10/06/2005 11:00PM

She Says It Best scores

She Says It Best, under Eddie Martin Jr., will go on to the Breeders' Cup after winning the Grade 2 Alcibiades.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The old and the young had their way Friday on a blustery opening day of the Keeneland fall meet. An hour after 9-year-old Rochester drove to victory in the Sycamore Breeders' Cup, She Says It Best earned her way into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with a front-running triumph in the $400,000 .

The key to the Grade 2 Alcibiades might well have been the first few steps, as She Says It Best outbroke the field from her No. 9 post to speed clear. Then it was catch-me-if-you-can for the balance of the 1 1/16-mile distance - and the other 10 2-year-old fillies couldn't.

"We got a good break, and she was able to clear the field in the first sixteenth," said jockey Eddie Martin Jr., who rode She Says It Best for a partnership that includes trainer Vickie Foley, Carl Bowling, and a large Louisville-based syndicate. "The horse took over from there."

She Says It Best paid $21.40 after finishing in 1:49.07 over a track that absorbed a light rain throughout the afternoon but was still rated fast. Ex Caelis, the 2-1 favorite, finished second, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner and another two lengths before Performing Diva.

The stakes win was the second for She Says It Best, a Stormy Atlantic filly who led throughout in the seven-furlong Ellis Debutante in August.

"After the race at Ellis, Eddie said she'd have no trouble going two turns, and he was so right," said Foley.

Surrounded by an entourage of dozens of ecstatic co-owners and their friends in the race aftermath, Foley confirmed that She Says It Best will run in the Oct. 29 BC Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park.

The Alcibiades was marred by the breakdown of Rainbow Pond, a highly regarded Lemon Drop Kid filly who was the 5-1 third choice. Rainbow Pond, bred and owned by Louise and G. Watts Humphrey, broke down in her right front pastern entering the first turn after being briefly entangled with Trick's Pic following the break. She was transported shortly after the race to the Rood and Riddle equine clinic in an attempt to save her life, according to veterinarian Nancy Davis.

As for the $161,100 Sycamore BC, it lent a marked contrast to how the Alcibiades unfolded. Rochester, making his 45th career start, lagged far behind for most of the 1 1/2 miles before zooming past the leading pack to prevail by 3 3/4 lengths under Gary Stevens. Dreadnaught was second, another half-length before Vangelis, the 7-10 favorite of the crowd of 14,448.

Rochester returned $14.60 as third choice in a field of eight. It was his third win in the Grade 3 Sycamore - he also won it in 2001 and 2002 - making him just the second horse in Keeneland history to win the same stakes three times. (The other is Royal Harmony, who won the Fayette Handicap for trainer Pat Devereux Sr. in 1969-71.) Overall, Rochester now has won 11 times and earned $1,183,309.

"He takes pretty good care of himself," said Jonathan Sheppard, Rochester's trainer. "I'm so happy for the horse."

The opener was a memorable one for Stevens, the Hall of Fame jockey who earlier this year moved his residence to Louisville. Stevens won two other races, both allowances, with Dance Daily ($12.40) in the sixth and Asi Siempre ($2.40), a ridiculously easy 1 1/4-length winner, in the 10th.

Rafael Bejarano, widely expected to win a third straight Keeneland riding title, also had a decent beginning. Bejarano wasted no time in getting a head start on the meet by giving a cagey and confident ride to State of Shock, the 2-1 favorite, in winning the first race, a $7,500 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles.

"Even though it's just a $7,500 claimer, it still feels great," said Tommy Hamilton Sr., whose Silverton Hill Farm owns the 6-year-old gelding. State of Shock is trained by Eric Reed, who also won the first race contested over Polytrack when Regal Reproach won the opener of the Turfway fall meet Sept. 7.

Bejarano, who unseated the since-retired Pat Day by winning the 2004 fall and 2005 spring riding titles at Keeneland, also won the fifth race with Regent Spirit ($7.80), trained by Nick Zito.

Polytrack plan on board's agenda

The major issue of installing Polytrack on the Keeneland main track is on the agenda for a board of directors meeting Wednesday morning. If the board gives a preliminary go-ahead to the project, consulting and engineering work would soon begin on Polytrack, and construction could begin after the spring meet next April. The entire project could then be finished in time for the 2006 fall meet, said track president Nick Nicholson.

Nicholson said he was "delighted" with how horses performed over Polytrack at the 22-day fall meet that ended Thursday at Turfway Park, Keeneland's sister track. "There were just so many encouraging things about it," he said.