FROM FALL STARS TO FUTURE STARS: DARLEY ALCIBIADES PREVIEW
Courtesy of Ren Carothers (@RenCarothers)
The Fall Stars Friday spotlight race at Keeneland is the $400,000 G1 Darley Alcibiades, a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series race for juvenile fillies offering berth to #FutureStarsFriday (and ten points to the winner toward the Kentucky Oaks). Its namesake, the filly Alcibiades, was owned and bred by Hal Price Headley. She won seven of twenty-three starts, including the Debutante Stakes, Kentucky Oaks, and Arlington Oaks, and was retrospectively named champion two-year-old filly of 1929 and co-champion three-year-old filly of 1930. Her son, Menow, was champion two-year-old colt of 1937 and later sired the champion two-year-old colt of 1951- a horse who was also named 1953’s Horse of the Year before being inducted into the Hall of Fame - Tom Fool.
This year’s edition of the Alcibiades has drawn a full field, with two fillies sitting on the also eligible list. Of all these girls, only two have gone the 1-1/16th miles distance, one of them successfully. With the added ground, the balance of pedigree weighs more heavily on class than precociousness. So, let’s take a closer look at the field.
#1 Reflect – She won her debut by 5-3/4 lengths over Katieleigh, who graduated next out 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Bellafina. Reflect finished fifth to Bellafina in the G2 Sorrento, and, as you know, Bellafina has since won the G1 Del Mar Debutante, G1 Chandelier Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies berth. The Keith Desormeaux trainee was last sixth in the G1 Spinaway after a wide draw, and now gets the rail in the Alcibiades. Her sire, Trappe Shot, won the G2 True North Handicap by 8-1/2 lengths and her dam, Scat Patty, is a daughter of Champagne Stakes and Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy. Scat Patty is a half sister to Edge of Reality, whose scores include the G3 Smarty Jones. More graded-stakes winning black type is contributed by Reflect’s third dam, Scratch Paper, who won the G3 AKsarben Oaks in addition to the Alabama Oaks.
#2 Meadow Dance – After winning her debut by three lengths at Ellis Park, she settled for third in the Arlington-Washington Lassie on the synthetic. Her sire, Jimmy Creed, won the 2012 G1 Malibu Stakes over Private Zone, and the 2013 G2 Potrero Grande. Her dam, Meadowbound, is by G2 Philip H. Iselin winner Broken Vow, and out of a G3 placed daughter of Meadowlake named Meadow Vista, who was third to Banshee Breeze and Silent Eskimo in the Fleur de Lis Handicap – albeit in a four horse field. Meadowbound is a half sister to Bachata, a stakes winner who was G3 placed with a runner-up effort in the Pin Oak Valley View. Bachata later produced Gold Medal Dancer, who won the G2 Azeri and was third in both the G1 Apple Blossom and G1 La Troienne. This female family also includes stakes winners Time to Pass (a half brother to Meadow Vista), Laughing Bridge, Fantasy ‘N reality, Blush Rambler, Romanette, and Centrica, champion three-year-old filly in Puerto Rico.
#3 Restless Rider – Like Reflect, she exits the G1 Spinaway, in which she suffered her first career defeat, beaten two lengths by Sippican Harbor. Prior to that, she won the Debutante at Churchill Downs by an impressive 11-1/4 lengths. She’s been working well at Keeneland ahead of this start and gets Lasix for the first time. She’s by multiple G2 winner Distorted Humor, whose career was capped with a third place finish to Sir Bear and Affirmed Success in the G1 Cigar Mile of 1998. Her dam, Silky Serenade, is by 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Unbridled’s Song (who went on to win the Florida Derby at three), and is a three-quarters sister to Private Vow, winner of the G2 Futurity and G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in 2005. Other stakes winners in the female family include third dam Sacque (who won the G3 River Cities Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Stakes), Milanese, River View Road, Singari, and Heavenly Lass.
#4 My Wynter Rose – While not the most accomplished in the field, she is the most experienced, with eight starts under the girth. She has two wins to her name, one on dirt, another on Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic, and comes into this race off a fourth place finish in the G2 Pocahontas, twenty-one lengths back from Serengeti Empress. Her sire’s name, Raison d’Etat, translates to “reason of state”. While he only managed graded-stakes placing, he is a son of A.P. Indy and seven-time G1 winner Sightseek, who was fourth in the 2003 G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Rose is a half sister to multiple stakes placed Foxtrot Sally, and out of the Exchange Rate mare, Inspired Exchange, who is a half to G2 winner The Niagara Queen. Other graded, winning black type in the pedigree is provided by G3 runners Casual Lies and Le Famo.
#5 Kim K – Yes, this California shipper is named for Kim Kardashian. She broke her maiden in the Barretts Debutante in start two for Peter Miller. This miss cost $335,000 at the April Barretts sale. She’s by 2013’s Eclipse champion three-year-old colt, Will Take Charge, who was second to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in a scintillating, three-horse photo finish which included Declaration of War. Her dam, Trip for A.J., has multiple stakes wins on the résumé, including the Calder Oaks and Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf. She was also twice second in the G2 My Charmer Handicap, is a daughter of G1 Vosburg winner, Trippi, and a half sister to multiple stakes winner Annabill. Kim K’s third dam is a full sister to stakes winner Sheer Ice, who produced G1 millionaire Swept Overboard. He was fourth to Squirtle Squirt, Xtra Heat, and Caller One in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and won the Metropolitan Handicap the following year.
#6 Into Trouble – She’s two-for-two, winning her debut at Ellis Park and following it up with victory in the Arlington-Washington Lassie on synthetic. Her sire is G1 CashCall Futurity winner Into Mischief, a half brother to four-time Eclipse champion Beholder, and 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn just gutted it out for third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup after a game second in the Travers Stakes. Into Trouble’s dam is stakes winner Smooth Performer, who picked up a G2 placing in the Hollywood Oaks. Smooth Performer is a daughter of Benchmark, winner of the G2 Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap and G2 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap, and Smooth Player, whose graded stakes wins include the G1 Lady’s Secret Breeders’ Cup Handicap, G2 Las Palmas Handicap, and G2 Hollywood Oaks. Smooth Player was also second in the G1 Del Mar Oaks. In addition to Smooth Performer, she is the dam of Imagine, who won the CTT & TOC and the California Cup Distance Handicaps.
#7 Boujie Girl – She’s the second shipper for trainer Peter Miller, getting away from Bellafina, with whom she’s tangled in her last two starts, coming out in third both times. Her sire, Flashback, won the G2 Robert B. Lewis and put in second place efforts in the G2 San Felipe and G1 Santa Anita Derby. Boujie hails from his first crop. Her dam is by 2005 Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument and is a half sister to Gabbywitha G, champion imported older mare in Puerto Rico, as well as stakes placed Be Silver, the dam of G1 La Brea winner Heir Kitty.
#8 Lady T N T – Her first start had its share of problems, including her clipping heels, but this filly has since gotten blinkers and strung together two front-end, open-length scores. She’s a daughter of Justin Phillip, who has the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on his résumé, as well as a pair of fifth-place finishes in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (2012, 2013). Her dam is a multiple stakes winning daughter of the speedy Salt Lake named High Heeled Hope, who was also G1 placed in the Las Virgenes and Hollywood Starlet. Lady T N T’s half sister, Sweet Hope, won the G3 Endine Handicap, the Beautiful Day Stakes, and was second in the G1 Test.
#9 Catherinethegreat – Blinkers (and Julien Leparoux) go on after a surprising ninth place finish in the G1 Spinaway. She had won her previous two starts by a combined 14-1/2 lengths, including a 4-1/4 lengths victory in the G3 Schuylerville, going :44 3/5 for the half. She is the first stakes winner representing her sire, Uncaptured, who won the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club and G3 Iroquois. Her dam, by Carson City, also produced Katinka, winner of the Miss Gracie Stakes.
#10 Malocchio – She goes back to dirt after a spin on the green in Monmouth’s Sorority Stakes, in which she dead heated for second. Her sire, Orb, won the 2013 Kentucky Derby, and she’s out of the stakes placed mare Hot Spell, another daughter of Salt Lake, making her a half sister to Saratoga Heater, who won the Bertram F. Bongard. Malocchio’s second dam didn’t do much, but is a half sister to Quinton’s Gold, who won the Phoenix Gold Cup and Coyote Handicaps, as well as to Puerto Escondido, who was second in the Gr3 St. Leger Italiano. Her third dam, Relasure, won the Gr3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord, was highweight older mare at four-years-old in Italy, and was second in the Gr1 Premio Emilio Turati, and E.P. Taylor Stakes.
#11 Somewhere – She couldn’t contend with Serengeti Empress in the Ellis Park Debutante, but came back to win an allowance at Indiana Downs on the front end next out. Her sire, Quality Road, was a debut winner at two-years-old, and later developed into a four-time G1 winner, taking the Florida Derby, Donn, Met Mile and Woodward. He set a track record of 1:47.72 in the 1-1/8th miles Florida Derby, and later shaved his own record down to 1:47.49, winning the Donn by 12-3/4 lengths. Somewhere is out of Silver Lullaby, whose sire, Najran, won the G3 Westchester Handicap, G3 Phoenix Breeders’ Cup Stakes, and was second in the G1 Forego of 2003. Silver Lullaby also produced Somewhere’s half brother Big Trouble, who displayed big talent in just two career starts, winning his debut and then the 2014 Sanford Stakes over Mr. Z. Somewhere’s other half brother, Silver Lining John, was second in the Sam Houston Sprint Cup. Silver Lullaby also has some black type, half siblings: Tubrok won the G2 Everglades Stakes and was second in the G2 Fourstardave Handicap, and Sunshine for Life scored in the G3 Athenia. Moving further down the pedigree, Somewhere’s second dam, Million Stories, is a half sister to Pearl Bracelet, who won the Gr1 French One Thousand Guineas and later produced G2 Matchmaker winner Fleur de Nuit. Other stakes winners in this female family include Irish Daisy, Irish Silence, and third dam, Perlee, who won the Gr3 Prix de Minerve.
#12 Abbo – She got her picture taken for the first time in an off-turf event at Laurel. Her sire, Union Rags, had precocity and stamina. He was a three-time winner at two-years-old, with a second in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and captured the 1-1/2 miles Belmont Stakes over Paynter at three. Abbo’s dam, Maddalena, is by Good and Tough. Among his graded-stakes scores is the G2 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup Stakes, and he closed his career with a seventh place finish in the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, vying against a field that included Artax, Kona Gold, and Forestry. Maddalena herself was a G3 winner, taking the Old Hat Stakes, and G1 placed, with a second in the Prioress. As a broodmare, she produced Agresivo, champion imported two-year-old colt and champion imported sprinter in Turkey, as well as Battle of Evermore, who was second in the New York Derby, but her most successful foal so far has been five-time stakes winner Bern Identity, who won the 2012 G2 Sanford Stakes.
#13 Chocolate Kisses – She’s the only filly to succeed at the distance, winning a maiden special weight at Saratoga on the turf. The race included Spinaway winner Sippican Harbor, who was a well beaten fifth that day. While Kisses has only been entered in turf races up until now, her debut was moved to the main, sloppy track and she finished a respectable second. She has also been working quite well at Churchill Downs, most notably putting in a bullet 5f on September 16th, going :59 3/5, fastest of 41 at the distance. Her sire, the undefeated Candy Ride, has proven versatile as a sire. It makes sense. He was a two-time Gr1 winner on grass in Argentina and retired on a victorious note on dirt in the 2003 G1 Pacific Classic. Chocolate Kisses’ dam, Brownie Points, was also a dual-surface winner, with victories in the Iowa Distaff and G3 Ouija Board Handicap. Brownie Points was also second to Zenyatta in the 2008 Apple Blossom, beating Ginger Punch. She’s a daughter of graded-stakes winning sprinter Forest Wildcat, who routinely wired fields and notched triple digit Beyers. There’s plenty of black type in the family, with Chocolate Kisses’ second dam, Stylish Society, being stakes placed, and her third dam, Northern Style, having won the San Clemente, but most interestingly, this filly’s half brother, Synchrony, will be contesting this Saturday’s G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, coming off two consecutive wins in the G3 Oceanport and G3 Red Bank Stakes.
#14 Bella Ciao – She’s another filly exiting the Spinaway. She was fourth, 3-1/4 lengths behind Sippican Harbor. Bella is by G2 placed Flatter, who’s a full brother to G2 San Pasqual Handicap winner Congrats, and out of Anandi, a daughter of multiple Group 1 winner Anabaa (Prix Maurice de Gheest, Darley July Cup). Her second dam was unraced, but is a full sister to Terra Incognita, winner of the 1987 Alcibiades.
#15 Champagne Anyone – Champagne may have been in order after she graduated last out at Ellis Park. Her sire, Street Sense, is the first horse to complete the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Kentucky Derby double. Her dam, Lucevan, is a daughter of Hall of Famer Ghostzapper, who set a record winning the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1:59.02. While she was unraced, she is a half sister to Miss Loren, champion older mare in Argentina. She’s also a half to two other graded-stakes winners in Argentina: Milano Phone and Mr. Light.
#16 Khairiya – Blinkers go on and she comes off the turf to try dirt for the first time. Her sire, Twirling Candy, was a winner on turf, dirt, and synthetic, with scores in the G2 Del Mar Derby, G1 Malibu, and G2 Californian. Her dam, Palazzo Babe, is by G2W/Gr1P Rahy, and was a turf sprinter who got black type running second in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs. Khairiya’s second dam is multiple stakes winner Gowestforgold (Summer King Handicap, Coup de Fusil Stakes), whose half brother, Foligno, collected the G3 Cliff Hanger Handicap among other stakes scores.
Phew! Sixteen horses are drawn, fourteen will actually enter the gate, one will pick up a G1, 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks, and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies berth. Considering all this, it’s no wonder that the Alcibiades is the spotlight race on Fall Stars Friday, and that you should take note of its winner, who will get a chance to shine on #FutureStarsFriday.
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