McPeek Sends Trio Seeking Breeders' Cup Berth
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
LEXINGTON, KY - Trainer Kenny McPeek’s formidable trio Oliviaofthedesert, Crazy Beautiful, and Simply Ravishing are each seeking a Breeders’ Cup berth for winning Friday’s $350,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
The winner of the Alcibiades will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The Alcibiades is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 2-year-old fillies, with the 2020 edition attracting seven runners.
Let’s look at the full field:
#1 Thoughtfully – She’s yet to face a tough challenge through 2 career starts, winning her debut by 8 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs before dominating Saratoga’s Adirondack Stakes (G2) by 5 lengths. The pricey yearling purchase ($950k) has done well to repay her connections thus far and will try to give Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his first title in this race.
#2 Travel Column – She leaps up to racing’s top level after breaking her maiden on debut at Churchill Downs last month, romping in a 6-furlong test by 4 1/4 lengths. That victory came despite pressing lightning-quick early fractions and earned her a 73 Beyer Speed Figure, so any expected improvement in her second career start could make her ultra-dangerous.
#3 Oliviaofthedesert – She broke her maiden at second asking while making her dirt debut, winning an Ellis Park maiden special weight by a geared-down 5 1/2 lengths. All 3 career starts (including 2 on turf) came while going 1 mile and she was a closing third in the Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs, so she shouldn’t be intimated by anyone entered here.
#4 Crazy Beautiful – Though she broke her maiden on debut in a mile-long Ellis Park turf event, dirt might be the better surface for this daughter of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) champion Liam’s Map. She won the Debutante Stakes and finished second in the Pocahontas Stakes (G3), the latter another “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies.
#5 Xtrema – She broke her maiden on debut in a 5-furlong dash over the Golden Gate Fields synthetic main track but failed to hit the board in either the Debutante or the Pocahontas. Her sire, Exaggerator, did well over the local course, finishing second in the 2015 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, so perhaps she’ll like running here, too.
#6 Gramercy – The Godolphin homebred daughter of Bernardini broke her maiden on debut while running over the Arlington Park synthetic surface, making an eye-popping move in mid-stretch to win by 2 widening lengths. The Eoin Harty trainee picks up one of the nation’s leading riders in Joel Rosario and is bred top to bottom for dirt routes.
#7 Simply Ravishing – She broke her maiden on debut in a turf route, then romped by over 6 lengths to win an off-turf edition of the 7-furlong P. G. Johnson Stakes. Jockey Luis Saez, aboard for both wins at Saratoga, keeps the mount on the field’s only runner proven at this distance and with the field’s highest Beyer Speed Figure (81).
The Alcibiades serves as race 9 and is one of 2 stakes on the Friday card at Keeneland, including the Phoenix (G2), a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” for the Sprint. An additional 9 qualifying events will be held Saturday and Sunday between Keeneland, Belmont Park, and Pimlico.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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