January 27, 2023

British Idiom waxes Alcibiades rivals

British Idiom wins the Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland
British Idiom convincingly wins the Alcibiades (Coady Photo/Keeneland)

British Idiom proved spectacular in Friday’s $400,000 Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland, establishing herself as a major contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The 1 1/16-mile race awarded a free berth to the championship event at Santa Anita on November 1 and the Brad Cox-trained British Idiom was more than up for the task, launching a stirring move to win going away by a 6 1/2-length decision.

Javier Castellano was up for owners Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stable and Bethlehem Stables, and the Kentucky-bred daughter of Flashback stopped the teletimer in 1:45.80. The Alcibiades serves as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series and British Idiom picked up 10 points toward a spot in the Run for the Lillies next spring.

A 3 ½-length debut winner at Saratoga on August 15, British Idiom was making her second start and stalked the pace in third, a couple of lengths back of pacesetter Spitefulness, who established fractions of :23.73, :47.27 and 1:13.11 before throwing in the towel.

British Idiom edged closer rounding the far turn and exploded into the short stretch, winning with plenty left. The chestnut left the starting gate as the 7-2 third choice among 11 two-year-old fillies. Spinaway (G1) winner and 2-1 second choice Perfect Alibi rallied to be a clear runner-up. Alandra, the 2-1 favorite after a romping maiden score in her lone appearance, finished another three lengths back in third.

Gone Glimmering, Sequin, Three D Flag, Spitefullness, How Ironic, Micheline, Western Taffy and Heir of Light completed the order of finish.

Bred by Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm, British Idiom sold for $40,000 as a 2018 Keeneland November weanling. She is out of the stakes-winning Mr. Sekiguchi mare Rose and Shine, who has also produced the stakes-winning filly Parade of Roses.

Alcibiades Quotes

Brad Cox (winning trainer of British Idiom)

On what gave him the confidence to start the filly, a winner of her only start, in a Grade 1 race:

“We were pointing for the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill, but the week before she came down with a little bug. Nothing major, but (I) just wasn’t happy with her bloodwork so we gave her a little time. She’s a real laid-back filly. She’s a really nice filly that’s full of class. She never gets worked up. She does whatever you want in the mornings. She’s a good-sized filly, too, and obviously capable of getting around two turns. As long as she comes out of this in good shape, we’ll look at California (and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies).”

Javier Castellano (winning rider)

On how he got her to relax going two turns for the first time:

“I think good horses can do that. She broke good and got good position. She pulled a little bit, but I liked the way she did it on the backside. She relaxed, kept tracking the horses, and I liked the way she finished. She’s a good filly. She’s improved and stepped up in class. Credit to Mr. Brad (Cox) on the way he trained her. Made me look good today.”

Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Perfect Alibi): “Perfect, clean trip, just second best. I was following Javier (Castellano on the winner) but he was still in a good position passing the three-eighths pole and I was already asking my filly to go. It took her a while to get going but when she did I wasn’t able to keep up with the winner.”

Mark Casse (trainer of Perfect Alibi): “She ran well for her first time going two turns. I think she earned a (chance) in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies). She sure didn’t embarrass us today.”

Joel Rosario (rider of third-place finisher Alandra): “She broke a little slow. This is her first time going two turns and only her second start. She came running. She put in a good effort.”

James Graham (rider of fourth-place finisher Gone Glimmering): “She felt fantastic, she traveled beautifully. She’s learning, she’s figuring it out. She’s still a little immature but she’s very willing. She wants to do right for you. It just takes her a couple of extra steps to realize it’s OK to settle.”