Race Preview: Churchill Downs Debutante Stakes - June 22, 2013

Matt Carter

June 22nd, 2013


Photo: Matt Carter

The feature race on Saturday night under the lights at Churchill Downs is the 113th running of the Debutante Stakes. The six furlong race drew a field of 11 with seven of those winning in their debut.  The field is deep; perhaps we can see one of these on the first Friday in May in the Kentucky Oaks.

The morning line favorite for the race is Teardop, a debut winner over the track in late May for Steve Asmussen and Winchell Thoroughbreds.  The daughter of Tapit overcame a slow start to win going away, showing signs of a filly with a big future.  While her debut was impressive, it did not receive the highest speed figure in the field.  That honor goes to Fiftyshadesofgold, winner by 10 lengths in a maiden special weight at Lone Star Park.

Fiftyshadesofgold was no secret off as the odds-on favorite and did not disappoint her supporters.  The Texas-breds breeding does not jump off the page as much as the favorite’s does, but her sire was good enough to run third in the Grade 3 Holy Bully and fourth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.  The dam-sire, Hadif, was a multiple graded stakes placed horse during his career in the early 1990’s.

The filly you can argue has the best breeding is More Than Beauty, a debut winner by five and one-quarter lengths from the Borel brothers.  The sire More Than Ready was a Grade 1 winning sprinter and the dam, Brown Eyed Beauty, won seven of her 19 career starts with six seconds and five thirds.  She won a small stakes race at Oaklawn Park and had four wins in her career at Churchill Downs.  Oh and the rider of Brown Eyed Beauty just happened to be Calvin Borel.

On speed figures, the rest of the bunch is all in the same bag.  Only five points separate a group of six with Silver Valley leading the charge with a 61.  These horses are likely to improve, but just how much is the question.  They are going to need that improvement to knock off the top three.

The Debutante goes as race seven on the card and starts the 50-cent pick-5, post time is 9:05 pm ET.