Eclipse Champion Zenyatta Makes Kentucky Debut In Louisville Distaff To Highlight Kentucky Oaks Undercard

Apr 29, 2009 by Gary Yunt

Mr and Mrs Jerome Moss’ Zenyatta, the undefeated 5-year-old who earned a 2008 Eclipse Award as the nation’s top older filly or mare was one of three finalists for “Horse of the Year” honors, will face seven challengers Friday in the 24th running of the $350,000-added Louisville Distaff (Grade II) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.

The 12-race card Friday, highlighted by the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), will begin with a 10:30 a.m. ET post time. Five other stakes will be on the card, four of them graded.

Trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta closed out a seven-for-seven campaign with a last-to-first triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (Grade I) at Santa Anita. Mike Smith, who has been aboard for Zenyatta’s past six victories, has the mount Friday in the mile and a sixteenth Louisville Distaff.

The daughter of Street Cry will carry high weight of 124 pounds and break from post position two.  She is one of two unbeaten runners in the Louisville Distaff, which is scheduled as the seventh race on the card.

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s One Caroline, who has been training at Keeneland, is perfect in five lifetime starts, including her  first two victories coming at Churchill Downs. Trained by Rusty Arnold, One Carolina enters the Louisville Distaff off a front-running 6 ½-length victory in the Grade II Rampart at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

Edgar Prado, who has been aboard One Caroline for her past two victories, has the Friday riding assignment and exits post position four.

The field for the Louisville Distaff, from the rail out, is as follows: Swift Temper (Garrett Gomez, 120 pounds), Zenyatta (Mike Smith, 124), Miss Isella (Calvin Borel, 122), One Caroline (Edgar Prado, 122), Unforgotten (Robby Albarado, 118), Modification (Corey Nakatani, 118), French Kiss (Joe Johnson, 118) and Unbridled Belle (John Velazquez, 118).

Three Grade III events are on the card, including the $150,000-added Alysheba (GIII), which serves as a prep for the $750,000 Stephen Foster (Grade I) to be run at Churchill Downs on June 13.

Macho Again, who used a victory in the Derby Trial here last April as a springboard to a runner-up finish in the Grade I Preakness and then a victory in the Grade II Jim Dandy, will tote high weight of 124 pounds and concede 2-6 to nine rivals in the Alysheba.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Dallas Stewart, Macho Again enters the Alysheba off a victory in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap on March 14 at Fair Grounds. Robby Albarado will ride and break from the rail in the mile and sixteenth race that goes as the ninth on the card.

The field for the Alysheba, from the rail out, is as follows: Macho Again (Robby Albarado, 124 pounds), Ready Set (Julien Leparoux, 118), Mambo in Seattle (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Cool Coal Man (John Velazquez, 118), Bullsbay (Jeremy Rose, 118), Star Guitar (Corey Lanerie,122), Shift in Power (Jon Court, 118), Dr. Pleasure (Edgar Prado, 118), Prom Shoes (Kent Desormeaux, 122) and Informed (Garrett Gomez, 118).

Keeneland graded stakes winners Stormalory and Bittel Road will share the high weight assignments of 123 pounds for the 18th running of the American Turf for 3-year-olds going a mile and a sixteenth on the Matt Winn Turf Course. The American Turf will be the 10th race of the day.

Owned by Darley Stable, Stormalory won the Grade III Transylvania on April 3 at Keeneland in his most recent start. Julien Leparoux, who rode Stormalory to his Transylvania victory will ride for trainer Bill Mott on Friday.

Bittel Road, owned by James Scatuorchio and John Iracane, won the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland last fall. Runner-up in the Grade III Generous at Hollywood Park on Nov. 29 in his most recent turf start, Bittel Road is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.

The field for the American Turf, from the hedge out, is as follows: Stormalory (Julien Leparoux, 123 pounds), Jack Spratt (Eibar Coa, 121), Battle of Hastings (GB) (Tyler Baze, 121), Bruce N Autumn (Kent Desormeaux, 117), Skipadate (Shaun Bridgmohan, 117), Bittel Road (Garrett Gomez, 123), Turfiste (Jamie Theriot, 117), Bunker Hill (Mike Smith, 117), Orthodox (Jon Court, 117) and Pointing Home (Calvin Borel, 117).

Chamberlain Bridge, owned by Carl Moore Management, LLC, will tote high weight of 121 pounds in the 15th running of the $100,000-added Aegon Turf Sprint at five furlongs. The race goes as the sixth on the card.

Trained by Bret Calhoun, Chamberlain Bridge is two-for-two over the Matt Winn Turf Course and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez on Friday. Gomez partnered Chamberlain Bridge to a third-place finish in the Grade III Shakertown at Keeneland on April 11 in his most recent start.

The field for the Aegon Turf Sprint, from the hedge out, is as follows: Chitoz (Tyler Baze, 118 pounds), Smart Enough (Jeremy Rose, 118), Hewitts (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Captivating Cat (John Velazquez, 118), Due Date (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Chamberlain Bridge (Garrett Gomez, 121), Cannonball (Elvis Trujillo, 118), Accredit (Julien Leparoux, 118) and Jazz Nation (Robby Albarado, 118).

Laragh, winner of last fall’s Jessamine at Keeneland and third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, will carry top weight of 121 pounds and concede 4 pounds to her 11 rivals in the 25th running of the $100,000-added Edgewood at a mile and a sixteenth on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

Trained by John Terranova for owners IEAH Stables, Gary Tolchin, Andrew Cohen and Pegasus Holdings Group, Laragh    ran fifth in her 2009 debut in the Grade II Comely on the main track at Aqueduct on April 11. Edgar Prado has the mount.

The field for the Edgewood, from the hedge out, is as follows: Excelente (IRE) (Rafael Bejarano, 117 pounds), Fleet Streak (Corey Lanerie, 117), Banker’s Choice (Calvin Borel, 117), Abbott Hall (Robby Albarado, 117), Walloon (Hector Rosario Jr., 117), Complicity (Joe Talamo, 117), Magical Affair (Julien Leparoux, 117), More of the Best (Jesus Castanon, 117), Mein Fraulein (Jon Court, 117), Laragh (Edgar Prado, 121), Diamond Tags (Mike Smith, 117) and Kiss Mine (Eibar Coa, 117).

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