Castleton Lyons Farm's Gio Ponti, undefeated in two starts over the Keeneland grass course, will attempt to keep his record perfect Saturday when he faces seven foes in the 26th running of the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
The Shadwell Turf Mile is the centerpiece of a 10-race card Saturday that features five graded stakes, including two other Grade 1 races: The 98th running of the $400,000 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track, and the 14th running of the $350,000 First Lady for fillies and mares going a mile on the turf.
Saturday's program begins at 1:15 p.m. (ET) with the Shadwell Turf Mile scheduled as the ninth race at 5:45 p.m. The First Lady goes as the seventh race with a 4:37 p.m. post time, followed by the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at 5:13 p.m.
Keeneland, in partnership with NBC Sports, will present live coverage of FallStars Weekend as part of its new “Autumn at Keeneland” series. VERSUS will air hour-long stakes coverage on October 7, 8 and 9 from 5-6 p.m. (ET).
Additionally, TVG will feature live coverage of Keeneland each race day beginning at 1 p.m. Fans also can watch the live races streamed on Keeneland.com.
The Shadwell Turf Mile is a “Win and You're In” race for the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) to be run November 5 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Gio Ponti won last year's Shadwell Turf Mile by a length over Society's Chairman, who also returns Saturday. Only one horse has won this race in consecutive years, that being Dumaani, who won the race in 1995 when it was known as the Keeneland Breeders' Cup and in 1996 when it was renamed the Keeneland Breeders' Cup Mile.
Regular rider Ramon Dominguez will be aboard Gio Ponti, who will break from post position five. Now 6, Gio Ponti also won the Woodford Reserve Bourbon as a 2-year-old here in 2007.
Also gunning for a bit of history in the Shadwell Turf Mile is Sullimar Stables' Get Stormy, trained by Tom Bush.
Winner of the Maker's Mark Mile (G1) this spring, Get Stormy will attempt to become the first horse to complete a Maker's Mark-Shadwell Turf double in the same year. Garrett Gomez has the call for the first time on Get Stormy, who will break from post position eight.
Two horses making their Keeneland debuts also figure to attract plenty of attention.
Rubio B. Stable and WinStar Farm's Sidney's Candy returns to the turf on which he has posted two Grade 2 victories. Winner of last year's Santa Anita Derby (G1) on an all-weather surface, Sidney's Candy will break from post position two under Joel Rosario.
The only 3-year-old in the field is Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Zoffany (IRE). A Group 1 winner in Ireland last year, Zoffany is winless in four starts in 2011 with his best effort coming in a runner-up finish to the undefeated Frankel in the Group 1 St. James's Palace Stakes at a mile in June at Ascot. Colm O'Donoghue has the mount on Zoffany, who will break from post position four.
The field for the Shadwell Turf Mile, from the inside out, is as follows: Tajaaweed (James Graham, 126 pounds), Sidney's Candy (Rosario, 126), Dance And Dance (IRE) (Jamie Spencer, 126), Zoffany (IRE) (O'Donoghue, 123), Gio Ponti (Dominguez, 126), Society's Chairman (Julien Leparoux, 126), Wise Dan (Jon Court, 126) and Get Stormy (Gomez, 126).
Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1)
An overflow of 16 2-year-olds was entered for the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity, including graded stakes winners Majestic City and Shared Property.
The Dixiana Breeders' Futurity is a “Win and You're In” race for the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run November 5 at Churchill Downs.
Majestic City, owned by Jeff Bloom and trained by Peter Miller, won his first three starts, capped off with a score in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3). In his most recent start, Majestic City finished second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity but was disqualified to third for interference in deep stretch. Garrett Gomez will be aboard Majestic City for the first time Saturday and will break from post position five.
Jerry Namy's Shared Property is undefeated in two starts, the latter being a triumph in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3). Trained by Tom Amoss, Shared Property will break from post position seven under regular rider Leandro Goncalves.
Two stakes winners on grass also are in the field: Team Valor International's Lucky Chappy (IRE) and Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Gung Ho.
Trained now by Graham Motion, Lucky Chappy won two of three starts in Italy including the Premio Giuseppe De Montel at 7½ furlongs. Ramon Dominguez has the call on Lucky Chappy, who will break from post position eight in his United States debut.
Gung Ho enters the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity off a victory in the one-mile Sunday Silence at Louisiana Downs on September 10. Trained by Mike Maker, Gung Ho will break from post position 14 under jockey Julien Leparoux.
The field for the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity, from the rail out, is as follows: Musical Flair (Jesus Rios), Space Race (Eddie Castro), Dullahan (Kent Desormeaux), Motor City (Calvin Borel), Majestic City (Gomez), Curfew Tower (Ben Creed), Shared Property (Goncalves), Lucky Chappy (IRE) (Dominguez), Our Entourage (Joel Rosario), Ancil (Manny Cruz), Take Charge Indy (James Graham), Optimizer (Robby Albarado), E Valentino (Shane Sellers) and Gung Ho (Leparoux). Also Eligible: Fire Alarm (Jamie Theriot) and Personal Interest (Daniel Centeno). All starters will carry 121 pounds.
First Lady Stakes (G1)
William Pacella, George Bonomo and Fred Barbara's C. S. Silk, winner of the Grade 1 Just A Game at Belmont Park in June, heads an overflow field of 12 fillies and mares plus two also-eligibles for the First Lady.
Trained by Dale Romans, C. S. Silk ran second in last year's First Lady under Kent Desormeaux, who has the riding assignment again Saturday. C. S. Silk will break from post position seven.
Two other Grade 1 winners in the field are Team Valor International and Green Lantern Stables' Gypsy's Warning (SAF) and Richard Duchossois' Éclair de Lune (GER). Gypsy's Warning won last year's Matriarch and Éclair de Lune won the 2009 running of the Beverly D.
Team Valor International has a second runner in the field in Daveron (GER), a winner of all three of her 2011 starts. Trained by Graham Motion, Daveron enters the First Lady off a 1¾-length victory in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga on August 27.
The field for the First Lady, from the inside out, is as follows: Bay to Bay (Junior Alvarado, 124 pounds), Cherokee Queen (Luis Saez, 124), Daveron (GER) (Eddie Castro, 124), Category Seven (Shane Sellers, 124), Absinthe Minded (Terry Thompson, 124), Together (IRE) (Colm O'Donoghue, 121), C. S. Silk (Desormeaux, 124), Wasted Tears (Joel Rosario, 124), Theyskens' Theory (Garrett Gomez, 121), Gypsy's Warning (SAF) (Ramon Dominguez, 124), Éclair de Lune (GER) (James Graham, 124) and Never Retreat (Julien Leparoux, 124). Also Eligible: Snow Top Mountain (Mark Guidry, 124) and Tapitsfly (Robby Albarado, 124).
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