It has already been determined the 2012 season will go down as a milestone one for jockey Rosie Napravnik – highlighted by her historic victory aboard Believe You Can in the Kentucky Oaks and further backed by the fact she has already shattered her previous best mark for earnings in a single year.
With such top juveniles as Grade II winners Shanghai Bobby and Kauai Katie among her mounts, Napravnik’s prospects for 2013 already have a positive shine. In Friday’s Grade I, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland, Napravnik will aim to put another 2-year-old runner into the forefront when she guides Magical Moon for trainer Al Stall.
The 1 1/16-miles Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies on the main Polytrack is the first of five Grade I contests to be contested during Keeneland’s opening weekend of its 17-day Fall Meet that runs through October 27.
An overflow field of 16 including two also-eligibles were entered Tuesday morning for race with Magical Moon drawing post No. 13. Owned by Columbine Stables, the daughter of Malibu Moon broke her maiden at second asking going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf at Saratoga, drawing off in stylish fashion under Napravnik to win by 10 1/4 lengths on August 24.
“She was very impressive and that was actually the first time I’d sat on her,” Napravnik said during a national teleconference Tuesday. “I had watched her breeze over the dirt surface at Saratoga and she just has a stride that is unbelievable. She is a pretty big filly for a 2-year-old and an exceptional mover and when she got on the turf she just coasted over it.
“I didn’t get a super sharp start out of the gate that day but she came around wide and was so much the best and did that so easily. It’s going to be a test of distance, which I don’t think she should have any problem with, and also the surface the Polytrack as well. We’ll have to see what kind of trip we can work out but she should have some tactical speed.”
Magical Moon’s runaway maiden triumph was in stark contrast to her first career outing. Debuting over the Churchill Downs main track on June 21, the bay filly rated close up early but then tired to finish fifth in the five-furlong test.
“I know Al was expecting a big race out of her in her first race at Churchill and was perhaps a little disappointed,” Napravnik said. “First time out, you never really know what to expect but I know she does travel well over the dirt and fantastic over the turf. We’ll see how she does over the Poly but she’s a really great mover.”
Among those Magical Moon will have to face in the Alcibiades are two-time Calder stakes winner Rose to Gold, who captured the one-mile Lindsay Frolic by 13 lengths on August 25 and the Brave Raj three weeks later by 13½ lengths, as well as Dolphus Morrison’s undefeated homebred Gold Edge won the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie in her most recent start.
Trained by Lon Wiggins, Gold Edge will break from post position seven under Chris Emigh.
The field for the Darley Alcibiades, from the rail out, is as follows: Pure Indy (Victor Espinoza), Kitten’s Dumplings(Javier Castellano), Rose to Gold (Jesus Rios), Almost an Angel (Elvis Trujillo), Fully Living (David Cohen), Broken Spell (Rajiv Maragh), Gold Edge (Chris Emigh), La Song (Jeffrey Sanchez), Spring in the Air (Patrick Husbands), Tara From the Cape (Ramon Dominguez), Skyfall (John Velazquez), Speedinthruthecity (Julien Leparoux), Magical Moon (Rosie Napravnik) and Dancinginthecircle (Robby Albarado). Also Eligible: Daar Zayed (James Graham) and Cloudy Vow (James Graham). All starters will carry 118 pounds.