Three-time champion Azeri was assigned high weight 126 pounds for the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day.In the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) on Nov. 27, South African import Lundy's Liablility was assigned top impost of 120 pounds.Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Doug Bredar assigned the weights for the Falls City and the Clark, the final handicap events of the year. The races are among four major stakes races scheduled during the Nov. 25-27.
Azeri, owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, could concede
anywhere from 10 to 18 pounds to her rivals if trainer D. Wayne Lukas elects to run her in the 1 1/8-mile Falls City. The daughter of Jade Hunter is coming off a fifth place finish against males in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Lone Star Park won by Ghostzapper. The 2002 "Horse of the Year" and champion older filly or mare in 2001 and 2003, Azeri has a career record of 17-4-0 in 24 races and has earned $4,079,820, a record earnings total for a filly or mare. Other Falls City nominees considered to be possible starters in the Falls City Handicap (with assigned weights) include Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) winner Halory Leigh (116); Mayo On the Side (116), who defeated Azeri in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day; Indy Groove (114), winner of the Autumn Leaves at Mountaineer Park and sixth to Ashado in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I); and Susan's Angel (114), winner of the Turfway Park Breeders' Cup (gr. III) and third in the Churchill Downs Distaff. Lukas, the all-time leader in stakes victories at Churchill Downs, will be looking for his first win in the Falls City if he starts either Azeri or Susan's Angel. He leads fellow Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott 67-66 in career stakes wins under the Twin Spires. Lundy's Liability, a Brazilian-bred son of Candy Stripes who launched his racing career in South Africa for trainer Mike de Kock, goes into the 1 1/8-mile Clark off
2004 victories in the UAE Derby (UAE-I) at Dubai's Nad al Sheba and the Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, his only race since his arrival in the United States. Owned by Stud TNT and Mary Slack, the 4-year-old Lundy's Liability is trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, who won the 2002 renewal of the Clark with Lido Palace. The California-based Lundy's Liability is expected to ship to Churchill Downs to run in the Clark. He has a career record of 4-1-0 in six races and earnings of $1,553,930. Other horses considered likely for the Clark (with assigned weights) include Perfect Drift (118), Saint Liam (117), Colonial Colony (116), Sir Cherokee (116), Eurosilver (113), Suave (113), Best Minister (111) and Seek Gold (111.For more information on the great Azeri, please check out the new book from Eclipse Press, Women of the Year