Turf distaffers will get the opportunity to fight for $500,000 on Friday in Keeneland's WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT). Topping the weights is Affluent, who is also expected to be favored for the 1 3/16 mile race, particularly considering Pat Day will be aboard. Affluent has not finished worse than second since April while racing exclusively in grade I company. In her last start she won the Ramona/Mabee Handicap (gr. IT). Affluent is a homebred racing for Janis Whitham and like her granddam, Bayakoa, she is trained by Ron McAnally.
Six fillies will face Affluent, including Surya, winner of the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup. Surya is a homebred bred and raced by the Niarchos family's Flaxman Holdings. Surya began racing in Europe with Jonathan Pease and has been trained by Bobby Frankel since last year. She has only one loss in five North American starts.
Second to Affluent in the weights is Owsley, winner of the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga in her last start. Owsley has won half of her six starts this year for trainer Randy Schulhofer.
Another Galaxy runner, Snow Dance, appears to like the course at Keeneland. The last time Snow Dance raced in Lexington she finished second in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT) this spring. She also finished third in the 2001 edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT).
The field with jockeys and weight assignments for the 1 3/16-mile WinStar Galaxy Stakes:
PP Horse Jockey Wgt. ML
1--Five Fishes, Jorge Chavez, 118, 15-1
2--Surya, Jerry Bailey, 118, 8-5
3--Snow Dance, Craig Perret, 120, 6-1
4--Affluent, Pat Day, 124, 7-5
5--Verruma, Robby Albarado, 118, 12-1
6--Owsley, Edgar Prado, 122, 5-1
7--Esyoueffcee, Eddie Martin Jr., 118, 20-1