Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Heaven Is Waiting controlled the pace en route to a half-length victory over favored Fred’stwirlincandy to win Thursday’s featured $69,000 Ashford Stud Purse for 3-year-olds and up before a crowd of 9,910. (Click here for a replay of the race.)
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Heaven Is Waiting covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:43.15.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Creative Cause out of the Kingmambo mare Gates of Eden, Heaven Is Waiting improved his record to 7-2-1-0 and boosted his earnings to $111,882 with Thursday’s $41,400 check.
Heaven Is Waiting returned $13.40, $6.40 and $5. Fred’stwirlincandy, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., returned $4.20 and $3.20 and finished a nose in front of Marzo, who paid $5.80 to show under Corey Lanerie.
Racing continues Friday with a 10-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET and highlighted by the 22nd running of the $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) for fillies and mares going 5½ furlongs on the turf. The Buffalo Trace Franklin County is the afternoon’s ninth race with a 5:30 p.m. post time.
Today Keeneland hosted the 11th annual Make-A-Wish Day, presented in partnership with local Thoroughbred farms and organizations. Wish children and their families were treated to a VIP day at the races, complete with lunch, meeting jockeys in the Paddock, watching their sponsor’s race from the Winner’s Circle and presenting a trophy to the winning connections after each of the day’s 10 races.
All donations made today at the Make-A-Wish Wishing Well in the Keeneland Paddock were matched by SF Bloodstock and Starlight Racing. The result was a check for an $8,000 donation.
Keeneland employees also came together to raise funds, presenting a check for $8,859 to Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana.
The race day began with former Wish child Hannah Thornsberry singing the National Anthem. Hannah, a junior at the University of Kentucky, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010 and has undergone seven brain surgeries and 30 radiation treatments. Since being in college, she has participated in two dance competitions that benefit Make-A-Wish and loves being able to give back to the foundation that gave her so much.