On Oct. 6 the well-traveled Teuflesberg will return to the place where his career began, as the bay colt tries older horses for the first time in the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III), the 155th edition of the prestigious Lexington event. The six-furlong test, which is the nation’s second oldest stakes race, will earn the winner a start in the $2-million TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park. Eleven horses are entered.
Teuflesberg has raced on Keeneland Polytrack three times (his first start in Lexington was on dirt in spring 2006, before the synthetic surface was installed), winning once. Among those starts was a narrow fourth-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 14, in which he led most of the way before giving way in the final yards. Since that start, Teuflesberg, out of St. Michele, has raced five times, scoring just once in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont June 9.
Most recently, the Jamie Sanders-trained colt was a disappointing sixth in the Kings Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25. Teuflesberg, who is also possible for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, has won five of 20 lifetime starts and has placed 10 times. He will leave from post 8 with Julien Leparoux aboard.
The stiffest competition could come from Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren’s Saint Anddan, the only other horse in the field beside Teuflesberg with a graded stakes victory. A 5-year-old colt by A.P. Indy, out of Adoradancer, Saint Anddan won the Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) May 5 by two lengths, his third win of the year. Most recently he was a well-beaten seventh at Saratoga in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) July 28.
Trained by Bobby Frankel, Saint Anddan has never raced on Polytrack, but has won five of 14 career starts and placed in 10.
The hottest challenger is 4-year-old gelding Indian Chant, who comes in having won four straight races, including a pair of stakes scores and two victories over synthetic surfaces. The most recent victory was in the Karl Boyes Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, a 5 1/2 furlong test on Tapeta surface that he won by nearly two lengths. The seven-time winner also set the six-furlong track record at Churchill Downs in July, when he burned a time of 1:07.55.
Indian Chant, a son of Suggest-Icy Luck, is owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Thomas Amoss. He was bred in California by Triple Crown Bloodstock. Jockey Corey Lanerie will try to get the speedster right to lead from post 2.
The other 3-year-old in the field is Dream of Angels, a Florida-bred colt who has five wins in nine starts, three of them in stakes competition. The Trippi colt, who was sidelined for more than eight months, won Sept. 14 at Calder Race Course in allowance competition, his first victory of the year.
Also in the field are Cowboy Hardware, Connections, Rebellion, Off Duty, Markum, He Love Me Not and Museeb.
$250,000 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III, Race 6, 4:11 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds & Up, Six Furlongs (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Cowboy Hardware (KY), 118, Calvin H. Borel
2. Indian Chant (CA), 118, Corey J. Lanerie
3. Connections (KY), 118, Robby Albarado
4. Rebellion (GB), 118, Ramon A. Dominguez
5. Saint Anddan (KY), 122, Rafael Bejarano
6. Dream of Angels (FL), 116, Willie Martinez
7. Off Duty (FL), 118, Larry Melancon
8. Teuflesberg (KY), 120, Julien R. Leparoux
9. Markum (KY), 118, Mark Guidry
10. He Loves Me Not (MD), 118, Rene R. Douglas
11. Museeb (KY), 118, Alan Garcia