A big field of 11 two-year-old fillies will travel 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland in Friday’s $400,000 Alcibiades (G1). The winner of the affair will receive a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) field on November 1 as part of the “Win and You’re In” challenge series.
Contenders for the Alcibiades Stakes:
GONE GLIMMERING (#1) (15-1) — Tapiture filly is two-for-two following a pair of tallies at Indiana Grand and draws well inside for her stakes and route debut. Chestnut has won with ease to this point, but she receives a big class test on Saturday. James Graham rides.
THREE D FLAG (#2) (20-1) — Second-out heroine was game throughout in a graduating run at Ellis Park, which was her first on the dirt. Asmussen pupil could flash pace under Ricardo Santana Jr., but she will need marked improvement to be in the discussion late.
SPITEFULNESS (#3) (20-1) — Palace Malice filly has shown class on synthetic strip but flopped in the Ellis Park Debutante in a lone effort on the dirt. Phil D’Amato pupil adds blinkers for this affair while picking up pilot Tyler Baze. She will be in the hunt from the start.
ALANDRA (#4) (5-1) — Fine debut graduate was the lone wire-to-wire winner on the September 1 card at Saratoga for conditioner Shug McGaughey. Well-bred daughter of Blame has worked well in the interim and could be any kind of prospect with Rosario retaining the ride.
MICHELINE (#5) (8-1) — Godolphin homebred graduated in style second time out with a score in the grassy Sorority at Monmouth Park. Bay filly out of the splendid Panty Raid is a question mark on the dirt, but she has a solid foundation and the distance will be good for her. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the assignment.
BRITISH IDIOM (#6) (4-1) — Brad Cox charge looked the part in a superb debut tally at The Spa and has trained up to this contest. Flashback chestnut skipped a softer assignment at Churchill Downs in preference of this affair, and the Kentucky-bred looks like a prime player with Lasix added today. The presence of pilot Javier Castellano is a positive one.
PERFECT ALIBI (#7) (5-2) — Class of the field is a three-time winner from four career races this campaign, topped by a fine score in the Spinaway (G1) in her most recent venture. Casse pupil also bagged the Adirondack (G2) two prior, and she rates as the one to beat. Kentucky-bred will be a force if she thrives going two turns in her initial route assignment.
HEIR OF LIGHT (#8) (5-1) — Norm Casse trainee showed big improvement second time out with a special weight score going one-mile beneath the Twin Spires. Bay filly by The Factor will need a nice step forward to challenge this cast inside the final furlong, however.
SEQUIN (#9) (12-1) — Wesley Ward pupil has run winning races in defeat in both assignments to date on grass. $500,000 daughter of Bayern closed for a strong runner-up result at Kentucky Downs in advance of today, and she could prosper going long for the initial time. Dark bay Kentucky-bred is training swiftly on the surface and will be sent early under regular pilot Gaffalione.
WESTERN TAFFY (#10) (6-1) — Wild card from the Casse barn was a debut winner on the Tapeta and finished second on the lawn in the Catch a Glimpse on the Woodbine turf. Candy Ride lass has a pedigree for the distance, and the Ontario-bred has trained well at Churchill Downs in preparation of her graded bow. Florent Geroux picks up the mount.
HOW IRONIC (#11) (20-1) — Late runner draws the dreadful widest post in a big field and will need luck in her dirt debut. Victoria Oliver trainee would be a surprise on the surface change and class rise from this draw. Corey Lanerie will be in the controls.
Alcibiades Stakes Analysis
The early pace will likely be established by Spitefulness (#3) (20-1), debut winner British Idiom (#6) (4-1) and Wesley Ward’s Sequin (#9) (12-1).
Alandra (#4) (5-1) led throughout at first asking and will also be forwardly placed, as will Churchill Downs graduate Heir of Light (#8) (5-1). I expect the pace to be healthy, but not swift enough for the race to fall apart in the latter stages.
Betting the Alcibiades Stakes:
- $1 Trifecta
- #9 with #4, #6, #7 with ALL = $27
- $1 Trifecta
- #4, #6, #7 with #9 with ALL = $27
The 2018 Darley Alcibiades Stakes by Coady Photography/Keeneland