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Joyful Victory Heads Field of 11 For Saturday's Grade II Chilukki
Fox Hill Farms Inc.’s Joyful Victory, a multiple graded-stakes winning earner of more than $625,000, heads a competitive field of 11 fillies and mares entered for Saturday’s 27th running of the Grade II, $150,000-added Chilukki at one mile on the main track at Churchill Downs.
The Chilukki, which honors the 3-year-old filly who won this event in track-record time (1:33.57) in 2000, will go as Race 9 on the 10-race card with a post time of 4:37 p.m. (all times Eastern). Post time for the first race is 12:40 p.m.
A 4-year-old gray or roan daughter of Tapit, Joyful Victory will be making her first start at Churchill Downs since finishing fourth in the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (GI). She was made the 2-1 favorite in the Oaks off her dominating victories in the Fantasy (GII) and Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn Park that winter.
After winning the Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds, the Larry Jones-trained Joyful Victory has placed in three consecutive graded stakes events. In her most recent start, she finished second behind Love and Pride in the Zenyatta (GI) at Santa Anita.
She will break from post two in the Chilukki and be ridden by Robby Albarado, who holds the record with Pat Day for most victories in the Chilukki with four. Albarado’s most recent win in this race came in 2010 aboard Distinctive Dixie.
Joyful Victory will face stiff competition in the Chilukki, which includes four other graded-stakes winners.
Two of those are Salty Strike and Brushed by a Star who ran 1-2 in the Mari Hulman George at Hoosier Park on Oct. 6.
Craig Singer’s Salty Strike has won five of her seven starts at Churchill Downs, including last spring’s Dogwood (GIII). A 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, Salty Strike has won four of her last five, with her lone defeat coming in the Presque Isle Downs Masters (GII) to Groupie Doll, morning-line favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI). The Ken McPeek-trained Salty Strike will break from the outside in post 11 under Victor Lebron.
Team Forster’s Brushed by a Star recorded back-to-back stakes victories this summer by taking the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows and the Molly Pitcher (GII) at Monmouth Park. Prior to her runner-up effort in the Mari Hulman George, Brushed by a Star finished fifth behind Love and Pride in the Personal Ensign (GI) at Saratoga. She will break from post nine under Corey Lanerie.
The two other graded stakes winners recorded their biggest victories over the Churchill Downs oval.
John Oxley’s Dancinginherdreams will break from post three under Leandro Goncalves. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Dancinginherdreams will be seeking her first graded-stakes victory since winning the 2010 Pocahontas (GII) at Churchill Downs.
William S. and Graydon Patterson’s Juanita, winner of the Indiana Oaks (GII) during her 3-year-old campaign, scored an upset victory on this year’s Kentucky Oaks Day undercard by taking the La Troienne (GII) at odds of more than 16-1. Jockey Joe Rocco Jr. will be in the irons when Juanita breaks from post eight in the Chilukki.
The field for the Chilukki, from the rail out (with jockey and weight): Brilliant Future (Calvin Borel, 121), Joyful Victory (Albarado, 121), Dancinginherdreams (Goncalves, 121), Make a Toast (Ben Creed, 118), Bonnie’s Empire (Ramon Vazquez, 118), Jemima’s Pearl (Jesus Castanon, 118), Indulgence (Shaun Bridgmohan, 121), Juanita (Rocco Jr., 123), Brushed by a Star (Lanerie, 123), Spectacular Sky (Elvis Trujillo, 121) and Salty Strike (Lebron, 121).
Highlighting the undercard is the $65,000-added Bet On Sunshine, which will go as Race 5 at 2:36 p.m. The field of seven entered for the overnight stake is led by Silverton Hill LLC’s three-time graded stakes-winner Havelock. A 5-year-old gelded son of Great Notion, Havelock will be making his first start since winning the Hanshin Cup (GIII) at Arlington Park in May. Trained by Darrin Miller, Havelock will break from post four under Jesus Castanon.
The field for the Bet On Sunshine, from the rail out (with jockey and weight): Moe Man (Goncalves, 120), Will’s Wildcat (Borel, 120), Delaunay (Bridgmohan, 120), Havelock (Castanon, 124), Laurie’s Rocket (Rocco Jr., 120), China (Albarado, 120), Golden Country (Lanerie, 120).
In addition to the live action, Churchill Downs will simulcast the second of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Southern California’s Santa Anita on Saturday. A simulcast of the 12-race Championship Saturday card from Santa Anita will begin at 1:05 p.m. and the nine Breeders’ Cup races will cover Races 4-12 from 2:50 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. When live racing concludes, simulcast wagering on the Breeders’ Cup will continue in the ITW area on the second floor of the Clubhouse, as well as the Turf Club and Horseman’s Services Center.
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