Morpheus, a 4-year-old half-brother to British superstar Frankel,
worked a half-mile in :46.20 on Sunday morning as he continues training
for his North American debut. The son of Oasis Dream (GB) is a homebred
racing for Khaled Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and is trained by Racing
Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
“We’re trying to make a plan for him at the moment,” said Garrett
O’Rourke, manager of Juddmonte’s U.S. operation. “Obviously, he’s a very
well-bred horse and there’s been a lot of scrutiny on him because of
his pedigree. Last year he ran some nice races. The horse has some
talent, and we thought we’d bring him over here to see if running on the
firmer tracks might make a difference to him.”
Morpheus, who began his career in England and won three races in
eight starts, was sent to Mott around last Christmas. The colt was
scratched from Thursday’s eighth race because of a minor cut on a hock,
O’Rourke said, and is likely to race at Keeneland in an upcoming 1
1/16-mile race on the Polytrack.
“There’s no rush with him,” O’Rourke said. “I hope he gets to the graded stakes level, and we have some fun with him this year.”
Frankel, considered one of the finest horses to race in Britain in
recent years, at 6 is in his first season at stud at Abdullah’s Banstead
Manor Farm in Newmarket, England.
Another Juddmonte runner, Emollient, arrived at
Keeneland about 6 a.m. today and is being pointed to Friday’s Hilliard
Lyons Doubledogdare (G3). Last year, she won the Central Bank Ashland
(G1) during the Spring Meet and the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) in October.
Juddmonte’s Group 2 winner Romantica (GB), runner-up
in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), also is at Keeneland,
where the Bewitch (G3) on April 24 is her next target.
“It’s a distance grass race to get her started,” O’Rourke said about
the 5-year-old Galileo (IRE) mare who is out of European and North
American champion Banks Hill (GB). “We’ll see what direction we go in
after that. We’ve got a lot of talent in the barn this year with grass
fillies, and we’ve got to find spots for Emollient. She might even take
on the colts.”
THIRD-WEEK STAKES TAKING SHAPE
A trio of Grade 3 winners is considered as probable entrants for Saturday’s 33rd
running of the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the
main track, according to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Scott Jones.
The Coolmore Lexington, which offers 17 points (10-4-2-1) toward the
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), is expected to attract the
likes of Ivan Dalos’ Ami’s Holiday, winner of the Grey (G3); Phipps Stable’s Mr Speaker, winner of the Dania Beach (G3); and Susan Moulton’s Solitary Ranger, winner of the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3).
Other probable starters include Divine Oath, Dynamic Impact and Ride Away. Entries for the race will be taken Wednesday.
Also scheduled for Saturday are the 84th running of the $150,000 Ben Ali (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track and the 18th running of the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.
Probables for the Ben Ali are Farhaan, Frac Daddy, Hattaash, Joha, Nikki’s Sandcastle, Red Rifle and Stealcase.
Probables for the Giant’s Causeway are Ageless, Allwewantforxmas, Believe in Charlie, Free as a Bird, Point to the Wild, Queen’s Award, Saturday Nthe Park, Sweet Cassiopeia and To My Valentine (FR).
Friday’s feature will be the 20th running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares on the main track.
Among the names expected in the entry box Tuesday is Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient, winner of last year’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) and Juddmonte Spinster (G1). Other probables are Gold Medal Dancer, Moment In Dixie, Sisterhood, Solid Appeal and Strathnaver (GB).