Pocahontas (G2) runner-up Kelly’s Humor tops a field of 10 2-year-old fillies in Friday’s $400,000 Alcibiades (G1) on Keeneland’s opening-day program. One of two in the field for Brad Cox, who tied for leading trainer at the Churchill Downs September meet, Kelly’s Humor will receive a switch to reigning four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano.
The 1 1/16-mile race serves as a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and is also part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks’ series, awarding a combined 17 points to the top four finishers.
By the Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms’ stallion Midnight Lute, Kelly’s Humor won at first asking on July 23, posting a 2 ¾-length decision in off-the-turf maiden special weight at Ellis. She came back four weeks later to annex the 7-furlong Ellis Park Debutante, rallying to score by a length, and offered another fine closing kick in the Pocahontas while stretching out to 1 1/16 miles. The dark bay miss tops a turf-heavy field in BRIS Prime Power (1325).
Cox will also send out Sassy Sienna, who rolled to a convincing tally when unveiled on Indiana Grand’s turf course on July 19. The Midshipman filly exits a third versus a salty group in the grassy P.G. Johnson at Saratoga on August 31 and Cox will add blinkers for her first dirt attempt. Luis Saez takes over the reins.
Princess Warrior, who is also by Darley’s Midshipman, merits serious respect following a sharp debut score that registered a field-best 94 BRIS Speed rating. Brian Hernandez Jr. retains the assignment and the bay filly figures to be closely stalking the action from her innermost post. She’s trained by Kenny McPeek, who tied with Cox for top honors at Churchill Downs last month.
Pacific Gale invades from the East Coast for John Kimmel following a 3 ¼-length victory in the September 2 Sorority at Monmouth Park and Chris DeCarlo will be along for the mount aboard the daughter of Flat Out. Bet She Wins is another convincing stakes heroine, taking the September 9 Arlington-Washington Lassie by an eye-catching 9 ½-length margin. The First Samurai filly made her first two starts on turf before switching to Polytrack last time for Chris Block and Jose Valdivia Jr. will be up.
Mark Casse has the duo of Dancing and Heavenly Love. Dancing, a $425,000 daughter of Bernardini, is seeking her first win after placing in 2-of-3 starts. Heavenly Love switches back to the main track following a five-length maiden win at the turf-exclusive Kentucky Downs venue.
Completing the line-up are Caroline the Great, who exits a second in the Happy Ticket on turf; turf maiden winner Arabella Bella, unplaced most recently in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Turf; and last-out turf maiden scorer Over Thinking.