Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes will be contested this Sunday, October 5 from Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. A purse of $500,000 will be on the line as will an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Distaff when fillies and mares three years old and upward race 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland's main track.
A field of just six will take to the track in the Juddmonte Spinster - race 9 on Keeneland's Sunday card. Post time is 5:45 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
Close Hatches - Bill Mott trainee made her stakes debut and recorded a terrific win over the stellar Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct last April 6 and has six wins in nine starts since. She enters this weekend on a four race win streak - the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes by five lengths last time out at Saratoga August 22, the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes over Beholder and Princess of Sylmar, the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap in gate-to-wire fashion at Oaklawn Park April 11 and the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes in March. She ended her 2013 campaign with a second to Beholder in the Breeders' Cup Distaff after another two race win streak - the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx September 21 and a 7 1/4 length score in the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park in June of 2013. Close Hatches has won six of her last seven starts against the best the division has to offer and will depart from post 2 with Joel Rosario in the reins.
Don't Tell Sophia - Philip Sims trained mare has placed in 12 straight races ahead of this weekend - seven wins over that span. She won the Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes November 2 and followed that with a second in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap on that same track four weeks later. She recorded consecutive minor stakes scores to begin her 2014 campaign - the Pippin Stakes and the Bayakoa Stakes - both at Oaklawn Park and followed that with a third behind Close Hatches in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes on that same track in March. After nearly six months away Don't Tell Sophia posted a win in the minor Locust Grove Stakes last time out September 6. She is as competitive as they come and should seriously challenge the field as per usual Sunday. Joe Rocco has the mount from post 5 Sunday.
Molly Morgan - Dale Romans trained mare has been good this year. Last time out was a second behind Don't Tell Sophia in the minor Locust Grove Stakes at Churchill Downs September 6 after a nice win in the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park August 9. Before that was a fifth in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap July 12. She had a nice four length win in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap by at 10-1 odds June 14 after a second in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes in May - both results at Churchill Downs and also recorded a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream in March. Molly Morgan has 24 career starts with six wins, four seconds and five third place finishes and enters in good form. Corey Lanerie will be in the saddle from the outside post.
Ria Antonia - Sovereign Award winner as 2013 Champion 2 Year Old Filly in Canada won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies by DQ - quite an accomplishment any way you look at it, but followed that with a rather disappointing fourth behind Untapable in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds February 22. She enters off consecutive fourth place finishes - in the minor Locust Grove Stakes last time out at Churchill Downs and in the Grade 2 Iowa Oaks June 28. This after a last of 10 finish in the Preakness Stakes against the boys, a sixth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and a good second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 5. She hasn't won since the Breeders' Cup and has placed in just two of six starts since but hopes to snap a five race win streak for trainer Thomas Amoss. Paco Lopez gets the call from the rail.
Shurug - makes her North American debut Sunday but looked good overseas - in particular winning two of her last three starts. Last time out was a win in a Group 3 race in Turkey and she also had a Group 3 score at Meydan back in March with an eighth in a Group 2 race at Meydan sandwiched in there. She has 14 career starts with five wins including three group stage races in Dubai, two seconds and two third place finishes and will line up in gate 4 with Julien Leparoux in the irons.
Got Lucky - Todd Pletcher trainee has finished first or second in six of eight career starts with a seventh three back in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 2 and a fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes August 16 being her worst performances. She had a maiden win in her third career start and four second place finishes including the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct April 5, the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes by a neck November 30 and the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds February 22. She returned to the winner's circle two back with an Allowance score on this track July 23. Got Lucky has been in almost every race she's entered and will be looking for a bounce back this week. Rosie Napravnik rides from gate 3.
Race 9 on Keeneland Race Course's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
||S. bin Suroor
||Don't Tell Sophia
||J. Rocco, Jr.