AGS Ladies Marathon: Family Way v. Adventuring
Nelson Green Brier Music City: Return of Koala Princess
Ainsworth Tapit: Danner has contender in Danse Macabre
FRANKLIN, Ky.— Sunday is Ladies Day at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs with fillies and mares in the spotlight. The 11-race card is highlighted by three stakes: the $500,000 Ainsworth Untapable for 2-year-old filly sprinters, $500,000 Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey Music City for 3-year-old filly sprinters and the $550,000 AGS Ladies Marathon for fillies and mares running 1 5/16 miles.
A trio of Kentucky Downs stakes winners from last year will be in action in Family Way, Adventuring and Koala Princess. First post for Sunday’s 11-race card is 12:25 p.m. Central, with the Untapable going off at approximately 4:23 p.m., the Music City 4:57 p.m. and the Ladies Marathon 5:31 p.m.
Family Way is seeking a repeat in the Ladies Marathon, which sports Grade 3 status for the first time. The field of nine also includes Adventuring, winner of last year’s $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks at the same distance.
Family Way won a thrilling three-horse photo in last year’s Ladies Marathon. In five stakes this year, she has a win in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Orchid, three seconds and a third in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Churchill Downs. The top two finishers of the Beverly D. — Princess Grace and Dalika — run in Saturday’s $1 million Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf at a mile. (Reminder that first post for Saturday’s 12-race card is 11:30 a.m. Central.)
Godolphin’s versatile Adventuring is a stakes winner on turf, dirt and synthetic. The Brad Cox-trained filly for the most part is admirably consistent — though when she throws in a clunker, it can be pretty spectacular. She ended last season with a 10th-place finish over Turfway’s synthetic Tapeta, the same course over which she won her first stakes in the Bourbonette Oaks. Off eight months, Adventuring returned to take Mountaineer Park’s West Virginia Senate President’s Cup on Aug. 6 in a race run in the slop after being taken off the turf.
The Kelsey Danner-trained Viburnum, last year’s Dueling Grounds Oaks runner-up at 22-1 odds, is running back 10 days after taking a 1 5/16-mile allowance race at Kentucky Downs by a head.
Vicki Oliver entered the stakes-winning duo of Flippant and Core Values. Flippant also is entered in Saturday’s $1 million Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3). Her three stakes victories include beating Adventuring last year at Ellis Park, then taking the Virginia Oaks and two races ago capturing the Indiana General Assembly Distaff. In her last start, she finished sixth in Del Mar’s Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon. Core Values seeks to return to her winning ways that made her a two-time stakes-winner last year, beating boys in a 1 1/8-mile stakes at Ellis Park after which she was seventh in the Dueling Grounds Oaks. She finished third in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Bewitch at 1 1/2 miles in April.
Others include Stand Tall, a close fifth in the Ladies Marathon last year and a narrow second in Churchill Downs’ 1 1/2-mile Keertana Stakes two races back; multiple stakes-winner Oliviaofthedesert; Disappearing Act and Luck Money.
The Music City’s potential favorite is Koala Princess, who won last year’s Untapable and off her 2-for-2 record was made the very tepid favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at a mile. She finished seventh that day, losing by a total of 2 1/4 lengths. In her only start this year, Koala Princess was third in Saratoga’s Grade 3 Lake George, also at a mile. Trainer Arnaud Delacour scratched from Saratoga’s 1 1/16-mile Lake Placid to turn her back in distance in the Music City.
Others in the 6 1/2-furlong Music City overflow field of 15 entrants include: multiple stakes-winners Poppy Flower, Bubble Rock, Happy Soul and Have A Good Day (a Group 3 winner in France); stakes-winning Sister Lou Ann and Majestic d’Oro; allowance winners Freedom Speaks, Static Fire, Sequin Lady and Sunday Grace; the stakes-placed Dreamworker and Oeuvre, winner of four straight allowance races. Static Fire and Sunday Grace are among three horses needing defections in order to run.
Danner also has Danse Macabre in the 6 1/2-furlong Untapable. The Army Mule filly followed up a maiden race at Colonial Downs with a second in Saratoga’s Bolton Landing stakes, a grass sprint.
Half A Chance won a dirt maiden race at Saratoga after finishing second on grass at Belmont. She’s owned by the CJ Thoroughbreds partnership headed by former Kentucky Downs track president Corey Johnsen and trained by Wesley Ward.
The field of eight includes the winners of turf maiden races at Saratoga (Alluring Angel and Numero Seis), Ellis Park (Bling), Colonial Downs (Tiki Bar) and Monmouth Park (Recinto Rompere).
Kentucky Downs Press Release
Main photo: Family Way (#7) won a three-horse photo in last year’s AGS Ladies Marathon (Coady Photography)