Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend Nominees Include Defending Champions

September 27, 2023

Annapolis, In Italian, Manny Wah, Breeders’ Cup Winner Caravel Among Nominees

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Annapolis, winner of last year’s Coolmore Turf Mile (G1), plus defending race winners In Italian (GB) and Manny Wah along with 2022 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) heroine Caravel are among the standouts who are nominated to stakes during Keeneland’s Fall Stars Weekend on Oct. 6-8, opening weekend of Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet.

The first race each day of the season, which runs through Oct. 28, is 1 p.m. ET.

Fall Stars Weekend features 11 stakes, 10 of which are graded, worth $5.55 million. Five of those races are Grade 1 events, and eight of them are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. These “Win and You’re In” races award the winners fees-paid berths into corresponding races for the World Championships to be held at Santa Anita Nov. 3-4.

Click here for the lists of horses nominated to Fall Stars Weekend stakes and their past performances. Here is a look at those nominations:

Opening day, Friday, Oct. 6 – Entries taken Oct. 2

$600,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1): The 72nd running of the race for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on dirt is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run Nov. 3.

The Darley Alcibiades attracted 29 nominees headlined by Brightwork and V V’s Dream.

Brightwork after her Spinaway triumph (Susie Raisher)

WSS Racing’s Brightwork is undefeated in four career races with three victories coming in stakes. Trained by John Ortiz, Brightwork debuted at Keeneland on April 26 with a 3-length victory going 4½ furlongs. In her next start, she held off V V’s Dream by a half-length in the 6-furlong Debutante (L) at Ellis Park on July 2. Brightwork then ventured to Saratoga, where she won the 6½-furlong Adirondack (G3) by 5 lengths and the 7-furlong Spinaway (G1) by a half-length.

MJM Racing and Magdalena Racing’s V V’s Dream, trained by five-time Alcibiades winner Kenny McPeek, returned to the races on Sept. 16 after the Debutante and romped to an 8¾-length victory at Churchill Downs in the 1-mile Pocahontas (G3).

$350,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2): A total of 25 sprinters were nominated to the 171st running of the 6-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up on dirt, which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 4.

Topping the nominees is Susan Moulton’s defending champion, Manny Wah. Trained by Wayne Catalano, Manny Wah has not raced since April 8 at Keeneland but has been a consistent presence on the Keeneland work tab since late July.

Six horses have won this race in consecutive years, most recently Sum of the Parts in 2012-2013.

Other nominees of note include Jun Park and Delia Nash’s Sibelius and David Miller, Eric Grindley and John Werner’s Three Technique. Jeremiah O’Dwyer trains Sibelius, who won this year’s Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) Sponsored by Nakheel and was fourth in last year’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix. Three Technique, winner of the John A. Nerud (G2) in his most recent start, is trained by Jason Cook.

$350,000 Jessamine (G2) Presented by Keeneland November: The 33rd running of the race for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the grass attracted 50 nominees. The Jessamine Presented by Keeneland November is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 3.

Headlining the nominees is Arnmore Thoroughbreds and Even Keel Thoroughbreds’ undefeated Gala Brand. Trained by Bill Mott, Gala Brand posted a half-length victory over males in the With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga on Aug. 31 going 1 1/16 miles.

Another nominee of note is 4 G Racing’s Crown Imperial. Trained by John Ortiz, Crown Imperial won the Pepsi Untapable Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 13, a victory that followed three consecutive stakes placings.

Saturday, Oct. 7 – Entries taken Oct. 2

$1 Million Coolmore Turf Mile (G1): Defending champion Annapolis, owned by Bass Racing, tops a roster of 22 nominees for the mile test for 3-year-olds and up. The Coolmore Turf Mile is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 4.

Annapolis captures last year’s edition of the Coolmore Turf Mile (Coady Photography)

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Annapolis won the 2022 Coolmore Turf Mile by 1½ lengths and could become the third horse to win the race in consecutive years with the most recent being Gio Ponti in 2010-2011.

Annapolis, who has won one of four races in 2023, most recently had a troubled trip while finishing fifth in the Mint Millions (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 2.

Pletcher also trains Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s two-time Grade 1 winner Up to the Mark. Following a third-place finish in this spring’s Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland, Up to the Mark posted daylight victories in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill and the Resorts World Casino Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park.

Other Grade 1 winners among the nominees are Three Diamonds Farm’s Atone, trained by Mike Maker; Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm’s Count Again, trained by Phil D’Amato; and Juddmonte’s Set Piece (GB), trained by Brad Cox.

European runners among the nominees are Godolphin’s Master of The Seas (IRE) and Clipper Logistics’ Flight Plan (GB).

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Master of The Seas was a 3¾-length winner as the 2-5 favorite in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) on Sept. 16 for his sixth graded/group stakes score. Flight Plan, trained by Karl Burke, won the Dullingham Park (G2) at Leopardstown in Ireland on Sept. 9 in his most recent start.

$600,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1): The top two finishers from the Sept. 16 Iroquois (G3) at Churchill, West Saratoga and Risk It, top a roster of 33 nominees for the 110th running of the 1 1/16-mile test on dirt for 2-year-olds. The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run Nov. 3.

West Saratoga on his way to victory in the Iroquois (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

This is the 10th running of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity sponsored by Claiborne Farm.

Harry Veruchi’s West Saratoga is trained by Larry Demeritte. A winner of his past two races, West Saratoga took the 1-mile Iroquois by 1¾ lengths over Risk It. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm and trained by Steve Asmussen, Risk It was favored in the Iroquois off a 4½-length victory at Saratoga in his debut.

Another intriguing nominee is WinStar Farm and Siena Farm’s Timberlake. Trained by Brad Cox, Timberlake has won one of three races and most recently was second as the favorite in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 4.

$750,000 First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare: Peter Brant’s defending champion, In Italian (GB), headlines a roster of 25 nominees for the 26th running of the race for fillies and mares to be contested over a mile on the Keeneland turf course.

Trained by Chad Brown, who has saddled the past five First Lady winners and six overall, In Italian has won two of three races in 2023. She began the year with a 3-length victory in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland in April and followed that with a victory in the Just a Game (G1) at Belmont Park on June 9. She was second, beaten a nose by stablemate Whitebeam (GB), in the Diana (G1) at Saratoga on July 15.

Whitebeam, owned by Juddmonte, is one of six nominees trained by Brown for the First Lady. Among his other nominees are Brant’s Gina Romantica, winner of last fall’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana here, and Klaravich Stables’ Technical Analysis (IRE), a multiple graded stakes winner.

Nominated from Europe is Jean Pierre Dubois’ homebred Sauterne (FR). Trained by Patricia Cottier, Sauterne won the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) in her most recent start.

$350,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2): Godolphin’s two-time Grade 1 winner Matareya and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ ultra-consistent Wicked Halo top a roster of 19 fillies and mares nominated to the 43rd running of the 6-furlong sprint on dirt.

The Thoroughbred Club of America is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 4.

Trained by Brad Cox, Matareya won the Acorn (G1) last year and this spring held off Wicked Halo by a length in the Derby City Distaff (G1) Presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery at Churchill. In her most recent Keeneland start, she won the 2022 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select by 8½ lengths.

Wicked Halo, trained by Steve Asmussen, won Keeneland’s Lexus Raven Run (G2) last fall before finishing third behind champions Goodnight Olive and Echo Zulu in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

$350,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by FanDuel: Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables’ Caravel, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over males, highlights a roster of 28 grass sprinters nominated to the 27th running of the race for 3-year-olds and up going 5½ furlongs over the Keeneland turf course.

Caravel wins the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, Courtney Snow, Past The Wire
Caravel and a celebratory Tyler Gaffalione after the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Trained by Brad Cox, Caravel is undefeated in three Keeneland races, having won the Franklin (G3) prior to her Breeders’ Cup victory and then starting 2023 with a victory over males in the Shakertown (G2).

Caravel and her dam, Zeezee Zoomzoom, in foal to Justify, are scheduled to be offered Nov. 8 at Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale.

Nominated to the Woodford Presented by FanDuel from Europe is Jolene and Steve De’Lemos’ Live In The Dream (IRE). Trained by Adam West, Live In The Dream earned a spot into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita by winning the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe (G1) at York in England on Aug. 25.

Four stakes will be televised live by NBC Sports as part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.” CNBC coverage that day from 4-6 p.m. will include the Thoroughbred Club of America, the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare, the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and the Coolmore Turf Mile.

Sunday, Oct. 8 – Entries taken Oct. 3

$600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1): Seven Grade 1 winners are among the 17 fillies and mares nominated to the 68th running of the Juddmonte Spinster to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on dirt. The Juddmonte Spinster is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 4.

Defining Purpose victorious in this year’s Central Bank Ashland (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

Among the seven are the past two winners of Keeneland’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) in 2022 winner Nest, the 2022 champion 3-year-old filly, and this spring’s winner, Defining Purpose.

A winner of eight of 13 races, Nest is trained by Todd Pletcher, who sent out Malathaat to a 5¼-length victory in last year’s Juddmonte Spinster. Fourth as the favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Nest has won one of two races in 2023 for owners Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House.

Defining Purpose, trained by Kenny McPeek and owned by Magdalena Racing, Colette Marie and James Ball, added a victory in the Indiana Oaks (G3) to her resume and most recently was third in the Alabama (G1) Presented by Keeneland Sales.

Stonestreet Stables’ Clairiere and Briland Farm’s Secret Oath, third and fifth respectively in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, are among the Juddmonte Spinster nominees. Steve Asmussen trains Clairiere, a four-time Grade 1 winner, and D. Wayne Lukas trains 2022 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Secret Oath.

Other Grade 1 winners nominated to the race are Haruya Yoshida’s A Mo Reay, winner of the Beholder Mile for trainer Brad Cox; Juddmonte’s Idiomatic, winner of the Personal Ensign over Secret Oath and Nest for Cox; and Klaravich Stables’ Randomized, winner of the Alabama for trainer Chad Brown.

$350,000 Castle & Key Bourbon (G2): West Point Thoroughbreds and Steven Bouchey’s Carson’s Run, winner of the bet365 Summer (G1) at Woodbine on Sept. 16, tops a list of 43 nominees to the 33rd running of the 1 1/16-mile grass test for 2-year-olds.

Carson’s Run runs them all down in the Summer (Michael Burns)

The Castle & Key Bourbon is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Prevagen Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 3.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Carson’s Run has won two of three races with his lone setback being a runner-up finish in the With Anticipation.

Also nominated is Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Aspenite, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile (L) by 3¼ lengths for trainer Steve Asmussen.

$250,000 Indian Summer (L) Presented by Keeneland Select: Trained by George Weaver, the trio of Amidst Waves, Crimson Advocate and No Nay Mets (IRE) headline the 42 nominees for the sixth running of the race for 2-year-olds going 5½ furlongs on the grass.

R. A. Hill Stable, BlackRidge Stables, Swinbank Stables, Big Tuff Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Amidst Waves is unbeaten in three races against fillies with stakes wins coming in the Colleen (L) at Monmouth Park and the Bolton Landing (L) at Saratoga.

Dew Sweepers’ Crimson Advocate was third behind Brightwork in her career debut at Keeneland. She scored her first win in stakes company at Gulfstream in May and then prevailed by a nose in a 26-horse field at Royal Ascot in England in the Queen Mary (G2).

Bregman Family Racing and WWBD’s No Nay Mets has won three at Gulfstream Park, Monmouth and Colonial Downs. He was unplaced in the Norfolk (G1) at Royal Ascot.

CNBC coverage from 4-6 p.m. will feature the three Keeneland stakes.

@jonathanstettin Thank you. This is a truly beautiful tribute to a racing legend. Good to hear the true story of what happened that day.

MargaretR (@RurakMarge) View testimonials