Trainer Kenny McPeek said Nov. 18 that he intends to run the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) winner in the $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) and King Fury, a local stakes winner, in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). Both races are 1 1/16 miles on dirt Nov. 28, the penultimate day of fall racing at Churchill, a little more than three weeks after the two juveniles were unplaced during the first of two Breeders’ Cup days at Keeneland.
The two stakes offer respective points toward next spring’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
Simply Ravishing finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Nov. 6, beaten two lengths by victorious Vequist, and King Fury was seventh in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1).
Simply Ravishing, a speedy daughter of Laoban , bobbled at the start from her inside post and lost early position, and her rally from fifth left her noses short of runner-up Dayoutoftheoffice and third-place Girl Daddy.
“She got off a little slow, was unlucky leaving there, but she came out of the race well and seems no worse for wear,” McPeek said of Simply Ravishing. “She’s scheduled to have a work this weekend at Churchill.”
She wasn’t the only McPeek filly to experience a troubled break. Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver stumbled at the start of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), compromising her performance. The 3-year-old Daredevil filly, the winner of the Preakness Stakes (G1) over Authentic , ran seventh and exited the race with the skin around a heel inflamed and discolored.
“We took a little time to clear it up,” McPeek said. “We sent her over to Dr. (Larry) Bramlage for a year-end physical and came out of it with flying colors. She’s going to get a rest through the first of the year, and we’ll put her in training.”
Besides Simply Ravishing, who is 3-for-4 with earnings of $404,600 for owners Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing, and Nehoc Stables, McPeek said he also aims to run Susan Moulton’s Oliviaofthedesert in the Golden Rod. She ran third in the Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes Oct. 25 at Churchill Downs.
King Fury will race with a change of equipment in the Kentucky Jockey Club after racing greenly at times for owner Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm. By Curlin out of the grade-1 winning Flatter mare Taris, he was purchased last year on McPeek’s guidance for $950,000 by Paul Fireman’s Fern Circle from the consignment of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency to The Saratoga Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s select yearling sale.
“King Fury is 2-for-2 at Churchill, and we’re going to try to make it 3-for-3,” McPeek said. “We’re going to add a little blinker to him to keep him a little more focused.”
Other Juvenile starters nominated to the Kentucky Jockey Club include Keepmeinmind (third), Dreamer’s Disease (sixth), Sittin On Go (ninth), and Camp Hope (12th), though the latter is instead pointed toward a first-level allowance, McPeek said. Robertino Diodoro trains Keepmeinmind and Dreamer’s Disease, and Dale Romans conditions Sittin On Go.
Other Breeders’ Cup participants are expected to join the McPeek duo at Churchill Downs next week. Trainer Brad Cox said Owendale, a rallying fifth behind stablemate Knicks Go in the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), would return in the Clark Stakes Presented by Norton Healthcare (G1) Nov. 27.
Not aimed to wheel back, either at Churchill or early next month at a track such as Aqueduct Racetrack, are any of Cox’s four Breeders’ Cup winners: Aunt Pearl, Essential Quality, Knicks Go, or Monomoy Girl.
Aunt Pearl has been turned out in Florida for a winter rest, and Essential Quality is in light training before he heads south for the winter.
Cox has his eye toward 2021 for two-time Distaff winner Monomoy Girl, purchased Nov. 8 for $9.5 million by Spendthrift Farm at The November Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s breeding stock sale. She has resumed training with him since the sale.
“Given what she’s already accomplished this year and knowing we want to race throughout 2021, I think the safest play—the right thing to do—is give her time between races,” he said.
Cox is inclined to pass the Dec. 5 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct with Knicks Go, calling the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfsteam Park a “maybe,” perhaps with a prep before that race.
Shared Sense is a colt he plans to send to New York for the Nov. 28 Discovery Stakes (G3), and Arklow, Juliet Foxtrot, and Royal Prince are headed west for races at Del Mar—pointed toward next week’s Hollywood Turf Cup (G2T), Matriarch Stakes (G1T), and Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3T), respectively.