A nicely matched cast of 11 3-year-old fillies has passed the entry box to contest Keeneland's $125,000 Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) Friday. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens stays aboard Martin Schwartz' French stakes winner Asi Siempre, grade I-placed already in this country and coming in off an impressive score over the course earlier in the meet.
Bred in Kentucky by Almagro de Actividades Commerciales SA, the Patrick Biancone-trained gray or roan Asi Siempre was the easy-to-spot, 1-5 favorite who overwhelmed foes in a hand ride to take an Oct. 7 allowance, breezing away by 1 1/4 lengths.
That race should prove a perfect set-up for the 1 1/16-mile Valley View for the talented daughter of El Prado
out of the Siver Hawk mare Siempre Asi, who looks to be the class of the field. Biancone has her working sharply on the Turfway Polytrack including a brisk, four-furlong move (:48.60) Tuesday that was the eighth fastest of 21 at the distance.
Stevens was up in her willing second-place finish to Luas Line in the Garden City Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Sept. 10, and the same connections teamed to bring Angara to victory in the Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at the Keeneland spring meet after an allowance prep, proving they can find the winner's enclosure at the Lexington track.
Asi Siempre will break from the rail shouldering 120 pounds and looking to add to her $139,566 in career earnings.
Alfred G. Corrado homebred Dynamite Lass breaks to Asi Siempre's immediate right and has the proven speed to use the inside position to wire this field. The daughter of North America's leading sire Dynaformer
bested an allowance field at Saratoga in August with a front-running trip and gets the first-time services of the always aggressive Rafael Bejarano, Keeneland's leading rider.
Dynamite Lass rallied to finish third, just two lengths behind Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) winner Sweet Talker (ridden by Bejarano) in the Martha Washington Breeders' Cup Stakes at Laurel Park in her last outing and has the pedigree and the form to be in the mix.
First or second in six of 10 starts, this filly rarely throws in a poor performance and appears to be fit from a series of solid works at Belmont for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Dynamite Lass gets four pounds from Asi Siempre and will carry 116.
Rounding out the 1-2-3 punch from the inside is the Christophe Clement-trained Insan Mala, who will break just to the right of Dynamite Lass. Bred in Ireland by Mrs. Clody E. Norton, Insan Mala races in the colors of Manselle Stables and George Bolton and has posted three wins in seven starts, including the Tenski Stakes this summer at Saratoga.
This daughter of Bahhare also contested the Garden City, though finished fourth, beaten 9 ¾ lengths. She won at first asking in her native country in the fall of 2004 and then found the winner's circle in her first attempt this season in a Gulfstream allowance.
She'll carry Brice Blanc Friday and a co-high impost of 120 pounds.
Other interesting entries to watch are:
Victory Lap--Trainer Bobby Barbara had this daughter of Touch Gold
geared up for bigger things after winning five straight earlier this year, including stakes wins in the Lone Star Oaks and Chapel Belle at Louisiana Downs. She finished gamely for third in the Lake Placid Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga in August and shouldn't be overlooked. She is owned by John P. Pucek and was bred in Kentucky by partners G. Watts Humphrey and Dedman & Dedman.
Elle Runaway -- Bred by John Franks and owned by Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Planation, this daughter of El Prado
, out of the Runaway Groom
mare Runaway Venus, has a stellar pedigree and a recent stakes win to her credit in the Ontario Colleen Handicap at Woodbine.
The full field with weights and jockeys below.Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT), Friday, Oct. 21, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles, $125,000, estimated post time 5:15 p.m. EDT.
PP -- Horse, weight, jockey
1 -- Asi Siempre, 120, Gary Stevens
2 -- Dynamite Lass, 116, Rafael Bejarano
3 -- Insan Mala, 120, Brice Blanc
4 -- Steel Buns, 116, Shaun Bridgemahon
5 -- Victory Lap, 120, Robby Albarado
6 -- Elle Runaway, 120, Mike Smith
7 -- Stavinsky's Gal, 118, Larry Melancon
8 -- Golden Locket, 120, David Flores
9 -- Sunny Disposition, 116, Brian Hernandez
10 -- Beat the Band, 116, Phil Teator
11 -- Bold Passage, 120, Mark Guidry