Perfect Alibi was the star of the two-year-old filly division at Saratoga, winning the Adirondack (G2) and Spinaway (G1), and the Tracy Farmer-owned daughter of Sky Mesa will make her final Breeders’ Cup prep in Friday’s $400,000 Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland.
The Alcibiades, which guarantees a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), shares the spotlight on the 10-race opening day program with the $250,000 Phoenix (G2), a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
After getting up for a half-length decision in the Adirondack, Perfect Alibi rallied to win the seven-furlong Spinaway going away by 1 ½ lengths. She posted a field-best 91 BRIS Speed rating and Jose Ortiz rides the dark bay for Mark Casse.
Eleven fillies are entered for 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades, and Alandra and British Idiom will jump to stakes competition off encouraging debut wins over maiden special weight rivals at Saratoga.
Shug McGaughey isn’t known for having firsters cranked for their first start but Alandra was ready for her September 1 unveiling, gamely leading wire-to-wire. The Blame filly earned a 90 Speed rating for the half-length score and Joel Rosario retains the mount. British Idiom showed speed from the start and drew off sharply for a 3 ½-length win on August 15, netting an 89 Speed figure. The daughter of Flashback adds Lasix for her second outing and Javier Castellano has the call for Brad Cox.
Other runners include Micheline, who broke her maiden when triumphing by 1 ¾ lengths in the grassy Sorority at Monmouth Park on September 1; Arlington-Washington Lassie runner-up Spitefulness; Gone Glimmering, a convincing winner over maiden and allowance foes at Indiana Grand for Tom Amoss; and last-out Churchill Downs maiden winner Heir of Light.
Grade 1 hero Promises Fulfilled will make a title defense against 10 challengers in the six-furlong Phoenix. A smart 4 ½-length winner of the John A. Nerud (G2) two back, the four-year-old colt will try to rebound from a disappointing sixth in the Forego (G1). Luis Saez will be back aboard the front-running Dale Romans pupil.
Recruiting Ready will be pushing Promises Fulfilled from the start following an excellent allowance tally at Churchill Downs. The five-year-old received the confidence booster after finishing sixth as the favorite in the Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar and garnered a career-best 106 BRIS Speed rating for the 2 ½-length decision. Tyler Gaffalione will be up for Stanley Hough.
Woody Stephens (G1) winner Hog Creek Hustle merits respect following a nose second in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) and Corey Lanerie guides the confirmed late runner for Vickie Foley. Grade 3 scorer Diamond Oops enters on the upswing following a second in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Grade 1 victor Whitmore, a nose second in last year’s Phoenix, adds further depth to the nice field.