LEXINGTON, KY – Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s Restless Rider sat the perfect stalking trip early before pouncing in the far turn and running off late 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 Restless Rider receiving an automatic berth in the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2.
Breaking well from post 3 under Brian Hernandez, Jr., as the 6/5 favorite, Restless Rider was content to save ground along the inside entering the first turn, then sat just off of Meadow Dance‘s early lead through fractions of :22.86, :26.52, and 1:11.58. Tipping off the rail as she entered the far turn, Restless Rider made her bid for the lead and drew up alongside the pacesetter by the turn’s exit. Taking away command with relative ease, the Kenny McPeek trainee drew off steadily in the lane before crossing with a 2 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:44.23 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“Kenny came up with a great game plan just to get her around the first turn in good order,” said Hernandez, Jr. “Luckily, we have a good filly that was able to do everything we needed her to do. Once we got in our position going around the first turn, I was pretty confident in her because she’s something special.”
Though unable to catch the winner, Reflect closed well in the stretch to take second by 2 3/4 lengths over a weakening Meadow Dance. Chocolate Kisses closed from the rear of the field to take fourth by 9 1/4 lengths over Boujie Girl, with Malocchio and Abbo not far behind. Eighth went to Somewhere, while Into Trouble, Bella Ciao, My Wynter Rose, Catherinethegreat, Kim K, and Lady T N T completed the order. The two also-eligibles, Champagne Anyone and Khairiya, were unable to draw into the full field.
Restless Rider’s win was her third in four career starts, including the $100,000 Debutante Stakes, while her lone loss was a hard-fought second last out in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes. The juvenile daughter of Distorted Humor now carries $401,360 in lifetime earnings.
“(With) the weather changing here, there’s been a lot of horses that have been dealing with coughs here and there,” McPeek said. “She got one of them, and we were worried a little bit, but we kept on top of it. We have a great team. It’s a great team effort, and she is special.”
Restless Rider returned $4.60 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. Reflect brought back $9.40 to place and $6 to show, while Meadow Dance paid $6.20 to show.