Criminologist is the lone graded stakes winner in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Churchill Downs.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order Criminologist Photo</a>

Criminologist is the lone graded stakes winner in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Churchill Downs.
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Coglianese Photos

Criminologist Seeks Fourth Straight

A field of eight is entered for the Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 17.

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable homebred Criminologist searches for her sixth victory of the campaign and fourth in a row as she battles seven contenders in the $150,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf Nov. 17.

The Cardinal is a 1 1/8-mile test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

Criminologist is the only runner in the field with a graded stakes victory under her belt. The 4-year-old daughter of Maria's Monearned that honor by scoring by 4 ½ lengths in her most recent start, the Oct. 13 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont. It was her sixth win in 14 lifetime starts.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Criminologist is five-for-eight in 2007, including a win two starts ago in the Aug. 29 Perfect Sting Stakes at Saratoga. Out of the Seeking the Goldmare Search Party, she likes to stalk the pace.

John Velazquez, who rode Criminologist for the first time in the Athenia, has the riding assignment again. They will leave from post 4 and carry 119 pounds.

Although she has not won a race since March 2005, Irish-bred Argentina will carry the top weight of 120 pounds. The 5-year-old Sadler's Wells mare has faced grade I competition in her last five starts, including the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, in which she was a distant ninth.

Trained by Bobby Frankel, Argentina has started three times in 2007, her best effort coming July 28 in the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga. She was second, only three-quarters of a length behind My Typhoon.

Argentina, owned by Stonerside Stable, began her career in Europe, coming to the U.S. in the spring of 2006. She is winless in nine starts on American soil. Julien Leparoux will ride for the first time.

Harvey and Nancy Vanier’s Illinois homebred Love Handles will surely draw some betting interest, based on her last sixth performances, which have included nothing worse than a second place finish. A 4-year-old filly by Sahm, Love Handles won her first stakes two starts ago, taking the Sept. 15 Illinois Owners by a half length at Arlington Park.

Rene Douglas will ride Love Handles, who has never tried graded stakes competition.

Jade Queen, leaving from the rail under Robby Albarado, appears to be the early speed of the race.

Rounding out the field are Mama I’m Home, Nottawasaga, Bicoastal and Candy Ball.

$150,000 Cardinal Handicap(gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:37 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Jade Queen (KY), 117, Robby Albarado
2. Mama I'm Home (FL), 113, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. Nottawasaga (KY), 115, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Criminologist (KY), 119, John R. Velazquez
5. Bicoastal (KY), 111, Larry Melancon
6. Argentina (IRE), 120, Julien R. Leparoux
7. Candy Ball (KY), 115, Corey J. Lanerie
8. Love Handles (IL), 115, Rene R. Douglas