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Pool Play Takes on Ten Rivals in Elkhorn

William S. Farish Jr.’s Grade 1 winner Pool Play will face 10 rivals in the 28th running of the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (G2), a 1½-mile race on the turf for four-year-olds and up on Friday, closing day of Keeneland’s 16-day spring meet. Trained by Mark Casse, the eight-year-old horse by Silver Deputy was second in the 2011 Elkhorn, won by Musketier (GER), and in his next race won the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) on dirt at Churchill Downs in his final race of the year.

Pool Play, who was eighth in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), opened 2013 at Gulfstream Park, where he ran second to Csaba in the one-mile Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) and sixth behind Graydar in the 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap (G1).

Miguel Mena will ride Pool Play, who will break from post nine in the Elkhorn.

Another major winner in the race is Soribel Stable’s Al Qasr, a Group 1 winner at the Elkhorn distance and on the turf in Argentina in May 2012. Horse of the Year in Peru, where he won one Group 2 and three Group 3 races, the five-year-old son of Aptitude did not race again until March 30, when he was sixth behind Cigar Street in the Skip Away Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. Edgar Prado will ride Al Qasr, who drew post six in the Elkhorn.

Their rivals include Phipps Stable’s Reflecting, who won a 1½-mile allowance race on the turf at Keeneland on April 11. The Elkhorn marks the stakes debut for Reflecting, a four-year-old Elusive Quality colt who is trained by Shug McGaughey. McGaughey’s three wins in the race include last year’s renewal with Point of Entry.

The Elkhorn will go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. (ET) post time.

The field for the race, from the rail out, is as follows: Sky Blazer (Rosie Napravnik, 118 pounds), Al Qasr (Prado, 118), Side Road (Gary Stevens, 118), Helicopter (Arienne Cox, 123), Reflecting (Robby Albarado, 118), Dark Cove (Joel Rosario, 118), Macho Bull (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118),Ioya Bigtime (Jeffrey Sanchez, 118), Pool Play (Mena, 118), Forte Dei Marmi (GB) (Julien Leparoux, 118) and Al Khali (Garrett Gomez, 118).

 

 

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