Informed Decision, coming off a thrilling victory over Ventura in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, will bring a three-race winning streak into the $300,000 Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 2.
The Humana Distaff, for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on the main track, is one of three grade I events on a program headed by the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Trained by Jonathan Sheppard for George Strawbridge Jr.'s Augustin Stable, the 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos carries high weight of 124 pounds in a field of nine.
Informed Decision, making her seasonal debut, caught odds-on choice Ventura in a heart-pounding finish at the wire to win the seven-furlong Madison by a head over Keeneland's Polytrack April 19. She signaled her fondness for the synthetic track when she captured the Raven Run (gr. II), also at seven furlongs, by 4 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last fall to conclude her sophomore campaign. She began her current streak with a victory in a Belmont Park overnight stakes on the dirt in September.
The gray Kentucky-bred filly has done little wrong in her eight-race career, winning six times while compiling earnings of $522,587. Julien Leparoux takes the mount on Informed Decision for the first time, replacing John Velazquez.
Game Face, trained by Todd Pletcher, and the Ronny Werner-conditioned Secret Gypsy are both coming off grade II victories.
Zabeel Racing International's Game Face has won three of her past four starts, capturing the seven-furlong Inside Information (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths as the odds-on favorite in her most recent try March 15 at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old daughter of Menifee also won the First Lady (gr. III) in January as she dominated the filly sprint division in South Florida.
Game Face has not been out of the money in 11 lifetime starts while winning six times and earning $468,834. Garrett Gomez rides her for the first time, and they will break from the far outside post.
Secret Gypsy carries a three-race win streak into the Humana Distaff for owners Richland Hills and John Kuehl, most recently taking Aqueduct's six-furlong Distaff Handicap (gr. II) by 1 1/4 lengths March 21. The 4-year-old Sea of Secrets filly could dictate the pace for Robby Albarado.
Royale Michele won the Barbara Fritchie (gr. II) in a 10-1 upset at Laurel Park Feb 14 before her four-race win streak for trainer Matthew Kintz was snapped with a third-place finish behind Secret Gypsy in the Distaff Handicap. She was nosed for second in that race by Distorted Passion.
Grade III winner Bear Now and Dubai Majesty, third and fourth, respectively, behind Informed Decision in the Madison, are also part of a deep Humana Distaff field.
$300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I, Race 9, 3:57 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Tiz to Dream (KY), 118, Calvin H. Borel
2. Dubai Majesty (FL), 118, Kent J. Desormeaux
3. Informed Decision (KY), 124, Julien R. Leparoux
4. Bear Now (KY), 118, Jamie Theriot
5. Secret Gypsy (KY), 122, Robby Albarado
6. Temple Street (KY), 118, Jon K. Court
7. Royale Michele (KY), 122, Rafael Bejarano
8. Modification (KY), 118, Corey S. Nakatani
9. Game Face (KY), 122, Garrett K. Gomez