Whispering Oaks LLC’s promising juvenile filly She’s a Julie headlines a field of 13 2-year-old fillies in Friday night’s 117th running of the $100,000 Debutante Presented by Finlandia Vodka (Listed) at Churchill Downs.
The six-furlong Debutante is one of three stakes events on Churchill Downs’ 11-race closing night card billed as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka.” The Debutante will go as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m. (all times Eastern).
She’s a Julie, a $160,000 yearling buy, impressively won her debut by 5 ¼ lengths on May 26 at Churchill Downs while clocking five furlongs in :58.68 under Florent Geroux. The win by the daughter of Elusive Quality gave Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his 600th win at Churchill Downs that day.
Asmussen will attempt to land his fifth Debutante when She’s a Julie breaks from post No. 6. Asmussen’s previous race success came with Cashier’s Dream (2001), Effectual (’05), Richwoman (’06), and Rated Fiesty (’07). D. Wayne Lukas holds the Debutante record for most wins by a trainer with seven.
Two of She’s a Julie’s prime rivals will be Donna Hancock and Charles Brown’s uncoupled entry of Amberspatriot and Waki Patriot. Both horses, trained by John Hancock, are already stakes placed in the early stages of their careers. Amberspatriot was a narrow runner-up finisher to the colt Buy Sell Hold in the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile on May 4 at Churchill Downs. Stablemate Waki Patriot was a third-place finisher to I Still Miss You in the $150,000 Astoria on June 8 at Belmont Park.The field for the Debutante from the rail out (with jockey): Sunny Skies (Robby Albarado), Rockin Royalty (Channing Hill), Upset Brewing (Shaun Bridgmohan), Red Dread (Arienne Cox), Caroline the Great (Eddie Martin Jr.), She’s a Julie (Florent Geroux), Patrona Margarita (Chris Landeros), Genuwine (Mario Pino), Amberspatriot (Paco Lopez), Therighttobeararms (James Graham), Lady O’Toole (Corey Lanerie), Chelada (Jesus Castanon), and Waki Patriot (Jon Court).
General admission to Churchill Downs is $10 on Saturday night. Box seats are $25 and reserved dining packages are $70. They can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets. New this year is the Guest Chef Series @ Millionaire’s Row, which will showcase Chef Patrick Roney of Harvest. The $149 tickets include a specially-designed menu by Roney and a full-bar package featuring specialty cocktails by Finlandia Vodka. All ticket options can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
The evening’s entertainment includes music on the Plaza Stage courtesy of The Wannabeatles from 6-7:30 p.m., Tony & The Tan Lines from 7:30-11 p.m. and DJ Matt Anthony from 11 p.m. until midnight. There also will be a decades-inspired fashion contest, disco and cocktail demonstrations, Kentucky’s largest disco ball, the Magbooth Retro Bus Photo Booth and “Bet or No Bet” where four lucky fans can take $100 in cash or place a free $1,000 win bet on a horse in Races 6-9.
Because it’s closing night, there is a mandatory payout in Churchill Downs’ 20-cent minimum Single-6 Jackpot, which began Sunday with a $126,075 carryover. The daily six-race sequence has challenged bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races but the Jackpot pool only is paid if there is a single winning ticket. When multiple tickets contain six winners – which has been the case for each of the last 19 race days – 90 percent of that day’s pool is paid out and 10 percent is added to the Jackpot carryover. Takeout on the Single-6 Jackpot is just 15 percent, which is one of the lowest multi-race wager takeout rates in American racing.
Saturday night’s Single-6 Jackpot, including any added money in the carryover, will be paid to ticket holders with the most winners in the six-race series, which covers Races 4-9 starting at approximately 7:26 p.m.