deep and competitive field of 10 older horses has been assembled for
Saturday’s Grade I, $350,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, with Breeders’ Cup
Mile runner-up Za Approval, Grade II Citation Handicap winner Silentio
and Grade II Arcadia Stakes winner Winning Prize heading the lineup.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Trained by Christophe Clement and presently based at Payson Park in
South Florida, Za Approval has been idle since running second, beaten
three quarters of a length, by eventual repeat Horse of the Year Wise
Dan in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Nov. 2. A
6-year-old gelding by Ghostzapper, Za Approval has four wins and five
seconds at one mile on turf and is 17-7-6-0 overall with earnings of
Owned and bred in Kentucky by Live Oak Plantation, Za Approval, a
winner two starts back of the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Knickerbocker
Stakes Oct. 12 at Belmont Park, will be ridden for the third consecutive
time by Joel Rosario on Saturday.
Leading rider Rafael Bejarano, who rode Winning Prize to victory in the
Arcadia Stakes Feb. 1, will stick with trainer Gary Mandella’s
Silentio, who has been idle since a game nose victory in the 1 1/16
miles Citation on Nov. 29 at Hollywood Park.
Third, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile,
Silentio had to wait for room at the rail a quarter mile from home and
could well have been closer with clear sailing. Second, beaten a nose
by Ron McAnally’s Suggestive Boy in last year’s Kilroe, Silentio has two
wins from six starts over the Santa Anita lawn and is 10-4-1-4 overall
with earnings of $626,960.
A 5-year-old horse by the Sunday Silence stallion Silent Name, Silentio
was bred in Kentucky by his owners, Wertheimer and Frere.
A three-time Group I winner in his native Argentina, Winning Prize
notched his first stateside stakes win in the Arcadia, stalking the pace
and winning by an emphatic 1 ½ lengths at odds of 5-2. Third, beaten
three quarters of length two starts back in the Citation, 5-year-old
Winning Prize will be making his fifth start for trainer Neil Drysdale.
Owned by David Heerensperger and Jose Nelson, Winning Prize has four
wins and a second from five tries at one mile on turf and is 12-7-1-1
overall with earnings of $400,840.
Never a factor as the actual 5-2 Arcadia favorite, McAnally’s
Suggestive Boy had been idle 11 months and could well improve in defense
of his Kilroe title with a recent race under his belt. A 6-year-old
Argentine-bred horse, Suggestive Boy has five wins and a second from
nine starts at a mile on grass. Owned by Pozo de Luna, Inc., he is
14-7-2-0 overall with earnings of $681,370. Suggestive Boy will again
be handled by Joe Talamo, who has guided him to three added money
In addition to last year’s running, Hall of Fame conditioner McAnally
has won the Kilroe a total of three times—beginning with Kobuk King in
In his first try in graded stakes competition, Tom’s Tribute was a fast
finishing second in the Arcadia with Gary Stevens aboard. Trained by
Jim Cassidy, “Tom” earned a career best 102 Beyer Speed figure and will
hope to be flying late under Stevens in the Kilroe. An impressive one
mile turf allowance winner in similar fashion four starts back on Sept.
29, the 4-year-old colt by Lion Heart has a win and two seconds from
four tries at a mile on turf.
Owned by the Braly Family Trust, Tom’s Tribute is 8-3-3-0 overall with earnings of $179,230.
Idle since eased in the Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes Aug. 17 at
Saratoga, Calumet Farm’s Optimizer was second, beaten 1 ½ lengths two
starts back over a yielding turf in the Grade I, 1 ¼ miles Manhattan
Handicap June 8 at Belmont Park. Although he has solid credentials at
longer distances, he has never tried one mile on turf.
A 5-year-old horse by English Channel, Optimizer is trained by D. Wayne
Lukas and he’ll be ridden by Luis Saez, who will also ride Will Take
Charge for Lukas in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap.
Front running Regally Ready, who opened up five lengths on the field
after a half mile in the Arcadia, tired late to finish third, beaten 1 ¾
lengths and is expected to again show good speed with Mike Smith back
aboard. An impressive gate to wire mile allowance winner Jan. 2, he has
two wins from four starts at a mile on grass and is 30-11-2-6 overall
with earnings of $1,348,808.
A 7-year-old gelding by More Than Ready, Regally Ready is trained by
Steve Asmussen and is owned by Vinery Stables, LLC.
In his first attempt in stakes competition, trainer Marcus Vitali’s
Lochte blew out the Gulfstream Park tote board with a 39-1 shocker in
the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap Feb. 9. Third in
his only one mile turf try, Lochte worked a bullet three furlongs in
35.20 at Calder Race Course Feb. 24 and should be forwardly placed in
Owned by Crossed Sabres Farm, Lochte, a 4-year-old gelding by Medaglia
d’ Oro, is 10-3-2-3 overall with earnings of $276,007.
Although he’s never been beyond 6 ½ furlongs, California-bred
Lakerville has demonstrated a wicked closing kick sprinting and will
hope to transfer that style to one mile. A lightly raced 6-year-old
horse by Unusual Heat, he’s trained by his co-breeder Barry Abrams and
is owned by Madeline Auerbach and Abrams. Lakerville was most recently
second, beaten 1 ½ lengths as the 4-5 favorite in the state-bred
Sensational Star Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course
Trainer John Sadler’s Horizontalyspeakin is an up-and-comer who exits a
sharp gate to wire one mile turf allowance win on Jan. 26. In his only
stakes try to date, he showed the way and was well beaten in the one
mile turf, Grade II Sir Beaufort Stakes Dec. 26. Owned by Hronis
Racing, LLC, the 4-year-old Maryland-bred gelding has two wins and a
third from five tries at a mile on grass.
complete field for the Frank E. Kilroe, to be run as the eighth race on
an 11-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position
order: Lochte, Orlando Bocachica, 123; Regally Ready, Mike Smith, 118;
Optimizer, Luis Saez, 118; Suggestive Boy, Joe Talamo, 118; Za Approval,
Joel Rosario, 118; Winning Prize, Corey Nakatani, 118;
Horizontalyspeakin, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Tom’s Tribute, Gary Stevens,
118; Silentio, Rafael Bejarano, 118, and Lakerville, Kent Desormeaux,