Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper, who upset Seventh Street last month in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), will make her first start on a synthetic surface in more than three years as she preps for the Breeders’ Cup in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) Oct. 11 at Keeneland.
The winner of the Spinster will receive an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita, a race which will be over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface. The nine-furlong Spinster will be on Keeneland’s Polytrack. Post time is scheduled for 5:43 p.m. EDT. A field of 11 was drawn.
A 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway, Swift Temper stalked the pace, took over at the top of the stretch, and drew off for a 1 3/4-length victory in the Sept. 12 Ruffian at Belmont Park. It was the third big score of the season for the chestnut mare, as she won the Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne in April and the $1 million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) in July.
Trained by Dale Romans, Swift Temper last attempted a synthetic surface in September, 2006 when making the second start of her career. She finished more than 22 lengths back in a maiden special weight contest on Turfway Park’s Polytrack.
“I think she’s a different filly than she was when she ran (on synthetics) the last time,” Romans said. “But I don’t know if she’ll like it or not. It’s a big unknown. We’ll act like she’s never run on it before and see what happens. She shipped to Keeneland today and will have a couple gallops over (the Polytrack). That’s about it."
And if she doesn’t fire in the Spinster?
“I’m not so sure we’ll throw out the Breeders’ Cup even if she doesn’t run well,” Romans continued. “The surface (at Santa Anita) is a lot different than the one at Keeneland. We’ve been real pleased with the ways she’s been running all year long. She’s bigger and stronger than ever. That’s why we brought her back for the Ruffian on 16 days (rest).”
Robby Albarado will have the mount on Swift Temper, who was bred in Kentucky by Richard Nip and Omar Trevino, and is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Glasgow’s Gold. They will break from post 8.
Also coming off graded stakes wins are a pair of contenders trained by Bill Mott—Mushka and Indescribable. Brushwood Stable’s Mushka will also be making her second start on synthetics, but unlike Swift Temper the 4-year-old filly had a successful debut. She won a 1 1/8-mile allowance tilt on Keeneland’s Polytrack back in April, scoring by 3 3/4 convincing lengths.
Most recently, Mushka won the 1 3/8-mile Glen Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sept. 7 on the Saratoga turf for her first stakes victory since 2007. The daughter of Empire Maker will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux and break from post 11.
Courtlandt Farms’ Indescribable is a synthetic specialist, having won five times on artificial surfaces during her career. The 5-year-old mare by Pleasant Tap enters off a 3 1/2-length win in the Sept. 26 Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) on the Turfway Polytrack for her second stakes score of the season. In April, Indescribable took the Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland under Desormeaux. Julien Leparoux will have the call this time.
Another starter entering off a stakes win is Juddmonte Farms' Proviso, who makes her U.S. debut. The 4-year-old mare by Dansili has made all 15 of her starts on European turf, winning five times. On Sept. 6 at Longchamp, she won the Prix du Pin (Fr-III) by a neck at seven furlongs. Previously trained by Andre Fabre, Proviso makes her first start for Bobby Frankel. Rajiv Maragh will ride.
Also a strong contender is Stronach Stables’ Ginger Brew, a 4-year-old filly who has garnered four of her six lifetime wins on Woodbine’s Polytrack. The Woodbine Oaks winner from 2008, Ginger Brew comes out of a wire-to-wire victory in the Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine for her first win in five tries this season. John Velazquez will ride for Brian Lynch.
$500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I, Race 9, 5:43 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Teamgeist (ARG), C H Borel, 123, K G McPeek
2. Tejida (KY), C S Nakatani, 123, M R Matz
3. Dawn After Dawn (FL), J L Castanon, 123, J W Sadler
4. Proviso (GB), R Maragh, 123, R J Frankel
5. Be Fair (FL), C A Emigh, 120, D W Lukas
6. Tizfiz (KY), C J Lanerie, 123, J Good
7. Ginger Brew (ON), J R Velazquez, 123, B A Lynch
8. Swift Temper (KY), R Albarado, 123, D L Romans
9. Champagne Eyes (KY), M Mena, 123, D F O'Neill
10. Indescribable (KY), J R Leparoux, 123, W I Mott
11. Mushka (KY), K J Desormeaux, 123, W I Mott