04/09/2012 11:05AM

Keeneland: Queen's Plate winner Inglorious returns in tough spot Wednesday

Tom Keyser
Inglorious, winner of last year’s Queen’s Plate, makes her 2012 debut Wednesday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – It’s been maybe three or four decades since Keeneland did what it’s doing Wednesday. Eight races, and that’s it. Nobody will be wearing throwback uniforms, but it sure does harken to a time when the early daily double was considered exotic and “Racing as it was meant to be” and “All roads lead to Keeneland” were prominent company slogans. Still, modernity rules, and there will be dime superfectas and 50-cent pick fives to be had at the drive-through betting windows Wednesday.

Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman said the eight-race rarity is basically a matter of Peter borrowing from Paul, since the first 12-race card in track history will be held here Saturday when the Blue Grass Stakes is run for the 88th time. Brief as it is, the quality of the Wednesday program can be judged thusly: Three allowances, including a $67,000 turf mile that drew a Queen’s Plate winner, are on tap, and jockeys such as John Velazquez, Garrett Gomez, and Rafael Bejarano deemed the card good enough to fly in to take part.

Inglorious, who last summer became the first filly to win the Queen’s Plate in 10 years, is one of 11 fillies and mares in the featured seventh race, a classified allowance that also drew such standouts as Ravi’s Song and Marketing Mix. Owned by the Donver Stable and trained by Josie Carroll, Inglorious raced twice without winning after her 2 1/2-length Queen’s Plate score, then was sent to an Ocala farm for a three-month freshening before returning to training at the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida, where she had eight workouts leading up to a final tightener over the Polytrack here Thursday.

[KEENELAND: Get past performances, watch Wednesday's card live]

Luis Contreras, who rode her in her last five starts, will be back aboard Inglorious when she breaks from post 2.

A handful of stakes-seasoned runners could spoil her return. Foremost of those is Marketing Mix, who thoroughly dominated a terrific field in her season finale, the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere in November at Churchill Downs. Marketing Mix was assigned the far outside post in the two-turn race.

“She proved she was one of the better 3-year-old turf fillies last year,” trainer Tom Proctor said. “I’m sure not crazy about the post, but this is a good filly. We gave her a little time in Ocala after the Mrs. Revere, and she’s come back real well.”

Other potential upsetters are Ravi’s Song (post 5, Miguel Mena), a multiple stakes winner; and Miss Liberty (post 10, Gomez), who gets first Lasix in her stateside debut for Christophe Clement. Another Clement filly, Good Karma (post 4, Jimmy Graham), has shown speed in her two North American starts.

Besides the feature, the other two allowances are a $58,000 turf marathon for fillies and mares (race 4) and a $54,000 first-level sprint that drew a full field of older horses (race 6). Two starter-allowance sprints on Polytrack (races 3 and 8) also are on the card. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.