10/11/2006 12:00AM

Five from Alcibiades may end up running


The addition of the popular Polytrack racing surface at Keeneland is widely credited for boosting field size at its fall meet. But the surface could also add entries to the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, perhaps most notably in the Juvenile Fillies, even though the main track at Churchill Downs is dirt.

The reason is clear. The connections of those fillies that ran well in last Friday's Alcibiades at Keeneland have reason to be encouraged. And the connections of fillies that struggled may give their horses another chance, reasoning that they may not have handled Polytrack.

The top three finishers from the Alcibiades - Bel Air Beauty, Untouched Talent, and Her Majesty - are being considered for the Juvenile Fillies. At least two fillies that finished off the board are being pointed to the race - Cotton Blossom, the fourth-place finisher, and Appealing Zophie, who ran sixth after setting the pace.

Scott Blasi, who trains Appealing Zophie, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway, said he is optimistic that racing over a traditional dirt track at Churchill will help her after she battled what he considered to be an anti-speed bias at Keeneland. Over the first three days of the meet, just one winner scored after leading at the first call.

"Speed wasn't holding," he said. "I'm not complaining - that is just a fact."

One filly not heading on to the Breeders' Cup is X Star, who ran 11th of 14 in the Alcibiades after a third-place finish in the Spinaway behind Appealing Zophie. Owner Jim Osborne, who races under the name of B. A. Man Inc., said she has been turned out and will have a new trainer, who has yet to be determined, when she races as a 3-year-old. Larry Jones trained her this year.

As for victorious Bel Air Beauty, who defeated Untouched Talent by three-quarters of a length in the Alcibiades, she came out of the race in good shape, trainer Frank Brothers said. He said he plans to monitor her training in the coming weeks, with the goal to pursue the Breeders' Cup if she is doing well.

Bel Air Beauty, a Smart Strike filly owned by Bruce Lunsford, scored her first victory in the Alcibiades after running second in her only prior start, which came at Turfway Park in a maiden race Sept. 9. She posted an 81 Beyer Speed Figure in the Alcibiades.

With many trainers electing to bring fresh entrants to the Juvenile Fillies this year, most of the leading contenders have already completed their final Breeders' Cup tuneups. But there are still some stakes that could produce starters for the Juvenile Fillies.

The most prominent of those races is Saturday's Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. Meadow Breeze, a leading contender for the Juvenile Fillies after winning the Grade 1 Matron Stakes, is the expected headliner. The Todd Pletcher-trained Awesome Ashley, a maiden winner in her second start, is another top prospect for that race.