British Idiom Soars Clear in Alcibiades
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Even with champion Monomoy Girl sidelined—she will miss a defense of her title in the Nov. 2 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1)—trainer Brad Cox and many of Monomoy Girl's owners might be headed to California with a filly that ranks as an exciting Breeders' Cup contender: British Idiom.

With a 6 1/2-length victory over Perfect Alibi in the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Keeneland, the Cox-trained British Idiom earned a "Win and You're In" berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park. And she'll go there with title hopes on the line.

Her limited record stands up next to just about anyone in the division. A first-out winner of her debut at Saratoga Race Course by 3 1/2 lengths Aug. 15, she improved to 2-for-2 in taking the Alcibiades in her first route, this race coming even more easily than the first and providing her sire, Flashback, with his first black-type stakes winner.

Before a crowd of 16,427 on opening day at Keeneland, jockey Javier Castellano kept British Idiom perched just off the pace in third as longshot Spitefulness sped to the lead with fractions of :23.73, :47.27, and 1:13.11 in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race. Then, as the field left the second turn, it was time to move. 

Castellano moved his mount alongside Spitefulness and pace-chasing Sequin before they left them behind. British Idiom drew away at the eighth pole and expanded her advantage through the final furlong to finish in 1:45.80 on a fast track. She paid $9.20 to win.

Castellano said British Idiom was a bit eager passing the stands for the first time before relaxing down the backstretch. "She kept track of the horses, and I liked the way she finished. She's a good filly," he said.

Runner-up Perfect Alibi, winner of the Spinaway Stakes (G1) and Adirondack Stakes (G2) at Saratoga this summer, rallied from fifth to finish clear of the rest, though without an excuse that prevented her from catching the winner, jockey Jose Ortiz said.

Alandra, the narrow favorite at 2-1 odds over Perfect Alibi after winning her debut in frontrunning fashion at Saratoga Sept. 1, managed third, three lengths behind the runner-up, after falling back to 10th early following a troubled start.

British Idiom, out of the stakes-winning Mr. Sekiguchimare Rose and Shine, is related to two other winners, including Parade of Roses, winner of the Borderplex Stakes at Sunland Park this year. Purchased last year for $40,000 by X-Go Ranch from the consignment of Warrendale Sales at The October Sale, Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky fall yearling sale, British Idiom races for owners Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Sol Kumin's Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables.

Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables are owners in Monomoy Girl along with Monomoy Stables, another Kumin partnership.

Now British Idiom's connections are eyeing the Juvenile Fillies, a race Monomoy Girl didn't make as a 2-year-old in 2017 when a little slower to develop into stakes class that fall.

"She's obviously capable of getting around two turns, and as long as she comes out of this in good shape, we'll look at California," Cox said.

There she could again face Perfect Alibi, whose trainer, Mark Casse, is inclined to run her back in the Juvenile Fillies with the approval of her owner, Tracy Farmer.

"She's a grade 1 winner. She's pretty good," he said. "We're not going to let one little defeat deter us."

Since 2014 when Keeneland switched from synthetic to dirt, the Alcibiades has produced one winner of the Juvenile Fillies: Take Charge Brandi, a 61-1 upset scorer of the 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies in 2014 after an eighth-place finish in the Alcibiades. Last year's Alcibiades winner, Restless Rider, ran second in the 2018 Juvenile Fillies behind eventual champion Jaywalk.

 

Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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