A closer look at Friday’s Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies:
1. Designer Legs (Graeme Hall – Elegant Designer by Suave Prospect) (Bridgmohan/Stewart) (10-1)
She boasts class and experience and possibly had an excuse last out in the Adirondack over the sloppy track. She’ll be stretching out beyond seven furlongs for the first time, which could be a challenge, and also making her debut on synthetic while boasting a pedigree that appears better suited for dirt.
2. Richies Party Girl (Any Given Saturday – Very Special Lite by Majestic Light) (Velazquez/Ward) (4-1)
This filly has the makings of a top-notch turf sprinter. She was all out to hold on going a mile on grass last out as the pacesetter; it would be a difficult task to wire the field here, but she switches to top jockey John Velazquez, who could use different tactics. Pedigree indicates a transfer to synthetic is no issue, but the stretch out is a legitimate concern.
3. Sweetsoutherndame (Colonel John – Southbound by Southern Image) (Morales/Hamm) (20-1)
That was an impressive closing rally for second from an outside post in the Arlington Washington Lassie; she endured the widest trip. She’s competed at three different tracks and been in the mix in three of her four races; her mid-pack closing style suits this pace scenario and she’s proven on synthetic. This filly is an appealing exotics play at a whopping 20-1.
4. Maria Maria (Curlin – Hollow Miss by With Approval) (Torres/DiVito) (10-1)
She was left in the back of the pack at the start of the Arlington Washington Lassie, a variation from her previous races, and encountered substantial traffic in the stretch. DiVito after that race: “I think she’ll run much better next time around two turns and she’ll be better as she runs farther. She’s much better than that race. She never got clear sailing.”
5. Personal Diary (City Zip – Latest Scoop by Tiznow) (Lanerie/Oliver) (20-1)
This is a late closer who doesn’t need a swift pace up front to make her run. She’s won at a mile on turf and boasts a superb pedigree for the transfer to synthetic. Although City Zip progeny are destined to sprint, they can often succeed at up to 1 1/16-miles, particularly on synthetic and turf. Concern: if she’s too far back at the start, she’ll be left with too much to do against this classy, faster group.
6. Battlefield Angel (Proud Citizen – Langara Lass by Langfuhr) (Hill/Catalano) (20-1)
Shipping for the first time but she showed she liked the Keeneland surface with an outstanding work on Sept. 27. Catalano is always dangerous at this meet, particularly with 2-year-olds. She had an excuse in the Arlington Washington Lassie with traffic issues, but the distance is the question here as she was caught by Maria Maria at seven furlongs in her debut and was all out to win at a mile. Catalano after last race: “She had a rough trip, but was only beaten three lengths. Go back and look at the race. Nothing went right for her. She stumbled a bit and had traffic the whole way.”
7. My Conquestadory (Artie Schiller – Golden Artemis by Malibu Moon) (Da Silva/Casse) (3-1)
What an eye-catching debut against males in the Grade 2 Summer at Woodbine on turf. It’s not often you see a filly or colt dominate in that manner at a mile in a stakes race at first asking, so it’s no wonder she will be a top choice here. Progeny of Artie Schiller excel mostly on turf but can transfer to synthetic as well; plus, there’s the Malibu Moon on the dam side for added insurance. She’s had one work at Woodbine since the win.
8. Lil Honey Badger (Flatter – Legendary Lady by Virginia Rapids) (Albarado/Romans) (15-1)
Many will dismiss the filly as she’s coming in off an easy-lead maiden sprint win at Indiana Downs, but take a closer look. Her gallop out after the race was outstanding and her final time of 1:10.89 is sharp. Sire Flatter’s numbers on synthetic are decent overall. The Romans barn has had some 2-year-olds step up at big prices, and if not a win candidate, a lovely exotics pick at 15-1.
9. Harlan’s Special (Harlan’s Holiday – Special Brush by Broad Brush) (Johnson/Hartlage) (12-1)
She didn’t show much when moving up to tough stakes company and stretching out in the Pocahontas, but her follow-up win was strong despite the disqualification; she was much the best on dirt at today’s distance. She’s transferring to synthetic with what could be classified as the best all-weather pedigree in the race (along with Personal Diary); only question is class.
10. She’s Offlee Good (Offlee Wild – La Belle by Dixie Union) (Leparoux/Scherer) (8-1)
Arlington Washington Lassie winner is undefeated in two starts on synthetic and was able to avoid trouble in that traffic-heavy stakes race. She’s shown her versatility, tracking the pace closely in her debut but coming from mid-pack in her stakes win. She has her third jockey in as many races, but it’s Leparoux, who is always a win threat at Keeneland, particularly in route races. A top contender, but can she handle breaking from the outside in a full field for the first time?
11. Who’s in Town (Speightstown – Who’s Cozy by Cozzene) (Saez/Matz) (6-1)
Disqualified to fourth in the Adirondack, she’s been competitive at sprints, but her pedigree and running style don’t indicate routing will be her game. She should play a key role in the pace scenario.
12. Rosalind (Broken Vow – Critics Acclaim by Theatrical) (Lebron/McPeek) (6-1)
A physically imposing filly with a nice stride, she’s a great prospect for this race whose only drawback is the outside post. She was running very well late in the Pocahontas at this distance and also has the suitable running style for the race set-up. First-time Lasix for a barn that often pops winners at nice prices at this track. She will be on top of my tickets.
13. Russian Night (Midnight Lute – At Night by Dayjur) (Schulepov/Dorochenko) (50-1)
Tough post for the second-time starter who didn’t offer much in her debut at this distance on dirt. Sharp four furlong work over the track.