10/30/2009 11:00PM

In Fayette, surface suits Parading

Photos by Z/Keeneland
Parading dominated the Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland in the spring.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Like some people, Parading appears particular about his choice of brands - except in the horse's case, it isn't about clothes, but about his choice of synthetic tracks.

His race on Cushion Track resulted in a distant fifth-place finish in the at Keeneland in the spring and later when he was an extremely wide fourth in the Sept. 6 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Back at Keeneland for Saturday's closing-day $150,000 Fayette Stakes, a Grade 2 race at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack, Parading should feel right at home.

Although he is the established class, having racing in three consecutive Grade 1 races, he has not been finishing effectively, either because of declining form or simply racing against tough company.


He faces a challenge in the Fayette that includes nine rivals, led by Public Speaker, Wicked Style, Dominican, and an up-in-coming 3-year-old in Blame, who, perhaps in contrast to Parading, has been peaking this fall.

Kent Desormeaux rode Parading to his 7 1/2-length romp in the April 19 Ben Ali, and is aboard the horse Saturday for trainer Shug McGaughey and owner Phipps Stable.

Blame, a 3-year-old son of Arch owned and bred by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, has blossomed since the early summer, going from a first-level eligible allowance horse to become of the better 3-year-olds in the country. Trained by Al Stall, he won the at Louisiana Downs.

Although his Curlin victory stamped him as a promising colt, it was his runner-up finish in the paceless Super Derby on Sept. 19 that was most striking. That day he ran competitively behind a potential Breeders' Cup Classic starter in Regal Ransom, who had the luxury of racing alone on the lead with a half-mile in 49.03 seconds.

:: KING: (DRF Plus)