Owned and trained by Wesley Ward, Judy the Beauty enters the Madison off a 4 3/4-length victory in her 5-year-old season debut in the Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 9 at Santa Anita Park. She defeated grade I winner Heir Kitty, who also is entered in Saturday's about seven-furlong test for fillies and mares on the Polytrack.
Judy the Beauty kept her Keeneland record perfect in October when she delivered a one-length victory in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) at six furlongs, in the process defeating Groupie Doll. Groupie Doll then turned the tables on Judy the Beauty in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, edging her by a half-length. That effort would earn Groupie Doll her second straight championship in the female sprinter division but Judy the Beauty certainly ran well.
Amazingly consistent, Judy the Beauty has hit the board in all 14 of her career starts. The daughter of Ghostzapper just missed a grade I victory when she lost by a nose to Emma's Encore in the 2012 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. At 2, she finished second in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Godolphin Racing's Better Lucky, who won the First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at the Keeneland fall meet, will be starting on a synthetic surface for the first time in her career. Like Judy the Beauty, Better Lucky is a 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper.
Another grade I winner in the field is St Elias Stable's Byrama, who won last year's Vanity Handicap (gr. I) on the Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park. Now trained by Bill Mott, Byrama finished second by a neck to longshot Last Full Measure in last year's Madison when part of the Simon Callaghan stable. The daughter of Byron enters off a close runner-up finish in the Ten Palms Stakes Feb. 23 on the turf at Gulfstream Park. That one-mile effort marked the seasonal debut for the 5-year-old mare and first start under Mott.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Apropos won a maiden race in her second career start in October 2012 at Keeneland. The 5-year-old daughter of First Samurai has opened this season with a pair of clear victories at Oaklawn Park, including a 3 1/4-length score in the American Beauty Stakes Jan. 25. Apropos earned the bullet in workouts March 22 at Fair Grounds and April 7 at Keeneland when she breezed four furlongs in :46 2/5 on the Polytrack, fastest of 47 at the distance.
Starting from the outside post in the field of nine will be Lothenbach Stables' Eden Prairie, who finished a close second in the Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 19 at Keeneland. The Raven Run also is contested at the about seven-furlong distance.
Southern California-based Heir Kitty is scheduled to make her first Kentucky start Saturday off the runner-up finish in the Las Flores. The 4-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir closed out last season with a clear victory in the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. David Bernsen and Paul Makin's Heir Kitty has two wins and two seconds in six career starts on synthetic surfaces.
$300,000 Madison Stakes (gr. I, race 9, approximate post time 4:42 p.m. EDT) F&M, 3YO&Up, about 7F
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Saturday Nthe Park (KY), S. Elliott, 118, T. McCauley, 30-1
2. Apropos (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 120, A. Stall Jr., 4-1
3. Heir Kitty (FL), C. Nakatani, 123, P. Miller, 15-1
4. Judy the Beauty (ON), J. Velazquez, 120, 8-5
5. Wildcat Lily (FL), I. Ortiz Jr., 118, M. Azpurua, 12-1
6. Better Lucky (KY), J. Castellano, 120, T. Albertrani, 3-1
7. Byrama (GB), J. Lezcano, 118, W. Mott, 6-1
8. Cozze Up Lady (KY), R. Napravnik, 118, W. Calhoun, 20-1
9. Eden Prairie (KY), R. Albarado, 118, N. Pessin, 10-1