Juju’s Map Earns Juvenile Fillies Spot With Darley Alcibiades Victory

Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Juju’s Map, narrowly favored over her Brad Cox stablemate Matareya, tracked pacesetter Runup through the initial stages of Friday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes, took command on the stretch turn and drew off to a 4 1/4-length victory under Florent Geroux in the 1 1/16-mile main track contest for 2-year-old fillies on the opening day card at the Lexington, Ky., oval.

The Darley Alcibiades is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Challenge Series race, giving the winner a fees-paid berth to the G1 Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar on Nov. 5, along with a travel allowance to California for the horse.

Distinctlypossible, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, finished second, a neck in front of a fast-finishing Sequist and jockey Junior Alvarado in third. Mama Rina was fourth, followed by Dream Lith and Matareya in a dead heat for fifth, then Penny Saver, Miss Interpret, Runup, Myfavoritedaughter and Pipeline Girl in the field of 11. Diamond Wow was scratched.

The Liam’s Map filly out of Nagambie, by Flatter, bred in Kentucky by Fred W.  Hertrich III, covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.52. She paid $6.80 on a $2 mutuel.

The win was the ninth Grade 1 victory of 2021 for Cox and it was his second in the Alcibiades, the first coming in 2019 with British Idiom. It was the first Alcibiades for Geroux and the Albaugh Family Stables headed by Dennis Albaugh of Ankeny, Iowa.

Juju’s Map was a $300,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase. She was winning for the second time in three starts, having broken her maiden in front-running fashion in her second outing at Ellis Park on Sept. 3.

In the Alcibiades, Geroux saved ground after breaking from the No. 1 post position and was content to sit in second while Runup set fractions of :22.75 for the opening quarter and :46:00 for the half mile. Geroux moved Juju’s Map to the front through six furlongs in 1:11.23, and she was never seriously threatened thereafter, clicking off a mile split of 1:36.93 en route to her final time.

Cox said if Juju’s Map exited the win in good order it would be on to the Breeders’ Cup.

“She sat close to a hot pace and was still able to finish, and I thought, ‘That’s what good horses do,’” said Cox. “She broke running, Florent (Geroux) put her in a good position and she finished up well. I’m very proud of her performance. We’ll obviously talk it over with the Albaugh team, and as long as she comes out of it in good order I think we’ll march on toward California (and the Nov. 5, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1). It was a good trip last time and hopefully she can show up and run her race and be very effective.”

“She’s very talented to start with, but today it was tricky because there were a couple other speed horses,” said Geroux. “From the one hole, you have to use speed to your advantage, to make sure they don’t cross over and slow it down too fast. So I just wanted to break ahead so if they wanted the lead they would have to work for it, and that’s what they did.

“I was able to ease her back in the first turn. From there she took a nice breather with me down the backside and from there I knew she was going to be pretty tough. Turning for home I saw (Matareya) coming up and she’s pretty talented too, but when I asked her down the lane she gave me another gear, the kind of effort you want to see, and hopefully she’s going into the Breeders’ Cup in the right way.”

The post Juju’s Map Earns Juvenile Fillies Spot With Darley Alcibiades Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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