Spelling Again, Enchanting Lady square off in Winning Colors
Spelling Again is two-for-two under the Twin Spires for trainer Brad Cox, with both of those wins being recorded last year against stakes rivals. The Awesome Again mare took the six-furlong Open Mind S. during the September meet and then returned in November to add a 4 1/2-length romp in the Chilukki S. (G2) to her resume.
Spelling Again closed out her four-year-old campaign with a third-place effort in the Go for Wand H. (G3) at Aqueduct, and most recently filled the show spot in the Ruffian S. (G2) at Belmont Park on May 14. Shaun Bridgmohan was aboard for both of the bay mare’s Churchill efforts and will help her seek the hat trick on Saturday.
Enchanting Lady is still looking for her first graded win but is already a dual stakes victress. Her best run in two tries at Churchill came last out when the Bob Baffert trainee finished third in the Humana Distaff (G1) after bobbling and being bumped at the start. Florent Geroux is taking over piloting duties for this contest.
Fioretti proved best at 14-1 in the Thoroughbred Club of America S. (G2) last October at Keeneland over Spelling Again’s fourth-place run, but recently finished behind that rival when last of 11 to Spelling Again’s seventh in the Madison S. (G1) at the Lexington, Kentucky, venue. She’ll try to improve in her second start of the year with regular rider Sophie Doyle in the irons.
Wrath of Ruthie is an unknown who could surprise in here. The Steve Asmussen charge is two-for-two at Churchill after breaking her maiden and taking an allowance, both in November last year, by a combined 17 lengths. She competed at Oaklawn Park during the spring, including a fourth-placing while making her stakes bow in the Carousel S. last out on April 14. The Distorted Humor filly might like the return to Churchill enough to earn her first stakes score in this spot.
Diva Express is also two-for-two under the Twin Spires including a head victory last out on May 3 against allowance/optional claiming rivals. Julien Leparoux has the call on the Mark Casse-conditioned four-year-old as she tries stakes company for the first time.
The Winning Colors field is completed by dual stakes winner Super Saks and Grade 2-placed I’m a Looker.
Earlier on Churchill’s Saturday program, eight turf distaffers will go 1 1/2 miles in the $65,000 Keertana S., including last out Bewitch S. (G3) runner-up Al’s Gal.
Spelling Again photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography