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Veteran trainer Alan Seewald, whose promising three-year-old UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN (Limehouse) is expected to contest Saturday's Lexington S. (G2) at Keeneland, died in the early hours of Monday morning at his home in Middletown, New Jersey, according to published reports. He was 62. Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, a Monmouth Park twitter post mentioned that Seewald suffered a heart attack.
Dogwood Stable President Cot Campbell has announced that multiple Grade 1-placed AIKENITE (Yes It's True), who faded to eighth in Saturday's Blue Grass S. (G1), will not pursue the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Following Saturday's Derby preps, the Todd Pletcher colt ranked 24th on the graded earnings list with $221,750, and needed only three defections to get into the 20-horse field.
"Our Kentucky Derby hopeful Aikenite is off the Derby trail," Campbell said on dogwoodstable.com.
Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner ODYSSEUS (Malibu Moon) exited his last-place finish in Saturday's Blue Grass S. (G1) with a bone chip, owner Satish Sanan told the Paulick Report Monday morning. The Padua Stables colorbearer, who was ranked 26th on the graded earnings list with $183,750, is thereby out of Kentucky Derby (G1) consideration.
WEST / ASHLAND WINNER EVENING JEWEL NOT DEFINITE FOR KENTUCKY OAKS – The $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, sits atop the agenda of the owners of Evening Jewel, the winner of Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (GI). But co-owner Tom Braly told Daily Racing Form that a trip to Churchill Downs is no cinch.
KENTUCKY DERBY 136: 19 DAYS TO GO – The names of past winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) frequently surface each year in the days leading up to the “Run for the Roses.” But it was interesting that the name that surfaced repeatedly over the past weekend was that of Dust Commander, who pulled a 15-1 surprise in the 1970 Derby and would never win another race.
Keeneland Racing Secretary Ben Huffman reports that, as of Sunday morning, 10 sophomores were listed as probable for Saturday's $300,000 Lexington S. (G2), one of the last chances for horses to possibly secure enough graded stakes earnings for a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) starting gate.
The countdown is on to the 136th edition of the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 1, and trainer Todd Pletcher had three colts from his all-star team working a half-mile Sunday morning at Palm Meadows.
Last-out Louisiana Derby (G2) hero MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song) traveled a half-mile in :49 1/5, while Risen Star S. (G2) victor DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft) covered four furlongs in :51. Multiple Grade 3 scorer RULE (Roman Ruler), most recently third in the Florida Derby (G1), breezed a half in :49 4/5.
From Sunday's Keeneland notes:
STATELY VICTOR (Ghostzapper), who rewarded a record Blue Grass (G1) crowd of 33,727 with a record $82.20 payoff on Saturday, made a quick return to his Trackside Training Center base in Louisville, Kentucky.
"He came out of the race fine; excellent," trainer Mike Maker said of Stately Victor, who cruised to a 4 1/4-length victory.
Maker was asked if Stately Victor had not won Saturday, what would he have done with the colt.