Eddie Kenneally wrapped up a phone call with a client, talked to a member of his team, walked out in the shedrow to play with one of his smiling children, greeted a visitor, started the Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour, stopped the tour briefly to take a call from a vet, finished the tour, played with his kids some more and was back on the phone in an Adirondack chair in the shade. (Editor's note: Originally published in Aug. 14 issue of The Saratoga Special.)
Such was a 15-minute stretch Saturday morning during the transition time between training hours and a rare free afternoon for the Kenneally stable without a runner until Monday.
The barn won three races from 10 starters through Saturday, including Bitumen's win in the Grade 3 Sanford the first Saturday of the meet and Schivarelli in an allowance-optional Monday. Kenneally brought 18 horses from his spring-summer strings at Belmont Park, Keeneland and Churchill Downs and they're bedded down in Barn 21 on the backstretch of the main track, a new spot after being on the far turn in recent years.
"We've got 18 here, and 30 at Churchill now," Kenneally said. "It's a solid group, with Bitumen and Bradester, some 2-year-olds and others. We didn't bring up any unraced horses."
Standing in the shedrow with an eye on his dry erase board listing the 18 horses, Kenneally talked about The Special's Tom Law.
Bitumen: Joe Sutton's Mineshaft colt put in his second work since the Sanford - a half in :49.34 under Kenneally's assistant Kelly Wheeler Saturday - and in preparation for the Grade 1 Hopeful Sept. 5. "He breezed good today, just a maintenance work. He's done well since the Sanford; he did a lot in 23 days and now he gets a little gap before he has to run again. Six weeks, which is fine. He likes the track, or at least I think he likes the track, he ran a good race on it anyway. He looks like a horse that wants to go further. The next one is seven-eighths, a nice progression. He's got some stamina in his pedigree and hopefully in the fall we can get him to the two-turn races and point toward the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He's very straightforward, cool horse."
Bradester: Bypassed Grade 1 Whitney and won the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup Stakes a week earlier. "He's been a stakes winner at 3, 4, 5 and then this year he got real good. He's 3-for-3 this year, won two stakes at Monmouth and the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill. Seems to be better than ever, trains here on this track and we're going to run him on this track in the Woodward. Definitely. It's going to be five weeks from the Monmouth Cup and the horses that ran in the Whitney are only getting four weeks. At Monmouth he's raced in seven stakes, won four and was second in the other three. He won a Grade 2 last year, a Grade 3 last year and he ran in the Breeders' Cup (Dirt Mile). He got time off after the Breeders' Cup, maybe the break helped him. He's over a million dollars in earnings and he's a lightly raced horse this year, only having run three times, so we're hoping to have a relatively fresh horse come the end of the year. He got a Win And You're In for the Classic. We'll look at that and the Dirt Mile, see who's going and what' he's doing at the time. Ideally we'd like to think we can run in one of those two races. That's the year-end goal."
Swat: A $185,000 buy earlier this year, daughter of Candy Ride finished second in June 24 maiden race at Churchill. "She ran in a maiden race one time, ran in a tough Churchill maiden race to Fun, who came back and finished second in the Schuylerville. We're hoping to run her here soon. She's a pretty filly, ran well sprinting and we'd like to stretch her out. We think she's going to stretch out. She's a filly with a future."
Schivarelli: Second in Kelly's Landing Stakes at Churchill July 2, 5-year-old son of Montbrook won three-other-than allowance-optional Monday. "Hard-knocking horse. Ran a huge race here and he's a lightly raced horse this year. He came back off a layoff this summer and ran some good races at Churchill, stakes placed at Churchill before he came up here before he won the three other than. That was a great pot, $93,000 pot. Thankfully the race filled, sometimes they don't but it did, the timing was suitable, the distance was perfect and it could not have worked out any better. We nominated to the Forego because it's 7 furlongs, it's at the track, horses-for-courses, so we might have a look at it. It comes up a little soon, the timing is not ideal, it's 19 days after he ran, so maybe a little soon."
Milam: Sutton's 5-year-old Street Sense mare finished fifth in Roxelana Stakes at Churchill June 25. "She's a stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed. She was second in the Eight Belles on Derby Day a couple years ago and won a restricted stakes at Calder of all places. We're thinking about an allowance race here for her pretty soon."
Mo Bourbon: Bourbon Lane Stable's 3-year-old Uncle Mo gelding finished sixth in debut Aug. 8. "He went off as the favorite in his first start Monday and had a troubled trip. He's a horse with a future. Beautiful horse, we ran him three quarters the first time. When he gets the opportunity to stretch out he'll be a better horse. I wouldn't read too much into his first race. He acts like a good horse."
Love Me In Malibu: Another for JSM Equine, 2-year-old Malibu Moon filly finished fifth in July 31 debut going 6 furlongs on the main track. "She ran here the other day, found a bad track and made her first start. She ran so-so."
Decent: Halcraft Stable's 4-year-old War Front gelding makes first start since March 27 at Gulfstream in the first race Monday. "He's coming off a layoff but he runs well fresh. It's a starter race. He's in top form and we're praying it stays on the turf. There was quite a bit of rain in the forecast and hopefully by Monday the turf course will be used. He'll be very salty on Monday."
Alotta Skirt: Winner of back-to-back races this spring at Keeneland and Churchill, 3-year-old daughter of Candy Ride finished seventh in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks for JSM Equine. "She won a couple races this year. Her most recent race was the Iowa Oaks, the track came up muddy and she didn't care for that track. We're pointing her for the Monmouth Oaks (August 20). She won two in a row prior to the Iowa Oaks, went off second choice, 2-1 in a graded stakes, so she's solid."
Blast: A Churchill allowance winner for Sutton June 12, 3-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly was seventh in Grade 3 Victory Ride July 9 at Belmont. "She's a full sister to that filly Fun that I mentioned earlier. Won a real nice allowance race in June and then I ran her in a small stakes at Belmont and she didn't run very well from the inside. She'll get some black type here at some point. I don't know if it will be here or not, but she'll get some, she's a solid filly."
One Of A Kind: Sanford Bernstein's 2-year-old by Lemon Drop Kid cost $100,000 this year and exits a seventh July 23 going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. "He ran here opening weekend. He was second in a pretty salty maiden race in June and then he was second choice in the race here on the grass stretching out. He ran in the middle of the pack, was a little green and didn't get a great trip. He'll run back in a two-turn maiden grass race for 2-year-olds."
Frank: "Frank is the pony and he's fine. You've got a photograph of him in (Saturday's) edition of The Saratoga Special with my assistant, Kelly Wheeler."