Rumor, victorious in the Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 10, has been installed the 5-2 favorite in a field of nine fillies and mares entered in the $300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 4.
The seven-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares has been carded as the seventh race on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) program.
Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella for Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farm, and Adele Dilschneider, the 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare has won or placed in 11 of 14 starts, with six wins to her credit. In the 6 1/2-furlong Las Flores at Santa Anita Park, Rumor came from slightly off the pace to edge 4-5 favorite Teddy's Promise by half a length in a snappy time of 1:15.44.
Fifth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, Rumor broke poorly before finishing seventh in the Wishing Well Stakes on turf at Santa Anita previous to the Las Flores. Seeking her first grade I win, Rumor will again have the services of Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith.
Lining up to face Rumor are the respective first- and third-place finishers from the Inside Information Handicap at Gulfstream Park March 17.
James C. Spence's Aubby K pressed the leader before drawing off to win the seven-furlong Inside Information by three lengths. The 4-year-old daughter of Street Sense has won three of her seven starts, including a 15 1/2-length romp to break her maiden in her debut for trainer Ralph Nicks at Belmont Park in September 2011.
Emma's Encore, trained by Allen Jerkens for Brenda Mercer and Peter Berglar, made a late move from seventh to finish third in the Inside Information. The 4-year-old Congrats filly owns a record of 4-2-2 in 15 starts, including a game nose victory in the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course last year.
Rumor and Aubby K. are co-top weighted at 120 pounds in the Humana Distaff.
British-bred Byrama, who missed by a neck when second in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack at Keeneland April 13, tries dirt for the first time. Simon Callaghan trains the Southern California-based 4-year-old daughter of Byron for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
Jamaican Smoke, third in the Mdison after setting a quick pace in the seven-furlong Madison and leading by 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch, is also in the field for trainer Eddie Kenneally and Glencrest Farm. She'll be able to dictate the tempo from the rail under Julien Leparoux.
Humana Distaff (gr. I, Race 7 approx. post 2:08 p.m. EDT), fillies and mares, 4YO and up, seven furlongs, main track
1. Jamaican Smoke (KY), J. R. Leparoux, 118, E. Kenneally, 5-1
2. Rumor (KY), M. E. Smith, 120, R. E. Mandella, 5-2
3. Same Cross (KY), R. Napravnik, 118, J. L. Jones, 8-1
4. Emma's Encore (FL), J. Rocco Jr., 118, H. A. Jerkens, 8-1
5. There is No Limit (KY), M. L. Krigger, 118, D. F. O'Neill, 15-1
6. Aubby K (KY), E. S Prado, 120, R. E. Nicks, 7-2
7. Burban (KY), J. Lezcano, 118, E. Kenneally, 10-1
8. Byrama (GB), J. Rosario, 118, S. Callaghan, 5-1
9. Holiday Soiree (KY), J. Castellano, 118, T. Q. McCauley, 12-1