Coffeepot Stable’s Farrell rebounded from a disappointing spring and summer that included a poor run in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) with an impressive return to form as she defeated older rivals in a one-length victory in the 32nd running of the $200,000 Chilukki (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The win by Farrell was a family affair as the 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon is trained by Wayne Catalano and was ridden by Channing Hill, the trainer’s son-in-law.Farrell, the 4-1 second choice, covered the one-mile distance over a fast track in 1:35.90 and returned $10.40, $4.80 and $5.The winner held off George E. Hall’s Money’soncharlotte, the 5-2 favorite who finished second under jockey Corey Lanerie and paid $4 and $3.80.Martin Racing Stable LLC’s Motown Lady finished a half-length back in third under jockey Gabriel Saez and returned $9.60 to show.
Her triumph over 13 rivals in the Chilukki snapped a two-race losing streak for Farrell, who had finished last of 14 3-year-old fillies behind Abel Tasman over a sloppy track in the May 5 Kentucky Oaks.Catalano gave his filly a break after her Oaks run, but she disappointed again when she returned to racing in a fifth-place finish behind Pinch Hit in the $100,000 Dogwood (Listed) at Churchill Downs on September 23.
“She’s a hyper filly so when we brought her back off the layoff we knew she may get worked up,” Catalano said.“That’s exactly what happened. She did us so well today and ran great. The real Farrell is back.”
Farrell covered the distance in fractional times of :22.94 for the first quarter, :46.05 for the half-mile, six furlongs in 1:10.72 and seven furlongs in 1:22.98.
The Chilukki victory by Farrell came in her first race against older fillies and mares and improved her career record at Churchill Downs to 3-0-1 in seven races.Among her wins at the Louisville track was a 3 ½-length victory last November in the $200,000 Golden Rod (GII), an effort that launched a four-race winning streak that made Farrell the 4-1 second choice in a field of 14 3-year-old fillies in the Kentucky Oaks. Her comeback victory in the Chilukki lifted her career record to 6-0-1 in 10 races and the winner’s purse of $112,840 boosted her career earnings to $727,077.
Moiety and Sweet Legacy broke sharply to vie for the early lead in the one-turn mile race, but Farrell was just behind that pair in third and moved to the front as the field neared the turn.Hill guided Farrell to a 1 ½-length lead at the head of the stretch as Money’soncharlotte, who had settled well in sixth down the backstretch, made a move toward the leader while Motown Lady and 35-1 shot Show Stealer launched bids from well off the pace.Farrell maintained her advantage throughout the stretch to hold off favored runner-up, while Motown Lady closed strongly to finish a just behind Money’soncharlotte and edged Show Stealer by a head for third.
Alpine Sky finished fifth and was followed by Shenandoah Queen, Fuhriously Kissed, Mo d’Amour, Kathballu, Lake Ponchartrain, Moiety, Tiger Moth, Sweet Legacy and Steel Cut.
The Chilukki is named in honor of Stonerside Stable’s champion 2-year-old filly of 1999. The Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Cherokee Run set a pair of track records at Churchill Downs during her career. She lowered the standard for 4 ½ furlongs in her racing debut over the track at two and returned at three to set a stakes record in the race that now bears her name, but was then known as the Churchill Downs Distaff. Chilukki completed her racing career with a record of 11-3-0 in 17 races with career earnings of $1,201,828.
WAYNE CATALANO, trainer of FARRELL (winner): “She’s a hyper filly so when we brought her back off the layoff we knew she may get worked up. That’s exactly what happened. She did us so well today and ran great. The real Farrell is back.”
CHANNING HILL, jockey of FARRELL (winner): “She was so good today. I really wasn’t expecting to be on the lead that quickly today, especially after the first furlong. Once we made the lead she finished as well as she could. I waited a bit at the 1/8 pole to give her a bit of a breather and she responded very well. This is the filly that Wayne (Catalano) believed in all along.”
KELLY BREEN, trainer of MONEY’SOCHARLOTTE (runner-up) – “She ran hard. She’s been honest all year long.I don’t know where we’ll go next.I’ve got to talk to George (owner George E. Hall) and see if we’re going to stay her for the race in three weeks (the Grade II Falls City) or go back to New York.”
COREY LANERIE, rider on MONEY’SONCHARLOTTE (runner-up) – She’s ran well.I was hoping get number 900 (career wins at Churchill Downs) for Kelly.She ran good, but the winner’s just a good horse. We gave them all we could offer but it just wasn’t good enough today.”
Q: Did you think you had a shot at the leader at the head of the stretch?
“I did.Going off her form, she’s been coming back (in the stretch), but she was right tonight. Our horse kicked in for me and gave me everything she had, but the winner didn’t come back.”