Like her other five rivals, Marylou Whitney’s Tweeter never had a chance when super filly Rachel Alexandra rolled to a record-setting 20 1/4-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 1 at Churchill Downs. Tweeter, who finished 51 lengths back of the winner, should be more evenly matched this time when taking on mere mortals in the $100,000-added Dogwood Stakes (gr. III), a test for 3-year-old fillies May 30 in Louisville.
Tweeter’s main advantage may come from her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled a record five Dogwood winners in 21 runnings of the contest. But there are eight other capable challengers in the one-mile main track affair. Post time is set for 4:29 p.m. EDT.
Before the Oaks, Tweeter, by Unbridled's Song, broke her maiden impressively on the Polytrack at Keeneland April 3, going wire-to-wire under Miguel Mena in the two-turn race. Mena stays aboard the homebred, who is out of the Storm Bird mare Dear Birdie. A Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, Dear Birdie also is the dam of classic winner Birdstone, the sire of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird.
One of the capable contenders is Mary Crawford and Gerald Brown’s Slides Choice, an Ohio-bred taking on open company for the first time in her career. Assigned top weight of 119 pounds, Slides Choice has won five of six starts, including three in a row. It was less than two weeks ago that the daughter of Devil His Due won the two-turn Tomboy Stakes at River Downs by more than three lengths.
Trainer Tim Hamm has assigned Corey Lanerie to ride Slides Choice, who was bred by Crawford and Stephen Cronenwett.
Another homebred entering in fine form is Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Luster. The Touch Gold filly scored in allowance company by 6 1/4 lengths on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Day at Churchill, going wire-to-wire under Garrett Gomez as the odds-on choice. Luster broke her maiden by nine lengths at Fair Grounds in February, but was beaten by current entrant Lady’s Laughter at Keeneland on April 4. Jamie Theriot will be in the irons for Al Stall Jr.
Charles Lopresti trainee Lady's Laughter came back after her 1 1/2-length allowance score and ran fourth to Four Gifts in the Eight Belles (gr. III) on Derby Day. The Distorted Humor filly broke her maiden at Churchill in November.
Also coming out of the Eight Belles is Dave's Revenge, who ran seventh under Mike Smith. The California shipper’s lone win in eight starts came in her racing debut last August at Del Mar.
One other to consider is Steve Asmussen trainee Hightap, who ran a disappointing seventh in the Honeybee (gr. III) at Oaklawn March 15, but was impressive when breaking her maiden in January by 9 1/4 lengths and then won in allowance company the following month – both at Fair Grounds. Regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on the Tapit filly.
$100,000 Dogwood (gr. III, Race 8, 4:29 p.m.), 3-Year-Old fillies, One-Mile (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Walloon (KY), J L Castanon, 117, K G Ball
2. Hightap (KY), S Bridgmohan, 117, S M Asmussen
3. Affirmed Truth (AR), C H Borel, 117, T A Ice
4. Dave's Revenge (KY), T Farina, 117, R B Hess Jr.
5. Luster (KY), J Theriot, 117, A M Stall, Jr.
6. Slides Choice (OH), C J Lanerie, 119, T E Hamm
7. Tweeter (KY), M Mena, 117, D W Lukas
8. Perfect for You (KY), J K Court, 117, G R Arnold II
9. Lady's Laughter (KY), R Albarado, 117, C Lopresti