10/01/2008 12:00AM

Alcibiades looms as key test for Mani Bhavan


With her dominating victory in last Saturday's Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Oak Tree, Stardom Bound convinced many that she will be very difficult to beat in the Juvenile Fillies. But the undefeated Mani Bhavan, the East's top 2-year-old filly, hopes to inject at least a little suspense in the run up to that Breeders' Cup event with a big performance in Friday's Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland.

"I want to get her around two turns and on a synthetic track," said Steve Klesaris, trainer of Mani Bhavan, when asked why he decided to run his filly in the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades instead of training her up to the Breeders' Cup. "This is a nice Grade 1 with a $500,000 purse sitting right in front of us, and we'll be one of the picks. We have to go in it."

Even though the Alcibiades will mark her first attempt beyond seven furlongs, Mani Bhavan deserves to be a strong favorite off the high speed she showed winning all three of her starts, including a seven-length romp in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes two starts back, and a determined victory in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes in her most recent outing.

"She's got brilliant speed," Klesaris said. "It's just a matter of her mindset. If she can relax and get comfortable, she'll go farther than you might anticipate. The synthetic track is more of a concern to me. But these are questions that have to be answered."

w The question of which 2-year-old filly Breeders' Cup race Grade 2 Matron winner Doremifasollatido will go for has been answered. Doremifasollatido, a walking advertisement of how good Mani Bhavan can be, as she won the Matron after finishing a distant second in the Adirondack, will race on Pro-Ride in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies instead of on turf in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, trainer Jimmy Jerkens confirmed.

"Well, the purse is double, and outside of one morning at Saratoga when she worked really well on it, she hasn't been on turf," Jerkens said.

Jerkens added that Doremifasollatido will train up to the Breeders' Cup. "She hasn't been over seven furlongs, but she's had a few tough races to season her," he said. "I would usually like to get a two-turn race first. But for some reason, I think it won't be a problem for her."

In addition to the Alcibiades, other major upcoming preps for the Juvenile Fillies are Saturday's Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park, headed by Matron runner-up Persistently and impressive maiden winner Gemswick Park, and Sunday's Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine.