The Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on Keeneland's opening day card Oct. 3 is likely to have a field of seven 2-year-old fillies according to track officials. The 1 1/16-miles, two-turn race has proven to be a valuable prep for the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Three of the last six winners of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) have come out of the Alcibiades, including Countess Diana in 1997, the last year the Breeders' Cup was held in Southern California. In previous years, the race was sponsored by Walmac International, but will be presented by Darley for the first time. A bonus is attached to the winning connections, as they will receive a breeding season to Street Cry. Street Cry stands just minutes from Keeneland at Darley at Jonabell.
Likely to face the starter are Be Gentle, Deb's Charm, Galloping Gal, In Rome, Lokoya, Sweet Jo Jo, and Whirlwind Charlott.
Be Gentle, owned by Tom VanMeter, is coming off a second-place finish to the unbeaten Ashado in the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga on Aug. 29. Ashado figures to be the favorite in Saturday's Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. Be Gentle, winner of the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) earlier this year at Churchill, worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 Sunday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Trainer Kenny McPeek has a pair for the Alcibiades in Deb's Charm and Galloping Gal. Robert Francello's Deb's Charm, from the first crop of Silver Charm, broke her maiden Aug. 9 at Saratoga going seven furlongs and has not started since. Bill Carl's Galloping Gal is two-for-two, breaking her maiden at Saratoga Aug. 20 going 1 1/16 miles, then winning an open allowance test at a mile at Kentucky Downs. Both efforts were on the turf. Galloping Gal is from the first crop of Victory Gallop, out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy Flash.
McPeek won back-to-back runnings of the Alcibiades in 2000-01 with She's a Devil Due and Take Charge Lady, respectively.
Carl Pollard's In Rome worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 Saturday at Churchill Downs for trainer David Vance. She won the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs in her last effort.
Lokoya was second by a nose to stablemate Marylebone in the Matron Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont on Sept. 14. That race was a one-turn mile. The Woodman filly, owned by James Scatuorchio worked a half-mile at Belmont in :49 1/5 for trainer Todd Pletcher on Saturday.
Sweet Jo Jo is coming off a third-place finish behind Class Above in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park Sept. 13.
Whirlwind Charlott, a Real Quiet filly trained by John Dowd, has yet to go beyond six furlongs. She was second to Feline Story in her last start, the Sorority Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 30.