Keeneland opens its 17-day fall meeting Oct. 8 with a pair of graded stakes, highlighted by the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies on Polytrack.
Likely to vie for favoritism in the Alcibiades are Wonderlandbynight and Wickedly Perfect, both grade III winners. A field of eight was entered for the 1 1/16-mile event. The Alcibiades is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) to be run Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. It will go as the ninth race on a 10-race card that also features the $175,000 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) for sprinters on the main track.
Trained by Michael Reavis for Mark Dedomenico, Wonderlandbynight has won all four starts, including the Sept. 11 Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) and Aug. 14 Ontario Debutante at Woodbine. In his maiden debut on June 4, he crossed the wire second but was later awarded the win. E.T. Baird, who has been aboard Wonderlandbynight in all four of her starts, has the call and will break from post 4.
The chestnut filly is by Sky Mesa, out of the Gulch mare Onemiracleatatime. Reavis bred her in Illinois.
Wickedly Perfect won her first two starts, including the Sorrento (gr. III) at Del Mar, before running second as the favorite in the Sept. 4 Darley Debutante (gr. I). Rafael Bejarano, who won the 2004 Alcibiades on Runway Model and on Country Star in 2007, will be aboard the California shipper trained by Doug O’Neill.
Wickedly Perfect, who is owned by STD Racing Stable, Peter Moehrke, and Rafter JR Ranch, is by Congrats, out of the Tactical Cat mare Wickedly Wise. She was bred in Florida by Y-Lo Racing Stables.
Also contenders for the race are Jordy Y, who was runner-up in the Arlington-Washington Lassie for her first defeat in three tries, and Poof Too, an off-the-pace winner in her Sept. 9 debut at Woodbine for Mark Frostad.
The Phoenix is also a “Win and You’re In” race for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I). Warrior's Reward, winner of the grade I Carter Handicap this spring, will concede from two-to-eight pounds to 10 rivals when making only his second start on synthetics in his 16th race.
Owned by A. Stevens Miles Jr. and trained by Ian Wilkes, Warrior’s Reward enters the Phoenix off a fourth-place finish in the Forego (gr. I) at Saratoga Sept. 4. The 4-year-old son of Medaglia d'Oro has won twice in five starts this year and was also runner-up in the May 1 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II). In his only other start at Keeneland, he was fifth in the 2009 Perryville (gr. III).
Julien Leparoux, who was aboard for the victory in the Carter, has the call on Warrior’s Reward, who will carry 124 pounds and break from post 5.
The second highweight is Peter Redekop’s speedster Hollywood Hit, who will carry 122 pounds and be ridden by James McAleney. McAleney has been aboard Hollywood Hit in his past seven starts that have all come at Woodbine and resulted in five victories, three of them in stakes. His biggest score came in the May 9 Vigil Stakes (Can-III) when setting the track record for seven furlongs in 1:20.07. Last out, he won the Sept. 22 King Corrie Stakes by a half length.
$175,000 Phoenix Stakes(gr. III, Race 8, 4:45 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Goldzar (KY), V Lebron, 118, G S Wismer
2. Greeley's Conquest (KY), M Mena, 118, G A Thomas
3. Wise Dan (KY), R Bejarano, 116, C Lopresti
4. Wild L (IA), G W Corbett, 118, M R Matz
5. Warrior's Reward (KY), J R Leparoux, 124, I R Wilkes
6. Moralist (KY), S J Sellers, 118, T Domenosky
7. Hollywood Hit (OK), J McAleney, 122, A Bolton
8. Super Robusto (KY), M C Baze, 118, W M Catalano
9. Ez Dreamer (AZ), R Albarado, 118, R K Owens
10. Rockin' Rockstar (KY), W Martinez, 116, M E Lauer
11. Canonize (KY), V Espinoza, 118, R W Ellis
$400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II, Race 9, 5:20 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Poof Too (KY), P Husbands, 118, M R Frostad
2. Harlan's Ruby (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, K G McPeek
3. Jordy Y (FL), J Alvarado, 118, W M Catalano
4. Wonderlandbynight (IL), E T Baird, 118, M L Reavis
5. Brushfirefairytale (KY), R Goncalves, 118, V D Coyle
6. Wickedly Perfect (FL), R Bejarano, 118, D F O'Neill
7. Forest Legend (KY), F Lenclud, 118, V Oliver
8. Dos Lunas (KY), J K Court, 118, J Glenney