Stevestan Stables’ Striking Dancer, winner of the La Canada (gr. II) in February and fourth behind Zenyatta in the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) in her most recent start, will carry top weight of 119 pounds in the $100,000 Doubledogdare (gr. III) April 16 at Keeneland.
The 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test for fillies and mares drew a field of seven and will go as the ninth race on a 10-race card. Post time is slated for 5:05 p.m. EST for the program feature.
Striking Dancer, by Smart Strike out of the Danehill mare Dancing Shoes, was beaten less than two lengths by Zenyatta in the March 13 Santa Margarita, though she was getting 11 pounds. The 4-year-old will be making her fourth start at Keeneland, having finished third twice and capturing an allowance race on the turf last fall. Overall, the chestnut filly is 4-1-2 from 12 starts.
Trained by Ken McPeek, Striking Dancer will break from post 3 and be ridden by Robby Albarado, who won this race in 2002 aboard Dancethruthedawn. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
The other graded stakes winner in the field is Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III’s Funny Moon. Trained by Christophe Clement, 4-year-old Funny Moon won the grade I Coaching Club America Oaks last summer at Belmont Park as a 7-1 outsider while coming from well off the pace. But she finished last of eight in the Alabama (gr. I) less than month later and has not raced since.
The daughter of Malibu Moon will be making her first start on a synthetic surface. She will break from post 2 and be ridden for the first time by Julien Leparoux.
Clement’s other starter is Claiborne Farm’s homebred Haka, an optional claiming winner last out at Santa Anita at the Doubledogdare distance. Last year as a 3-year-old, Haka was graded stakes-placed twice, including runner-up to Stardom Bound in the Las Virgenes (gr. I). Garrett Gomez, Keeneland’s leading rider with eight victories, has the call on the Dynaformer filly, who will break from post 1.
Robert Adams’ Unforgotten is the veteran of the field. The 6-year-old Northern Afleet mare is 5-11-5 from 33 starts and is graded stakes-placed six times. She was a distant third to Zardana and Rachel Alexandra last out in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes at March 13 Fair Grounds. Calvin Borel rides for Dallas Stewart.
$100,000 Doubledogdare (gr. III, Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Haka (KY), G K Gomez, 117, C Clement
2. Funny Moon (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, C Clement
3. Striking Dancer (KY), R Albarado, 119, K G McPeek
4. No Use Denying (KY), M Mena, 117, M Pierce
5. Unforgotten (FL), C H Borel, 117, D Stewart
6. Starship Angel (FL), A R Napravnik, 117, K P McLaughlin
7. Lady's Laughter (KY), K J Desormeaux, 117, C Lopresti