10/16/2012 2:45PM

Keeneland notes: Valley View split into two divisions

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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.