Freedom Star, seeking her first win since taking the Iowa Distaff in June, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $150,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, the race that wraps up the final day of the Breeders' Cup program Nov. 5.
The one-turn mile test for fillies and mares on the main track follows the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). It is the 12th race on the long card with a probable post of 7:40 p.m. EDT.
Trained by Tom Proctor for owner George Krikorian, front-running Freedom Star is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Mari Hulman George Stakes at Hoosier Park Oct. 1. The 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry has started just three times in 2011 and will be making her first appearance at Churchill. She captured the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park in 2010.
Julien Leparoux will guide the bay mare from post 2 in the field of nine.
Ailalea and Buckleupbuttercup, a pair of previous grade III winners at Churchill, are also part of the field.
Buckleupbuttercup, winner of the Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) last year, is undefeated in three starts at Churchill Downs. Trained by Eddie Kenneally for Avalon Farms, Buckleupbuttercup last raced in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sept. 24, finishing sixth. Pegged at 4-1 on the morning line, she will break from post 3 under Javier Castellano.
Starlight Partners’ Ailalea, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs last year after running fifth in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). John Velazquez will have the mount on Ailalea, who is 8-1 on the morning line after a wide sixth-place effort in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 24. She will race with blinkers.
Dual graded stakes winner May Day Rose drew the far outside post for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Kaleem Shah. The speedy 3-year-old daughter of Rockport Harbor set the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Remington Park Oaks Oct. 16 but just failed to last and finished a close third. Martin Garcia take over on the 4-1 chance, winner of the Railbird Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park in May.
Briland Farm's Absinthe Minded (9-2) looks to end an eight-race losing skid since she tallied by four lengths in the Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn in February. Breaking from the rail with Robby Albarado aboard, the 4-year-old Quiet American filly figures to be pushing what shapes up as a quick pace for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
$150,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II, Race 12, 7:40 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Absinthe Minded (KY), R Albarado, 120, D W Lukas, 9/2
2. Freedom Star (KY), J R Leparoux, 120, T F Proctor, 3/1
3. Buckleupbuttercup (KY), J Castellano, 120, E Kenneally, 4/1
4. Ailalea (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher, 8/1
5. Maristar (KY), R Maragh, 120, G A Butler, 10/1
6. Lacie Slew (KY), P Lopez, 120, P R Walder, 12/1
7. Persuading (KY), R Bejarano, 120, D L Romans, 10/1
8. Anunciata (PER), R A Dominguez, 120, M R Matz, 10/1
9. May Day Rose (FL), M Garcia, 117, B Baffert, 4/1
Blinkers On: Ailalea