Full Fields Kick Off FallStars Weekend
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2001 4:11 PM
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2001 3:10 PM
Photo: Associated Press
Tout Charmant, working out prior to last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, will defend her title in Friday's WinStar Galaxy Stakes.
The first two major stakes of Keeneland's FallStars Weekend: the $500,000 WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the turf; and the $400,000 Walmac International Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) drew full fields as the Central Kentucky track kicks off its fall meeting Friday.
Stonerside Stable's Tout Charmant figures to be the favorite while defending her title in the 1 3/16-miles WinStar Galaxy. The 5-year-old mare, trained by Ron McAnally, will be ridden by Chris McCarron, will face nine opponents and will break from post 8. Last year, Tout Charmant ran down eventual older female turf champion Perfect Sting on her way to a 1 1/4-length victory. This year, Tout Charmant has made only one start, a fifth-place finish behind Tranquility Lake in the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar on Sept. 1. Tout Charmant will carry 118 pounds.
Under the allowance conditions of the WinStar Galaxy, Megans Bluff and Spook Express will carry co-topweight of 120 pounds. James Routsong's Megans Bluff is no stranger to Kentucky handicappers. Winner of last fall's Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) and the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) this spring at Churchill Downs, Megans Bluff has earned $647,680 in her 22-race career. The Pine Bluff 4-year-old will break from post 6 under Craig Perret. In her last start, Megans Bluff finished a distant seventh in the Beverly D Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Finishing third in the Beverly D was Spook Express, a South African-bred 7-year-old mare trained by Thomas Skiffington. A winner of two of seven starts this year, Spook Express won back-to-back stakes over the turf at Gulfstream Park this winter, the Honey Fox and Suwannee River Handicaps (both gr. IIIT). Mike Smith has the mount on Spook Express, who breaks from post 2. Skiffington also trains Princess Ellen, who drew post 5 for the WinStar Galaxy. Placed in last year's Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), Princess Ellen has one win in five starts this year, an allowance win at Belmont Park in July.
WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT); 1 3/16 miles
Post Horse Jockey
1 Crystal Sea Mike McCarthy
2 Spook Express Mike Smith
3 Nuit de Siam David Flores
4 Solvig Pat Day
5 Princess Ellen Jorge Chavez
6 Megans Bluff Craig Perret
7 Preseli Robby Albarado
8 Tout Charmant Chris McCarron
9 Doubly Fun Jeff Johnston
10 Veil of Avalon Edgar Prado
A near full gate of 2-year-old fillies take centerstage an hour before the WinStar Galaxy in the Walmac International Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II). Eleven juveniles have been entered for the 1 1/16-mile race on the main track that appears to be wide open.
Playing 'n Gold, winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. III) around two turns in her last start, will have to overcome post 10. The Robert Holthus-trained filly wired the field at Turfway on Sept. 22 and wheels right back on short notice. Edgar Prado picks up the mount on the daughter of Honour and Glory owned by Ken English and Alan Braun. Two starts back, Playing 'n Gold dead-heated with Lakeside Cup in the Ellis Park Debutante Stakes and will meet that rival again.
Lakeside Cup, a daughter of Salt Lake, has a 2-3-2 slate from seven starts and has earned $151,445. Prior to the dead-heat, that was the result of a malfunctioning photo-finish camera at Ellis Park, Lakeside Cup recorded second-place finishes in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga, the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, and the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs. Bernie Flint trains Lakeside Cup for owner Dreabon Copelan.
Smok'n Frolic figures to draw plenty of attention off a runner-up effort last time behind Cashier's Dream in the grade I Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. The daughter from the first crop of Smoke Glacken will be making her first two-turn start in the Alcibiades and will do so from post 6. Todd Pletcher trains Smok'n Frolic for Dogwood Stable. She will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Walmac International Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II); 1 1/16 miles
Post Horse Jockey
1 Boston Twist Gary Boulanger
2 Daisyago Lonnie Meche
3 Once Around Mark Guidry
4 Never Out Jon Court
5 Jibab David Flores
6 Smok'n Frolic John Velazquez
7 Take Charge Lady Tony D'Amico
8 Exotic Wager Pat Day
9 Lakeside Cup Robby Albarado
10 Playing 'n Gold Edgar Prado
11 Cunning Play Calvin Borel
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