Darley Stable's tandem of Sea Chanter and Skylighter look best in a seven-horse field entered for the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico May 16. The options could narrow, though, if Sea Chanter and another well-regarded entry, Striking Tomisue, run instead in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park the same day.
The DuPont Distaff is contested at 1 1/6 miles on dirt and will go as the second race on a Preakness Day program that includes seven graded stakes.
Sea Chanter is winless in three starts this year for Todd Pletcher. The 4-year-old daughter of War Chant has two runner-up finishes, however, including Gulfstream Park's Rampart Stakes (gr. II) in her most recent start March 29. She was no match for the victorious One Caroline that day, finishing 6 1/2 lengths behind at odds of 26-1 on a sealed track that was rated 'good.' Sea Chanter's last stakes win came in the Miesque (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park in November 2007, her only graded win.
Sea Chanter and 4-year-old Skylighter are coupled in the wagering. The latter, trained by Bobby Frankel, has started just once this year, finishing fourth, 4 3/4 lengths behind Striking Tomisue in a one-mile allowance heat at Gulfstream Feb. 8. The Sky Mesa filly won the Indiana Oaks (gr. II) last fall at Hoosier Park by three lengths and wrapped up her 2008 campaign with a strong second-place finish to Miss Isella in the Fall City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Like Sea Chanter, Striking Tomisue is cross-entered in the Shuvee, a race she finished fifth in last year. Trained by Nick Zito for Tomisue Hilbert & John R. Menard, the 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike was a distant fourth in the Rampart after scoring back-to-back wins in Florida this year.
Unforgotten looks to bounce back from a 23-length swamping when last of six in the Louisville Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs May 1. She won the Goddess at Delta Downs in 2008 for Dallas Stewart and was twice graded stakes-placed in Kentucky later in the year.
Tammy's Victress seeks her first stakes win for trainer Larry Jones after a third-place finish last time in Oaklawn Park's Bayakoa April 8. The 6-year-old has won four of 20 lifetime starts.
All Smiles is the only one in the field with experience at Pimlico. The 6-year-old daughter of Awesome Again wheeled back one week after winning the Dahlia Stakes at Laurel Park April 11 to finish second in Pimlico's Geisha. She began the year by winning two of her three starts at Laurel for trainer Francis Campitelli.
$150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II, Race 2, 10:44 a.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP, Horse, Jockey
1. Unforgotten, R Albarado
2. a-Sea Chanter, J R Velazquez
3. Tammy's Victress, G Saez
4. a-Skylighter, J R Leparoux
5. Two Columbus, J D Acosta
6. Striking Tomisue, G K Gomez
7. All Smiles, J Rose
All carry 118 pounds
a - coupled