Defending Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT) victress Daisy Devine is back to protect her title April 13 at Keeneland, but the 5-year-old daughter of Kafwain faces a steep question as she goes up against six stakes winners including grade I winners Better Lucky and Samitar in the 1 1/16-mile turf test.
The Jenny Wiley is one of three grade I stakes on a 12-race program highlighted by the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). It is scheduled as the ninth on the card with an approximate post time of 5:05 p.m. EDT.
Daisy Devine has won seven times on the turf for owner James Miller and trainer Andrew McKeever, including the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs
and two stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
over the winter. She heads into the Jenny Wiley off a runner-up finish by a head in the Feb. 23 Bayou Handicap while spotting the winner, Snuggs and Kisses
, 11 pounds.
Daisy Devine attempts to join Intercontinental as the only runner to win the Jenny Wiley in consecutive years; the Bobby Frankel trainee took it in 2004 and 2005. Regular rider James Graham has the mount from post 8 (for more on Daisy Devine, see The Keeneland Files
Godolphin Racing's Better Lucky, a 4-year-old Ghostzapper
filly, will make her 2013 debut after closing 2012 with a victory in the Nov. 25 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) going a mile on the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park
. Third in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland last fall, the Tom Albertrani trainee will be ridden by Eddie Castro from post 3.
Samitar, who finished a nose behind Better Lucky in the QE II, is a group I winner in Europe and also the winner of last year's Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park
. She finished 1 3/4 lengths behind Centre Court
in her season debut, the March 16 Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park
. Javier Castellano rides the 4-year-old Rock of Gibraltar
filly from post 6 for trainer Chad Brown.
Centre Court took the Honey Fox for G. Watts Humphery Jr. and trainer Rusty Arnold off a victory in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) last fall at Churchill; the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly was also runner-up by two lengths in the QE II.
Other graded stakes winners in the field are Hillsbrook Farms' Hard Not to Like
, who took the Marshua's River (gr. IIIT) earlier in the season at Gulfstream; Stud TNT's Old Tune
, with back-to-back victories in the Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) and Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs
; and Reddam Racing's Quiet Oasis
, grade II winner at Hollywood last year who came back off the layup to run third in the March 24 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park
Allowance winners Ausus
complete the field.
$300,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IT, Race 9, approximate post 5:05 p.m. EDT), fillies & mares, 4YOs & Up, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Centre Court (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 120, G R Arnold, II
2. Old Tune (BRZ), J. Rosario, 120, T A Pletcher
3. Better Lucky (KY), E. Castro, 123, T Albertrani
4. Ausus (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 118, D C Peitz
5. Quiet Oasis (IRE), M. Gutierrez, 118, B D Cecil
6. Samitar (GB), J. Castellano, 118, C C Brown
7. Abaco (KY), G.K. Gomez, 118, C R McGaughey III
8. Daisy Devine (KY), J. Graham, 120, A McKeever
9. Hard Not to Like (ON), J. Rocco, Jr., 120, M R Matz