Sovereign Stable’s Negligee came from off the pace, charged down the lane, and collared 6-5 favorite She Be Wild in the final strides to score the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) (VIDEO) at odds of 12-1 on opening day at Keeneland Oct. 9.
A 2-year-old daughter of Northern Afleet, Negligee received an automatic berth to the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita. Winning trainer John Terranova said the bay filly would be pointed toward the race.
Negligee won for the second time in three starts. She broke her maiden at first asking July 25 on the Woodbine Polytrack, then was second to Franny Freud in the Aug. 16 Ontario Debutante by a half-length. She was purchased privately after that effort and sent to New York with trainer John Terranova.
“She impressed us in Canada,” said Terranova, who also trains Franny Freud, a starter in the Oct. 10 grade I Frizette at Belmont. “She was second and very impressive in her second start. Sovereign Stable subsequently purchased her. We brought her down (to New York) and she’s trained real forward since.
“We actually scratched out of the Miss Grillo (on Oct. 4 at Belmont) because everything came off the grass. This was our second choice; our backup plan.”
Under Rajiv Maragh, Negligee raced mid-pack through the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades while Tidal Pool set the pace. Decelerator pressed the leader and Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) winner She Be Wild was sitting in perfect stalking position just off those two. The opening fractions were :24.32 and :48.97.
Those three were in a line as they hit the quarter-pole, but when they straightened away She Be Wild struck the front under Garrett Gomez and took a one-length lead into the stretch. The previously undefeated daughter of Offlee Wild led for most of the final furlong but Negligee, who was angled wide for her bid at the three-sixteenth pole, came flying from the outside and caught the favorite in the final yards. She hit the wire a half-length in front.
The final time over Polytrack was 1:43.76. She Be Wild was 2 1/4 lengths better than third-place Amen Hallelujah. Zilva was fourth in a field of 11.
“She didn’t break like a true sprinter, so that was good,” said Maragh, who won three races on the day. “She kind of relaxed and got behind horses and was pretty much settled; so that made her finish better. Once she got the lead in the stretch she pulled away pretty convincingly.”
Negilgee, now with $348,007 in earnings, was bred in Kentucky by Twin Creeks Farm and is out of the Relaunch mare Naughty Notions. She was bought for $52,000 at the Keeneland 2008 September yearling sale.
The upset winner paid $27.40, $8.40, and $5.60. The exacta (5-3) returned $89.60 and the trifecta (5-3-9) was worth $567.40.
Beautician, the 2-1 second choice, was fifth, followed by Tidal Pool, Decelerator, Sassy Image, Kid Kate, Screen Legend, Blackwell, and Quick Breeze.
Like Maragh, jockey Robby Albarado also jumped out to a nice start at the Keeneland meet, winning three races on the undercard. Albarado guided 3-year-old Speightstown colt Moon Town to a maiden win in the first, Dana’s Bell to a $25,000 claiming victory in the third, and a juvenile son of Bernstein, Orchestrator, to a maiden score in the sixth. Ken McPeek trains both Moon Town and Orchestrator.
In the fifth race, Fox Hill Farms’ Gun Rock, a 2-year-old son of Forest Danger trained by Barclay Tagg, suffered a leg injury after the wire and had to be euthanized.
A crowd of 11,442 was announced on a rainy opening day.