The first weekend in October signaled the start of Keeneland's fall race meet, which showcased its popular 'Fall Stars Weekend.” Nine graded stakes races, including five Grade 1's, were contested over the course of the three days, most of which had Breeders' Cup implications.
Among the many highlights of the weekend, and of Saturday in particular, was Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez scoring wins in all three G1 races on the card. Velazquez continued his hot streak on Sunday in New York, piloting Blofeld to victory in the G2 Futurity.
Those four wins (Wise Dan, G1 Shadwell Turf Mile; Carpe Diem, G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity; Dayatthespa, G1 First Lady; Blofeld, G2 Futurity) catapulted Velazquez into second on the American Graded Stakes Standings jockey list. Velazquez now has 25 graded stakes victories this season and sits just one win behind leader Javier Castellano.
Fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith stayed close to Velazquez with his victory aboard No Nay Never in the G3 Woodford Stakes. Smith moved into third, just one victory behind Johnny V., at 24 wins.
Carpe Diem became the ninth graded stakes winner in 2014 for his sire, Giant's Causeway. The chestnut stallion remains securely in second, behind Tapit, on the AGS sire list. In addition to the Breeders' Futurity winner, Giant's Causeway is the sire of Imagining (G1 Man O' War), Abaco (G2 Ballston Spa), Fed Biz (G2 San Diego), Irish Mission (G3 Glens Falls), Irish Surf (G3 Cougar II), Naples Bay (G3 Marshua's River), Protonico (G3 Smarty Jones), and Winning Cause (G3 Cliff Hanger).
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