Frivolous continues Churchill Downs love affair in Locust Grove

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Jen Caldwell

September 12th, 2015

Frivolous has shown an unmistakable liking for Churchill Downs, earning a pair of Grade 2 victories under the Twin Spires over the past couple of years, and on Saturday added the track’s $100,000 Locust Grove S. to her resume.

The G. Watts Humphrey Jr. homebred trailed in the rear of the 10-strong field as Privet Hedge set the opening half-mile in :24.01 and :47.86. That one was pressed the entire way by Legacy to her inside and Cabana and Diva’s Diamond on the outside.

Privet Hedge, Cabana and Diva’s Diamond were lined up across the track entering the turn, but the early leader was fading badly. Meanwhile, on the outside, Frivolous was just winding up.

 The Victoria Oliver trainee angled widest of all around the turn under jockey Jon Court and charged down the center of the track to grab command. She easily pulled away to an eight-length victory while completing 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:43.85.

Flashy American got up for second, a half-length in front of Diva’s Diamond who lost the war but won the battle by a length over Cabana in fourth.

Frivolous is now 3-0-2 from seven starts at Churchill, including wins in the 2014 Falls City H. (G2) and this year’s Fleur de Lis H. (G2). She finished third in the Locust Grove last season and entered the 2015 edition off a nice runner-up effort in the Delaware H. (G1) on July 18.

It was earlier reported that three-year-old Keen Pauline, who would have been facing her elders for the first time, could be scratched from the Locust Grove in favor of Parx Racing’s $1 million Cotillion S. (G1) on September 19. Considering she was withdrawn on Saturday, that lucrative contest appears to be next for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) winner.

Frivolous photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography


VICKI OLIVER, trainer of FRIVOLOUS (winner): “We’ve always had a lot of faith in her since Day One; she’s shown a lot of ability. There was never a doubt that she had this ability. She’s just gotten better at five. I was a little concerned because I didn’t like where we were early on in the race. I think her biggest issue is that you can’t stop her because she’s such a big mare. She can’t get stopped and checked because of her huge stride. She trains very well at Keeneland and breezes well there, so I’m looking forward to a big effort at the Breeders Cup.”

Will the Spinster be her next start? “That was the plan. That’s why we took so much time with her. We’ll see how she comes out tomorrow. That will depend on how much the race took out of her. Sheer Drama beat us once, we beat her once. Dynamics change with the post draw. When he had the one-hole at Delaware, we had to go to the lead. I think she is capable of running with this filly [Sheer Drama]; we beat her once and she beat us once. I was hoping to run her a little earlier but the way the meet runs this was the plan after Delaware.”

JON COURT, jockey of FRIVOLOUS (winner): “She got shuffled back on the first turn, and we just had to abide the spot that was given to us which was the back and then I abided my time. There was really nothing else to do except sit and wait and execute the finish.

“I got off to a good start (at the September Meet). Hopefully I can keep the ammunition going and continue to be competitive and create some momentum right into the Keeneland meet.

“She really likes this track but just like with any other horse you don’t want to panic with whatever position you end up with regardless of it is the initial strategy or not and then you go from there and execute to where their best performance should be, which is finishing to the wire first. That’s how it played out for us today.”