by Dick Powell
A full starting gate of 14 juvenile fillies have been entered for Friday’s Alcibiades Stakes (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland main track. The race will start fairly close to the first turn and will finish at the first finish line, so running position will be very important. A full field will only make things worse, so trip watching will be essential.
Only one starter has ever gone two turns on dirt and only one is a graded winner. What you have is a bunch of horses stretching out in distance and some moving up in class. Those could be the ingredients for a chaotic result. Showers in the area could only complicate things.
REFLECT (#1) (12-1) broke her maiden first time out, then was out of the money in her next two starts when moved up to graded stakes company. But, her trainer, Keith Desormeaux, is always dangerous stretching young horses out. MEADOW DANCE (#2) (15-1) broke her maiden going five furlongs at Ellis Park as the odds-on favorite then was an even third going seven furlongs in a stakes race at Arlington Park.
RESTLESS RIDER (#3) (3-1) won her first start at Churchill Downs then came back there to win the Debutante Stakes going six furlongs. She rallied on the far outside to get up for second in the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga and should be able to stretch out with a strong pedigree and first-time Lasix. MY WYNTER ROSE (#4) (30-1) has had eight starts and actually went two turns on the dirt last out when beaten 21 lengths in the Pocahontas Stakes (G2).
KIM K (#5) (12-1) was caught in her career debut at Del Mar then came back and broke her maiden in a restricted stakes race at Los Alamitos going 6 1/2 furlongs. INTO TROUBLE (#6) (15-1) rallied from just off the pace to break her maiden first out going seven furlongs at Ellis Park then came back to win the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes going seven furlongs again. BOUJIE GIRL (#7) (6-1) looked good breaking her maiden first time out going five furlongs at Del Mar but then ran into the amazing Bellafina in her next to stakes starts.
LADY T N T (#8) (4-1) had a rough start in her career debut but then went to Saratoga and romped by almost six lengths when Lasix and blinkers were added. Joe Sharp avoided stakes company last out at Churchill and she crushed allowance foes going six furlongs. CATHERINETHEGREAT (#9) (5-1) broke her maiden by 10 lengths at Saratoga in her second start then came back and beat Grade 3 foes out there. She fell apart there last out in the Spinaway and now adds blinkers for the first time. MALOCCHIO (#10) (12-1) broke her maiden second time out at Delaware Park then was a good second with first-time Lasix going a two-turn mile against stakes foes on the turf at Monmouth Park.
SOMEWHERE (#11) (15-1) broke her maiden second time out then came back two starts later to win in fast time at Indiana Downs going six furlongs. ABBO (#12) (30-1) lost all chance in her well-bet career debut going six furlongs at Laurel then won an off-the-turf event there going a one-turn mile when Lasix and blinkers were added. She’s by Union Rags and is a half-sister to a Grade 2 winner at two. CHOCOLATE KISSES (#13) (20-1) broke her maiden second time out going two turns on the turf at Saratoga then was third in a stakes race there. BELLA CIAO (#14) (15-1) broke her maiden second time out going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park and then raced well in the Spinaway at Saratoga in a rough trip in the stretch.
So to make sense of the above, Restless Rider has the best form of this group, she draws well and is bred to stretch out. Trainer Ken McPeek has won this race three times and he adds Lasix for the first time. I like that she has willingly passed horses and a :59 and change breeze two weeks ago clinches it for me.
The horse to catch is Lady T N T and if the track is wet, that should help her even more. Her dam won four times as a two-year-old, including a stakes win on this main track going seven furlongs.
The way to play this year’s Alcibiades Stakes is to key Lady T N T (#8) to win and use her in gimmicks with Restless Rider (#3), Into Trouble (#6), Boujie Girl (#7) and Bella Ciao (#14).