Two champions—Gio Ponti and Informed Decision—are among the horses scheduled to run at Keeneland this weekend as part of the Lexington track’s "FallStars Weekend."
As Keeneland kicks off its 17-day meet, the Oct. 8-10 weekend includes nine stakes, eight of which are "Win and You’re In" events for the 27th Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held November 5-6 at Churchill Downs. There are five grade I races on the weekend card.
The first grade I and the feature on the Oct. 8 opening-day card is the 59th running of the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It is a "Win and You’re In" race for the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Heading the list of probable starters compiled by stakes coordinator Allison De Luca are grade III winners Wickedly Perfect, winner of the Sorrento at Del Mar, and Wonderlandbynight, winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie at Arlington Park.
Other Alcibiades probables are Dos Lunas, Harlan’s Ruby and Jordy Y, with race possibles including Accept, Atlantic Voyage, Coax Liberty, Forest Legend, Norma’s Dream, Ocean Road, Poof Too and Wyomia.
Also on Oct. 8, Keeneland will present the 158th running of the $175,000 Phoenix (gr. III) for sprinters going six furlongs on the main track. It is a "Win and You’re In" race for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Heading De Luca’s list of probables are Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Warrior’s Reward and Hollywood Hit, a four-time stakes winner on Polytrack at Woodbine in 2009-10. Other probables include Canonize, Goldzar, Super Robusto, Wild L and Wise Dan. Considered as possible are 2009 Phoenix winner Fatal Bullet, Ez Dreamer, Greeley’s Conquest and Signature Red.
The 11-race card on Oct. 9 will include The President of the United Arab Emirates Cup for Arabians going 1 ¼ miles on the main track and five Thoroughbred stakes, three of them Grade Is.
Dual Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti heads the list of probable starters for the 25th running of the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), a "Win and You’re In" race for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I). An earner of more than $4.3 million, Gio Ponti is 1-for-1 on the Keeneland turf, having taken the Bourbon as a 2-year-old in 2007.
Other Shadwell probables are Courageous Cat, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year to Goldikova, Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Enriched and Get Stormy, winner of seven of his past eight starts including a score in the Bryan Station (gr. IIIT) here last fall. Considered as possible is Turallure.
Three graded stakes winners are among eight probables for the 97th running of the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The race is a "Win and You’re In" race for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Maybesomaybenot won the grade II Sanford at Saratoga, Madman Diaries took the grade III Sapling at Monmouth and Major Gain broke his maiden in winning the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) at Arlington Park. Other probables include Conservative Value, J. B.’s Thunder, Santiva, Typhoon Slew and Willcox Inn. Mid-Atlantic invader Monzon is being considered for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity or the Bourbon (gr. III) on Oct. 10.
The prospective field for the 13th running of the $400,000 Abu Dhabi First Lady (gr. I) is in flux, with several connections also considering the Oct. 10, $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) as a weekend alternative. Among those contemplating both races are Acoma, Hot Cha Cha and Proviso (GB).
Considered as definite for the First Lady at a mile on the turf and a "Win and You’re In" race for the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) are Wasted Tears, winner of seven straight including the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT) here this spring, Dynaslew, Fantasia, Kiss Mine and Strike the Bell. Category Seven is considered as possible.
Defending champion Informed Decision tops the list of probables for the 30th running of the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. II) for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. The TCA is a "Win and You’re In" race for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I).
Other probables include Champagne d’Oro, Dr. Zic, Dubai Majesty, Ivory Empress, Sweet August Moon and Waccamaw. Possibles for the race include First Passage and Hilda’s Passion.
Silver Timber, winner of last fall’s Woodford (gr. IIIT), seeks to repeat in the Oct. 9 renewal of the $100,000 sprint at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. In addition to Silver Timber, who also won the Shakertown (gr. IIIT) here this spring, probables are Atta Boy Roy, Central City, Chamberlain Bridge, Due Date, Fiddlers Patriot, Great Attack and Ravalo.
The Juddmonte Spinster, a "Win and You’re In" race at 1 1/8 miles on the main track for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I), features six probables in addition to the trio on the fence that’s contemplating the Oct. 9 First Lady. Topping the list is Rinterval, who came within a neck of upsetting the undefeated Zenyatta in the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 7.
Other probables include Askbut I Won’ttell, Funny Moon, It’s Tea Time, Striking Dancer and Tizaqueena.
The second stakes on the Oct. 10 card is the 20th running of the $100,000 Bourbon (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Bourbon is a "Win and You’re In" race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. II). Probables for the Bourbon include Banned, Cozy Kitten, Mesonic, Ordinary Joe, Pulpitarian, Rogue Romance and Rough Sailing with Voodoo Storm considered as a possible starter.