10/01/2011 1:00PM

Keeneland: Simms feeling good in more ways than one


Garry Simms is feeling good again, and not just because his health has stablilized. The 57-year-old trainer is looking forward to Friday, opening day at Keeneland, where he will run his stable star, Flashy Lassie, in the Grade 1, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades.

Simms scratched Flashy Lassie as the morning-line favorite from the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park on Sept. 24 to await the Alcibiades, which will mark the two-turn debut for the speedy filly.

"I wasn’t happy with the extra weight the filly was going to have to carry in the Turfway race, and then she got post 11, which isn’t any good going a mile there," said Simms.

The Alcibiades, Simms added, is a "Win and You’re In race, it’s a lot of money, and the filly is doing great. If she’s good enough, it might all work out for us. I just thought I’d take our best shot this way."

Based at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Simms has suffered for nearly two years with multiple myeloma and has endured a variety of painful treatments for his disease. Simms said he currently has been diagnosed as "clean, with normal levels of proteins" that are a determinant in his health. "I really feel blessed."

The 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades is one of two stakes that open the Keeneland meet Friday in Lexington, Ky., with the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix being the other. Entries for opening day will be drawn Tuesday.

Court Vision tunes up for Shadwell

Court Vision had his final breeze toward the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile when getting a half-mile in 48.20 seconds Saturday morning over a fast main track at Churchill.

Now owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Dale Romans, Court Vision has earned more than $2.6 million for a variety of owners and trainers. He won the Shadwell, the richest race at Keeneland each fall, in 2009.

The likely favorite in the Shadwell, one of five graded stakes set for Saturday at Keeneland, is the 2010 winner, Gio Ponti. Other likely starters include Get Stormy and Wise Dan.

* Churchill hosted a private reception Saturday morning for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention, which convened this week in Louisville. Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby winner, was vanned from the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for the occasion, with honorees and guests getting a close-up look of the docile 11-year-old gelding in the Churchill paddock prior to an ontrack luncheon.