Avalon Farms’ Buckleupbuttercup got up in the final strides to win the 26th running of the $167,400 Chilukki (Grade II) for fillies and mares by a head over May Day Rose to complete Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships day card at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Eddie Kenneally and ridden by Javier Castellano, Buckleupbuttercup ran the mile on a fast main track in 1:37.03.
A 4-year-old homebred daughter of Najran out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Golden Borders, Buckleupbuttercup remained perfect in four starts at Churchill Downs, a run that includes a victory in the Eight Belles (GIII) in 2010.
The victory was worth $99,638 and increased Buckleupbuttercup’s bankroll to $334,629 with a record of 15-7-3-1.
Buckleupbuttercup returned $10.60, $5.20 and $3.60. May Day Rose, ridden by Martin Garcia, returned $4.80 and $3.60 with Maristar finishing a length back in third under Rajiv Maragh and paying $3.20.
Persuading finished fourth another half-length back and was followed in order by Ailalea, Absinthe Minded, Freedom Star and Anunciata (PER).
Earlier on the card, Craig Singer’s Salty Strike cruised to a four-length victory over favored Dancinginherdreams in the second running of the $87,700 Dream Supreme for 3-year-old fillies.
Salty Strike, a homebred daughter of Smart Strike out of the Salt Lake mare Lake Huron, covered the six furlongs on a main track rated as good in 1:10.10. It was the second Churchill Downs stakes victory for Salty Strike, who had won the Dogwood (GIII) here in June.
The victory was worth $52,201 and increased Salty Strike’s earnings to $219,145 with a record of 11-4-1-1 with all four victories coming at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Ken McPeek and ridden by Edgar Prado, Salty Strike returned $6.60, $3.40 and $3. Dancinginherdreams, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $2.80 and $2.40 with Garnet Crystals, ridden by Castellano, paying $5 to show.
Racing continues Sunday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m. (ET). Highlighting the card will be the 26th running of the Cardinal Handicap (GIII) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Post time for the Cardinal, the 10th race on the program, is 5:15 p.m.