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Musical Romance Tops Vinery Madison at Keeneland

musical romance

Florida-bred Musical Romance has provided her connections many memorable moments during her stellar racing career.

Last year’s Eclipse champion female sprinter will look to add to the special memories on Thursday when she headlines a field of 10 in the $300,000 Vinery Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. The race is carded as the eighth with a 4:42 p.m. post time.

Owned by Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan, Musical Romance is as honest as they come. The daughter of Concorde’s Tune won five of 14 starts last season, including the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) and she placed in eight others. Also numbered among her 2011 scores was a victory in the rich Presque Isle Masters Stakes (G2) 0ver the synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs. All told, she has bankrolled more than $1.3 million in her career.

“She’s a life changer,” Kaplan said on Wednesday en route to Keeneland. “She’s such an honor to be around. She is one of a kind. There really aren’t many like her.”

Back aboard for the Vinery Madison will be her regular rider Juan Leyva. The two obviously have a mutual respect for one another judging by the results they produce on the racetrack.

“He has such confidence in her,” Kaplan said of Leyva. “And she has such confidence in him. If he asked her to go through an opening that was only inches she would go through it for him. Juan knows whenever he asks her for her best she will give it to him.”

The last time Musical Romance competed over Keeneland’s Polytrack she finished second, beaten only a head, in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at six furlongs last fall. She is coming off a victory in the Inside Information Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in her last start, her second of the season.

“She is so special,” Kaplan said, “and she doesn’t need to carry her racetrack with her. She’s run well over everything. She can handle traditional dirt, turf, synthetic, it doesn’t matter to her.”

The field for the Vinery Madison, from the rail out, is as follows: Home Sweet Aspen (Rosario, 123 pounds), Musical Romance (Leyva, 123), Whipsaw City (FR) (Julien Leparoux, 118), Sugarinthemorning (Rafael Bejarano, 118), La Reine Lionne (John Velazquez, 118), Whisked Away (Luis Martinez Jr., 118), She’s Cheeky (Robby Albarado, 118), Groupie Doll (Rajiv Maragh, 118), Ariana D (Jose Lezcano, 118) and Future Generation (IRE) (Garrett Gomez, 118).

Musical Romance/Coglianese photo