The 1 1/8-mile dirt contest drew an evenly-matched field of eight older horses, and also includes graded stakes winner Pleasant Prince and the 2009 Iselin winner Chirac. The 10th race on a 12-race program, the Iselin has a probable post time of 5:24 p.m. EDT.
Leading trainer Todd Pletcher will ship in Alma d’Oro for Bourque Goldstein Thoroughbreds. The 5-year-old horse enters off a victory in the R. R. M. Carpenter Memorial Stakes July 16 at Delaware Park when he prevailed by a nose as the 3-2 choice. The son of Medaglia d'Oro—Brenda D S, by Fortunate Prospect, has won twice in six tries in 2011 and was third in the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) two starts back. Overall, he is 7-3-4 from 22 starts with earnings of $321,038.
Joe Bravo will ride Alma d’Oro for Pletcher.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Pleasant Prince also enters off a win in an optional claimer July 8 at Monmouth, which was just his second start of the year. In 2010, the son of Indy King scored the Ohio Derby (gr. III) and Oklahoma Derby, and missed winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) by a nose. He was ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) in November.
The chestnut colt has won four of 16 starts and earned nearly $600,000. Elvis Trujillo will ride for Wesley Ward.
“He’s a very big horse,” Ward said. “So it’s kind of taken him some time to get back into form. I thought his last race was very good. It looks like he’s back. He went from fifth to first in four strides once he got running room.”
Pia Kirkham’s Chriac will make his first start for trainer Pat McBurney after moving from the barn of Juan Guerrero. The 6-year-old Sligo Bay gelding won the 2009 Iselin by 6 3/4 lengths for the biggest score of his 22-start career. After the Iselin, he missed more than a year with injuries and went winless in four starts in 2010. He began this season by winning a $50,000 claimer at Parx Racing and was last in the Greenwood Cup July 16.
Another main contender is John Koenig’s Ponzi Scheme, a three-time winner this year including the Skip Away Stakes in May at Monmouth. He was fourth last out in the Greenwood Cup.
$250,000 Philip H. Iselin (gr. III, Race 10, 5:24 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dueling Alex (KY), M J Luzzi, 117, C M Gambolati
2. Chirac (FL), C Hill, 117, P B McBurney
3. Where's Sterling (KY), P Lopez, 117, N Canani
4. Alma d'Oro (KY), J Bravo, 119, T A Pletcher
5. Ponzi Scheme (KY), J Valdivia Jr., 119, J Serey
6. Southern Ridge (KY), C H Marquez Jr., 117, J H Forbes
7. Pleasant Prince (FL), E Trujillo, 117, W A Ward
8. Cactus Charlie (MD), S Uske, 117, J J Tammaro III