Spring in the Air takes on nine in the Chilukki Stakes Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs.

Spring in the Air takes on nine in the Chilukki Stakes Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs.

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Spring in the Air Seeks Milestone in Chilukki

Grade I winner can surpass $1 million in career earnings at Churchill Downs Nov. 1.

John C. Oxley's Spring in the Air, a grade I winner at 2 and a consistent player in graded stakes events in her two subsequent seasons of racing, will bid for millionaire status when she takes on nine rivals in the $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs.

The Chilukki, race 9 on the Saturday card, is for fillies and mares ages 3 and up at one mile.

But the task for the Mark Casse-trained filly will be challenging as her rivals include multiple graded-stakes winner Molly Morgan, the 5-2 favorite in the morning line odds, and experienced graded stakes competitors My Happy Face, My Option, Street Girl, and Honey Hues.

The Chilukki is the featured event on a 10-race live racing program on the second of two days of competition in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.

The shining moment in the career of Spring in the Air, who is the Chilukki's 7-2 second choice, came in the autumn of her juvenile season when she rallied from 10th to win the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) over the former Polytrack course at Keeneland. She followed that triumph with a fifth-place finish behind eventual 2-year-old filly champion Beholder in the 2012 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita, her only start over a dirt course in 17 career races.

Spring in the Air will seek her fifth career victory and her second stakes win of the year in the Chilukki. The Ontario, Canada-bred daughter of Spring At Last finished third to Leigh Court in the Seaway (gr. III) at Woodbine to move her close to $1 million in career earnings. She brings a record of 4-6-2 in her 17 outings and a bankroll of $913,032 into the Chilukki.

Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Spring in the Air, who drew post 3 and will carry 121 pounds.

The primary obstacle to Spring in the Air's move to a loftier financial status could be Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan, who upset grade I winner On Fire Baby in Churchill Downs' Fleur De Lis Handicap (gr. II) in June after running second to that rival in the grade I La Troienne on Kentucky Oaks day. The Dale Romans-trained daughter of Ghostzapper  also won the Gardenia (gr. III) at Ellis Park and finished a good third to 2013 Chilukki winner Don't Tell Sophia in her most recent start in Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I).

Molly Morgan is a "horse for the course" at Churchill Downs with record of 4-3-1 in 11 races at the Louisville track. Her career record stands 6-4-6 in 25 races and she has earned $522,163. Romans' filly will shoulder high weight of 123 pounds under jockey Corey Lanerie.

Possible threats to the top pair in the Chilukki include Michael Dubb and Rockingham Ranch's My Happy Face, the Peter Miller-trained runner-up to Princess of Sylmar in the 2013 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and a close third Sweet Lulu in the Test (gr. I) at Saratoga; WinStar Farm's Street Girl, runner-up to the recently retired Midnight Lucky in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill for trainer Todd Pletcher; and L T B Inc. and Miles Childers' Honey Hues, winner of the Early Times Mint Julep (gr. III) on the Churchill Downs turf for veteran trainer Bernie Flint.

Entries: Chilukki S. (G2)

Churchill Downs, Saturday, November 01, 2014, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 7:25 PM (local)
11Street Girl (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCalvin H. Borel121Todd A. Pletcher-
22Call Pat (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.121Martin D. Wolfson-
33Spring in the Air (ON)Shaun Bridgmohan121Mark E. Casse-
44My Happy Face (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlan Garcia121Peter Miller-
55Drama Drama (KY)Channing Hill121Victoria H. Oliver-
66Anahauc (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChris Landeros121Bernard S. Flint-
77Honey Hues (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJesus Lopez Castanon121Bernard S. Flint-
88Molly Morgan (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie123Dale L. Romans-
99Enchanting Lisa (KY)Robby Albarado121Charles Lopresti-
1010My Option (IL)Eduardo E. Perez121Chris M. Block-