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My Conquestadory overcomes traffic trouble to take Alcibiades
Conquest Stables LLC's My Conquestadory suffered an educational trip in Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades on the opening day card of Keeneland's fall meet. Stuck in traffic for much of the backstretch run, the Mark Casse-trained miss angled wide around the turn and drew off in the lane to be 1 3/4 lengths clear on the wire.
The Artie Schiller filly was sent off the 6-5 favorite and lived up to her odds when finishing 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack in 1:45 3/5.
"A little worried? My thoughts were, 'Here we have this great filly and she's not going to be able to show how great she was.' I wasn't upset or worried for me, I was worried for her, because I wanted her to be able to show you how great she was. That was my concern," Casse replied when asked if had been worried during her backstretch run.
My Conquestadory earned an automatic berth in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies when winning the Alcibiades, but she also holds an entry into the Juvenile Turf thanks to victory in the grassy Summer Stakes at Woodbine on September 14. Casse indicated a trip to the Breeders' Cup was in the cards, but didn't specify exactly which race she'd show up for.
"Hopefully she's fine," he said. "We came here because I said I wanted to get her some experience -- didn't know we were going to get that much experience, but I'm glad to have it."
Lil Honey Badger led the way early in the race, setting splits of :23 1/5, :48 2/5 and 1:14 2/5 while stalked by She's Offlee Good. Meanwhile, My Conquestadory was trailing with just one horse beat under jockey Eurico Da Silva while running on the inside. Her jockey didn't panic, even when the filly found herself blocked by a wall of horses.
Carefully weaving his mount through the 12-strong field, Da Silva got My Conquestadory to the outside of her rivals rounding the turn and from their the pair took off.
"She didn't break sharp, but she was very, very relaxed," Da Silva remarked. "I was worried in the middle of the turn because there were so many fillies in front of me but every time I need her, she was just galloping. I was waiting for a hole, and every time it opened a little bit, I put her in. In the stretch when we had a free run, she just ran so easy. She's a very nice filly."
Rosalind, the 9-2 second choice, tried to run with her more fancied opponent but was forced to settle for second.
"We had a good break, put her right in the race, and took it from there. We had a perfect trip, no excuses at all," stated Victor Lebron, who had piloting duties aboard Rosalind. "I was expecting her to run really good. I rode her the first time, won on her, rode her in the stakes right after the maiden. And she showed she's one of those stake horses that can compete anywhere, you know? And coming to the Polytrack I knew she would be a lot better. She ran to what I expected her to and performed to what I wanted. No complaints at all."
It was another half-length back to longshot Battlefield Angel, while completing the order under the wire were Who's In Town, Harlan's Special, Designer Legs, Personal Diary, Sweetsoutherndam, Russian Night, Maria Maria, Lil Honey Badger and She's Offlee Good. Richies Party Girl was withdrawn.
"I thought the filly ran big. She took me there in a real good spot," said Battlefield Angel's rider, Channing Hill. "She was all class today. Now I have to give the two fillies that ran by her a lot of credit, because at the top of the lane I wasn't thinking anybody could run by us the way she was running."
My Conquestadory owned just one start coming into the Alcibiades, breaking her maiden at her homebase of Woodbine in the Summer Stakes against the boys. The dark bay miss was easily best that day, scoring by 3 1/4l lengths, and has now banked $355,908 to go along with her perfect two-for-two mark.
Bred in Kentucky by Paul Tackett, My Conquestadory has visited the sales ring twice. She brought $70,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, then returned earlier this season to be purchased by her current connections for $240,000 at the OBS March Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training.
My Conquestadory is the first registered foal out of the dual stakes-placed Malibu Moon mare Golden Artemis. Her third dam produced Meadow Gem, a Grade 3 winner at Woodbine, while her fourth dam is responsible for foaling multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire and sire Kelly Kip.
Farther back this is the same female line of another Grade 2-scoring millionaire in the ageless gelding Delightful Kiss as well as his half-sister Delightful Mary, honored as Canada's champion two-year-old filly in 2010.