10/22/2008 12:00AM

Mambo in Seattle's task tough in Fayette


LEXINGTON, Ky. - If Mambo in Seattle is to prove best Saturday as the favorite in the meet-closing feature at Keeneland, the Grade 3 Fayette Stakes, he will do so against a group with considerably more success than he has had over Polytrack.

Among the opposition in the $150,000 Fayette is Dominican, winner of the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at the 2007 spring meet; Jade's Revenge, winner of the 2007 Ben Ali and 2008 Fort Harrod in his only two starts over the Keeneland Poly; Minister's Joy, the 2007 Ben Ali runner-up; and Stream Cat, the 2007 Fayette runner-up behind Go Between.

Mambo in Seattle, the 3-year-old standout who was second in the tightest of photos to Colonel John in the Travers Stakes in August, has raced twice without winning at Keeneland, albeit before he reached peak form. Trainer Neil Howard has named Corey Lanerie to ride Mambo in Seattle in the 1 1/8-mile Fayette.

From the rail, the field is: Ball Four, Mambo in Seattle, Dominican, Jade's Revenge, Dr. Pleasure, Minister's Joy, Stream Cat, Borobudur, Brothers Nicholas, Wayzata Bay, and Secret Getaway.

Stream Cat, making his 19th start, will be treated with the diuretic Lasix for the first time.

One expected Fayette starter, Merchant Marine, was not shipped to Kentucky from New York by the staff of trainer Allen Jerkens, who underwent heart surgery Monday.

The Fayette will be the last race Saturday. The six preceding races are all carded with full fields of 12.

Only seven races are carded for Saturday, with first post at 12:55 p.m., 15 minutes earlier than usual. Live racing at Keeneland will be coordinated Friday and Saturday so as not to conflict with simulcasts from the Breeders' Cup.

Gloria Goodbody back quickly

Three allowances are on tap Friday at Keeneland, with a $54,000 second-level turf allowance occupying the race-8 feature slot. Gloria Goodbody, a romping winner of an Oct. 16 allowance for trainer John Glenney, wheels back on a week's rest as one of 11 fillies and mares in the one-mile race.

Other logical contenders include Trensa, Queen Joanne, and Aspiring, part of a G. Watts Humphrey-owned entry.

Races 6 to 9 make up the late pick four, which offers a $200,000 pool guarantee.

Young and well-bred

The equine stars of the present will race this weekend in the Breeders' Cup, but an untold number of future stars could be in the entries here Friday, if pedigree and workouts mean anything.

The fourth race, a $50,000 maiden race for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, has an extraordinary look. Well-bred first-time starters from the barns of Ronny Werner, Kiaran McLaughlin, Eoin Harty, Todd Pletcher, Wesley Ward, and Bret Calhoun help make up one of the most promising maiden races of the meet.

"Pedigrees extraordinaire," said Keeneland clocker Billy Pettingill, who has timed many of the entrants. "It's Keeneland in the fall."

A second split of the maiden race goes as the seventh race, and it's not much worse, with good-looking babies being sent out by Harty, McLaughlin, Asmussen, Pletcher, and Steve Hobby. Both races drew full fields of 12.

Churchill gears up for new meet

Magna Graduate and Forefathers are among the probable starters Sunday in the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap, highlight of the opening-day card at the 26-day fall meet at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

The Ack Ack, a Grade 3 race at one mile, is the first of 12 graded stakes at the fall meet. Churchill announced in late August that stakes purses for the fall meet were being cut by nearly $1 million, owing largely to the ongoing dispute between management and horsemen regarding account-wagering revenues. The total value for the 2008 fall stakes will be $1,925,000.

In a change from prior years, there will be no racing conducted Election Day, Nov. 4. Churchill has opted instead to host racing on the following Tuesday, Nov. 11, in honor of Veteran's Day.

Churchill has planned a number of giveaways throughout the meet, starting with a 2009 wall calendar on opening day.

Churchill will have Stars of Tomorrow programs devoted exclusively to 2-year-olds on Nov. 1 and 29.

No sure plans for Kelly's Landing

Kelly's Landing, a 2 1/2-length winner of an allowance sprint here last Friday, could make his next start in an overnight sprint stakes next month at Churchill, said trainer Eddie Kenneally.

"We have no definite plans, other than to take him back to Palm Meadows in Florida after the meet ends," said Kenneally.

Kelly's Landing earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure last out. The 7-year-old gelding has won 10 of 25 starts and earned more than $1.85 million.

Albarado a lock as top jock

Not that he will give it much thought Saturday, when he will ride Curlin in the $5 million BC Classic, but Robby Albarado will finish the fall meet as the leading jockey even without riding here the last three days.

Albarado ended Wednesday action with 22 winners, three more than Julien Leparoux, who is also heading to the two-day Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

This is the third Keeneland riding title for Albarado, who topped the 2002 and 2003 spring standings.

* With the all-female Breeders' Cup races being run at Santa Anita on Friday, Keeneland is encouraging fans to wear pink. The track will host a handicapping contest restricted to women while also promoting breast cancer awareness in conjunction with the Horses for Hope and Susan G. Komen organizations. The first 1,000 women in attendance will be given a pink Keeneland scarf.

* Keeneland is the title sponsor for exclusive radio coverage of the Breeders' Cup being broadcast Friday and Saturday on syndicated stations by the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mike Penna and Pete Kules head a seven-person team headed to California. Live streaming of all the BC action is available on the web on horseracingradio.net.