LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 8, 2016) Even trainer Graham Motion was surprised when Chadds Ford Stable’s Dancing Rags won Friday’s Darley Alicbiades (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race that guarantees the 2-year-old filly a spot in the starting gate for the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.
Motion said he and owner Phyllis Wyeth, who races as Chadds Ford Stable, would have to discuss the options.
“I haven’t really talked to Mrs. Wyeth about it yet, but obviously that is what we would like to do if Dancing Rags is doing well,” Motion said of the 12-1 longshot winner.
Motion might keep Dancing Rags at Keeneland or send her back to his base at Maryland’s Fair Hill training center prior to shipping to the West Coast.
“I wasn’t expecting to win so I would have to think about,” he said. “I don’t necessarily want to move her around a lot. We have to figure out all the pros and cons about what would be best for her.”
If Dancing Rags runs in the Juvenile Fillies, she likely will be ridden by Angel Cruz, who has been aboard for all three of her races. The Darley Alcibiades marked his first Keeneland start.
“I really haven’t ridden Angel a lot but I have watched him ride,” Motion said. “I think he is a super rider. The Maryland riding colony is very strong; we have some super riders there. He has ridden for me a little bit and I am certainly aware of his talents. He gave her a great ride in the Alcibiades. I would certainly consider using him in the Breeders’ Cup if we decide to go.”
Normandy Farm’s Daddys Lil Darling, who broke from post 14 and raced wide most of the way, came out of the race in good order, according to trainer Kenny McPeek.
“It is all good this morning but it is a little frustrating that she didn’t get the best of trips,” McPeek said of the filly, who finished a length behind Dancing Rags. “I felt like we ran the best horse yesterday.”
Some of the sting of Friday’s result was lessened by the fact that Daddys Lil Darling already had earned a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by virtue of her victory in the Pocahontas (G2) last month at Churchill Downs.
McPeek said he plans to ship Daddys Lil Darling early to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. He sent out Dothraki Queen to finish third behind champion Songbird in the race last year.
Still, all the sting was not totally erased.
“That’s the sixth time we’ve run second in the race,” said McPeek, who has won the Darley Alcibiades three times. ”When we run in there, we usually run well and that’s a good thing.”