An overflow group of 24 sophomore fillies passed the entry box Oct. 16 for the $125,000 Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT), forcing Keeneland officials to split the Oct. 19 running of the race into divisions for the second time in history.
The 1 1/16-mile grass test was split into two divisions in 2009; the first was won by Dell Ridge Farm's Bluegrass Princess and the second by Harvey Clarke's Eye of Taurus.
The first division of this year's Pin Oak Valley View will go as the seventh race on a 10-race program, with an approximate post time of 4:17 p.m. EDT. The second division goes as the ninth race at 5:21 p.m.
Highlighting round one are grade III turf winners Volcat, who races for Landaluce Educe Stables, and Colonial Flag, under the silks of W.S. Farish, George Prussin, and Skara Glen Stables', along with A. A. Faisal's Italian group I winner Nayarra.
Volcat, trained by Ken McPeek, won the Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) in July at Colonial Downs and in her most recent start finished third, beaten a neck in the Sept. 15 Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park. Robby Albarado, who was aboard for the victory at Colonial, has the mount from post position two aboard the After Market filly.
Colonial Flag, a daughter of Pleasant Tap trained by Michael Matz, won the Aug. 25 Ontario Colleen (gr. IIIT) at Woodbine in her most recent start to get her first graded stakes score.
Nayarra, an Irish-bred Cape Cross filly now trained by Graham Motion, won the Gran Criterium (It-I) at Milan as a 2-year-old. She finished seventh in the July 14 American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in her U.S. debut, and most recently was third in the Sept. 20 Given Stakes at Belmont Park after running second in Arlington's Aug. 18 Hatoof Stakes by half a length.
Three grade III turf winners also top the second division of the Pin Oak Valley View: Newtown Anner Stud's More Than Love, Twin Creeks Racing Stable's Dancing Solo, and Team Block's homebred Leading Astray.
More Than Love, a daughter of More Than Ready who won the Miesque (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood last fall, makes her first start since finishing last of 12 in the Edgewood in May at Churchill Downs for trainer John Terranova.
Leading Astray, winner of five of six turf starts including a victory in the Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) at Arlington in her most recent start, is trained by Chris Block. E.E. Perez, who has been aboard for all of the filly's starts, has the call from post nine.
"Leading Astray is a work in a progress," Block remarked. "She's got talent, but I don't know what her ceiling is and probably won't know until she gets older because her family is like that."
The 3-year-old Belong to Me filly did not make her debut until April when she won at first asking at a mile at Hawthorne.
"I am extremely proud of what she has done," Block said. "She was a maiden in April and she took a big step in her last race. She will have to take another big step here."
$125,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, First Division (gr. III, Race 7, approximate post 4:17 p.m. EDT), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Closing Range (KY), J.K. Court, 118, P J Oliver
2. Volcat (KY), R. Albarado, 122, K G McPeek
3. Zapper Belle (KY), C.J. Lanerie, 118, D C Peitz
4. Nayarra (IRE), K.J. Desormeaux, 118, H G Motion
5. Medolina (KY), R. Napravnik, 118, T A Pletcher
6. Colonial Flag (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 122, M R Matz
7. Ann of the Dance (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 118, W M Catalano
8. Angel Terrace (PA), J. Graham, 118, J E Sheppard
9. Miss Cato (GB), G. Saez, 118, R L Attfield
10. Cosmic Energy (KY), J. Castellano, 120, T A Hills
11. Run a Risk (KY), P. Lopez, 118, G R Arnold, II
12. Alaura Michele (KY), E. Castro, 118, W I Mott
Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, Second Division (gr. III, Race 9, approximate post 5:21 p.m. EDT), 3YO Fillies 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Miz Ida (KY), S. Bridgmoahn, 118, S Margolis
2. Daylight Ride (PA), R. Napravnik, 118, J E Sheppard
3. Welcome Dance (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 118, M R Matz
4. Pianist (KY), J. Castellano, 120, C C Brown
5. Zucchini Flower (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 118, H G Motion
6. English Class (KY), E. Trujillo, 118, B A Lynch
7. Fine Silver (KY), P. Lopez, 118, S Santoro
8. Freedom Reigns (IRE), J. Graham, 118, D Matthews
9. Leading Astray (IL), E.E. Perez, 122, C M Block
10. More Than Love (KY), M. Mena, 118, J P Terranova, II
11. Temper in Command (NY), J.L. Castanon, 118, D L Romans
12. Dancing Solo (KY), C.J. Lanerie, 122, T A Pletcher