Scylla Collects First Stakes Win in G3 Shawnee

June 1, 2024

Scylla impressive in the Shawnee (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Juddmonte’s regally bred homebred Scylla was scintillating while collecting her first stakes win as she tracked pacesetter Xigera before grabbing the lead at the top of the stretch to easily win Saturday’s fifth running of the $275,000 Shawnee (Grade III) by 3 ¼ lengths at Churchill Downs.

A full sister to $3.7 million-earner Tactius and promising maiden-winning 3-year-old Batten Down, Scylla ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.38 to give Juddmonte their second straight win in the race. Last year, Idiomatic led every step of the way to score the first of five consecutive stakes wins en route to an Eclipse Award as the Champion Older Dirt Female.

Fresh off a seven-length allowance win over one mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard, Scylla was sent to post as the odds-on 6-5 favorite. She sat just off Xigera’s right hip through the first five furlongs as Xigera set fractions of :24.06 and :48.33 in the field of nine fillies and mares.

Entering the turn, Scylla pulled jockey Javier Castellano to even terms with Xigera as they crossed the six-furlong marker in 1:11.85. Scylla grabbed the lead with a quarter mile to run and drew away for the comfortable win.

“There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race on paper so I wanted to make sure to keep her close to the pace,” Castellano said. “Up the backside, we were going at a good pace, not too fast. She was ranging up to (Xigera) on her own. We always knew her talent was there and the way she’s opened up late in her last two starts she’s really shown that. I thought adding blinkers would keep her a little bit more sharp and focused going two turns. Bill (Mott) agreed and we added them for today’s start and it really worked out.”

Scylla, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, returned $4.54, $3.20 and $2.44. Xigera, under Julien Leparoux at odds of 5-2, returned $3.18 and $3.10. Wet Paint, with Flavien Prat up at 4-1, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $2.74.

Hoosier Philly, Hidden Connection, Magical Lute, Bellamore, Take a Stand and Malloy completed the order of finish.

Scylla is a 4-year-old Tapit filly out of the First Defence mare Close Hatches.

With her victory in Saturday’s Shawnee worth $163,800, Scylla improved her record to 6-4-1-1—$414,835.

“She’s been very impressive in her time we’ve had her at Churchill,” said Mott’s chief Churchill Downs assistant Kenny McCarthy. “I think bigger and better things are definitely in her future.”

The Shawnee Stakes is named after a neighborhood in western Louisville.

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