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Heavenly Love Romps In G1 Alcibiades

Heavenly Love Romps In G1 Alcibiades

LEXINGTON, KY – Debby Oxley’s homebred Heavenly Love took the lead midway through the far turn and never looked back, romping home in a big way to win Friday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland.

The Alcibiades is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Heavenly Love receiving an automatic berth in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4.

Breaking cleanly from post 9 under Julien Leparoux, Heavenly Love closely tracked the early pace set by her stablemate, Dancing, through splits of :23.94, :48.38, and 1:13.81. Shortly after completing 6 furlongs, Heavenly Love decided that she was done playing follow the leader and blew past Dancing, holding a 3-length lead by the top of the stretch. The race was all over from that point, as the Mark Casse-trained daughter of Malibu Moon cruised home under a hand ride, crossing the wire in a final time of 1:45.32 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.

“We had a great trip, sitting second (early in the race),” Leparoux said. “She exploded, but we still had some left. When she gets to the lead, she kinda looks around. She’s still a little baby, but she’s a very nice filly. She impressed me at Kentucky Downs when she won (a maiden race by 5 lengths on September 17). She repeated it today.”

Princess Warrior took second, 5 1/2 lengths behind the winner. Dancing faded in the stretch but fought well to keep third, with Sassy Sienna crossing a head in front of Kelly’s Humor for fourth. Bet She WinsCaroline the GreatArabella BellaOver Thinking, and Pacific Gale completed the order of finish.

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The win was the second in three career starts for Heavenly Love. The $240,000 winner’s share increased her career earnings to $322,000.

“Awesome performance,” said David Carroll, assistant to Casse. “She trained beautifully. Great ride by Julien, and we’re so happy for the Oxleys; they’re unbelievable owners.

“I’m sure Mark and Mr. Oxley and Mrs. Oxley will talk about (going to the Breeders’ Cup). As long as she comes back good, I don’t see why not.”

Heavenly Love returned $13.40 to win, $5.80 to place, and $4.40 to show. Princess Warrior brought back $3.40 to place and $3 to show, while Dancing paid $6.60 to show.

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