Trainers Roger Attfield and Bobby Frankel both have two horses in Thursday’s $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III), which drew a full field of 12 to Keeneland's all-weather racing surface.
The 1 1/8-mile race, which debuted at Keeneland during the track’s inaugural spring meet in 1937 after being held at the old Lexington Association track, is for older horses.
Attfield will saddle Eccentric, the British-bred 6-year-old gelding who won Keeneland’s Fayette (gr. III) last October and is making his 2007 debut. Attfield also sends out 2005 Ohio Derby (gr. II) winner Palladio, who was fifth in last year’s Ben Ali.
Frankel’s two Ben Ali starters are allowance winners Welcome Again and the Irish-bred Rathor. Rathor opened his 2007 campaign on April 6 at Keeneland, winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race.
The Ben Ali field also includes Chatain, who won the Hal’s Hope (gr. III) at Gulfstream in January before running fourth in the Donn (gr. I) in February, and veteran runner Mustanfar, who was fourth in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland in 2004. Mustanfar later won the Sycamore Breeders’ Cup (gr. IT) on turf during the fall meet. He returns in the Ben Ali after running unplaced in the Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) in February.
$150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:45 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Welcome Again (ON), 117, Javier Castellano
2. Eccentric (GB), 119, Edgar S. Prado
3. Greeley's Legacy (KY), 117, Corey S. Nakatani
4. Chatain (KY), 119, Cornelio H. Velasquez
5. Palladio (FL), 117, Mark Guidry
6. Minister's Joy (KY), 117, John R. Velazquez
7. Better Than Bonds (FL), 117, Robby Albarado
8. Mustanfar (KY), 117, Fernando Jara
9. Jade's Revenge (KY), 117, Kent J. Desormeaux
10. Stream Cat (KY), 117, Julien R. Leparoux
11. Saint Stephen (KY), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
12. Rathor (IRE), 117, Rafael Bejarano