Dora Alcon, Dogwood Plantation and Larry Marcus’ three-time winner Giovanna Blues will attempt stakes company for the first time in Saturday’s fifth running of the $65,000-added Keertana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The 1 ½-mile Keertana for fillies and mares was named for Barbara Hunter’s homebred Keertana, who won four of her nine starts at Churchill Downs, including a nose triumph over males in the $111,200 Louisville Handicap (Grade III) in 2011.
The Keertana, carded as Race 5 at approximately 2:43 p.m. (all times Eastern), is the first of two stakes events on Churchill Downs’ 11-race program Saturday. The 14th running of the $100,000 Winning Colors (GIII) will complete Saturday’s stakes action as Race 10 at approximately 5:21 p.m.
Giovanna Blues, trained by Michael Dickinson, has won three consecutive races including a three-length allowance score at Laurel Park on April 29.
Dickinson, 67, is most known for campaigning two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade I) winner Da Hoss who collected his second victory in the 1998 edition at Churchill Downs. A native of Yorkshire, England, Dickinson is seeking his third stakes winner at Churchill Downs. His last stakes triumph came in the 2002 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) with Soto.
Giovanna Blues will have to tackle the top two finishers from Keeneland’s April 28 Bewitch Stakes (GIII), Calumet Farm’s Quiet Business and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Daring Duchess.
Quiet Business, trained by Rusty Arnold II, was the 16-1 upset victor in the Bewitch. The 4-year-old daughter of Quiet American has a career record of 11-3-1-0 and $180,558 in earnings.
Daring Duchess, who was the runner-up in the Bewitch off a 118-day layoff, was a $35,000 claim for trainer Mike Maker and Ramsey on July 29, 2016 at Saratoga. Since entering Maker’s care, the daughter of Arch has a 5-1-1-1 record.
The Keertana field from the rail out (with jockeys): Daring Duchess (Julien Leparoux), Northern Smile (Miguel Mena), Yahtzee Queen (Gabriel Saez), Rachel Wall (James Graham), Grey Stark (Joe Rocco Jr.), Majestic Angel (Jack Gilligan), Giovanna Blues (Corey Lanerie), and Quiet Business (Brian Hernandez Jr.).