Racing News

Going 'Rogue' in the Bourbon

| Brisnet Editorial | 01/27/2011 #

Bumped and pinched back in a rowdy start to Sunday's $100,000 Bourbon S. (G3) at Keeneland, Catesby W. Clay's homebred ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones) would have had an ample excuse if he had failed to fire. Instead, the 3-1 favorite delivered a superb closing kick from the tail of the field to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths. With Julien Leparoux's patient guidance, the Ken McPeek pupil completed 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in a smart 1:42 3/5, just a tick off the stakes record established by Gateman (GB) in 1999, and booked his spot in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs.

"The Clays (Catesby W. Clay and Runnymede Farm) have bred some really good horses for us, going back to Tejano Run (winner of the 1994 Breeders' Futurity [G1] at Keeneland)," McPeek said. "There's a long list of them over the years. I'm just really happy for them. They're a wonderful group of people -- great to work for. Obviously, they brought a good horse to the game."

After Rogue Romance's troubled break, Leparoux allowed him to drop back to the rear and regroup, where he raced greenly and appeared to climb. Up front, Machisa (Safado) was rattling off fractions of :23 3/5, :48 3/5 and 1:13 1/5. Voodoo Storm (Storm Cat), who had been stalking in second, put his head in front leaving the far turn, but he was soon engulfed in midstretch. Just as Stormy Rush (Stormy Atlantic) collared Voodoo Storm, he was in turn collared by Cozy Kitten (Kitten's Joy), who launched a bold move to strike the front briefly between calls.

Then the blur that was Rogue Romance appeared down the center of the course. Having been angled out widest of all, Rogue Romance simply blew by Cozy Kitten, stormed clear under tender handling, and scored with an air of complete authority. The popular winner returned $8.80, $4.60 and $3.80 while keying the $41.60 exacta, $1,093 trifecta and $9,083 superfecta (7-2-4-11).

"I had the binoculars nailed on him," McPeek said, "and he was getting a lot of dirt in his face and he wasn't real happy about it. He was fighting the tongue tie in the paddock, so he's really green in the scheme of things, but obviously he's quick enough to win one."

Cozy Kitten yielded $5.60 and $4 as the 7-2 second choice, and his connections were talking Breeders' Cup as well.

"We're going to the Breeders' Cup with this one," owner/breeder Ken Ramsey said. "I'm really happy with how he ran. Obviously, I would be happier if he had won, but he still ran great and we're going to Churchill Downs."

The 82-1 Ocasta (Cherokee Run), who was also bumped at the start, rallied for third, 1 1/4 lengths adrift of Cozy Kitten, and paid $16.60. Stormy Rush reported home the same margin away in fourth. Monzon (Thunder Gulch), Voodoo Storm, Z Appeal (Ghostzapper), Mesonic (Sky Mesa), Moment of Weakness (Ire) (Big Bad Bob), Mont Ventoux (Borrego), Machisa and Forum (Roman Ruler). The also-eligibles Banned (Kitten's Joy) and Rough Sailing (Mizzen Mast) were withdrawn, with the latter having finished sixth in Saturday's Breeders' Futurity (G1).

Rogue Romance's victorious stakes debut improved his mark to 3-2-0-0, $93,150. Racing exclusively at 1 1/16 miles on turf so far, the chestnut finished an encouraging fourth to eventual Pilgrim S. (G3) winner Air Support (Smart Strike) at Saratoga on August 13, and returned to win handily by 2 3/4 lengths at the Spa on Labor Day.

"I had to make a decision whether I was going to run him in the (Breeders') Futurity (on Saturday) or here," McPeek revealed. "In all honesty, I was going to lose Julien (Leparoux, who rode fourth-place finisher Typhoon Slew [Stormy Atlantic] in the Futurity). I was going to lose him to another horse if I ran yesterday, so we decided to sit still and wait for this race today.

"Thought it might be a little easier, although I'm not convinced that grass is this colt's only game. I think he'll be fine on the dirt. He's got the two-turn thing down pat, no problem. He's obviously got a great turn of foot."

Bred by Clay and his Runnymede Farm in Kentucky, Rogue Romance was sold to Clay for $65,000 at Keeneland September. He is out of the winning Afleet mare Lovington, making him a half-brother to Grade 3 queen and $605,356 earner Savorthetime (Gilded Time), who won or placed in a total of 15 stakes; Grade 2-placed Tizbig (Tiznow); multiple stakes-placed Indy Mood for Luv (A.P. Indy); and a weanling filly by Medaglia d'Oro.

Lovington is herself a half-sister to the winning Onemiracleatatime (Gulch), the dam of this season's Arlington-Washington Lassie S. (G3) and Ontario Debutante S. victress Wonderlandbynight (Sky Mesa), who just finished fourth in Friday's Alcibiades S. (G1). This is the family of several sires -- Grade 1-winning millionaire Honour and Glory (Relaunch), multiple Grade 1 hero Ogygian (Damascus), and Grade 1 stars Fappiano (Mr. Prospector) and Quiet American (Fappiano).

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.