The daughter of Pure Prize heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies in the Regret, a 1 1/8-mile test. Among her biggest challengers is the Bill Mott trainee Zee Zee, front-running winner of the 1 1/16-mile Edgewood Stakes over the course May 2.
Holthus said last week that Pure Clan, who is co-owned by Lewis Lakin, is being considered for a berth in the American Oaks Invitational (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park July 5.
“If she runs well here, I think it is a foregone conclusion she will get an invitation," Holthus said.
Pure Clan began her career with back-to-back turf victories last year at Ellis Park and Keeneland over maiden and first-level allowance foes. From there, she concluded her unbeaten 2007 campaign with wins in the Pocahontas (gr. III) and Golden Rod (gr. II) on Churchill Downs' main track.
She is winless in three starts this season. Pure Clan ran second in the Honeybee (gr. III) and third in the Fantasy (gr. II), both over Oaklawn Park's main track this spring, prior to her Kentucky Oaks effort.
Holthus said if they opt for the turf after the Regret, he would shoot for the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 16 later in the summer.
"We only want to run her three or four more times this year and want to try to win a grade I with her,” Holthus said.
In the Oaks May 2, Pure Clan broke near the rear of the 10-horse field on a sloppy track but used a big middle move while racing wide to hit the board. She finished 5 3/4 lengths behind the runaway winner Proud Spell.
Julien Leparoux, who rode Pure Clan five consecutive times before Edgar Prado got the mount in the Oaks, is back aboard. The chestnut, also owned by IEAH Stable and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, has a 4-1-2 mark in seven starts with earnings of $417,876.
Zayat Stables' Zee Zee, who must carry high weight of 122 while spotting Pure Clan six pounds, tallied in the Edgewood by 1 3/4 lengths on a course rated good. The gray Florida-bred Exchange Rate filly has won three of four grass starts with one second. Kent Desormeaux climbs aboard once again.
After a seventh-place finish in the Edgewood, Clearly Foxy rebounded with a 1 1/4-length win in an optional claiming race at 1 1/16 miles on firm Churchill going May 23. Trained by Mark Casse for owner Charles Laloggia, the Volponi filly began her career last summer with back-to-back turf victories at Woodbine, including a 3 1/2-length triumph in the one-mile Natalma (gr. IIIT).
C J's Leelee ran second to Clearly Foxy in her last start for trainer Ken McPeek after showing the way into the stretch as the 6-5 favorite. That was her first race since a runner-up finish to Pure Clan in the Golden Rod six months previously.
Allowance winner Magical Theater, a homebred owned by G. Watts Humphrey Jr., tries graded company for trainer George Arnold after winning her turf debut at Churchill going 1 1/16 miles one month ago.
$200,000 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:17 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. C J's Leelee (KY), 116, Robby Albarado
2. Clearly Foxy (KY), 118, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. Zee Zee (FL), 122, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Pure Clan (KY), 116, Julien R. Leparoux
5. Absolutely Cindy (KY), 116, Orlando Mojica
6. Magical Theater (KY), 116, Calvin H. Borel
7. Miss Mafioso (KY), 116, Jesus Lopez Castanon