Las Vegas, NV - Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky will be play host to the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes this Saturday, October 5. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured as they go one mile on Keeneland's turf track for the winner's portion of the $400,000 purse.
A field of eight older females will line up in the First Lady Stakes - race 7 on Keeneland's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 4:17 PM. Let's take a look at the credentials of all eight entries for this Grade 1 stakes - seven of the eight have graded or group stakes victories on their resumes.
Dayatthespa - won five of her six starts in 2012, three of the graded stakes variety - the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13, the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga August 31, the Grade 3 Appalachian back in April, the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on March 11 and the Sweetest Chant Stakes on January 22 both at Gulfstream. Her last 2012 action came November 25 and was the only time she didn't taste victory- a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park. Dayatthespa has just three starts in 2013 - a win in the minor You Go West Girl Stakes by four lengths at Belmont Park May 5, a good second to Laughing after setting the pace in the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park June 29 and a win last time out in the minor Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga August 16. She is undefeated on Keeneland's turf course and will depart from post 6 with John Velazquez in the saddle.
Daisy Devine - had a three race win streak going this winter including the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs and a pair of minor stakes races at Fair Grounds. She had a second by a head in the minor Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds February 23 and a disappointing ninth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April but has finished in the money in her last two graded stakes starts - last time out in the Grade 3 Mint Julep June 6 and the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff in May. She finished second in this race last year and will be looking to better that result in her first start in nearly four months. She will be under the control of James Graham from post 4.
Better Lucky - won the Grade 1 Matriarch at 35-1 odds to conclude her 2012 campaign and was an OK third in her first start of 2013 - in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes behind Centre Court among others at Keeneland April 13. Last time out she continued to look good - a third behind Hungry Island after a second to Stephanie's Kitten in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes in June. She has placed in five straight starts - all Graded stakes. If there is one thing we know about Better Lucky it is that she will be competitive each and every time out. Julien Leparoux gets the mount Saturday.
Miz Ida - Steve Margolis trained filly had a nice three race win streak going last summer/fall including the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes at Keeneland but ended 2012 with a fifth in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere in November. She has four starts in 2013 with a win and two second place finishes. Last time out was her worst effort in quite some time - a sixth in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa after an OK second in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial to Somali Lemonade at Parx and a great win in the Grade 3 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. She has seven wins (two Grade 3 scores) and two seconds in 14 career starts. She is yet another uber-competitve entry that could challenge the deep field Saturday.
Hungry Island - Shug McGaughey trainee won the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Mile in May 2012 and also had a second in the 2012 Ballston Spa, and a third in the 2012 First Lady Stakes. This year she had a win in an Allowance at Keeneland April 7, a third in the Just a Game Stakes behind Better Lucky, a respectable second in the 2013 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile May 4 and her first off-the-board finish in over a year - a fourth in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga August 24. Last time out she bounced back with a nice second in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park September 14. Nobody would be surprised to see Hungry Island emerge Saturday.
Say - Irish bred filly makes her North American debut Saturday after two wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 11 starts in Europe. She enters having placed in five straight starts however - a win at Curragh September 1 being the highlight. Joe Bravo gets the mount Saturday as she leaves from the rail.
Winding Way - won her first three career starts including the 2012 edition of this race and the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Stakes which followed an eight month layoff. She returned June 16 to a fifth in the minor Desert Stormer Handicap and followed that with another fifth in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap July 13. Last time out she had her best result this year - a second in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar. She loves the Rancho Bernardo but has struggled otherwise.
Amazonas - Irish bred filly races for the first time on North American soil but is coming off a nice win at Haydock Park August 10 in her only start this year. Her 2012 campaign ended very early in September with a pair of third place finishes.
Race 7 on Keeneland Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:20 PM.
||C. McGaughey III
||J. Rocco, Jr.