Churchill Downs, Race 4 – Thursday, November 16, 2023
By 2YO EdgeMan
CD4:111623 – One and 1/16th miles on the turf. Fourteen young fillies have been dropped into the hat as entries with two having to fall to the Also Eligible list. Of the main field of 12 – four of these gals will be competing for the first time ever, two have been out once, four have raced twice and two have done it three times. Let’s have a look at the six fillies that interest me most in this field…
#2 – Fundamentally (6/1) – Liam’s Map is the sire of this filly and her dam is unraced, is by Quality Road and this is her first foal of racing age. Chad Brown moves this filly to turf for the first time after previously running twice on the dirt. Klaravich Stables went to $285K on this gal earlier this year (7/23) after she sold for $100K as a weanling back in November of 2021 (9/18). Trainer Chad Brown moves her to the turf for the first time after two tries on the dirt. The last was at Churchill on 9/21/23 and she had nothing in the tank after a half mile in the seven furlong affair. Chad has put her back to work after that race six times in half mile breezes, all here at Churchill. Two of those works were done in under 48 seconds – on 10/19/23 she went in 47.8 seconds (3/48) and on 11/4 she cruised in 47.6 seconds (3/96). Florent rides.
#3 – Yes to Champagne (6/1) – Jim Gladden picked up this Mitole (Spendthrift Farm) filly at the Keeneland November sale last year as a yearling for $40,000 (87/116) after she originally sold as a weanling in 2021 for $80,000 (15/35). Her mom is by Capote and was unraced. Conditioner Ian Wilkes sends her out to do battle for the third time today – this will be her first start over the lawn and her first time to stretch out going two turns. Last race was a disappointment at Keeneland where she just didn’t show much at all going seven furlongs. Ian has worked her twice since her last run, both times here under the Twin Spires.
#5 – Neom Beach (5/2) – The Morning Line fav is conditioned by Steve Asmussen and is by Omaha Beach. Her mom only raced once and did not win, but she is by Giant’s Causeway. $210K was the price that she demanded as a two-year-old earlier this spring (11/36). Like the other two above, she’ll be making her third start today. She debuted on the turf and her most recent sprint of 5/8th of a mile was taken of the grass and moved to the main track. She ran second in that effort in a field of eleven, but got beat by 7+ lengths with an Equibase Speed Fig of 81. Steve has pumped five workouts into her since her last, all here at CD and three of those were done going five panels. Her last was an even 1:00 (3/9). Luis Saez is named as her jockey for the first time.
#9 – Butterfly Queen (7/2) – Cairo Prince is the sire behind this filly and her Majestic Warrior mama never competed on the track. She’s already been through the auction ring three times. The first time was when she was a short yearling and she brought $80,000 (59/87). The second time was later in her yearling year when she didn’t meet her reserve of $40,000. Most recently, in June of this year, she sold as a two-year-old for a ‘mere’ $27,000 (33/36). Like the four above her on this page, she also has done the racing thing twice. Her first was at Churchill, six furlongs on the dirt, and it was a bust – last of 11. So, trainer Mike Maker moved her to the turf and she ran well at Keeneland, finishing less than two lengths back in third at a mile. Mike has given her two spins at Churchill’s Training Track since her last.
#10 – On the Nile (8/1) – This filly will be making her debut today for trainer Brendan Walsh. She is another by Cairo Prince and her mom was 3 for 18 on the track, with $102K in earnings. She originally sold for $57,000 as a yearling (16/47) and then was taken overseas earlier this year in May as a 2YO and the pinhook brought more than three times her price when she hammered for the equivalent of $173,587 (2/12). Brendan his put a dozen workouts into her (48 total furlongs), all over the All-Weather oval at Turfway Park. She earned a small bullet in her last prep – five poles in 1:01 flat (1/10). Tyler will be in the saddle.
#11 – Luz Divina (3/1) – Tim Hamm conditions this filly and also has purchased an ownership stake in her, although she’s never been through a public auction. She’s sired by Palace Malice and is out of a Brazilian bred mare who won the only race that she ever competed in (also in Brazil). She has had three starts, all of them over the grass, and she’s been in the money every time. Last out, in the same race as Butterfly Queen, she got beat by a neck at a mile at Keeneland, while producing a 73 EBSF. Hamm then sent her down to Tampa Bay downs for one work before oddly bringing her right back to Kentucky for this start. Luis Saez is also named as the filly’s reinsman (along with Neom Beach).
Pick – #11 Luz Divina – I would prefer that she start a little more near to the rail, but even so, I think that she beats this tough field today. It will be very telling to see who Saez goes with, but I’m choosing to go with Hamm’s filly. She’s been ultra consistent and even flashed an EBSF of 80 in her start two back. I’m very confused about the jaunt down to Tampa, but clearly there was a change in plans. Let’s give her a shot!