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Watsdachances Headlines Appalachian Stakes

Irish-bred lass makes first start since running second in BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Watsdachances makes her first start since finishing second in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) in the $100,000 Appalachian Stakes Presented by the Japan Racing Association April 18 at Keeneland.

The Irish-bred from the Chad Brown barn headlines the one-mile turf test, which attracted a field of 10 sophomore fillies. The Appalachian is the eighth on a nine-race card at the Lexington track, and has a scheduled post time of 4:42 p.m. EDT.

Michael E. Kisber, Bradley Thoroughbreds (Peter Bradley), and Nelson McMakin own Watsdachances, winner of the P.G. Johnson and Miss Grillo (gr. III) stakes in New York last year after beginning her career in her native Ireland. In the one-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, the bay daughter of Diamond Green came from off the pace with a four-wide rally to miss by 1 1/4 lengths to the victorious Flotilla.

Watsdachances has won three of five lifetime races with one second and one third while earning $344,582.

Javier Castellano, who has ridden Watsdachances in all of her U.S. races, is back aboard the 123-pound highweight. They will break from post 4. 



MOST WINS BY A JOCKEY: Pat Day 4. Active - John Velazquez 3.

MOST WINS BY A TRAINER: Michael Stidham 2, Bill Mott 2, Todd Pletcher 2.

BIGGEST LONGSHOT WINNER: Afternoon Stroll (2009) Paid $102.60 to win.

FASTEST TIME: Halo River (1998), 1:34.80.

FACTOIDS: 11/1 Halo River (Craig Perret) took the 1998 Appalachian by a nose over 5/1 Adel (Jerry Bailey). It was Halo River's third and final win of her career.

Compiled by Gary Dougherty

Midnight Ballet, a daughter of Midnight Lute  trained by Thomas Proctor, is the other stakes winner in the field; she took the Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park last November. Midnight Ballet completed her 2-year-old campaign with a fifth-place showing in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I). Both of those races were on Cushion Track.

In her lone start this year, the dark bay filly ran a no-threat seventh after being parked wide early in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Gary Stevens retains the mount on the Stoneway Farm filly, a two-time winner from four races. Midnight Ballet will wear blinkers for the first time.

French-bred To My Valentine missed by a head to Gator Zone when second in the Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds Mach 2. It was her second U.S. start for trainer Wesley Ward, who conditions the Dyhim Diamond miss for Dave Reid's Ice Wine Stable. In eight career starts, the chestnut filly has finished in the money six times. Corey Nakatani has the call.

Third-place LaCombe finisher Overheard is also in the Appalachian field. Rosie Napravnik has the mount on the Pin Oak Stable homebred for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Rusty Slipper, trained by Graham Motion for Zanim R. Meahjohn, rallied mildly for fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 2.

$100,000 Appalachian Stakes Presented by the Japan Racing Association (gr. IIIT), 3YO Fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Rutherford Rd (ON), L Contreras, 118, M J Doyle
2. Unbelievable Dream (NY), J Rosario, 118, B Tagg
3. Midnight Ballet (KY), G L Stevens, 120, T F Proctor
4. Watsdachances (IRE), J Castellano, 123, C C Brown
5. Overheard (KY), R Napravnik, 118, M Pierce
6. Eden Prairie (KY), B J Hernandez Jr., 118, N L Pessin
7. Rusty Slipper (KY), E S Prado, 118, H G Motion
8. To My Valentine (FR), C S Nakatani, 118, W A Ward
9. Fadeintoinfinity (GB), K J Desormeaux, 118, D Blacker
10. Bethany Belle (KY), F Geroux, 118, A M Hansen
Blinkers On: Midnight Ballet