John Oxley's Flameaway has shown an affinity for Keeneland during his career, winning the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) on a sloppy track as a 2-year-old in 2017 and finishing second to Good Magic in last spring's $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2).
On Saturday, he will try to add success in the Ben Ali (G3) to his local resume.
“He tailed off a little bit at the end of last year, but he came to us at the Fair Grounds (at the end of December) in great shape,” said David Carroll, who runs trainer Mark Casse's Keeneland string and also oversaw the Fair Grounds contingent this winter. “We are very happy with him and he really blossomed here last spring.”
Winner of the Challenger at Tampa Bay on March 9 in his most recent start, Flameaway comes into the Ben Ali off two sharp works here: 5 furlongs in :59.80 on March 30 and a half-mile in :47.40 on April 6.
“Right now, we just want to get through Saturday with him,” Carroll said. “We will go race by race with him. There are so many races out there for him.”
Carroll also said Debby Oxley's Chocolate Kisses, sixth in last Saturday's Central Bank Ashland (G1), had her first day of training Thursday following the race.
“I think you can just draw a line through that race,” Carroll said of the Honeybee (G3) winner, who is considered likely to go on to the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3. “We changed her style to keep her closer to the pace (in the Central Bank Ashland), and she was inside where she doesn't want to be.”
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