Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Miz Ida returns to the site of her latest victory in the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 9 at Churchill Downs. She is one of 10 entered for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
A two-time grade III winner, the 4-year-old Proud Citizen filly returned from a brief respite in the Oct. 5 First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland, where she ran fourth behind Better Lucky, Dayatthespa, and Daisy Devine over yielding turf in a torrential downpour.
Miz Ida was sixth in the Aug. 24 Ketel One Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course and runner-up by half a length to fellow Cardinal contender Somali Lemonade seven weeks earlier in the Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Parx Racing. She traces her last victory back to the June 8 Mint Julep, taken by 1 1/4 lengths over Daisy Devine. She is also the winner of the Valley View (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland last fall for the Estate of Elaine and Bertram Klein.
Trainer Steve Margolis will give a leg up to Shaun Bridgmohan to depart post 5; Miz Ida carries 118 pounds.
Co-highweights in the field are Somali Lemonade and Solid Appeal, both assigned imposts of 119. Somali Lemonade, a 4-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid , leaves post 7 under Julien Leparoux, while Solid Appeal, a 4-year-old by Successful Appeal , drew post 6 with Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons.
Somali Lemonade won the James Penny at Parx July 2 for her most recent success for owner Caroline Forgason; she was fifth in the Ballston Spa and sixth in the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 28 for trainer Michael Matz.
Solid Appeal strung together back-to-back grade II victories at Woodbine earlier this year, taking the Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) and the Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) in May and July for owners Susan and Jim Hill. But the Reade Baker trainee failed to step up at Arlington Park Aug. 24 when she ran sixth in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT), and she did no better returning to Woodbine with an eighth in the Sept. 15 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT).
One of interest in this spot is Phipps Stable's homebred Abaco, a 5-year-old Giant's Causeway mare trained by Hall of Fame horseman Shug McGaughey. Late-closing runner-up to Pianist in the Oct. 12 Athenia Stakes (gr. IIIT), she still seeks her first graded win but seems to be on the improve. Rosie Napravnik rides from post 8 as part of a 116-pound assignment.
Trainer Larry Jones also has a live one in grade III winner Starstruck, who comes off a fourth in the Sept. 28 Rodeo Drive Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park. Prior to that, the Irish-bred 4-year-old Galileo filly won the July 28 Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park in her graded stakes debut. The Rodeo Drive was her first attempt at grade I company for Calumet Farm. Robby Albarado rides from post 2.
Susan Cooney's Embarr, Carl Pollard and Earl Reed's Soft Whisper, Elm Racing's Street of Gold, Robert Cudney's My Perfect Ten, and G. Watts Humphrey and St. George Racing's Rare Event complete the field.
$100,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, approximate post 4:06 p.m. EST), fillies & mares, 3YOs & Up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Embarr (VA), C. Hill, 115, S S Cooney
2. Starstruck (IRE), R. Albarado, 118, J L Jones
3. Soft Whisper (KY), C.J. Lanerie, 115, D R Vance
4. Street of Gold (KY), N. Arroyo, Jr., 111, P J McGee
5. Miz Ida (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 118, S Margolis
6. Solid Appeal (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 119, R Baker
7. Somali Lemonade (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 119, M R Matz
8. Abaco (KY), R. Napravnik, 116, C R McGaughey, III
9. My Perfect Ten (KY), B.J. Hernandez, Jr., 114, S S Lyster
10. Rare Event (KY), J.K. Court, 114, V H Oliver