10/15/2012 1:35PM

Keeneland: Crazy Party should like longer distance of turf feature


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Unofficially, it’s Turf Marathon Week at Keeneland, where two stakes will be run around three turns on the grass. In coincidental celebration, the 17-day fall meet hits its midpoint Wednesday with an allowance feature with that resonating theme, and officially, it’s a tough race.

An oversubscribed field of fillies and mares eligible for a first-level allowance condition will convene in the eighth of nine Wednesday races, with some of the top contenders coming from the big-name stables that tend to dominate here. One of those is a 3-year-old named Crazy Party, a Todd Pletcher-trained filly with the kind of lope-along speed that often wins this type of race.

Crazy Party, bred and owned by the Wertheimer brothers, will have Rosie Napravnik aboard when breaking from post 4. Pletcher – the future Hall of Famer who in the last few Keeneland seasons had not participated nearly as much as he once had – once again is a force here, having won six races during the first eight days to tie him with his fellow D. Wayne Lukas graduate, Mike Maker, atop the trainer standings through Sunday. Pletcher, based primarily in New York, has some 40 horses here this fall with Mike Dilger as his top assistant.

Crazy Party, who led most of the way in her latest start at Belmont Park before settling for third, will be making her fifth career start and will race beyond 1 1/8 miles for the first time.

“We believe the 1 1/2-mile distance is what she’s been looking for,” said Pletcher.

Pletcher and Napravnik teamed Sunday to win a Polytrack allowance sprint with Yes I’m Awesome.

Other logical players from major stables include Miss Amelia, whose Hall of Fame trainer, Roger Attfield, has enjoyed considerable success in these marathons at Keeneland over the years; Archetype, carrying the familiar Green Lantern Stables silks for Rusty Arnold; Satyana, a last-out Turfway Park winner for Maker and Padua Stables; and Waving, a last-out winner at Presque Isle Downs for Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard.

The eighth race carries a purse of $52,000 as the lone allowance on a Wednesday card that starts at the usual 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

The turf-marathon stakes set for later in the week are the $100,000 Sycamore on Thursday and the $125,000 Dowager on Sunday. Attfield has one of the favorites in 10-year-old Musketier in the Sycamore, which drew a field of seven older males.