Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Sense of Style is the logical favorite in Saturday's Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on opening day of Keeneland fall meet. The unbeaten filly will have her work cut out for her though, as 10 other 2-year-old fillies have passed the entry box.
The $400,000 Darley Alcibiades shares co-top-billing with the Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) on day one of Keeneland's Fallstars Allstars weekend that offers up eight graded stakes and more than $3.4 million in purses.
Sense of Style, the 4-5 morning line favorite, is an aptly named choice for opening day that has been dubbed "Founders Day" where the track offers prizes for those who arrive in vintage attire reflective of Keeneland's 1936 opening.
A daughter of Thunder Gulch out of the stakes-placed King's Lake mare Save Me the Waltz, Sense of Style has undressed her opponents so far, winning her three starts by a combined 10 1/4 lengths. After a strong maiden win at Saratoga Aug. 1, Sense of Style crushed her rivals in the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (gr. II), winning by 6 3/4 lengths. Second that day was Miss Matched, who resurfaces at Keeneland to take another shot.
In her last start, Sense of Style stretched out to a mile in the Matron (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Sept. 19 and she scored a length victory in 1:37.67. Tacking on another sixteenth and testing two turns for the first time shouldn't pose a problem for the Patrick Biancone-trained bay as her sire excelled at the classic distances and her dam is a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Last Tycoon and three-time European champion Astronef. Edgar Prado remains the rider.
The only question marks on the $800,000 Keeneland September sale grad are whether she can handle the Keeneland surface and the number of rivals she faces--in her two stakes wins she only faced six and five rivals respectively.
Miss Matched drew plenty of attention in her July 15 debut at Monmouth, drawing off to win by 12 1/2 lengths, getting five furlongs in 57.97. A private purchase by John Oxley, the daughter of Formal Gold
is now in the care of trainer John T. Ward Jr. She sports a pair of works over the local surface, her latest being a bullet 1:00 five furlong drill Sept. 30.
There are plenty of other talented fillies in the field, including:
Punch Appeal, a daughter of the leading first-crop sire Successful Appeal
. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Punch Appeal comes off a two-turn stakes victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Classic Elegance, winner of both the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) and Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II) while sprinting. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained daughter of Carson City
faded to finish seventh in the Spinaway.
Pandora Farms' Dance Away Capote, by Capote, who comes in off a 12-length win in the Irish Sonnet Stakes at Delaware Park on Sept. 25. The Graham Motion-trained filly got the mile in 1:39.84
Impressive maiden winners Sharp Lisa, Sweet Talker, and In the Gold. Sharp Lisa, a WinStar Farm-bred daughter of Dixieland Band
broke her maiden at Calder by 6 1/2 lengths. Sweet Talker, by Stormin Fever
broke her maiden at Arlington by six lengths Sept. 17. In the Gold, trained by Nick Zito, broker her maiden at Belmont by 1 1/4 lengths Sept. 18, getting a mile in 1:39.02. She is by Golden Missile
out of grade II winner Incinerate.Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II), $400,000, 2-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles, 118 pounds, Keeneland, Friday, Oct. 8, approx. post 5:15 p.m. EDT
PP -- Horse -- Jockey -- ML
1 -- In the Gold -- Javier Castellano --6-1
2 -- Miss Matched -- Robby Albarado -- 6-1
3 -- Punch Appeal -- John McKee -- 8-1
4 -- Sweet Talker -- Jose Santos -- 30-1
5 -- Sense of Style -- Edgar Prado --4/5
6 -- Gallant Secret -- T.D. Houghton -- 50-1
7 -- Sharp Lisa -- Corey Nakatani -- 15-1
8 -- Runway Model -- Eddie Martin Jr. --12-1
9 -- Classic Elegance -- Pat Day -- 10-1
10 -- Dance Away Capote -- Ramon Dominguez -- 20-1
11 -- Shebelongstoyou -- Rafael Bejarano -- 30-1