With a spot in the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on the line, an overflow field of 14 was drawn for the $500,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) Oct. 10 at Keeneland.
There were two also-eligibles entered for the 1 1/16-mile Futurity, which will be run over the Polytrack surface. The 2-year-old race is one of five graded stakes on the Keeneland card.
Two Breeders’ Futurity winners have gone on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Boston Harbor in 1996 and Favorite Trick in 1997. Post time is slated for 5:10 p.m. EDT.
Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk is the most accomplished juvenile in the field, having won the Bashford Manor (gr. III) July 3 at Churchill Downs, then scoring Saratoga’s Sanford (gr. II) by neck nearly four weeks later. Both races were at six furlongs.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Backtalk failed when trying to stretch out an extra furlong in the Sept. 7 Hopeful (gr. I) at Saratoga, but he may have been compromised by having to break from post 12. A son of Smarty Jones —Apasionata, by Affirmed, the chestnut colt has turned in a pair of bullet works leading up to the Futurity, including a six-furlong move in 1:12 4/5 Oct. 5 at Keeneland. This will be his first start on an artificial surface.
Backtalk, who was bred in Kentucky by Clover Leaf Farms II, will be ridden by Robby Albarado for the first time. They will break from post 2.
The other graded stakes winner in the field is Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Dixie Band. Shipping in from Chicago for Wayne Catalano, Dixie Band is perfect is three starts, all on Arlington Park’s Polytrack. The gelded son of Dixie Union broke his maiden in June, won the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes in August, and enters off a 1 3/4-length victorySept. 5 in the one-mile Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III).
Dixie Band, who has stalked the pace in his first three wins, drew post 1 and will be ridden by David Flores.
Though he does not have a win to his credit as of yet, Ellen and Peter Johnson’s California shipper Make Music For Me could be one to watch for. The son of Bernstein missed by less than a length in the Aug. 9 Best Pal (gr. II) on the Del Mar Polytrack, then was a close runner-up again in the Sept. 7 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) over the same strip. Tyler Baze rides for Alexia Barba.
Another interesting colt is Thomas and Jack Conway’s Stately Victor, who broke his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths last out on the Saratoga turf. The son of Ghostzapper has turned in a serious of nice works for trainer Michael Maker.
Trainers Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas each have a pair entered. Pletcher will saddle Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite , who was third in the Hopeful, and Let’s Go Stable’s No Shenanigans, a maiden winner last out at Monmouth Park in his third try.
Lukas will send out Westrock Stables’ Soundman, a son of Songandaprayer who has already made seven starts with a single victory to show from his efforts, and Legends Racing Stable’s Wildcat Nation, a 3 1/4-length maiden winner at Saratoga in his second start.$500,000 Breeders' Futurity (gr. I, Race 8, 5:10 p.m.), 2YO, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dixie Band (KY), D R Flores, 121, W M Catalano
2. Backtalk (FL), R Albarado, 121, T M Amoss
3. No Shenanigans (FL), K J Desormeaux, 121, T A Pletcher
4. Hockley (KY), J Lezcano, 121, E G Harty
5. Callide Valley (KY), R Maragh, 121, E Kenneally
6. Noble's Promise (KY), W Martinez, 121, K G McPeek
7. Make Music for Me (KY), T Baze, 121, A Barba
8. Aikenite (FL), A Garcia, 121, T A Pletcher
9. Hurricane Ike (FL), J L Castanon, 121, J W Sadler
10. Piscitelli (KY), E Trujillo, 121, G D Sacco
11. Soundman (KY), J Theriot, 121, D W Lukas
12. Roman Invasion (KY), J Bravo, 121, K J Breen
13. Wildcat Nation (KY), T J Thompson, 121, D W Lukas
14. Stately Victor (KY), J R Leparoux, 121, M J Maker
15. Looks Purrrfect (KY), S Bridgmohan, 121, S M Asmussen
16. Raging Wit (KY), K J Desormeaux, 121, W I Mott