Dancing Rags took the first major prize at Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend with victory in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades.
Graham Motion (winning trainer of Dancing Rags)
On why he ran Dancing Rags in the Darley Alcibiades
“I felt it was an open race. She just seemed to have done really well since her maiden win at Laurel (on Sept. 17) and progressively kept improving. This is the time of year when you’ve got to take a shot.”
On whether she will compete in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita
“We’ll talk to Mrs. Wyeth (owner Phyllis Wyeth), but we’ve got to think about it.”
Angel Cruz (winning rider)
“I had a great trip. I was in a good position, and the horse did her job. I cruised home to victory. I had plenty of horse the whole time. She gave me it all. Graham Motion had her ready, and thank you to the owner (Wyeth’s Chadds Ford Stable) for this grand opportunity. My first Grade 1 (victory and first mount at Keeneland.)”
Corey Lanerie (rider of runner-up Daddys Lil Darling)
“We had the 14 hole, and in the first turn we were a little wide. Then something happened down inside, they came out and bumped me out even a little wider.
“Coming up the backside, I got comfortable. I wanted to save some ground, but I had so much horse and her stride is so big, I didn’t want to get stopped. So I tipped her out and thought I had enough to get the job done. The wire came up just a little too soon.”
Kenny McPeek (trainer of Daddys Lil Darling)
“We had the best horse today. Rough post position, and she was hung wide and wider both turns. She’s really special and we’ll go on to the next phase (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies).”
Brian J. Hernandez Jr. (rider of third-place finisher Fun)
“We had the 1 hole; we had a great trip the entire way. My filly (Fun) ran good to be third. Any time you get a 2-year-old filly like that who’s graded placed in a Grade 1, that’s huge. She ran big today.”
Jose Ortiz (rider of fourth-place finisher Caroline Test)
“She broke very alert. I stuck with the game plan to be on the lead and give her a breather on the backside. I have no excuse; she ran a good race.”
On setting the early pace
“This is a Grade 1. You are not going to go (a half-mile) in :50. She is very fast and she is coming off a sprint race. She broke sharply, so I tried to settle her down as much as I could.”
Also on the opening day, A.P. Indian was successful in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix in a very tight finish with Limousine Liberal.
Arnaud Delacour (winning trainer of A. P. Indian)
“I was worried since the three-eighths pole when he got shuffled back. I knew it was going to be tough to make up ground. The horse who finished second (Limousine Liberal) has a great performance on this track; he likes this track. So I knew it was going to be tough to get it done. He did a great job.”
Joe Bravo (winning jockey)
“He’s just been a champion all along since the first time I saw him. Everybody warned me before the race, ‘Watch the 1 post,’ because all the horses were outside us. They broke away from the gates so sharply. It’s hard to keep going all the way. What makes this horse so special is he listens. He breathes, relaxes. Hopefully, he just keeps doing what he’s doing.
“The whole Delacour team did a tremendous job of bringing him around. To be six years old and still doing it like a champion and to break a track record today, hey, I take my hat off to him. The horse that run second, Limousine Liberal, that’s a runner. Wasn’t like we were out there against nothing. (A. P. Indian) showed his true colors today.”
Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Limousine Liberal)
“My trip was perfect. He broke good. When (the winner) went by me, my horse dug back in. He went after him. I think one more stride and he would have gotten him. My horse ran a very good race.”
Florent Geroux (rider of third-place finisher Ami’s Flatter)
“He broke sharp. From there, he was kind of running after the horses he was following. They were a little bit quick for him early on. But he would be have been tough, tougher (going) a little bit longer. It was a little bit short for him.”
Channing Hill (rider of fourth-place finisher Alsvid)
“I wish they were all as easy a ride as this guy (Alsvid). He’s all class, all heart. He just got outsprinted today. I couldn’t believe he got beat for third. The 3 horse (Ami’s Flatter) just snuck past us for third. We were running still. It’s not like he was backing up. That winner (A. P. Indian) will be hard to beat in the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint).”