Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Keeneland: My Conquestadory will be tested in Grade 1 Alcibiades
LEXINGTON, Ky. – It’s pretty difficult for a horse to do better than win a Grade 2 in its first start – unless it wins a Grade 1 in its second.
That’s the scenario in front of My Conquestadory, whose first-out victory in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at a mile on turf at Woodbine will be followed by a run Friday as the likely favorite in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland.
“We’ve known she’s a pretty darned good filly for a while, which obviously is why we gave her a shot against the boys in the Summer,” said trainer Mark Casse. “Hopefully she’ll pass this next test, too. It’s no easy spot, which you’d expect for a Grade 1.”
My Conquestadory, with Eurico Rosa Da Silva back to ride, will break from post 7 in a field of 13 2-year-old fillies in the $400,000 Alcibiades, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race carded as the ninth of 10 opening-day races.
The Alcibiades, like most of the nine graded stakes on opening weekend, is a Win and You’re In event toward the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup. Casse said he most likely would return My Conquestadory to the turf if she were to prevail.
“She’s never stepped foot on a dirt track, so yes, I’m sure we’d opt for [the Juvenile Fillies Turf] if we’re lucky enough to be in that position,” said Casse, who won the Alcibiades last year with eventual Canadian champion 2-year-old filly Spring in the Air.
She has got a lot of work to do first. This 62nd Alcibiades is typical of recent renewals in which big fields of lightly raced, promising fillies have come together with a shot at the Breeders’ Cup on the line. One of the handful of fringe prospects in this race is Rosalind (post 12, Victor Lebron), who gets Lasix for the first time in making her third start after closing stoutly when third in her most recent outing, the Grade 2 Pocahontas on the Churchill Downs main track.
“I was thrilled with her race at Churchill,” said trainer Ken McPeek, who has won three runnings of the Alcibiades, the most recent coming in 2008 with Dream Empress. “She’s a pretty versatile filly. You don’t get many shots like this, really, and we thought we’d try this.”
Other contenders include Designer Legs (post 1, Shaun Bridgmohan), a two-back winner of the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga by disqualification; Who’s In Town (post 11, Luis Saez), the first finisher in the Adirondack before being placed fourth; Richies Party Girl (post 2, John Velazquez), entered off an allowance race win over the Churchill turf; and She’s Offlee Good (post 10, Julien Leparoux), Sweetsoutherndame (post 3, Pablo Morales), and Maria Maria (post 4, Francisco Torres), the respective 1-2-3 finishers in the Arlington-Washington Lassie last month in Chicago.
Rounding out the lineup are Personal Diary, Battlefield Angel, Lil Honey Badger, Harlan’s Special, and Russian Night.
Longer-priced fillies have been the rule, not the exception, in recent runnings of the Alcibiades. Since Be Gentle won at a $5 mutuel in 2003, only Wickedly Perfect (2010) and Spring in the Air (2012) have won as the favorite.
Post time for the Alcibiades is set for 5:21 p.m. Eastern.