variegated landscape of the Thoroughbred racing industry. If you find any—or all—of it interesting, please leave comments. Have any particular interests you’d like to read about? Send word—suggestions are more than welcome!