Coup won the Hilltop Stakes by a length on May 18.

Coup won the Hilltop Stakes by a length on May 18.

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

Coup One to Catch in Regret

Daughter of Empire Maker has top stakes experience in field of 11 3-year-old fillies.

Coup, a one-length winner of the Hilltop Stakes on the Preakness day undercard at Pimlico Race Course May 19, is the one to beat in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.

The Regret, for 3-year-old fillies at nine furlongs on the turf, is race 6 (8:30 p.m. post) on a stakes-laden night program under Twin Spires.

Coup, bred and raced by George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, is the lone stakes winner in the 11-horse cast. By Empire Maker  out of the New Zealand-bred mare French Lady (by Entrepreneur), Coup broke her maiden in late January  over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park after running second on the turf in a maiden special weight contest there Dec. 30. Given time off, she resurfaced at Pimlico, not far from trainer Graham Motion’s base at the Fair Hill Training Center, and won the 1 1/16-mile turf race by a length in 1:42.71.

She will again be ridden by John Velazquez, hot off an induction notice to racing’s Hall of Fame and a win aboard Union Rags  in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). She will break from post 7. All of the 3-year-old runners will carry 118 pounds.

The Al Stall-trained Treasured Up and James Baker-trained Heart of Destiny are among the few others in the cast with any stakes experience.

Treasured Up, a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro , ran fourth in the Edgewood Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the Churchill turf course on Kentucky Oaks day. Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, the dark bay or brown filly races for Spendthrift Farm and was a $450,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale yearling. She broke her maiden at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in late February on the turf, then stormed from off the pace to win a two-turn allowance on Keeneland’s Polytrack April 14 prior to her start in Louisville.

Fifth in the Edgewood was Lally  Stable’s Dame Marie. The daughter of Smart Strike won her first two starts at Gulfstream Park this winter for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

Heart of Destiny, a Hurstland Farm and James H. Greene Jr. homebred daughter of Lion Heart ran a solid second at 2 in the two-turn Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland last fall. The winner of the Alcibiades, Stephanie's Kitten, went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) and the Edgewood. Heart of Destiny also ran fourth on the Polytrack in Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (gr. I).

There are several fillies in the field off sharp entry-level allowance wins, making handicapping the field all the more difficult.

John Oxley’s Funny Proposition is an interesting proposition off her 2 1/2-length win in a turf allowance optional claiming race on Oaks day at Churchill Downs. The runner-up in that field, Uptown Bertie, came back to win June 7. Funny Proposition, bred by Russell L. Reinemann Stables, was a $275,000 Saratoga sale yearling.

Skara Glen Stables, W.S. Farish, and George Prussin’s Colonial Flag scored impressively at Belmont Park at nine furlongs on the turf May 13. A half sister to 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Shared Account, Colonial Flag will break from post 3 under Julian Leparoux for trainer Michael Matz.

Al and Sandra Kirkwood’s Silver Hustler topped Heart of Destiny last time out, winning at Churchill May 17 in her turf debut.

G. Watt Humphrey and Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust’s Centre Court comes in off a maiden win over the track at the Regret distance May 19. By Smart Strike, Centre Court is out of the A.P. Indy mare Let, winner of the 1999 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr. IIT) and a half sister to 2002 Japan Cup Dirt (Jp-I) winner Eagle Café.

$100,000 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 6, 8:30 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)

PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1, Singn On Themoon, G. Saez, M. Hubley
2, Centre Court, J. Castellano, G. Arnold II
3, Colonial Flag, J. Leparoux, M. Matz
4, Treasured Up, R. Napravnik, A. Stall Jr.
5, Silver Hustler, C. Nakatani, G. Forster
6, Zapper Belle, C. Hill, D. Peitz
7, Coup, J. Velazquez, G. Motion
8, Dame Marie, C. Lanerie, E. Kenneally
9, Left a Message, S. Sellers, T. Proctor
10, Heart of Destiny, S. Bridgmohan, J. Baker
11, Funny Proposition, M. Mena, M. Casse