Asked when he and his partners decided to point their filly Testa Rossi (FR) to Saturday’s $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), James Covello said, “The minute she crossed the wire in the Breeders’ Cup.”
“Obviously I love the race, and it means a lot to me having won it
before,” Covello said about the Central Bank Ashland, which he and
partners Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel won in 2011 with their 48-1
longshot, Lilacs and Lace. “It’s the kind of racing I like.”
On Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, Testa Rossi finished second to Chriselliam (IRE)
in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in her second race in North
America. Chad Brown trains the daughter of Dr Fong, who won her 2014
debut in the Florida Oaks (G3) on turf at Tampa Bay Downs.
Covello, who works for Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, races Testa
Rossi in partnership with Thomas Coleman and Mike Dohenney – “guys I’ve
gotten to know through work,” he said. “This is the first horse we’ve
owned together.” He said his wife, Teri, and their three children, along
with Coleman and Dohenney, plan to be at Keeneland for the Central Bank
Winning the race three years ago made quite an impression on Covello.
“I went back and watched the replay of the race a whole bunch of
times the other day just channeling the positive energy,” he said.
Entries for the Central Bank Ashland will be drawn Wednesday.
Testa Rossi arrived in Brown’s barn at Keeneland on Sunday as did Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1) hopeful, Bobby’s Kitten.
Last year, Bobby’s Kitten won the Pilgrim (G3) at Belmont and was
third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). On March 8, he opened his
2014 campaign with an allowance win over one mile at Tampa Bay. The son
of Kitten’s Joy won that race by 1½ lengths over Transylvania (G3)
starter Global View.
Bobby’s Kitten will receive his final work for the Toyota Blue Grass
over the coming weekend, Brown said. Javier Castellano will have the
mount in the Toyota Blue Grass.
Brown will kick off the Spring Meet with two runners in Friday’s Transylvania, Pleuven (FR) and Storming Inti. His barn also includes Grade 1 winner Stephanie’s Kitten, who is pointed to the Jenny Wiley (G1) on Toyota Blue Grass Day for her 2014 debut, and recent stakes winner Ready to Act for the Beaumont (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select the following day.
“We’ve got some horses we’re really excited about running here,” Brown said.