LNJ Foxwoods’ stellar Miss Preakness (Grade III) winner Covfefe is set to clash with Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Heider Family Stables and Madaket Stables’ Humana Distaff (GI) hero Mia Mischief in Saturday’s 10th running of the $120,000-added Roxelana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The six-furlong Roxelana, named for the crack female sprinter who won seven of 11 starts and earned $264,726 between 2000-03 for trainer William “Blackie” Huffman, is carded as Race 10 of 11 on Saturday’s program with a scheduled post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first race Saturday is 12:45 p.m.
Covfefe smashed Pimlico Race Course’s six-furlong track record in the $150,000 Miss Preakness with a final time of 1:07.70 as she defeated eight fillies by 8 ½ lengths on May 17. Trained by Brad Cox, Covfefe (4-3-0-0—$196,200) debuted in September at Churchill Downs with a 9 ¼-length maiden victory under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Following a fourth-place effort in the Oct. 7 Frizette (GI), Covfefe returned as a 3-year-old with a gutsy half-length score in a first-level allowance event at Keeneland in early April.
Bridgmohan has the call on Covfefe, who will break from post position No. 2 as the lone 3-year-old filly in the field of 10 fillies and mares.
Covfefe’s biggest threat is three-time stakes-winning filly Mia Mischief. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Mia Mischief (14-6-6-0—$883,420) scored an 11-1 upset in the $500,000 Humana Distaff when she defeated favorite Marley’s Freedom by 1 ¾ lengths on Kentucky Derby Day. The classy daughter of Into Mischief had a stellar 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Eight Belles (GII) at Churchill Downs and a narrow runner-up effort in the Test Stakes (GI) at Saratoga. Mia Mischief began her 4-year-old campaign with a three-length score in a conditioned allowance event at Oaklawn and a runner-up effort in the Carousel Stakes prior to her Humana Distaff triumph.
Asmussen’s first-call rider Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call on Mia Mischief, who drew post 10.
Also entered in the Roxelana are the top three finishers, respectively, in the $100,000 Winning Colors (GIII) on May 25: Hooties Racing, WSS Racing and 4 G Racing’s Honey Bunny, Dreamchaser Thorobreds’ Astrollinthepark and Allied Racing Stable’s Upset Brewing.
Honey Bunny (31-14-5-4—$417,145), who will be in search of her sixth victory in a row, will be ridden by Tyler Baze from post 3. The 5-year-old mare by Tapizar was claimed 15 months ago for $16,000 by trainer John Ortiz.
Meanwhile, Astrollinthepark (18-5-4-2—$276,282) was the two-length victor in last year’s Roxelana. Trained by Larry Jones, Astrollinthepark will be ridden by Gabriel Saez from post 5.
Upset Brewing (23-3-11-4—$259,320) will seek her first victory at Churchill Downs from post 7 under Edgar Morales. She is 0-for-8 with five seconds and two thirds beneath the Twin Spires.
The field for the Roxelana from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Awestruck (Julien Leparoux, Rusty Arnold II); Covfefe (Bridgmohan, Cox); Honey Bunny (Baze, Ortiz); Ascot Day (Declan Cannon, Danny Peitz); Astrollinthepark (Saez, Jones); Classy Act (Adam Beschizza, Joe Sharp); Upset Brewing (Morales, Buff Bradley); Salt Bae (Corey Lanerie, Bernie Flint); Annathela (James Graham, Arnold); and Mia Mischief (Santana, Asmussen).
Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:45 a.m. General Admission is $5, reserved seating is $12 and reserved dining packages are $41. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
Churchill Downs will have a four-day week of racing (with first race post time, number of races): Thursday (5 p.m., 8 races), Friday (12:45 p.m., 9 races), Saturday (12:45 p.m., 11 races) and Sunday (12:45 p.m., 10 races).
Twilight Thursday presented by Blue Moon will feature eight races with a post time of 5 p.m. along with $1 Blue Moon drafts, $1 domestic draft beer, food trucks, lawn games, one-on-one expert betting advice and live music on the Plaza Stage from Hora Certa.
Before Thursday’s races begin, Churchill Downs’ jockeys and track officials are scheduled to visit young patients and their families and friends at Louisville’s Norton Children’s Hospital for a 32nd consecutive year. Jockeys are scheduled to depart the track for the hospital at 1 p.m.
Sunday is Family Adventure Day presented by Kroger. There will be more than 20 fun activities for kids under 12 in the Plaza, a family viewing area to watch live racing and special family ticket packages that start at $10 in advance (children under 2 are admitted free). The theme is “Get Outdoors” and families can learn about all that Louisville’s great outdoors has to offer with activities from The Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville Parks and Recreation, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and more. Additional event features include stick horse races, a petting zoo, mini pony rides, face painting, bounce houses, an obstacle course, corn hole, a bubble station, as well as a special area for children under 3. For more information or tickets, visit www.churchilldowns.com/tickets.