Faithfully, Money'soncharlotte head Falls City Handicap

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Alastair Bull

November 22nd, 2017

Denied twice in California this year, Faithfully heads east to search for her first graded stakes triumph in the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day.

The Smart Strike filly stepped up to stakes company for the first time at Santa Anita in June, winning the ungraded Santa Lucia Stakes. She then took on the best in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1), finishing third behind Stellar Wind and Vale Dori.

After finishing second in the Tranquility Lake Stakes, Faithfully then returned to grade one company in the Zenyatta Stakes, finishing second behind Paradise Woods.

She doesn’t have anything in the class of Stellar Wind, Vale Dori, or Paradise Woods to contend with in the Falls City Handicap, and she should be tough to topple.

However, there’s some solid grade one form from at least one of Faithfully’s opponents. Money’soncharlotte (Mizzen Mast) has progressed well this year, winning the Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park and the Lady Jacqueline Stakes at Thistledown, before finishing second to Elate in the Beldame Stakes (G1).

At her most recent start Money’soncharlotte finished second to the good 3-year-old Farrell in the Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.

Third in the Chilukki Stakes was another horse with grade one form, Motown Lady. Prior to the Chilukki she had been on the West Coast, finishing fourth in the Clement L. Hirsch, third in the Tranquility Lake and third in the Zenyatta Stakes – one position behind Faithfully each time.

Blue Prize – a grade one winner in her native Argentina – also has grade one form to recommend her. She hasn’t won in five U.S. starts this year but she did finish second in the Locust Grove Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs to Romantic Vision – ahead of another Falls City Handicap contestant, Tiger Moth – and then finished third to Romantic Vision in the Spinster Stakes (G1).

Rachel’s Temper, fourth in the Summer Colony Stakes at Saratoga this year after winning it the year before, and last year’s Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Weep No More complete the field, though there must be some doubt about whether Weep No More will back up after finishing last of seven in the Cardinal Handicap Nov. 18 at Churchill Downs.

Using a form line through Motown Lady, Faithfully looks the one to beat, as Faithfully has finished at least two lengths ahead of her at each of their three starts this year, while Money’soncharlotte was just half a length ahead of Motown Lady in the Chilukki. Form doesn’t always work out that easily, but Faithfully certainly should be at the top of all exotics and multiples.