Trainer Rick Violette Jr. isn't just shipping Patsy Symons' Effie Trinket to Kentucky for the $300,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT) May 3 to keep Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner Samraat company. The New York-bred daughter of Freud —Maya's Note, by Editor's Note, is going to take a lot of beating in the one-mile grass race, based on her consistency over distances from six to nine furlongs.
In her past eight starts, Effie Trinket has registered four victories, two seconds, and two thirds facing restricted and open company. In her only start in 2014 she was a game third after leading most of the way in the Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park.
What makes Effie Trinket so dangerous is that she can beat you on the lead or from off the pace. Luis Saez, who was aboard for her past two victories, will be back up and they will break from post 8 in the nine-horse field.
Just outside her in post 9 is Centre Court, who defeated Effie Trinket in the Honey Fox, but was subsequently fifth in a blanket finish in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Last year, the daughter of Smart Strike captured both the Jenny Wiley and Honey Fox.
Regular rider Julien Leparoux will ride for trainer Rusty Arnold.
There isn't much speed to run with Effie Trinket if she goes to the lead, which looks likely at this point. I'm Already Sexy has good tactical speed, and she captured the Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park last year on the front end, but tired in her next two starts, finishing out of the money. She's been freshened by trainer Wayne Catalano and could put some pressure on Effie Trinket or may try to take the track from her.
Breaking from the rail will be Tapicat, last year's Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) winner who won the Voodoo Dancer Stakes at Gulfstream in her 2014 debut. She next finished third in the Buena Vista Stakes (gr. IIT) and a solid fifth in the Honey Fox. The daughter of Tapit , trained by Bill Mott, is reunited with Joel Rosario, who rode her in the Voodoo Dancer.
Another filly making her first start of the year is Richard and Bertram Klein's Miz Ida, who could be tough on her best day. The 5-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen hasn't run since finishing second in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs in November.
Rounding out the field are Ready Signal, winner of the Power Break Stakes at Gulfstream last time out; Coffee Clique, an allowance/optional claiming winner in her most recent start; Dame Marie, who has been racing mostly in allowance/optional/claimers; and Absolute Crackers, who has a win and second in her last two starts in allowance company,
$300,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile, Gr. III, 4-year-olds fillies and mares, turf, 6th race
1--Tapicat (Ky), J. Rosario, W. Mott
2--Coffee Clique (Ky), J. Castellano, B. Lynch
3--Miz Ida (Ky), S. Bridgmohan, S. Margolis
4--Dame Marie (Ky), I Ortiz, E. Kennealy
5--Absolute Crackers (IRE), A Garcia, G. Motion
6--I'm Already Sexy, F. Geroux, W. Catalano
7--Ready Signal (Ky), J. Bravo, A. Tarant
8--Effie Trinket (NY), L, Saez, R. Violette
9--Centre Court (Ky), J. Leparoux, G.R. Arnold