DARLEY ALCIBIADES STAKES | PURSE: $400,000 | 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/16 MILES
Conquest Stables' My Conquestadory turned in a dazzling performance Oct. 4 at Keeneland, taking the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades after all sorts of trouble to become the first U.S. Grade 1 winner for WinStar sire Artie Schiller.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden perfectly by jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva, the 2-year-old filly finished 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:45.61 as the 6-5 favorite to give Casse consecutive victories in the race. He won last year with Spring in the Air.
My Conquestadory was pinched at the break and wound up dead last in a 12-horse field, far behind a pace set by longshot Lil Honey Badger. Nevertheless, she responded extremely well to Da Silva's guidance and maintained her composure despite having to steady several times as she raced up into tight quarters on the inside. In traffic behind an early pace of :23.35 and :48.48, she gradually improved her position with a good middle move.
"My thoughts were, 'Here we have this great filly and she's not going to be able to show how great she was,'" Casse said of watching the race. "I was worried for her, because I wanted her to be able to show you how great she was."
My Conquestadory did just that. As Battlefield Angel surged to the lead from the four path entering the stretch after three-quarters went in 1:14.54, the eventual winner was shifted out by Da Silva coming around the final turn to finish with an explosive kick down the center of the lane. She drew clear under a confident hand ride through a mile in 1:39.43, finishing 1 ¾ lengths ahead of the late-closing Rosalind. Battlefield Angel held on for third.
"She didn't break sharp, but she was very, very relaxed," Da Silva said. "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."
My Conquestadory, solid winner of the Sept. 14 TVG Summer Stakes against boys in her career debut at Woodbine, qualified for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park with her victory in the Alcibiades, a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event. She already qualified for the Juvenile Fillies Turf with her Summer Stakes win.
The winner's payout for a $2 ticket was $4.40, $3.40, and $3, while Rosalind brought $4.80 and $3.80 with Battlefield Angel returning $9.20. Who's In Town, Harlan's Special, Designer Legs, Personal Diary, Sweetsoutherndame, Russian Night, Maria Maria, Lil Honey Badger, and She's Offlee Good completed the order of finish. Richies Party Girl scratched.
A $240,000 purchase from the 2013 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March sale, where she breezed an eighth in :10 flat for consignor Eisaman Equine, My Conquestadory has now won a Grade 2 and a grade I in two starts for earnings of $355,908. She was bred in Kentucky by Paul Tackett out of the Malibu Moon mare Golden Artemis.