Swifty Farms' Pataky Kid, winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity and undefeated in two starts on Polytrack, worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 on Monday in preparation for a run in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity, a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to be run November 3 at Santa Anita.
Working on his own before light rain began to fall, Pataky Kid posted fractions of :12 2/5, :24 1/5, :36, :48 2/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.
"He looked like he had wings out there," trainer Tom Proctor said with a laugh. "He went really good and Paco Lopez will ride him Saturday."
An Oklahoma-bred by Rockport Harbor, Pataky Kid debuted at Churchill Downs on July 1 and closed well to finish third in an 11-horse field at 42-1 odds. On August 9, as a 5-2 chance, Pataky Kid surprised no one in breaking his maiden.
"He ran a good race at Churchill and I guess he was bet down at Arlington because of that race," Proctor said of Pataky Kid, who arrived at Keeneland last Wednesday from Chicago. "I don't think the surface matters. I think he can run on anything."
Pataky Kid, who brought $62,000 at the 2011 September Yearling Sale, later sold for $95,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Florida juvenile.
The list of Breeders' Futurity probables also includes Are You Kidding Me, Charming Kitten, Craving Carats, Dynamic Sky, He's Had Enough, Hightail, Joha, Positively, Titletown Five, Tizracer, Tree of Life and Tulira Castle. Balance the Books is slated for the Breeders' Futurity or the Grade 3 Bourbon on Sunday.
Another juvenile in action on opening weekend is Rose to Gold, who is taking on Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades at 1 1/16 miles. She has more than paid back her $1,400 purchase price for owners Alex Centofanti and his wife, Kathy Amaya, and their son Raffaele of Miami Lakes, Florida.
Trained by Sal Santoro, who is based at Calder Race Course, the two-year-old Friends Lake filly opened her career with a 13-length win in the one-mile Lindsey Frolic on August 25 and returned to win the Brave Raj on September 15 over one mile and 70 yards by 13 1/2 lengths.
Santoro is thrilled with how the filly has been training on the Polytrack since she arrived last Wednesday. On Sunday, she did a two-minute lick for 1 1/2 miles.
"She's the kind of filly that doesn't really care about anything," Santoro said. "She'll train on a muddy track, a fast track, a slow track. Both of her races were on off tracks. It just didn't faze her. I figured she's gotta love this Poly and she does. She bounces around out there; she's happy. We're pleased that she likes it. We'll find out on Friday how much she really likes it."
Santoro, the private trainer for Centofanti and Amaya, is originally from New York and formerly had a breaking and training operation on Long Island. After relocating to Florida several years ago, he met Centofanti about two years ago through their mutual love of Harley-Davidsons. He now has about 20 horses for the owners at Calder.
Among them is Musical Flair, who came to Keeneland a year ago to race in the Breeders' Futurity. The colt finished 11th in the race, but was found to have an entrapped epiglottis for which he underwent surgery. Musical Flair remains at Calder, where he is expected for the Tropical Park Derby on October 13.
Santoro's five horses at Keeneland include More Than Speed, who is being pointed at the Franklin County on October 11, and Fine Silver, who is training for the Grade 3 Valley View on October 19.
Fellow Alcibiades candidate Daar Zayed, a maiden winner at Presque Isle Downs in her second start for owner Brian Thompson, worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Monday. Working on her own for trainer Eoin Harty shortly before the track closed for training, Daar Zayed recorded fractions of :13 2/5, :25 1/5, :37 3/5, :49 3/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.
Others expected to contest the Alcibiades, a "Win and You're In" for the Juvenile Fillies, are Almost an Angel, Broken Spell, Every Way, Fully Living, Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Gold Edge, Kitten's Dumplings, La Song, Magical Moon, Oscar Party, Pappascat, Pure Indy, Roveing Patrol, Speedinthruthecity, Spring in the Air and Tap Twenty One.
Also on tap Friday, the opening day of Keeneland's 17-day Fall Meet, is the Grade 3 Phoenix at six furlongs, a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The probables are Aikenite, Doctor Chit, Laurie's Rocket, Night Party and Sum of the Parts. Possible starters include Console, Delaunay, Hamiltonian, Hammers Terror, Lonesome Street, Noble's Promise, Upgrade and Will's Wildcat.
Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Allison De Luca has also released the projected fields for the other graded events for FallStars Weekend.
Saturday's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Mile, could attract Corporate Jungle, Data Link, Dominus, Doubles Partner, Fast Track, Silver Max, Skyring, Swift Warrior, Willcox Inn, Worthadd and possibly Humble and Hungry and Wise Dan.
The Grade 1 First Lady, for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf, is likely to feature Brilliant Future, 2012 Grade 1 Jenny Wiley winner Daisy Devine, Hungry Island, Summer Soiree and Tapitsfly. Laughing is considered as possible.
Multiple Grade 1 star Groupie Doll tops the expected cast for the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America, a six-furlong "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The winner of the Grade 1 Madison here in April, Groupie Doll will probably meet Mega Dream, Newstouse, Rumor, Sally Sally, Strike the Moon and Third Chance.
The field for the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong dash on the turf, could include Bridgetown, 2008 Woodford winner Chamberlain Bridge, Credit Report, Great Attack, Great Mills and Icon Ike.
On Sunday, Aruna is set to defend her title in the Grade 1 Spinster at 1 1/8 miles, a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. Among her possible rivals are Cathy's Crunches, Karlovy Vary, Kitty in a Tizzy, Nefertini, Starformer, Tiz Miz Sue and Upperline. Smart Sting is considered as possible.
Juveniles will line up in the Grade 3 Bourbon at 1 1/16 grassy miles, a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, with contenders including Brown Almighty, I'mboundtoscore, Ruler of Love and Slamarama.