Walk in Marrakesh Still Needs a 2020 Win

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By Emily Shields

The Friday card at Keeneland includes the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3) for sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. A field of 12 is assembled with runners from the Chad Brown, Steve Asmussen, Bill Mott, and Mike Maker barns set to battle.

Walk In Marrakesh (Ire) was a top runner last year with three wins in six starts; the daughter of Siyouni never finished worse than third. This year she has been frustrating, running second in the Florida Oaks (G3) by a head and second in the Appalachian (G2) here by a nose, but she has also been fifth, sixth, and seventh in various trips at a mile. The Grade 1-placed filly is trained by Ignacio Correas.

Fresh off a Grade 1 placed in the Belmont Oaks last out is Antoinette, who has never been worse than third since her debut last year. The daughter of Hard Spun and the Grade 1 mare Shuruq was scratched out of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) over the weekend for this spot, but drew outside the field of 12. Bill Mott trains the Godolphin runner.

On the rail is Chad Brown’s Duopoly. The daughter of Animal Kingdom is coming off two straight wins, including a five-length maiden score at Monmouth on July 3. She won an allowance at Saratoga on August 21, which was her most recent start. Tyler Gaffalione will ride in her stakes debut.

Unbeaten Princess Grace goes to the gate for Michael Stidham. She is two for two with wins at Colonial and Monmouth this summer. Red hot Karakontie is the sire; Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.

Ian Wilkes trains recent allowance winner Witez, a daughter of More Than Ready. She then stepped up to the Grade 3 Lake George at Saratoga and finished third, beaten just a length. She was Grade 2 placed here last year.

Mike Maker’s Stunning Sky was fourth in the Dueling Grounds Oaks last out at Kentucky Downs, after finishing second in the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks behind Antoinette on August 16. The daughter of Declaration of War is making her 11th career start, with two wins, and this will be her Keeneland debut.

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