10/19/2011 12:07PM

Keeneland: Bizzy Caroline tepid choice in Pin Oak Valley View

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Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Bizzy Caroline, winner of the Regret at Churchill Downs, is the lukewarm favorite for Friday's Pin Oak Valley View Stakes for 3-year-old turf fillies.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Very few stakes at this 2011 Keeneland fall meet have had a heavy favorite. Bettors have rendered races such as the Woodford and First Lady as wide-open scrambles with 7-2 favorites, while only the TCA Stakes, with Switch finishing third at 4-5, has had so much as an odds-on choice from the 13 stakes already run here.

Now comes the Grade 3, $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, and the status quo remains. Like most of the preceding stakes, the field is big, and making a line is difficult – good news, all, for horseplayers. There are no fewer than a half-dozen legitimate contenders in the oversubscribed field of 3-year-old turf fillies scheduled to clash at 1 1/16 miles here Friday, and Bizzy Caroline has been pegged as a lukewarm morning-line choice, but only because somebody had to be.

Bizzy Caroline is trained by Ken McPeek, who has had the Valley View penned into his condition book for the Afleet Alex filly for weeks.

“We sent her out to California for those two Grade 1’s,” said McPeek, referring to the July 16 American Oaks at Hollywood and the Aug. 20 Del Mar Oaks. “Obviously this should be a little easier, on paper, anyway.”

Third at Hollywood, then eighth at Del Mar, Bizzy Caroline will be looking to return to the winning form she had here in the spring, when she followed a maiden victory on the Keeneland turf with back-to-back romps in a first-level allowance and the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs.

“She’s been training really well here at Keeneland, so we’re looking forward to running her back,” said McPeek.

Bizzy Caroline, with Manny Cruz to ride from post 4, could rule a slight choice over the likes of In Step, Smart Sting, Dynamic Holiday, and Pinch Pie in this 21st running of the Valley View. In all, 14 fillies are on the program, although only as many as 12 can start.

In Step (post 2) is an intriguing stretch-out candidate after winning the seven-furlong Queen Tutta last out at Belmont Park.

Smart Sting (post 3), an impeccably-bred Frank Stronach filly, enters off a life’s-best race in winning the Grade 3 Selene at Woodbine.

Dynamic Holiday (post 9) won four races in a row earlier in her career for Graham Motion and could loom a major off-the-pace threat.

Pinch Pie (post 12) exits back-to-back Grade 1 races for Tony Dutrow and will be looking to overcome her tough post with Robby Albarado up.

One of the many sleepers in the field is Trac N Jam (post 1), who has been no better than fourth in three starts since winning the Indiana Distaff in July.

“I know she’s better than that,” said trainer Andy Hansen.

The weather was cold and miserable here Wednesday, with two scheduled races transferred off the grass, and more of the same was forecast for Thursday. But a warm uptick and drier conditions were forecast for Friday and a few days beyond, meaning the Valley View is likely to stay on the turf.

The Valley View is the ninth of 10 races on a program that starts at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. This is the third and last Friday of the meet with a guaranteed late pick four (races 7-10) pool of $200,000 sponsored by TVG.