The Bret Calhoun-trained trio of Beat the Blues, Speedacious, and Gleaming highlight a field of eight fillies and mares entered for the June 2 Winning Colors (gr. III) to be run under the lights at Churchill Downs.
The $100,000 Winning Colors, named in honor of the most recent filly to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in 1988, will be co-featured June 2 with the Aristides (gr. III) and the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. III). Part of the Downs After Dark program, the Winning Colors will be contested at six furlongs.
Calhoun, Martin Racing Stable, and Dan Morgan teamed to win back-to-back runnings of the Winning Colors in 2009-10 with Dubai Majesty, who was named champion female sprinter in 2010.
This year, the duo of Calhoun and Martin Racing Stable will send out Beat the Blues, who was beaten just a neck by Sassy Image in last year’s Winning Colors.
Beat the Blues, a bay daughter of Great Pyramid—Imtheblues, by Pentellicus, was also runner-up in the 2011 Honorable Miss (gr. II) at Saratoga.
The bay mare finished sixth in her 5-year-old debut in the Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint, but bounced back to win the listed Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in her most recent start. Beat the Blues will break from post 3 under jockey Miguel Mena.
Bred in Florida by Edward Pendray, B.K. Pendray, William Murphy, and Annabel Murphy, Beat the Blues holds a record of 9-3-2 from 18 starts, for earnings of $370,114.
Carl R. Moore Management’s Speedacious already has recorded one win under the lights at Churchill Downs this spring when the 5-year-old bay daughter of Yankee Gentleman took an allowance optional claiming race there April 28.
Speedacious, a seven-time stakes winner, enters the Winning Colors off a five-race win streak and will break from post 8 under Brian Hernandez Jr. Among her 2012 victories are the Feb. 4 Louisiana-bred Premier Night Matron Stakes at Delta Downs and the March 24 Happy Ticket Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Bred in Louisiana by Elm Tree Farm, Speedacious is out of the Rahy mare Blushing Trish. She holds a record of 11-2-4 from 21 starts and has banked $531,434.
Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Gleaming finished third in her most recent start to stablemate Beat the Blues in the Carousel. Prior to that, the 5-year-old chestnut daughter of Dehere—Cupid’s Comet, by End Sweep recorded wins in the American Beauty and Spring Fever at Oaklawn Park. She will break from post 2 under jockey Calvin Borel.
Bred in Oklahoma by John James Revocable Trust, Gleaming enters the Winning Colors with a record of 8-3-3 from 16 starts and earnings of $286,066.
A top challenger to the Calhoun trio is Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein’s Good Deed, runner-up in the Eight Belles (gr. III) on Kentucky Oaks Day to Contested, the runaway winner of Belmont Park’s Acorn (gr. I) on Memorial Day. Good Deed is one of two 3-year-olds entered in the Winning Colors and will attempt to become the first of her age group to win the race.
Trainer Steve Margolis said there are a number of reasons Good Deed will face her elders for the first time June 2.
“We’re here on our track and the timing is good,” Margolis said. “There really weren’t a lot of other options. She’s had a couple of good races over this track and the distance is right.”
Good Deed will break from the rail Saturday under Shaun Bridgmohan. It will be the fourth time in her eighth career start the 3-year-old bay daughter of Broken Vow will break from the inside post.
“She’s won from the rail before,” Margolis said. “She’s going to break well and put herself into the race, but she doesn’t need to be on the lead. We’ll just have to see how it goes when they break and let Shaun make the decision.”
Good Deed’s second in the Eight Belles was flattered by Contested’s Memorial Day win in the Acorn.
“She (Contested) is a very good horse and looks like she’s a very tough sprinter,” Margolis said.
Good Deed will break from the rail under Shaun Bridgmohan, the leading rider of the spring meet. Page Springs is the other 3-year-old filly who will face her elders in the Winning Colors.
$100,000 Winning Colors (gr. III), Fillies and mares, 3 years old and up, six furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Good Deed, S Bridgmohan, 116
2. Gleaming, C Borel, 120
3. Beat the Blues, M Mena, 120
4. Honey Chile, C Lanerie, 120
5. Page Springs, M Cruz, 116
6. Island Bound, L Goncalves, 120
7. Fortune Play, R Vazquez, 120
8. Speedacious, B Hernandez Jr., 122