Heavenly Sunday Takes on Defending Champion Henrietta Topham in G3 Old Forester Mint Julep

May 26, 2024

Heavenly Sunday captures the Mrs. Revere (G3) Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Miacomet Farm’s 2023 Edgewood Stakes (Grade II) and Mrs. Revere Stakes (GIII) winner Heavenly Sunday will take on eight rivals including Cambus-Kenneth Farm’s defending champion Henrietta Topham in Sunday’s 48th running of the $250,000 Old Forester Mint Julep (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

Run at 1 1/16 miles over the Matt Winn Turf Course, the Old Forester Mint Julep field will go to post at 3:50 p.m. (all times Eastern) in Race 7. First post on the 10-race card is 12:45 p.m.

Heavenly Sunday, trained by 2016 Old Forester Mint Julep-winning conditioner Brad Cox, made her 4-year-old debut on Kentucky Oaks Day, finishing fourth, beaten only 1 ¼ lengths to Fast as Flight in the Modesty (GIII). As a 3-year-old, Heavenly Sunday garnered her first graded stakes score when she defeated 10 rivals in the Edgewood Stakes (GII). In her final race of the year, Heavenly Sunday dominated a field of nine 3-year-old fillies in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (GIII). Jockey Florent Geroux will be in the irons for the Old Forester Mint Julep and break from post No. 8.

Among Heavenly Sunday’s rivals that entered the Old Forester Mint Julep is the defending champion Henrietta Topham. The now 6-year-old mare is scheduled to make her first start of the year Sunday for trainer Geoff Mulcahy. In last year’s race, Henrietta Topham gamely got by heavy favorite White Frost in deep stretch to win by a half-length at odds of 8-1. Following that race, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid finished third in the Indiana General Assembly Distaff before three consecutive sixth-place finishes in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Mile, Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Mile (GIII) and Dowager (GIII). James Graham, who teamed with Henrietta Topham in the 2023 Old Forester Mint Julep, will be back aboard from post 2.

Sunday’s talented field of fillies and mares also includes Tom Benson Memorial winner Delahaye; Pucker Up (GIII) winner Safeen; and Group IIII winner Immensitude (FR).

Here is the complete field for the Old Forster Mint Julep Stakes from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  • Safeen (Luis Saez, Eddie Kenneally)
  • Henrietta Topham (Graham, Mulcahy)
  • Fuente Ovejuna (GB) (Frankie Dettori, Brendan Walsh)
  • Be My Sunshine (Joel Rosario, Saffie Joseph Jr.)
  • Excellent Question (Irad Ortiz Jr., Brendan Walsh)
  • Immensitude (FR) (Flavien Prat, Bill Mott)
  • Delahaye (Tyler Gaffalione, Chad Brown)
  • Heavenly Sunday (Geroux, Cox)
  • Misread (Jose Ortiz, Tommy Drury Jr.)

The Old Forester Mint Julep is the latter half of a stakes-filled weekend at Churchill Downs that will begin with “Stephen Foster Preview Day” Saturday. The stellar 11-race card features six stakes contests led by the $275,000 Blame (GIII), a preview for the $1 million Stephen Foster (GI) on Saturday, June 29.

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