The $150k JESSAMINE STAKES from Keeneland will commence at 4:49 EST. The race is an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. A strong field of 12 babies has gathered for the 1 1/16 miles turf race.
PURE FUN rallied from well back in a Kentucky Downs maiden race to grab her first victory in what was her fourth start when last seen. The Ken McPeek trained daughter or Pure Prize will race with lasix for the first time today. McPeek wins at a 21% clip when adding this medication. Victor Lebron will retain the mount.
PAPPASCAT was an emphatic debut winner as she scored by 7 ½ lengths in her first start at Ellis Park. She returned to be fifth in a field of 13 at Arlington Park. The Gary Simms trained bay filly has plenty of potential and jockey Jon Court has faithfully stayed with her for today’s race. Look for the daughter of Scat Daddy near the front as the race begins.
It took five tries, but SUNSET TIME is a maiden no more. The Wesley Ward pupil swooped up and ran past the competition at Kentucky Downs to drill them for a 6 ¼ win. Although that race was just six furlongs, it plays much more like a mile race because of the track configuration. Today’s extra distance should do wonders for the daughter of Johannesburg. Juan Garica picks up the mount from Kent Desormeaux.
Dale Roman’s MOONWALK won in her second race, a 5 ½ furlongs dirt sprint over a good track against maiden special weight company at Ellis Park. After that, she was third in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies going seven furlongs on the grass. Today offers her a rematch with the 1-2 finishers from that race. Making up three lengths won’t be easy.
It’s hard to believe that an Augustin Stable owned and Graham Motion trained debut filly could get away at 17-1, especially at Presque Isle Downs. That’s exactly what happened with KITTEN’S POINT though. She made a move eight wide and strided off to a 2 ½ length win going six furlongs over Tapeta surface. The Pennsylvania bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of the Kingmambo mare Rendezvous Point should only move up on this stretch out across the grass. John Velazquez is listed to ride.
It looks like turf routing will be the type of racing that OSCAR PARTY appreciates the most. Her half brother Major Gain was a Grade 3 winner routing, so it figures that we haven’t seen the best of this lass yet. She won first race in her third start, the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. For this race, she figures to secure a nice stalking trip under Kent Desormeaux.
SUMMER OF FUN scored a win against a good group of fillies in her second start at Saratoga. That race was under today’s conditions. Her next race, the Natalma, was a very salty group of foes and she could not hang with them as she finished 10th. Eddie Castro will ride the Include filly for trainer George Weaver.
Michael Maker won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Saturday before taking the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont just minutes later. He will look to stay hot with ALWAYS KITTEN. She produced a strong debut to be second at Saratoga before scoring her first win in the Happy Ticket Stakes at Louisiana Downs. She was favored that day and it’s too early to know how good she is, as it is for most of the field, but a move forward would probably maker her dangerous. Julien Leparoux picks up the mount from Mike Smith who will be riding at Santa Anita.
HEDONEMEWRONGSONG has a funny name, but she sure can run fast. She got up for a ½ length win in her Saratoga debut at whopping odds of 21-1. Rider Anna Napravnik is in to ride, which tells us she thinks an awful lot of the Bluegrass Cat filly. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard knows how to train a good horse, so don’t count this one out.
ZIPCASHBACK is the only multi winner in the race and figures to be a generous price. She won for the first time at Indiana Downs against maiden foes and then scored in the Tippet Stakes at Colonial Downs. The speedy filly made her last start in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies where she finished second. That was her first race in almost two months, so she probably needed it. A move forward today makes her deadly. Tevis McCauley trains and has employed Leandro Goncalves to pilot the chestnut daughter of City Zip.
FREE SONG was a very shocking first out winner at Presque Isle, lighting up the toteboard at 53-1. She couldn’t reproduce that effort in her second start, the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, a race that saw her finish sixth of eight horses. It’s going to take a big move forward for her to contend here. Eddie Martin Jr. rides for Todd Freeman.
The second entry for Wesley Ward is GO KITTEN GO. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy won first out at Colonial Downs before finishing fourth in Monmouth’s Colleen Stakes and fifth in the P.G. Johnson Stakes. The latter race has proved to be very strong as the winner returned to win the Grade 3 Ms Grillo Stakes. With a move forward she could be right in the thick of things. Elvis Trujillo gets the call to ride.
I’m going to look to GO KITTEN GO as my top pick. She has faced classier foes and is likely to be double digit odds. That means we have to pull the trigger.