By Emily Shields
A field of just five is set to run in the $500,000 Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on Saturday, October 6, but what a field. The 1 1/8-mile main track race has drawn some of the best fillies and mares in training, including Elate and Dunbar Road.
#1 Dunbar Road (2-1) is the lone three-year-old in the field, and has won four of five starts lifetime, including the grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga last out. She took the Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park in June as well for trainer Chad Brown. The daughter of Quality Road will have Javier Castellano aboard for the first time as regular pilot Jose Ortiz sticks with Elate.
#2 Blue Prize (Arg) (4-1) is the race’s defending champion. She won last year at these same odds before running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). She has since been first or second in three more graded stakes before finally winning the Summer Colony at Saratoga over this distance last out. Joe Bravo climbs aboard, he was on last year when she won this.
#3 Vexatious (12-1) is trained by Jack Sisterson, who had a good weekend with Lexitonian running third in the Ogden Phoenix at long odds. Vexatious is a stakes winner from Del Mar last year, then went on to run second here last fall in the Dowager on the grass. She was second by just a neck in the Summer Colony behind Blue Prize last out after running second in the Modesty (G3) at Arlington in July.
#4 She’s a Julie (8-1) was a grade 1 winner already this year in the La Troienne at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. She had previously won the Bayakoa at Oaklawn Park after taking the Remington Park Oaks last year. She’s been third in three straight, first in the Fleur De Lis (G2), then the Shuvee (G3) and Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga. Steve Asmussen trains the four-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, who has never run at Keeneland.
#5 Elate (4-5) is the favorite. Bill Mott trains the mighty $2.2 million earner, a five-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro. She is coming off a narrow nose loss in the Personal Ensign behind Midnight Bisoi, but before that had won the Delaware Handicap (G2) and Fleur de Lis (G2) over Blue Prize and She’s a Julie. Elate was a two-time grade 1 winner in 2017 and could use this race as a springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where she is best suited to the 1 ¼ mile distance.
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