John Gunther’s Tiger Moth looks to pick up her third-consecutive stakes victory in Saturday’s 34th running of the $100,000 Locust Grove (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
The Locust Grove, for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up run at 1 1/16 miles, is carded as Race 8 on the 11-race program with a scheduled post time of 4:18 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Trained by Brad Cox, Tiger Moth picked up her first stakes win on July 15 in the Mari Hulman George Memorial at Indiana Grand when she defeated a field of eight rivals by 2 ½ lengths. The 5-year-old mare by Street Sense was victorious nearly a month later in Ellis Park’s Groupie Doll (GIII), narrowly defeating the Ian Wilkes-trained Walkabout.
“She’s really been progressing well,” Cox said. “I think we’ve figured things out with her and she should be sitting on another solid effort for Saturday’s race. She does her best running from off the pace so hopefully we’ll get some help up front.”
Tiger Moth has career earnings of $348,207 with a record of 17-5-4-2 and will be ridden by Corey Lanerie.
Six other fillies and mares are set to take on Tiger Moth including Merriebelle Stable LLC’s Blue Prize (Arg). Already a Group I winner in Argentina, Blue Prize was the bridesmaid in her first three starts in the U.S. for trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Correas IV. Most recently, the 4-year-old daughter of Pure Prize was the runner-up in Saratoga’s $100,000 Summer Colony Stakes. James Graham will have the riding assignment.
Wilkes is set for his rematch versus Tiger Moth with two entrants: Fuhriously Kissed and Sweetgrass. Anita Cauley’s Fuhriously Kissed was an impressive four-length winner in an allowance event on July 24 at Saratoga. The 4-year-old daughter of Langfuhr tested her hand in the Summer Colony at Saratoga but finished third, beaten 6 ¾ lengths. Wilkes’ other entrant, Sweetgrass, is seeking her first stakes victory as she stretches around two turns for the first time in more than nine months. Julien Leparoux has the call on Fuhriously Kissed while Wilkes’ son-in-law Chris Landeros will get the leg-up on Sweetgrass.
Brooklynsway (22-6-3-3 –$723,597) will try to round back into form in her fourth start back after a 356-day layoff for trainer Bernie Flint.
Mo D’Amour (15-3-1-4 –$304,460) is no stranger to big races at Churchill Downs, finishing fifth in the 2016 Kentucky Oaks. The 4-year-old filly by Uncle Mo was transferred in July from trainer Todd Pletcher to Rodolphe Brisset.
Rounding out the field is G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s homebred Romantic Vision (17-4-4-2 —$249,326). Trained by Rusty Arnold II, Romantic Vision will be seeking her first stakes victory.
The Locust Grove field from the rail out (with jockeys): Brooklynsway (Robby Albarado); Blue Prize (Arg) (Graham); Mo D’Amour (Florent Geroux); Romantic Vision (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Fuhriously Kissed (Leparoux); Sweetgrass (Landeros); Tiger Moth (Lanerie).