Race of the Week 2017

Romans Works Dewey Square at Keeneland

31 January 2009: Trainer Dale Romans at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

Once again trainer Dale Romans shipped a contender from his Churchill Downs base to Keeneland to work a week before the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Last year, the horse was Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, who won the race by 1¼ lengths.

Romans’ candidate for the 2013 Toyota Blue Grass is Siena Farms LLC homebred Dewey Square, a Bernardini colt who was third behind Uncaptured in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and is coming off a fifth behind Rydilluc in the Palm Beach Stakes (G3). Both Uncaptured and Rydilluc are being pointed to the Toyota Blue Grass.

“If something works, we stick with it,” Romans, who received the 2012 Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer, said about the schedule.

With Tammy Fox aboard, Dewey Square worked five furlongs in 1:03. Clockers caught the colt’s first three furlongs in :38.20 with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:16.

“He got stronger as he got used to what he was running on, and he galloped out really strong,” Romans said. “It looked like he figured it out.”

Today could be a big day for Siena, the Paris, Kentucky, breeding operation that represents the partnership of Anthony R. Manganaro, Ignacio “Nacho” Patino and David Pope. Siena is racing homebred Private Ensign, also trained by Romans, in today’s Central Bank Ashland (G1). The farm bred Elnaawi, a Street Sense colt owned by Shadwell Stable in today’s Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct.


Wes Welker’s Undrafted, who won his career debut at Keeneland a year ago, was the final candidate for Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) to work here Saturday.

With Azael De Leon aboard, Undrafted worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 in company with the three-year-old filly Sunset Time.

“He looked good. He broke off about 10 lengths behind that filly and closed and met her there at the eighth pole and cruised on to the wire,” said trainer Wesley Ward, who was the leading trainer during Keeneland’s spring and fall meets last year.

A gelding by Purim, Undrafted was third in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes last June and won his final start of the season, an allowance race on the turf, at Gulfstream Park. This year at Gulfstream, he turned in thirds in the Gulfstream Park Derby, Hutcheson Stakes (G2) and Swale Stakes (G3).

“The question is how far he’s going to go, especially with the contention being so deep in a race like that,” Ward said about Undrafted’s chances in the Toyota Blue Grass. “But you kinda have to take a shot. I think this is the best time to do it.”

In other Toyota Blue Grass news, trainer Ken McPeek said he would wait a day to work Charles Fipke’s Java’s War at Gulfstream Park. “The track was muddy down there this morning, so we will try Sunday,” McPeek said of the runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).  Julien Leparoux is to ride Java’s War in the Toyota Blue Grass, McPeek said.

Frank Irvin’s Fear the Kitten, fifth in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park on March 23 in his most recent start, worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 over a fast track at the Trackside Training Center in Louisville. The move, for trainer Mike Maker, was the third fastest of seven at the distance.

Working at Palm Meadows on Saturday morning was Marylou Whitney’s Eton Blue, who covered a half-mile in :48.30 on a fast track for trainer Nick Zito.




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