Channel Lady was fourth last time out for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Distaff Turf Mile Presented by Longines (gr. IIT) over a good course May 4 at Churchill Downs. She will get an extra eighth of a mile to work with in the grassy All Along, which is now named for the late champion Virginia breeder and owner. The 4-year-old daughter of English Channel won the Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT) at nine furlongs Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Javier Castellano makes the trip from New York to ride Channel Lady, who is owned by James T. Scatuorchio and Jake Pletcher. The chestnut filly, who has been training at Saratoga Race Course since her most recent start, is the only graded stakes winner in the field. The Kentucky-bred filly comes into the race with four wins and two seconds from nine starts and will break from post 2 in the field of seven older fillies and mares.
The All Along is the sixth race on the Colonial Downs program with a 7:10 p.m. EDT probable post. It immediately precedes the $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT) on the card.
Augustin Stable's homebred Appealing Cat was third in the 1 1/16-mile Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Preakness Stakes undercard May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, finishing four lengths behind the victorious Pianist. The 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly tries for the fourth time to nail down her first graded stakes win for trainer Graham Motion. Hall of Fame rider Edgar Prado retains the mount.
Seven-year-old Adjacent, a homebred for Stuart Janney III trained by Shug McGaughey, gets her first try in a graded event from the far outside. She shortens up after nearly wiring the 10-furlong Owsley Stakes over the inner turf at Belmont Park May 1 and figures to be on the lead from her outside post with Jose Lezcano aboard. The lightly-raced Boundary mare has a 4-3-1 mark from 10 starts.
The other speed in the field is likely to come from Ramona Bass' homebred Welcome Dance, who breaks from the rail in her first start of the year for trainer Michael Matz. The 4-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes posted a pair of front-running stakes wins on the Delaware Park turf last year but has not been out since running seventh in a division of the Valley View (gr. IIIT) over the Keeneland lawn in October.
Clare Skies Ahead makes her second start of the year for owner/breeders Steve and Debbie Jackson and trainer Flint Stiles. The 6-year-old Sky Classic mare made her seasonal debut May 26 at Monmouth Park with a fifth in the Miss Liberty Stakes over a good turf. She ran second in last year's All Along, missing by a neck to Snow Top Mountain at odds of 16-1.
Susan Cooney's Virginia homebred Embarr looks to bounce back from a sixth in the Gallorette after winning the one-mile Dahlia Stakes at Pimlico April 6.
$100,000 Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 6, 7:10 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Welcome Dance (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, M R Matz
2. Channel Lady (KY), J Castellano, 124, T A Pletcher
3. Clare Skies Ahead (KY), S Russell, 118, F W Stites
4. Embarr (VA), F Boyce, 122, S S Cooney
5. Appealing Cat (PA), E S Prado, 118, H G Motion
6. Idle Talk (KY), H Karamanos, 118, M E Eppler
7. Adjacent (KY), J Lezcano, 118, C R McGaughey III