Dubleo One To Catch in Keeneland Opener

A group of nine 3-year-olds passed the entry box for the 17th running of Friday's $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT). Set to kick off the stakes calendar of Keeneland's 2005 spring meeting is the speedy, multiple stakes-winning Dubleo, and the lightly raced, but impressive Chattahoochee War. The pair lead a well-matched group postward to battle a mile on the grass.

With $396,899 in earnings, James Scatuorchio, J.J. Pletcher, and Pete Wetterman's Dubleo is the most accomplished in the line-up. The dark bay or brown son of Southern Halo has won seven of 10 career races--five of those in stakes company--including a half-length score in his last start in the Dave Feldman Stakes at Gulfstream Park Feb. 27.

Bred in Kentucky by Anzac, the colt runs under the tutelage of the Eclipse Award-winning tandem of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. Dubleo has shown an affinity for the surface, outfinished by just a neck in last fall's Bourbon County Stakes over the course by Transylvania foe Rey de Cafe.

Look for Dubleo and Velazquez to be out early from post seven under a highweight of 123 pounds.

The lethal Hall of Fame connections of Bobby Frankel and Jerry Bailey will saddle up West Coast shipper Chattahoochee War, who notched his first stakes win at Santa Anita in January in the Hill Rise Stakes. The $250,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate comes back to the grounds where Amerman Racing Stables first picked him up, and appears to be heading into the contest in excellent form.

Bred in Kentucky by Edmund Loder, the son of War Chant has shown he can win on an off turf, and has earned $82,821 for his owners in just four starts. A wide trip in the Pasadena Stakes last month kept him from a chance at the winner's circle, but a break from the third spot from the rail and a switch to the services of Bailey should prevent this from hindering the colt.

Chattahoochee War gets two pounds from Dubleo.

G. Watts Humphrey's homebred Rey de Cafe brings an impressive record to Keeneland, highlighted by his aforementioned Bourbon County triumph over both Dubleo and Ready Ruler, who will test him again Friday.

The chestnut son of Lane's End farm stallion Kingmambo has been working at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida since a distant sixth-place finish in the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream in January.

Trained by Rusty Arnold and to be ridden by Javier Castellano, the two-time stakes-winner and earner of $113,204 shouldn't have too much trouble finding his preferred stalker's path breaking out of the four hole. Like Chattahoochee War, Rey de Cafe has run well on an off course and local forecasts are calling for a damp opener.

Adding some spice for bettors is the always dangerous Ready Ruler. The son of Vinery stallion More Than Ready  has a stakes win to his credit in last year's $100,000 Ketel One El Joven Stakes at Retama Park, though he hasn't run since his third-place showing in the Bourbon County Stakes in October.

The dark bay or brown Ready Ruler, a Vinery homebred, posted a solid workout (4F, Fast, :47.40, B, 2/32) on Monday at Churchill and looks to be ready to get back to stakes-winning form. The Steve Asmussen trainee retains the services of Corey Lanerie for a break from the outside post nine.

European imports Moth Ball, by Royal Applause, and additional Pletcher entry Guillaume Tell, by Rossini also add intrigue.

Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT), One Mile, 3-year-olds, $150,000, Appx. Post Time 4:45 EST.

PP--Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer

1--Guillaume Tell, 117, Rafael Bejarano, Todd Pletcher
2--Main Point, 117, Juan Molina, Earl McDonald
3--Chattahoochee War, 121, Jerry Bailey, Bobby Frankel
4--Rey de Cafe, 121, Javier Castellano, Rusty Arnold
5--B Trick, 117, Orlando Mojica, Jack Allen
6--Cosmic Kris, 117, Robby Albarado, Frank Springer
7--Dubleo, 123, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher
8--Moth Ball, 117, Mike Smith, Jim Cassidy
9--Ready Ruler, 121, Corey Lanerie, Steve Asmussen