Intriguing Mix of Runners in Alcibiades Stakes

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Alastair Bull

October 6th, 2017

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Alcibiades Stakes was a turf race rather than a grade one dirt event carrying direct entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) judging by the form book of the runners.

Of the 10 entries, five last raced on grass, and another, Bet She Wins, last raced on Arlington’s all-weather track.

This may explain why the morning-line odds are so tight, with six horses assessed at odds between 7-2 and 6-1.

The switch to dirt for the Alcibiades hasn’t made experts ignore the turf form, however, with Bet She Wins made the 7-2 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades.

After finishing third on debut on Arlington’s turf to another of Friday’s opponents, Arabella Bella, Bet She Wins won her maiden on the same course via disqualification. She then moved to the all-weather for the Arlington-Washington Classic, thrashing her opponents by nearly 10 lengths.

Joint second favorite on the morning line at 4-1 are Heavenly Love, courtesy of an impressive maiden victory on the Kentucky Downs turf, and Princess Warrior, winner of her only race to date on dirt at Churchill Downs.

Two runners with form on turf coming into the race are Sassy Sienna (6-1), second in the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, and Caroline the Great (20-1), who finished second in the Happy Ticket Stakes at Louisiana Downs.

The horses with the most conventional stakes form coming into the race are Kelly’s Humor, second to Patrona Margarita in the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) Sept. 16, and Pacific Gale, a stylish winner of the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The form is very hard to match up, and much will depend on how the turf runners adapt to Keeneland’s dirt. But it’s hard to ignore Bet She Wins’ winning effort in the Arlington-Washington Classic, given the margin. Princess Warrior looked very good in her maiden and should appreciate 1 1/16-miles, while Heavenly Love, Princess Warrior, Kelly’s Humor all have solid chances. It should be a fascinating race for punters to try to work out.