To Sender Heads Opening Day Keeneland Stakes Field

To Sender, unbeaten in his two starts in this country for leading trainer Bobby Frankel, should be favored Friday in the opening day feature at Keeneland.

The son of King's Best heads a full field of 12, with one also-eligible, in the track's $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT). The mile contest on grass is for 3-year-olds.

A Juddmonte Farms homebred, to Sender began his career last year in England. He broke his maiden at first asking in May at Newbury but then returned a month later to be well beaten at York.

Sent to Frankel in California, To Sender has made two starts at Santa Anita, the first in December. In a 6 ½-furlong turf allowance, he came from well off the pace to get up by three-quarters of a length. On March 18, in the Pasadena Stakes, the colt showed another dimension, near the pace in the mile race before drawing clear late to win by 1 ½ lengths.

Alex Solis, who rode To Sender is both of his California starts, flies in for the mount.

Tompest, who broke his maiden at Keeneland a year ago, and Dawn of War, who won the track's Breeders' Futurity last fall, should also get support at the windows.

By Storm Cat, Tompest has won three of five career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. He won the Chenery Stakes at Colonial in July and most recently won his first start of the year. Off a layoff since September, he returned to take an allowance race at Gulfstream by a head.

Bred and owned by the Wertheimer family, Tompest will be ridden by John Velazquez.

Dawn of War will be making his first start on grass but is bred to like the surface, being by Catienus and out of a Chimes Band mare. A winner of three of seven starts, he pulled an upset in the Breeders' Futurity at 36-1 and then ran 11th in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).

Bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Dawn of War is trained by Dale Romans.

The field, in post order, with weight assignment, and jockey:
Chin High, 117, Bridgmohan
To Sender, 121, Solis
Tompest, 117, Velazquez
Le Plaix, 117, Prado
Wherethewestbegins, 117, Velasquez
Unbridled Behavior, 117, Castanon
In A Flash, 117, Leparoux
Dawn of War, 117, Douglas
Indian Hawke, 117, Bejarano
Readily, 117, Guidry
AE - Yate's Black Cat, 123, Douglas