Team Valor International’s Unbridled Belle and Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper, each a Grade I stakes winner in her career, will carry top weight of 122 pounds and concede 6-8 pounds when they take on four rival fillies and mares in Thursday’s 94th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/8-mile Falls City will go as the 11th race on the 12-race Thanksgiving Day card that begins at 11:30 a.m. (all times ET). Post time for the Falls City is approximately 4:24 p.m.
Unbridled Belle has finished behind Swift Temper on three occasions this year, but the daughter of Broken Vow enters the Falls City off a 4-length victory in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap (GIII) at Aqueduct on Oct. 31 and has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. Winner of the Grade I Beldame in 2007, Unbridled Belle is trained by Todd Pletcher who won the 2005 Falls City with Indian Vale.
Ramon Dominguez, who has ridden Unbridled Belle to five graded-stakes victories and six of her eight career victories, will ride Thursday and break from post position five.
he highlights of 2009 for Swift Temper have been a 1 ¾-length score in the Grade I Ruffian at Belmont Park and a front-running victory in the Delaware Handicap (GII). Trained by Dale Romans who won the 2004 Falls City with Halory Leigh, Swift Temper is the second choice in the morning line 5-2. The 5-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway ran fourth in last year’s Falls City and this year was third in the Louisville Distaff (GII) and second in the Fleur De Lis (GII).
Alan Garcia, who rode Swift Temper in both the Ruffian and Delaware Handicap, has the riding assignment Thursday and will exit post position four.
The field for the Falls City, from the rail out, is as follows: Best Lass (K. Desormeaux, 114 pounds, 10-1), Morena (Per) (S. Bridgmohan, 115, 6-1), Copper State (R. Albarado, 116, 7-2), Swift Temper (A. Garcia, 122, 5-2), Unbridled Belle (R. Dominguez, 122, 7-5) and Serenading (J. Leparoux, 116, 8-1).