Gorella, who missed winning last year's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland by a head while third, makes a return trip to the Lexington track for a try in the First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT). Also ready to make a run in the mile race for distaffers, 3-year-olds and up, are the first two in the Queen Elizabeth, Sweet Talker and Karen's Caper, respectively.
A certified closer and one of two millionaires in the race, Gorella goes into the First Lady off consecutive wins in the Just a Game Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park in June and the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park in August. Gorella, who carries top weight of 125 pounds, is trained by Patrick Biancone.
Sweet Talker, the other millionaire, went off the favorite in the Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga in her last start and managed a good fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Earlier this spring, the Graham Motion trainee captured two turf stakes, including the WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Lone Star.
Karen's Caper has only raced three times this year, and sports a victory in the Noble Damsel Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Sept. 23 in her last start. Bobby Frankel is the conditioner.
The First Lady boasts plenty of speed runners. Five of them--Chic Dancer, Mea Domina, My Typhoon, Our Love, and Stella Blue---figure to be vying for the lead, and all but Stella Blue are going into the race off a stakes win. My Typhoon, trained by Bill Mott, led all the way to win the Ballston Spa. Chic Dancer, trained by Christine Janks, is working on a three-race win streak, and Our Love, conditioned by Jeff Trosclair, has won four in a row. Mea Domina, who will be making her first start outside California, comes into the race following a victory in the Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar. She is trained by Ron McAnally.
Wend, who was beaten by about six lengths in the Beverly D. in her last start, figures to received support by virtue of her victory in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in the spring. Mott is the trainer.
First Lady Stakes Race 8 Post 4:50
Post Horse Weight Jockey
1 My Typhoon 123 Garrett Gomez
2 Chic Dancer 121 Chris Emigh
3 Karen's Caper 121 Edgar Prado
4 Gorella 125 Julien Leparoux
5 Stella Blue 119 Brice Blanc
6 Dash of Humor 119 Calvin Borel
7 Mea Domina 123 Tyler Baze
8 Our Love 121 John Jacinto
9 Sweet Talker 121 Ramon Dominguez
10 Wend 123 Victor Espinoza
AE Bag of Quarters 119 John McKee