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LEXINGTON, KY – Mad Dog Racing Stable’s Sugar Fix, winner in 5 of her past 6 starts, steps back up to the graded stakes ranks for Friday’s $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
The Valley View is a 1 1/16-mile turf route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 5:30 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Valley View:
1. Duopoly 9/2 – She streaks into town after leading gate to wire in each of her past 2 races, 1 1/16-mile turf tests that saw the runner-ups both win their next appearances. Her Beyer Speed Figures have improved in all 3 starts, but she now takes on stakes rivals for the first time in a spot that seems to have plenty of other speed on paper.
2. In Good Spirits 8/1 – Another speedy front-runner looking for her first stakes score, she appears here after failing to hold on in the Tepin, the Regret (G3), and the Edgewood (G2). Those defeats came at the hands of the division’s best, but while this looks like a softer field on paper, she also has plenty of other quick-footed fillies to fight for the lead.
3. Princess Grace 15/1 – She takes the logical next step after breaking her maiden on debut at Colonial Downs in August and defeating optional claiming foes at Monmouth Park last month. The Mike Stidham trainee has shown a versatile running style that should adapt to whatever pace scenario plays out, but she’ll need a career-best Beyer Speed Figure to win.
4. Walk In Marrakesh 10/1 – The Irish-bred filly won 3 of her first 4 career 4 starts while racing in Europe but has been unable to duplicate that success here. She’s finished second on 3 separate occasions, each time missing by either a nose or a head, and has worked well over the local lawn recently as she tries to avenge her last-out sixth in the Edgewood.
5. Witez 8/1 – She nearly upset the Lake George Stakes (G3) at Saratoga last time out, rallying up to third and missing by just a 1/2-length while outfinishing a pair of next-out winners. She finished second over this course and distance in last October’s Jessamine Stakes (G2) and should get an ideal pace setup to help her close from off the pace.
6. How Ironic 30/1 – She steps back up to the graded level while still looking for her first on-the-board finish in a stakes. She earned a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure after defeating 1 1/16-mile Ellis Park turf allowance rivals by 3 1/4 lengths, then finished a well-beaten seventh in the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs last time out.
7. Pranked 20/1 – After failing to make an impact on dirt in her first 3 starts, she showed that turf is her preferred surface with a strong gate-to-wire score over the Fair Grounds lawn last December to break her maiden. She earned her second grass score in June while running last-to-first and nearly repeated that effort in the Indiana Grand Stakes next out.
8. Lucky Betty 12/1 – She began her career on dirt and put together a 5-2-1-0 surface record, but she looked like a new horse while winning her turf debut against Ellis Park optional claiming rivals in August. She was third last time out in the Edgewood and still has plenty of upside as she makes her third start of the form cycle, which is often when a horse runs its best.
9. Sugar Fix 8/1 – She steps back up to graded stakes company after defeating starter allowance rivals at Kentucky Downs last time out. She faded to fifth after pressing the early pace in the Lake George 2 starts back while making her debut at this level, but that was her only defeat in her past 6 appearances and she has an overall turf record of 12-7-2-0.
10. Outburst 20/1 – She won 3 straight earlier in her career, including March’s Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. She’s failed to hit the board in 3 subsequent starts (all turf stakes) and has not exceeded the 81 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned in her most recent victory, but she’s also stretching back out to this distance for the first time since the Florida Oaks.
11. Stunning Sky 7/2 – She nearly got the job done earlier this year in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) (missing by a head) and the Saratoga Oaks (lost by a 1/2-length) but couldn’t handle the added distance in the Dueling Grounds Oaks last time out (finishing fourth). She should appreciate cutting back here and will try to give Ricardo Santana Jr. his first turf victory this meet.
12. Antoinette 3/1 – She’s hit the board in each of her last 8 starts and was a game gate-to-wire victor in the Saratoga Oaks before finishing second in the Belmont Oaks (G1) last time out. The versatile filly has won from both on and slightly off the pace, which should give her a fighting chance from this far outside post draw against plenty of other speed types.
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