Check the Label, who jumpstarted her four-race win streak on the Keeneland turf last year, makes her season debut in Lexington as the 121-pound high weight in the $125,000 Hillard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) April 22.
A field of 13 fillies and mares was drawn for the 1 1/16 mile Doubledogdare, which will be run on the Keeneland Polytrack. The Friday feature is ninth of 10 races on the Keeneland program. Post time is slated for 5:23 p.m. EDT.
Lael Stables’ Check the Label has made only one start on a synthetic surface in her 14-start career, that coming in her racing debut at Woodbine in 2009. All of her success has come on turf, including four consecutive graded stakes victories last year as a 3-year-old. The daughter of Stormin Fever won Keeneland’s Appalachian (gr. IIIT) in April, the Sands Point (gr. IIT) at Belmont in May, the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs (gr. IIT) in July, and the Garden City (gr. IT) at Belmont in September.
Trained by Graham Motion, Check the Label had her win streak halted in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in October when sixth. She has prepared for her 4-year-old debut at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. Regular rider Ramon Dominguez will fly in for the mount and they will break from post 10.
Check the Label was bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones and is out of the Mazel Trick mare Don’t Trick Her. She is 6-2-1 from her 14 starts with earnings of $493,894.
Entering off a graded stakes win is Christophe Clement trainee Denomination
. The 5-year-old Smart Strike
mare won the Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course March 12. It was her second win in her last three starts and her first stakes score in North America. Denomination began her career in France and this will be her first start on a synthetic surface. Freddie Lenclud will be in the irons again.
A pair of horses that do have synthetic form are Milwaukee Appeal
and Washington Bridge
. Milwaukee Appeal was runner-up in the Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) on Keeneland’s Polytrack in October and has five wins over the Woodbine Polytrack, including the 2009 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser. But she has been well beaten in her last two starts, the latest coming in the March 19 Inside Information (gr. I) on the Gulfstream dirt in her 5-year-old debut.
Washington Bridge ships in from California for trainer Jerry Holldendorfer after running fourth in both the Feb. 12 Santa Maria (gr. II) on dirt and Santa Ana (gr. IIT) on turf. Her biggest score came on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track in the Dec. 5 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) to cap off a three-race in streak—all on synthetics. Garrett Gomez has the mount.
Also with solid efforts over the Keeneland Polytrack are It's Tea Time
and Embur's Song
. It’s Tea Time was second, beaten a neck, in the 2010 Central Bank Ashland (gr. I) and a decent fourth in the Spinster. The Dynaformer
filly has been off the board in both turf starts this season.
Embur’s Song, from the barn of Todd Pletcher, broke her maiden on the Keeneland main track by 13 1/4 lengths last spring and won an entry-level allowance on the Woodbine Polytrack in her next start. The daughter of Unbridled's Song enters off an optional claimer on the Gulfstream turf where she was fourth, beaten on 1 1/4 lengths after setting the pace.
, trained by Bill Mott with Ken Desormeaux up, went wire-to-wire in an optional claimer on the Keeneland main track in her last start, which came at the fall meet.
$125,000 Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:23 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Washington Bridge (KY), G K Gomez, 117, J Hollendorfer
2. Denomination (KY), F Lenclud, 119, C Clement
3. Blushing Dixie (KY), S Bridgmohan, 117, S Margolis
4. It's Tea Time (KY), J Castellano, 117, G R Arnold II
5. Riviera Chic (KY), R Albarado, 117, M J Maker
6. Embur's Song (ON), J R Velazquez, 117, T A Pletcher
7. La Gran Bailadora (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, M J Maker
8. Acronym (KY), K J Desormeaux, 117, W I Mott
9. Much Rejoicing (KY), A Garcia, 117, J J Toner
10. Check the Label (KY), R A Dominguez, 121, H G Motion
11. Milwaukee Appeal (ON), R Napravnik, 117, S H Fairlie
12. Miss Luann (KY), R Maragh, 117, D L Romans
13. Satans Quick Chick (KY), M C Baze, 119, E R Reed