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Elliott Enjoys First Keeneland Meet

Smarty Jones and Stewart Elliott win the Kentucky Derby

Named on seven horses today, the final day of Keeneland’s Spring Meet, jockey Stewart Elliott can consider his first full-time meet at Keeneland a success. Through Thursday, he has 12 victories to rank second to Julien Leparoux with 19 wins.

“It’s been great,” Elliott said of his Keeneland experience. “With the quality of racing here, it’s been great to get off to a good start. This is probably the toughest meet in the country right now.”

At the suggestion of his agent, Nelson Arroyo, Elliott moved from the East Coast to Kentucky this spring. His wife, Lilibeth, is from Springfield, Ky., and the family had been considering moving to the state. When Elliott rode trainer Mark Casse’s Coastline to a third-place finish in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral (G3) at Turfway on March 22, he decided the time was right to relocate.

Through Thursday, the team of Elliott and Casse has won seven races, putting them atop the list of the meet’s successful rider-trainer combinations. Together they won the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) with Sisterly Love on April 18 to give Elliott his first stakes win here.

“Hopefully, things keep going (well),” Elliott said. “I guess it’s some luck and getting on some good horses with Mark Casse. He has put me on a bunch of them to ride and some of the other trainers (have) too. Everybody has been really good to me.”

Elliott said he plans to next ride at Churchill Downs, where he won the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) aboard Smarty Jones. He is selling his Lambertville, N.J., farm and will move his wife and 8-year-old son, Christopher, to Kentucky after the school year ends in June.

He intends to return to Keeneland in October.

“This is a beautiful place,” Elliott said. “I had been here a couple of times in the jocks’ room and to ride but never on the backside. I realized (this spring) just how beautiful it is here with all the scenery.”

 

 

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