04/10/2010 11:00PM

Fantasia fits on European form

Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Three of the 15 days at the Keeneland spring meet lack a stakes race, but no worries. A turf allowance that drew standouts such as Fantasia and Stardom Bound occupies the feature slot Sunday, when perfect weather should make everything right with the Keeneland world.

Fantasia, a two-time group winner in Europe under the care of Luca Cumani, is likely to go favored when she makes her 4-year-old debut against eight other fillies and mares in the eighth race, a $67,000 classified allowance at a mile. Owned by the Augustin Stable, Fantasia now is trained by Jonathan Sheppard.

"She seems to have acclimated very well," said Sheppard. "She had very good form in Europe. Hopefully she'll carry on here."

Fantasia, by the world-renowned sire Sadler's Wells, won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood at 2, then the Group 3 Nell Gwynn Stakes at Newmarket at 3. She has won 4 of 8 overall starts.

Fantasia will be treated with the bleeder medication Lasix for the first time when she breaks from post 4 under Julien Leparoux.

Stardom Bound, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2008 in North America, was scheduled to scratch Saturday from the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in favor of this less demanding spot. Trainer Rick Dutrow said Stardom Bound is "in great shape" for her turf debut, which will come after 10 races over synthetics and one over dirt.

Robby Albarado will have the ride from post 1 aboard Stardom Bound, who has raced exclusively in graded stakes company since August 2008.

Other contenders include Keertana, a multiple stakes winner for Tom Proctor, who had two winners from his first three starters this meet; Eye of Taurus, who will make her first start since winning a division of the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes here last fall; and a solid Pin Oak Stable entry of No Use Denying and Much Obliged.

Mizzcan'tbewrong, Ballynoe, and Coulee round out the lineup.

* While nine horses are entered in the feature, fields in some of the Sunday undercard events are less plentiful. Only six maidens were enticed to run in the first race, while two of the other three allowances on the program also drew just six runners.

The weather forecast for Sunday calls for sunny skies and a high of 73.