Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Courtney Heeney
According to the Churchill Downs Barn Notes for November 15th, Keen Ice–who upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) before finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I)–is training for a possible start in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on November 27th.
Trained by Dale Romans, Keen Ice posted a sharp workout at Churchill Downs earlier this morning, going four furlongs in :48 1/5 (fractions of :11 3/5, :23 3/5, and :35 3/5) before galloping-out five furlongs in 1:02 2/5.
“Right now, I’m training him like he’s going in the Clark,” Romans was quoted as saying. “He’s a big strong and heavy horse that needs a lot of work and he enjoys his work so it’s not hurting him. He’s showing no signs of souring so we’ll train like we’re running him.”
“I think he could’ve had a better performance in the Breeders’ Cup,” Romans added. “I just don’t think that things set up for him from track conditions to everything else. What I think you’ll see at this time next year is a horse that will be talked about as Horse of the Year or Champion Older Male. He’s doing that well and moves forward so much every time he runs that at the end of his 4- year-old year, you’ll see an even better Keen Ice and a special horse that goes down in history. He’s one of the few horses that I’ve had that the more he does, the better he gets. A lot of horses I can maintain, but you see very few prove the way he has.”
Assuming he starts in the Clark, Keen Ice will be part of a very deep field that is expected to include Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Dortmund, Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) winner Protonico, Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) winner Race Day, Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) winner Frivolous, and Ohio Derby winner Mr. Z.
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