McPeek Plans To Keep Restless Rider At Keeneland To Prepare For Breeders’ Cup

Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm’s Restless Rider, winner of Friday’s Darley Alcibiades (G1), will remain at Keeneland to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, reported trainer Kenny McPeek Saturday morning. With the Darley Alcibiades victory, the 2-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor earned a fees-paid spot in the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs.

“I’m probably going to keep her here for the whole month,” said McPeek, who won the Darley Alcibiades for the fourth time. “I might send her to Churchill Downs for her last work over that track. I like the way she’s settled here. I haven’t decided when (her next work at Keeneland will be), probably in 15 days, something like that.”

At the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, McPeek, agent for Fern Circle and Three Chimneys, purchased Restless Rider for $150,000. She was consigned by Denali Stud, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised.

Now Restless Rider has won three of four races for earnings of $401,360, including the Darley Alcibiades check of $240,000. She won the June 30 Debutante at Churchill by 11¼ lengths and was second in the Sept. 1 Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga.

McPeek said he celebrated the Darley Alcibiades triumph with dinner at a downtown Lexington restaurant.

“We were home by 10 but I am still tired,” he said.

McPeek could add to his opening-day success with starters in other weekend stakes. He will send out Signalman in today’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1). On Sunday, he has Eskimo Kisses in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and Salvator Mundi in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3).

He has two wins in the Breeders’ Futurity with Tejano Run (1994) and Noble’s Promise (2009). He won the Spinster in 2002 and 2003 with Take Charge Lady.

McPeek has three wins in the Dixiana Bourbon with Lawn Ranger (2014), Rogue Romance (2010) and Pineaff (1st division in 1998 when the race was run as the Hopemont).

Darley Alcibiades runner-up Reflect is scheduled to return Sunday afternoon to Churchill, where she will train for the Breeders’ Cup with two works scheduled.

“She is good this morning, but a little bit tired,” said Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux. “Keith was absolutely thrilled with her race; very happy. We had a question about her handling two turns, but she answered that.”

Owned by Impact Thoroughbreds and Madaket Stables, Reflect received a ground-saving trip from jockey James Graham while racing in midpack early. She rallied into second at the head of the stretch but was no threat to Restless Rider.

“Keith said the winner was a monster,” Clark said of Desormeaux, who watched the race from Santa Anita. “He was pleased to be that close to her.”

As for going on to the Breeders’ Cup, Clark said that question was answered quickly.

“The owners had their hotels and flights booked 10 minutes after the race,” Clark said.

Darley Alcibiades pacesetter Meadow Dance, who finished third 5¼ lengths behind Restless Rider, is scheduled to return to trainer Brad Cox’s barn at Churchill Saturday.

“She came out of the race fine, and I was pleased with her effort,” Cox said. “I don’t think she will get into the Breeders’ Cup, so we will probably back off a little bit.”

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