Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ Frank’s Rockette was made the slight 6-5 morning line favorite over Lloyd Madison Farms’ Sconsin (8-5) in Saturday night’s $150,000 Winning Colors (Grade III), the featured event for Downs After Dark – Country Saloon presented by Budweiser.
Frank’s Rockette, a seven-time winner including three graded stakes scores, has been training at Churchill Downs since late April in preparation for Saturday’s six-furlong dash.
“Part of the decision entering this race was the distance but the other part is how well she’s run at Churchill,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “We like to run at Churchill and she’s shown a real affinity to the racetrack in the past.”
Frank’s Rockette is a perfect 2-for-2 beneath the Twin Spires. The now 4-year-old filly by Into Mischief debuted at Churchill Downs and dazzled onlookers winning by 8 ¾ lengths as a 2-year-old. Her next start at the Louisville oval came as a 3-year-old where she dominated a six-furlong allowance by 3 ½ lengths. In 13 starts, Frank’s Rockette only has finished outside the top two positions once and that was in last year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) against males.
Her main rival in Saturday’s Winning Colors, Sconsin, will enter the race following a 1 ½-length defeat to champion female sprinter Gamine in the $500,000 Derby City Distaff (GI) on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby (GI). Trained by Greg Foley, the homebred daughter of Include won last year’s Eight Belles (GII) as a 3-year-old.
“She ran a great race in the Derby City Distaff against Gamine,” Foley said. “We had this race in mind if she exited the (Derby City Distaff) well and she ended up coming back great. We have some options on the table leading into the summer including the (Aug. 28) Ballerina at Saratoga. We are working our way backwards to try and make it there.”
The complete field for the Winning Colors from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Rising Seas (Corey Lanerie, Ben Colebrook, 10-1); Frank’s Rockette (Florent Geroux, Mott, 6-5); Tipsy Gal (Colby Hernandez, Dallas Stewart, 15-1); Sconsin (Tyler Gaffalione, Foley, 8-5); Bayerness (Brian Hernandez Jr., Cherie DeVaux, 5-1); and Headland (Martin Garcia, Steve Hobby, 8-1).
The Winning Colors, is the featured event Saturday night for Downs After Dark. The evening will showcase 11 races, live music, line dancers and more. First post is 6 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the featured Winning Colors goes as Race 5 at 7:57 p.m. The race card also includes the $110,000 Keertana Overnight Stakes, run at 1 ½ miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up. The Keertana is slated as Race 9 at 10:11 p.m.
The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday evening calls for mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 80s.
General admission to Downs After Dark is $12 and it includes a reserved seat on the first floor and official program. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Limited premium dining packages are available starting at $69 per person. Outdoor-third floor box seats are on sale for $27 per person. Reserved seating can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
DELTA’S KINGDOM TABBED AS 5-2 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN KEERTANA – Maram LLC’s multiple graded stakes placed Delta’s Kingdom was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s eighth running of the $110,000 Keertana Overnight Stakes.
Campaigned by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Delta’s Kingdom finished second behind War Like Goddess in last month’s $150,000 Bewitch (Grade III) at Keeneland. The 5-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom has made 19 starts in her career with two victories, five seconds and five thirds. Her last victory came at Churchill Downs over the Matt Winn Turf Course on Sept. 26, 2019.
Florent Geroux has the mount from post No. 8.
The 1 ½-mile Keertana is carded as Race 9 with a post time of 10:11 p.m. The race shares the spotlight with the featured $150,000 Winning Colors (Grade III) which will go as Race 5 at 7:57 p.m. First post is 6 p.m.
The complete field for the Keertana from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Naomi Broadway (BRZ) (Joe Talamo, Paolo Lobo, 15-1); First Course (Drayden Van Dyke, Vicki Oliver, 15-1); Ya Beauty (GB) (Julien Leparoux, Eric Reed, 30-1); Temple City Terror (Adam Beschizza, Brendan Walsh, 5-1); Pass the Plate (Rafael Bejarano, Paul McGee, 3-1); Tweety Show (Julie Burke, Ron Isbell Jr., 15-1); Sursum Corda (Corey Lanerie, Ian Wilkes, 30-1); Delta’s Kingdom (Geroux, Mott, 5-2); Cambeliza (James Graham, Arnaud Delacour, 20-1); and Dalika (GER) (Miguel Mena, Al Stall Jr., 3-1).
TV SCHEDULE – Churchill Downs Racing is scheduled to air every race day on “America’s Day at the Races” on the Fox Sports family of networks. Here is this week’s TV Schedule:
-Thursday: Fox Sports 2 (3-8:30 p.m.)
-Friday: Fox Sports 2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)
-Saturday: Fox Sports 2 (1-3 p.m., 4-11:30 p.m.)
-Sunday: Fox Sports 2 (12:30-3 p.m., 4-5:30 p.m.)
MEET LEADERS – Jockey Florent Geroux began the racing week at Churchill Downs one win ahead of Tyler Gaffalione in the rider standings 14-13. Luis Saez, who moved his tack to New York following Kentucky Derby Week, was tied with locally-based Ricardo Santana Jr. in third with nine wins. … Trainer Brad Cox led all conditioners with eight wins. There was a four-way tie for second with six victories between Mike Maker, Al Stall Jr., Brendan Walsh and Ian Wilkes. … In the owner’s standings there was a 10-way tie for first between Amerman Racing, Joey Keith Davis and Jackie Rojas, Godolphin, Juddmonte, Klaravich Stables, Lothenbach Stables, Bruce Lunsford, Maggi Moss, Raroma Stable, and West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables.
DOWN THE STRETCH: Racing beneath the Twin Spires returns Thursday with a special late post of 5 p.m. for Twilight Thursday presented by Blue Moon. Fans can enjoy the eight-race card while sipping on $1 select domestic beer and $1 Blue Moon draft. The evening also features live music, food trucks and more. General admission is just $5 and can be purchased on www.churchilldowns.com/tickets. There was a $60,814 jackpot carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 that spanned races 3-8. … For more information about the Spring Meet, visit https://www.churchilldowns.com/calendar/featured-events/.