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Almost an Angel Back With Girls in Alcibiades

Ice Wine Stable’s Almost an Angel, who will race in the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) on Friday’s opening day of the 2012 Fall Meet, has the distinction of making two of her four starts against males.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Artie Schiller who was purchased for $25,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Almost an Angel opened her career at here in April with a fifth-place finish on the main track against fillies. She made her next three starts on the turf in New York, facing males twice.

On May 24 at Belmont Park, she met the boys in a six-furlong maiden race, running second behind Joha, who is expected for Saturday’s Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Back against fillies, Almost an Angel scored her first win in her next start, a six-furlong maiden race on June 29 at Belmont. She took on males in the 1 1/16-mile With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga on August 30 and ran seventh behind Balance the Books, who is expected in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity or the Bourbon (G3) on Sunday.

“We’re going for it,” said trainer Wesley Ward, the leading trainer of Keeneland’s Spring Meet with nine wins, about racing Almost an Angel in the Darley Alcibiades. “It’s a Grade 1. It’s either there, fly to California or run in the Frizette (G1), which I already have one for the same stable. We’ll shoot for the best and forget the rest.”

Ward was referring to Ice Wine’s Sweet Shirley Mae, the Spinaway (G1) runner-up who will race in the Frizette on Saturday at Belmont Park.

The Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) has been discussed as being in the future plans for the two fillies, and several other Ward runners are being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. One of them is Great Attack, a Turf Sprint (G1) candidate who might run in Sunday’s Woodford presented by Keeneland Select (G3). Also training at Keeneland are additional Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Judy the Beauty (Grade 1 Filly & Mare Sprint) and Handsome Jack (Juvenile Sprint).

One of Ward’s runners during Keeneland’s Spring Meet was Politicallycorrect, who was 12th in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). On Sunday, the gelding won the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park and was headed to Southern California for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Politicallycorrect is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the Spring Meet’s leading owner with seven victories.




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