Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

Acoma Seeks Repeat in Churchill's Mint Julep

5-year-old mare will be making 2010 debut in June 5 turf race.

Helen Alexander and Helen Groves’ Acoma will make her 2010 debut June 5 as the 5-year-old mare attempts to defend her title in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.

Trained by David Carroll, Acoma will seek to become only the second repeat winner of the Mint Julep, being renewed for the 34th time this year. Megans Bluff, winner of the race in 2001-02, is the only two-time winner of the 1 1/16-mile grass test.

"She is doing very well and we are eager to get her started back," Carroll said of the mare, whose last race was a victory in Churchill Downs’ Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) last November. Acoma has won all five of her Churchill Downs outings and is undefeated in three starts over the track’s Matt Winn turf course.

Acoma will have jockey Corey Lanerie aboard as the 122-pound top weight among nine fillies and mares entered in the Mint Julep.

Sharing second highweight of 120 pounds are Barbara Hunter’s Keertana and Nelson McMakin’s Hot Cha Cha. Trained by Tom Proctor, Keertana also has three wins on turf at Churchill Downs, including he Regret Handicap (gr. IIIT) last summer. Trained by Phil Sims, Hot Cha Cha was third in the Regret last year and went on to win the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland.

Two other graded stakes winners are in the field: Derby Daze Farm, Mark Hoffman and Earl Trostrud’s Hooh Why, who took the Central Bank Ashland (gr. I) in 2009 at Keeneland, and Joseph Allen’s Danzon, who won the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) at Turfway Park in 2007.

$100,000 Early Times Mint Julep H. (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:29 p.m.), Fillies And Mares, 3YO & Up, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hooh Why (FL), E T Baird, 116, M L Reavis
2. Grande Annee (KY), S Bridgmohan, 113, N J Howard
3. Danzon (KY), L R Goncalves, 115, K Gorder
4. My Baby Baby (KY), F C Torres, 116, K G McPeek
5. Hot Cha Cha (KY), J Graham, 120, P A Sims
6. Acoma (KY), C J Lanerie, 122, D M Carroll
7. Keertana (KY), J K Court, 120, T F Proctor
8. Winter’s Circle (KY), R D Shaw, 107, R J Bugge
9. Absolutely Cindy (KY), O Mojica, 113, R K Kinmon