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Aaron previews the 2022 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, then gives his top picks and longshots from this “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Chad Brown trainee Raging Sea faces a major test in her 2-turn debut after her impressive debut win at Saratoga, but Aaron thinks stretching out makes her more dangerous. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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Lucky Seven Stable’s Fun and Feisty, winner of the Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs going 1 1/16 miles in her most recent start, and D. J. Stable’s Wonder Wheel, runner-up in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga, headline a field of 14 2-year-old fillies entered Tuesday for Friday’s 71st running of the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1).
The 1 1/16-mile main track test is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that offers the winner a fees-paid berth to the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run here Nov. 4. Four Darley Alcibiades winners have gone on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with the most recent being British Idiom in 2019.
The Darley Alcibiades serves as the centerpiece of Friday’s 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m. ET and kicks off the 17-day Fall Meet that runs through Saturday, Oct. 29. The Darley Alcibiades will go as the ninth race with a 5:16 p.m. post time.
A winner of two of four starts, Fun and Feisty is trained by five-time Darley Alcibiades winner Kenny McPeek, whose most recent victory in the race came in 2020 with Simply Ravishing. Julien Leparoux, a two-time Darley Alcibiades winner, has the mount Friday and will exit from post position nine.
McPeek also will send out Kentucky Downs maiden winner Stellar Lady. Owned by Tommie Lewis, James Chambers, Craig Benoit and Magdalena Racing, Stellar Lady will break from post three and be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr.
Wonder Wheel, a winner of two of three starts including the Debutante (L) at Churchill Downs in July, is trained by three-time Darley Alcibiades winner Mark Casse, whose most recent winner in the race was Heavenly Love in 2017. Tyler Gaffalione, who has been aboard for all of Wonder Wheel’s starts, has the call Friday from post position one.
Three other fillies that ran in the 7-furlong Spinaway are in the field Friday: third-place finisher Kaling, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trained by Todd Pletcher; Valene Farms’ Sabra Tuff, who finished fifth for trainer Dallas Stewart; and Clarkland Farm’s Just Cindy, who finished sixth for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
The field for the Darley Alcibiades, with riders from the rail out, is: Wonder Wheel (Gaffalione), Chop Chop (Joel Rosario), Stellar Lady (Hernandez Jr.), Raging Sea (Jose Ortiz), Xigera (Joe Talamo), Mustang Lady (Rafael Bejarano), Essaouira (Irad Ortiz Jr.), Infinite Diamond (Florent Geroux), Fun and Feisty (Leparoux), Kaling (John Velazquez), Just Cindy (Luis Saez), Take Charge Briana (Flavien Prat), Sabra Tuff (Paco Lopez), Boss Lady Bailey (Rey Gutierrez). All starters will carry 122 pounds.
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