The $300,000 Valley View S. (G3) at Keeneland is seemingly one of the few grass stakes trainer Chad Brown has not dominated in recent years. Indeed, the prominent New York-based horseman has never won the 1 1/16-mile fixture for three-year-old fillies. That could change Friday, when the Brown-trained Dolce Zel, who has won or placed in all five graded attempts this year, heads a field of 12 in the 2022 edition of the Valley View.
Victorious in the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in her U.S. debut in March, Dolce Zel was next second to the classy Spendarella in the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland. Following a distant third-place run in the Edgewood (G2), Dolce Zel was back in the winner’s circle after taking the Lake George (G3) at Saratoga in a photo. She enters the Valley View off a third-place run in the Lake Placid (G2), also at the Spa.
Majestic Glory, a Group 3 winner in England at two, will be making her second stateside appearance for Todd Pletcher after running fourth in the Pebbles (G3) at Aqueduct, a race that yielded recent Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) heroine Gina Romantica.
Trainer Graham Motion, who has won the Valley View a record three times, relies on Sparkle Blue, an even second in the Virginia Oaks as a 31-1 longshot in her most recent start, while California Angel, who won the Jessamine (G2) over this course last season, wheels back two after finishing two lengths fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
Also among the maximum field of 12 are stakes winners Turnerloose, Bubble Rock, and My Philly Twirl, all of whom have a touch of back class.
Earlier in the card, Key of Life heads a field of 11 two-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Myrtlewood S. over six furlongs. Trained by Brad Cox, Key of Life has won two of three starts, including a course-and-distance allowance by 6 1/4 lengths on Oct. 7.
Among the other multiple winners in the field is Somebody’s Problem, last seen taking the Prairie Meadows Debutante by more than four lengths in last August.
The Myrtlewood honors the Hall of Fame champion sprinter who won three races in the span of 10 days during Keeneland’s inaugural meet in October 1936.