Appealing Zophie, who won the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), and Untouched Talent, who broke her maiden in a stakes before winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) and finishing a fast-closing second in the Del Mar Debutante, should vie for favoritism Friday in Keeneland's opening day feature, the grade II Alcibiades Stakes.
A field of 14 juvenile fillies were entered Tuesday for the $400,000 stakes, which will be run at 1 1/16-mile on the new Polytrack surface. All entrants will carry 118 pounds.
Appealing Zophie and Untouched Talent both enter the race off three starts and have done little wrong in their careers so far.
Appealing Zophie, by Successful Appeal
, broke her maiden at Keeneland in April by an eye-catching 10 ½ lengths and then ran second in the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies. She was an easy 5 ¼-length winner of the Spinaway at Saratoga Sept. 3.
Bred in Florida by Luann Baker, she races for Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Heilgbrodt Racing Stable and is trained by Scott Blasi. Shaun Bridgmohan, who has been aboard in both her wins, gets the return mount.
Untouched Talent, a daughter of Storm Cat
, was a $500,000 2-year-old purchase and then broke her maiden in her first start, the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton. The Jeff Bonde-trainee next won the Sorrento by three lengths at Del Mar before returning in that track's Debutante to finish second to Point Ashley.
Untouched Talent is owned by John Sikura, James Vreeland and Tommy Town Thoroughbreds.
Among those to also contend with in the Alcibiades is Cotton Blossom, who ran second to Appealing Zophie after winning her first two starts; X Star, who in just her second start was third in the Spinaway; and She's Included, who was just a nose behind Untouched Talent in the Del Mar Debutante.
One who might be overlooked but appears to have a world of talent is Her Majesty, who has run only once but registered an impressive maiden victory Sept. 7 at Turfway Park for trainer Patrick Biancone.
From the rail out, with jockey assignments:
X Star, Mario Pino
Bel Air Beauty, Fernando Jara
She's Included, Alex Solis
Pro Pink, Willie Martinez
Beautiful Venue, Calvin Borel
Call the Kitty, Miguel Mena
Boat's Goat, Edgar Prado
Appealing Zophie, Shaun Bridgmohan
Get Ready Bertie, Robby Albarado
Untouched Talent, Patrick Valenzuela
Cotton Blossom, Mark Guidry
Her Majesty, Julien Leparoux
Lisa M, James Graham