The 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), the closing-day feature of Keeneland's 17-day Fall Meet, is D P Racing's Prime Attraction, who has been chasing the likes of Accelerate and Catapult back home in Southern California.
Those two are expected to compete Nov. 3 in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs with Accelerate in the $6 million Classic (G1) and Catapult in the $2 million Mile (G1).
Meanwhile, the 1 1/8-mile Hagyard Fayette made sense for Prime Attraction's next race, his first outside California, said trainer Jim Cassidy.
“It was a good spot,” Cassidy said. “The distance is right. He's doing well. We had nothing out there (in California) for him.”
“We'd have loved to be in the Breeders' Cup,” owner Deron Pearson said, “but we didn't have enough luck to beat a couple of those horses along the way to get there. The plan is to run him here and run him in the Clark (G1 at Churchill Nov. 23) if he does well here.”
In 2014, D P Racing paid $335,000 for Prime Attraction, a son of Unbridled's Song, at Keeneland's September Yearling Sale. The colt's dam, the A.P. Indy mare Strawberry Sense, is a half-sister to champion Vindication.
“He was the best-looking horse I saw in the sale – that's why I called him Prime Attraction,” Pearson said.
Prime Attraction, now 5, has four wins, including the 2017 Native Diver (G3), in 18 starts with earnings of $459,545. He was second to Accelerate in this year's San Pasqual (G2) and third to that rival in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1).
In the Hagyard Fayette, Prime Attraction will start from the 1 post with Kent Desormeaux aboard.
Leading Pearson's success at Keeneland is 2004 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) winner Ticker Tape (GB), owned in partnership with Jim Ford and Jack Sweesy. His Yahilwa was third in the 2015 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and in her next start ran at Keeneland in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).
Ticker Tape and Yahilwa both were trained by Cassidy, who also won the 2010 Central Bank Ashland (G1) with Evening Jewel.
The Hagyard Fayette marks the start of a week of notable racing action for Pearson. His Grade 3 winner Pricedtoperfection, also at Keeneland with Cassidy, is expected to run in Churchill's Chilukki (G2) on the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup undercard.
That same afternoon, Santa Monica (GB) – owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Madaket Stables and D P Racing – is to compete in the $2 million Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1). Chad Brown trains Santa Monica.
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