10/27/2009 11:00PM

Parading looks to rebound in Fayette


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Parading, a romping winner of the Ben Ali Stakes over the Polytrack at Keeneland in April, will be coming off three straight Grade 1 synthetic-track races in Southern California when he starts as the likely heavy favorite in a field of 10 in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes on Saturday, closing day of the 17-day Keeneland fall meet.

Parading, with Kent Desormeaux to ride for trainer Shug McGaughey, was assigned post 3 in the $150,000 Fayette, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race that anchors an excellent 10-race card. The 6-year-old Phipps Stable homebred was fifth in the Hollywood Gold Cup, fourth in the Pacific Classic, and most recently fourth in the Goodwood.

The second choice in the Fayette could be Blame, runner-up to Regal Ransom in the Super Derby last out.

"He won a maiden race here last fall and he trains here every day, so it's a logical spot for us," trainer Al Stall Jr. said.

Blame (post 9, Jamie Theriot) is one of two 3-year-olds in the Fayette, along with Chicago shipper Giant Oak (post 6, Eddie Razo Jr.). The field also includes a 5-year-old mare, Tizfiz (post 8, Corey Lanerie), coming off a sixth-place finish in the Spinster Stakes.

Juveniles in spotlight at Churchill

Churchill Downs will open its fall meet Sunday with a "Stars of Tomorrow" program, a day of racing devoted exclusively to 2-year-olds. The co-featured stakes are the Iroquois for colts and geldings and the Pocahontas for fillies. Both are Grade 3, $100,000 one-turn-mile races.

Two of the more interesting prospects for the Iroquois are Gleam of Hope, winner of the off-the-turf Cradle Stakes at River Downs in his last start Sept. 7, and Uh Oh Bango, whose 102 Beyer Speed Figure earned in the Sept. 18 Prairie Meadows Freshman is the highest for any 2-year-old so far this year. A sizable field is expected, with other probables including Piscitelli, Three Day Rush, and Brassy Boy.

Likewise, the Pocahontas field is supposed to be big, with Decelerator, All About Anna, Sassy Image, and Running Bride the top contenders.

Churchill will close its meet Nov. 28 with a second "Stars" program.

Stakes winners come from all over

As might be expected, the 19 stakes run so far at the Keeneland fall meet (including two divisions of the Valley View last Friday) have been won by horses coming from a wide variety of tracks. The biggest producers of last-out winners: the Saratoga turf course, with six, followed by the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs with four.

The Monmouth Park turf, with two, was the only other surface to yield more than one stakes winner, while only one dirt surface (Saratoga) produced a stakes winner (Fatal Bullet in the Phoenix). The others were Woodbine (Polytrack), Philadelphia (turf), Arlington (turf), Turfway (Polytrack), Kentucky Downs (turf), and Santa Anita (turf).

* Jockey Miguel Mena and his agent of several years, Steve Elzey, have parted ways, leading to the usual chain reaction. Elzey now will have Israel Ocampo while also working for Leandro Goncalves. Mena will employ Dennis Cooper at Churchill before leaving for Fair Grounds, where he will have Fred Aime, who continues to work for Jamie Theriot.

* Lentenor, a 2-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, is scheduled to make his career debut Saturday at Keeneland in the fifth race, a seven-furlong Polytrack race. Lentenor is by Dynaformer out of the mare La Ville Rouge and has the same connections as Barbaro, being owned by the Lael Stables and trained by Michael Matz.

* Dubious Miss, runner-up to Furthest Land in the Kentucky Cup Classic last month, was tentatively pointed to the Fayette but instead will run on the Saturday undercard in an allowance mile restricted to horses that have never won a turf race "other than." Dubious Miss will be ridden by Calvin Borel.

* The final two programs of the 2008 fall meet at Keeneland coincided with the two Breeders' Cup Days, but not this year. Seating in the various Keeneland dining areas is available both days, including the third-floor clubhouse for $30 a seat. Gates open at 10 a.m. Eastern both days.