FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR FALL STARS WEEKEND
Eclipse Award winners Wise Dan and Groupie Doll are among the horses considered as probable participants when Keeneland kicks off its 17-day meet Friday highlighted by Fall Stars Weekend.
Nine graded stakes, five of them Grade 1, are scheduled for Friday through Sunday (Oct. 4-6), with seven of the stakes being Win and You’re In races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held November 1-2 at Santa Anita.
Morton Fink’s 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan tops the list of probables on stakes coordinator Allison DeLuca’s list for the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) to be run Saturday. Considered as definite to oppose Wise Dan are Silver Max, Skyring, Summer Front and Willcox Inn with Nikki’s Sandcastle, Sayaad, Turallure and Whatthecatdrugin listed as possible.
Groupie Doll heads the list of likely starters for the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), a race she won last year as a springboard to success in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Considered as likely to challenge Groupie Doll on Saturday are Gypsy Robin, Judy the Beauty, Livi Makenzie, Purely Hot and Tanglewood Tale.
Possible lineups for the remaining Fall Stars stakes as compiled by DeLuca follows:
Friday, Oct. 4
Darley Alcibiades (G1) – Likely: Designer Legs, Maria Maria, My Conquestadory, Richies Party Girl, Rosalind, She’s Offlee Good,Sweetsoutherndame, Thank You Marylou. Possible: Battlefield Angel, Granny Mc’s Kitten, Lien On Kitten.
Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) – Likely: Gentleman’s Bet, Ghost Is Clear, Go Blue Or Go Home, Laugh Track, Laurie’s Rocket, Marchman, Occasional View, Winning Cause, Xbalanque. Possible: Central Banker, Console.
Saturday, Oct. 5
Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity(G1) – Likely: Arctic Slope, General Jack, Give No Quarter, Laddie Boy, Lunarwarfare, Oogeley Eye, Solitary Ranger, Tiznowforamerica, We Miss Artie. Possible: Bro Rodrigeaux, Conquest Titan.
First Lady (G1) – Likely: Better Lucky, Daisy Devine, Dayatthespa, Hungry Island, Miz Ida, Say (IRE), Solid Appeal. Possible: Assateague, Samitar (GB), Unavailable.
Woodford (G3) – Likely: Stormofthecentury.
Sunday, Oct. 6
Juddmonte Spinster (G1) – Likely: Byrama (GB), Closing Range, Emollient, Hard Not to Like, Hard to Resist, On Fire Baby, Open Water, Sisterly Love, Summer Applause, Wine Princess. Possible: Discreet Marq.
Bourbon (G3) – Likely: All Cash, Bashart, Boji Moon, Poker Player, Solar Flair.
WISE DAN ON TARGET TO ATTEMPT SHADWELL TURF MILE REPEAT
Five-time Keeneland graded-stakes winner and defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan galloped 1 1/8 miles under regular exercise rider Damien Rock as he continued preparation for a repeat run in the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) next Saturday.
In seeking to join Gio Ponti (2010-11) and Dumaani (1995-96) as the only repeat winners of the Shadwell Turf Mile, Wise Dan brings a nine-race win streak to Keeneland’s richest race of the meet with the most recent triumph coming in the Woodbine Mile (G1) on September 15 in which he set a course record of 1:31.75 for the mile.
“He acts like he didn’t even run,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said of Wise Dan, whose bankroll now exceeds the $5 million mark. “He did it really well and came back here the morning after the race.”
LoPresti does not plan to work Wise Dan before the Shadwell.
“I don’t really do much with him; the less the better,” LoPresti said as he watched the 6-year-old go through his morning activity. “His stride is just so efficient. I think he is better than he was here in the spring.”
Wise Dan opened his 2013 campaign with a victory at Keeneland in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) last spring. A win on Saturday would make him the first horse to sweep the Maker’s 46 Mile and the Shadwell Turf Mile in the same year.
WINE PRINCESS PASSES FIRST POLYTRACK TEST IN WORK FOR JUDDMONTE SPINSTER
Becky Winemiller’s regally bred Wine Princess worked five furlongs in :58.40 over Keeneland’s main track in a dry run for next Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) that will mark the 4-year-old filly’s first start on an all-weather track.
With jockey Shaun Bridgmohan up, Wine Princess produced fractions of :24.40 and :36 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 while working far off the rail on her own while equipped with blinkers. The move was the fastest of 39 at the distance for the morning.
“We brought her over here yesterday and let her gallop over it and then worked this morning,” trainer Steve Margolis said of Wine Princess, whose home base is Churchill Downs. “It looks like she just skipped over it. She did it in hand and Shaun didn’t even carry a stick. She will go home and then come back over on Saturday.”
A daughter of a Horse of the Year (Ghostzapper) out of a Horse of the Year (Azeri), Wine Princess will enter the Spinster off a runner-up effort in the Locust Grove at Churchill Downs three weeks ago in which she wore blinkers for the first time.
“She started training in them after the Molly Pitcher (G2) at Monmouth because Shaun and (assistant trainer) Loren (Diego) felt she was not 100 percent focused,” Margolis said. “She is in good form and comes in here off a good race.”
As far as predicting how Wine Princess will fare on the all-weather surface, Margolis does not have a lot to go on with Wine Princess being Azeri’s third offspring to race.
“Bob Baffert had Take Control in California and he won two of his three starts on the all-weather,” Margolis said. ”Arienza never raced on it. With her (Wine Princess), the timing never was there to run her on Polytrack before. We were going to Monmouth this summer and after that could have gone to Arlington, but we were pointing for this race.”
DEFENDING TCA CHAMPION GROUPIE DOLL WORKS HALF-MILE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
Fred and Buff Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns’ champion Groupie Doll put in her final major work for Saturday’s 33rd running of the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) by working a half-mile in :48.20 over a fast track early Saturday morning at Churchill Downs under regular exercise rider Jada Schlenk.
“I got her in :47 and 3 from the three-eighths (pole) to the seven-eighths and Jada said everything was great,” trainer Buff Bradley said. “I have not seen her so focused for this long a period of time and I am feeling real good about her. She’s ready to go. I’d like to keep her like this for the next six weeks.”
Groupie Doll will try to become only the second filly to win the TCA in consecutive years, joining only Excitable Lady (1982-83). Following the TCA, Bradley’s plan is to take Groupie Doll to Santa Anita for a defense of her title in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in what would be the 5-year-old mare’s final race for him.
Groupie Doll has been cataloged into the 2013 November Breeding Stock Sale slated for November 5-14 at Keeneland.
“That will be a sad day, but for now I am just trying to focus on her next two races,” Bradley said. “We bred her and raised her. It is just like one of your children.”
Richies Party Girl worked five furlongs in 1:00 over Keeneland’s main track Saturday morning for an expected start in Friday’s Darley Alcibiades. Oogeley Eye, prepping for a possible start in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, worked five furlongs in :59 at Keeneland for trainer Dale Romans. Also working toward a possible Alcibiades start was Rosalind (:50 for a half-mile) on the main track at Churchill Downs. Other works of note Saturday morning on a fast main track at Churchill Downs were On Fire Baby (1:01.40 for five furlongs for the Juddmonte Spinster), Arctic Slope (:50 for a half-mile for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity), Gentlemen’s Bet (:50.20 for a half-mile for the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix) and Livi Makenzie (:49.60 for a half-mile for the Thoroughbred Club of America).