10/16/2012 2:45PM

Keeneland notes: Valley View split into two divisions

Michael Burns
Colonial Flag, here winning the Ontario Colleen with Joe Rocco riding, could be favored in her division of the Valley View.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After 24 3-year-old fillies crammed the entry box, Keeneland racing officials decided to run the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes in two divisions Friday, with each split worth $125,000 (instead of the $150,000 it would have been without splitting). They will be run as the seventh and ninth of 10 races, with both being part of the $200,000 late pick four (races 7-10) guaranteed pool.

Colonial Flag, with Joe Rocco Jr. riding for trainer Michael Matz, looks like she could be the favorite in the first division, while a deeper second division has Leading Astray, Welcome Dance, Pianist, and Dancing Solo as major contenders. Both will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

This is the third time in 22 runnings that the Valley View has been split, with the latest coming in 2009. The 2011 winner at 43-1 was Daisy Devine, who returned in the spring to win the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley for trainer Andrew McKeever.

◗ Julien Leparoux, seeking his ninth shared or straight-up Keeneland riding title in the last 14 meets, has gotten a nice head start on that goal. Into Wednesday, after 8 of 17 fall programs, he led the jockey standings with 10 winners, four more than his closest pursuers, Corey Lanerie and Shaun Bridgmohan.

◗ Keeneland can count on thousands more fans to be here Saturday than might otherwise have attended because of the Georgia-Kentucky football game taking place at nearby Commonwealth Stadium at 7 p.m. Eastern. This will be the only “Blue Grass Doubleheader” of the meet.