A week before Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet begins, fields are taking shape for next weekend’s Falls Stars Weekend that is highlighted by nine graded stakes – including five Grade 1 events – worth $3.7 million.
Two defending race winners are included among the likely starters for their respective stakes: Grand Arch in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Fioretti in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), both next Saturday.
Champion turf female Tepin, winner of last year’s First Lady (G1), is under consideration for that race as well as the Shadwell Turf Mile.
Here are the probable stakes fields for Fall Stars Weekend compiled by Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Allison DeLuca:
$400,000 DARLEY ALCIBIADES (G1) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, Oct. 7) – Benner Island (Brad Cox), Caroline Test (Ben Colebrook), Daddys Lil Darling (Kenny McPeek), Diadura (Mike Stidham), Fun (Ian Wilkes), Lady Hansen (Mike Maker).
$250,000 STOLL KEENON OGDEN PHOENIX (G2) (Entries taken Tuesday, race Friday, Oct. 7) – Cinco Charlie (Steve Asmussen), Favorite Tale (Guadalupe Preciado), Jazzy Times (Bob Baffert), Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook), Loose On the Town (Brian Lynch), Requite (George Weaver), W.B. Smudge (Matt Kordenbrock).
$1,000,000 SHADWELL TURF MILE (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, Oct. 8) – Grand Arch (Brian Lynch), Ironicus (Shug McGaughey), Kasaqui (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV), Mondialiste (IRE) (David O’Meara), Pleuven (FR) (Phil Sims), Ring Weekend (Graham Motion), Tourist (Bill Mott), What a View (Kenny Black).
$500,000 CLAIBORNE BREEDERS’ FUTURITY (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, Oct. 8) – Blame Will (D. Wayne Lukas), Classic Empire (Mark Casse), Gunnevera (Antonio Sano), Honor Thy Father (Kenny McPeek), Lookin At Lee (Steve Asmussen), Singing Bullet (Dale Romans), Tiz Trevor (Jason Cook).
$400,000 FIRST LADY (G1) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, Oct. 8) – Cash Control (Brad Cox), Celestine (Bill Mott), Miss Temple City (Graham Motion), Nemoralia (Jeremy Noseda), Now Or Never (IRE) (Michael O’Callaghan), Onus (Shug McGaughey), Secret Someone (Mike Stidham), She’s Not Here (Vicki Oliver).
$200,000 THOROUGHBRED CLUB OF AMERICA (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, Oct. 8) – Bendable (Richard Mandella), Fioretti (Anthony Hamilton Jr.), Lucy N Ethel (Tom Amoss), Luminance (Bob Baffert), Sarah Sis (Ingrid Mason), Spelling Again (Brad Cox), Stonetastic (Kelly Breen).
$150,000 WOODFORD (G3) PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT (Entries taken Wednesday, race Saturday, Oct. 8) – Almasty (Brad Cox), Alsvid (Chris Hartman), Big Rock (Christophe Clement), Bucchero (Tim Glyshaw), Holding Gold (Mark Casse), Mongol Bull (Brad Rainwater), Mongolian Saturday (Enebish Ganbat), Shogood (Scott Becker), Undrafted (Wesley Ward).
$500,000 JUDDMONTE SPINSTER (G1) (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, Oct. 9) – Engaginglee (Dale Romans), Genre (Todd Pletcher), I’m a Chatterbox (Larry Jones), Innovative Idea (Eoin Harty), Paid Up Subscriber (Al Stall Jr.).
$250,000 DIXIANA BOURBON (G3) (Entries taken Thursday, race Sunday, Oct. 9) – All Right (Kellyn Gorder), Ancient Warfare (Mark Casse), Holiday Bonus (Graham Motion), Hot Dad (Mike Maker), It’s Your Nickel (Kenny McPeek), Keep Quiet (FR) (Mark Casse), Parlor (Eddie Kenneally), Prados Way (Steve Asmussen), Real Creel (Steve Asmussen), Royal by Nature (IRE) (Brad Cox), Wellabled (Larry Rivelli).
The Fall Meet marks the 80th anniversary of racing at Keeneland, which opened Oct. 15, 1936, for its inaugural nine-day season.
Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. ET.
During opening weekend, NBC will broadcast two “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In Series presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” programs from Keeneland.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, the program from 5-6 p.m. includes the Thoroughbred Club of America, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile. On Sunday, Oct. 9, the program from 5-6 p.m. features the Juddmonte Spinster and Dixiana Bourbon.
Undefeated Diadura passes dirt test for Darley Alcibiades
Empyrean Stables and Two Princesses’ Diadura, the 5½-length winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie in her most recent start, on Friday worked five furlongs in company in 1:00.60 with jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. aboard for trainer Mike Stidham.
Working with the unraced filly Rickey’s Girl, Diadura posted fractions of :36.40 and 1:00.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40 over a fast track after the morning renovation break. The five-eighths clocking was the co-fastest of 17 at the distance.
“It is the first time she has worked for me on the dirt,” Stidham said of the undefeated filly who has won twice on Arlington’s all-weather surface. “She had worked on it in Ocala before I got her. The horse she worked with is a 2-year-old Bodemeister filly who has been training well and I wanted to give her a target.”
Diadura started a length in back of her workmate and finished a length in front.
“I would be inclined to do the dirt race (the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades),” Stidham said after the work. Diadura also was under consideration for the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on the turf on Oct. 12.
Track record holder Limousine Liberal works toward Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix start
Katherine Ball’s Limousine Liberal tuned up for an expected start in next Friday’s $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) by working a half-mile in company in :48.20 after today’s break.
Working in blinkers, Limousine Liberal started two lengths in back of his workmate and finished five lengths in front while producing fractions of :25, :48.20 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.40.
“I gave him a little down time after the (seven-furlong, Grade 1) Forego (at Saratoga on Aug. 27),” trainer Ben Colebrook said. “This was his second work back. We are going to shorten him up and he holds the track record here (for 6½ furlongs in 1:15.05), so that probably will be good for him.”
Also working after the break for Colebrook was Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer’s Caroline Test.
Working in company with stakes-placed 2-year-old filly China Grove, Caroline Test covered five furlongs in 1:01.20 with fractions of :14.40, :26.60, :38.20, 1:01.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.
“She will probably go in the (Darley) Alcibiades (G1),” Colebrook said of the First Defence filly, who finished second against males in the Ellis Park Juvenile on dirt and second in the Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies at Kentucky Downs on grass.
“The only time she was on turf was at Kentucky Downs, and that was like concrete,” Colebrook said of the filly who broke her maiden in an off-the-turf race at Ellis Park. “I’d probably say she is better on grass. Her pedigree says turf. She is from a similar family to (Grade 3 Arlington Classic winner) Surgical Strike.”