Istanford, one of three graded stakes winners in the field, will tote high weight of 120 pounds going nine furlongs on grass in the $100,000 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs June 14.
The daughter of Istan won the 1 1/16-mile Arlington Classic (gr. IIIT) in front-running fashion May 24 following a runner-up showing behind Regret contender A Little Bit Sassy in the Edgewood Stakes May 2 over the Churchill lawn. Istanford, who has run first or second in five of her eight lifetime starts, also finished second in the Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs in March.
A Little Bit Sassy stalked Istanford in the Edgewood before taking over in crunch time to win by 1 1/4 lengths. She finished second to Recepta in the Chelsea Flower at Belmont Park last October in her only other stakes try and looks to be on the improve.
Tepin will try turf for the first time in the Regret. She won the Delta Princess (gr. III) at Delta Downs last fall but in her first race of 2014 gave way in the Miss Preakness Stakes and finished eighth of nine after being bumped at the start.
The other graded winner in the field is Aurelia's Belle, victor of the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) on the Turfway Park Polytrack in March. Sent from there to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Aurelia's Belle failed to fire and finished ninth, her only off-the-board performance in six lifetime starts. The Lemon Drop Kid filly was second in the Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park and third in both the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) and Old Hat Stakes (gr. III). The Regret will mark her first time on the turf.
Kiss Moon is another who was pitched too high in the Kentucky Oaks, finishing 12th. She missed in the Fantasy Stakes (gr. III) by a half length to Sugar Shack and was fourth behind that one in the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) as well. V V Goodnight, fourth in the Edgewood, has a turf victory in an allowance/optional claimer at Tampa Bay, one of two turf wins for her.
Personal Diary was stakes-placed on the Kentucky Downs lawn last fall but hasn't won since breaking her maiden in her first start last August. She has been competitive in allowance company on the grass at Churchill and Keeneland in her last two starts, both fourths.
Stellaris enters the Regret off a 7 3/4-length thrashing of an allowance/optional claiming field at Arlington Park May 15. The lightly raced filly will be making just her fourth lifetime start.
Share the Sugar scored a sweet win last out over the Churchill turf, winning a one-mile allowance heat. She likes to do her running from off the pace and is also making her fourth career appearance.
Handmade was also a last-out winner at Churchill, but on the main track. The Regret will be her first lawn attempt. She has been first or second in five of seven career starts.
Regret Stakes, $100,000, 1 1/8 miles on grass, 3 year old fillies, Churchill Downs Race 9, post 10:11 p.m. EDT
Post Position (jockey, weight) (trainer)
1) Kiss Moon (Corey Lanerie, 118) (David Vance)
2) Tepin (Miguel Mena, 118) (Mark Casse)
3) V V Goodnight (Rosie Napravnik, 118) (Tom Proctor)
4) A Little Bit Sassy (Luis Saez, 118) (Michael Matz)
5) Personal Diary (Irad Ortiz Jr., 118) (Victoria Oliver)
6) Aurelia's Belle (John Velazquez, 118) (Wayne Catalano)
7) Istanford (James Graham, 120) (Michael Stidham)
8) Stellaris (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118) (Michael Stidham)
9) Share the Sugar (Julien Leparoux, 118) (Ken McPeek)
10) Handmade (Robby Albarado, 118) (Neil Howard)