Laurel-based trainer Tim Keefe is looking at stakes races in New York and Pennsylvania as possible next starts for Woody Stephens (G2) winner Still Having Fun.
Keefe has nominated Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Terp Racing's Still Having Fun to the one-mile Kelso Handicap (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park and the six-furlong Gallant Bob (G3) for 3-year-olds at Parx Racing, both Sept. 22.
Still Having Fun was fifth in his most recent effort, the seven-furlong H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) Aug. 25 at Saratoga. The 3-year-old Maryland-bred son of Old Fashioned who brought $12,000 as an October 2016 yearling began 2018 with wins in the Frank Whiteley Jr. and Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel.
In eight career starts Still Having Fun has four wins and two seconds with $431,703 in purse earnings. He has yet to face older horses but owns wins at both distances. The Miracle Wood is his only previous try at a mile, breaking his maiden last November and running second in the Chick Lang Stakes May 19 at three-quarters.
“[The owners] and I will get together and decide if we're thinking a mile or shortening him up to six furlongs,” Keefe said. “There's pros and cons with both races, but he's doing great. He came out of his race at Saratoga awesome and we're just trying to pick out the next race.”
Keefe won Laurel's fourth race Sunday, a $40,000 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up, with Wachtel Stable and Peter Deutsch's Top Me Off ($20.20). The gelded 3-year-old son of Hall of Famer Curlin, ridden by Forest Boyce, was making his first start for Keefe.
“He's a little quirky so, to be honest, we weren't really sure what to expect from him today. He works solid in the morning, when he wants to work. He's kind of got a mind of his own and we're just trying to figure him out,” Keefe said. “He's a horse that you really can't get after too much because he'll start to resent it. She did a great job, got to the lead and just kept on going.”
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