10/06/2009 12:00AM

Keeneland's opening stakes draw good-size fields


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Large fields have been entered for the two graded stakes that help start the 17-day fall meet Friday at Keeneland Race Course, with 12 2-year-old fillies going in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades and 10 sprinters in the Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes.

She Be Wild and Beautician drew posts 3 and 4, respectively, as the likely favorites for the $500,000 Alcibiades, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race that figures as a key prep toward the Nov. 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She Be Wild has not been seriously threatened in winning each of her three prior races, while Beautician ran second in back-to-back stakes at Saratoga.

Garrett Gomez will be in from California to ride She Be Wild in a race that appears to lack an abundance of speed.

"She's the type of filly you can do whatever you want with," said trainer Wayne Catalano.

Beautician "has been training great up to this race," said trainer Ken McPeek, who already has won the Alcibiades three times. "We've always thought a lot of her."

Other logical Alcibiades contenders include Tidal Pool, Amen Hallelujah, and Kid Kate.

The $250,000 Phoenix figures to have Capt. Candyman Can (post 4) and Fatal Bullet (post 7) as favorites. Capt. Candyman Can already has won four stakes this year, most recently the Grade 1 King's Bishop via disqualification, while Fatal Bullet will be making just his third start of the season as trainer Reade Baker gets him ready for another run in the BC Sprint, in which he was second last year.

A few of the other live entries in the six-furlong Phoenix are Greeley's Conquest, Past the Point, and My Pal Charlie. Sing Baby Sing, the 2008 Phoenix winner at 26-1, was assigned the outside post and will be a longshot once again.

The Phoenix is the eighth and the Alcibiades is the ninth on the 10-race Friday opener.

Friday begins the three-day FallStars Weekend, the traditional fast start to a front-loaded meet of stakes action. Five graded stakes will be run here Saturday, including three Grade 1's, and two more Sunday. Eight of the nine FallStars stakes are Win and You're In events for the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup.

First post opening day is 2:15 p.m. Eastern, as Keeneland experiments with a twilight card. First post all other days is 1:05 p.m.