Ralph Ebert, Patrick Waresk, Michael Waresk, Vegas Mathiesen and Ralph Taylor’s two-time stakes winner Sully’s Dream will attempt to win her first graded stakes race as the 4-1 co-third choice on the morning line in Saturday’s 42nd running of the $100,000 Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
“She’s really been training well into this race,” trainer John Ortiz said. “She is kind of a difficult filly to handle at times. In her last start I think it was a bit too long for her after she got keyed up early and went too fast. You can’t really ask her to slow down when she’s on the front end. So, when she got keyed up early it was hard for her to stay close after 1 ½ miles.”
Sully’s Dream (18-6-0-1—$192,199) began her 2018 campaign with a one-length triumph in the Houston Ladies Distaff at Sam Houston. Following a fourth-place effort in the Bayakoa (GIII) at Oaklawn Park, the 4-year-old Colonel John filly returned to the winner’s circle in the New Orleans Ladies Overnight Stakes.
“We’re really excited to hopefully get some graded-stakes placing in her past performances,” Ortiz said. “The way she’s been training, she should run well Saturday.”
Jockey Jack Gilligan picks up the mount on Sully’s Dream and will break from Post 6.
The field for the Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap from the rail out (with jockey, assigned weight and morning line odds): Res Ipsa (Declan Cannon, 117 pounds, 7-2); Red Dane (ITY) (Gabriel Saez, 113, 15-1); Lovely Bernadette (Corey Lanerie, 119, 3-1); Celestial Insight (Joe Rocco Jr., 116, 4-1); Inchargeofme (GB) (Adam Beschizza, 115, 20-1); Sully’s Dream (Gilligan, 116, 4-1); Ministry (Edgar Morales, 114, 20-1); Youngest Daughter (Jon Court, 114, 20-1); Dubara (GB) (Calvin Borel, 115, 20-1); Inveniam Viam (James Graham, 115, 8-1); and Victory to Victory (Shaun Bridgmohan, 117, 10-1).
The Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile test over the Matt Winn Turf Course, has been carded as the finale on Saturday’s 11-race program with a post time of 5:58 p.m. (all times Eastern). Churchill Downs’ traditional early June stakes event serves as a prelude to a simulcast of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (GI) from New York’s Belmont Park as Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify bids to become horse racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner.
The Belmont Stakes will be shown on Churchill Downs’ massive outdoor “Big Board” and other television monitors throughout the facility after the final race at approximately 6:46 p.m. Post time for the first race at Churchill Downs is 12:45 p.m. and admission gates will open early at 11:15 a.m. for the first of 13 simulcast races from Belmont Park, which starts at 11:35 a.m.