Sweet Talker Solid Favorite in Regret Stakes

Sweet Talker, who clearly loves the turf course at Churchill Downs, should be the solid favorite Saturday in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT).

The nine-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies drew a field of 11 vying for a share of the $200,000 purse. It is named for the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby, which Regret did in 1915.

Sweet Talker, who will break from post nine under Brice Blanc, is unbeaten in three starts over the Churchill grass. Her first ever start on the surface was last November and she went wire-to-wire to win the Caressing Handicap over a yielding course.

This spring, after running third at Keeneland in the Appalachian Stakes, Sweet Talker was sent off 7-1 in the Edgewood Stakes on Kentucky Oaks day. The daughter of Stormin Fever slipped up the hedge to win by three-quarters of a length.

Three weeks later, Sweet Talker won an allowance race at Churchill by a half-length.

All three of her grass wins at Churchill have been at 1 1/16-mile, a sixteenth shorter than she will be asked to run Saturday.

Trained by Ken McPeek, who is giving up training to become a full time bloodstock agent, Sweet Talker is owned by Eliah and Lisa Kahn.

Second choice will probably be Rich in Spirit, who ran second to Sweet Talker in the Edgwood. The daughter of Repriced needs speed to run at, which she didn't get in the Edgewood. Bred and owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, she will be ridden by Gary Stevens and break from the outside post.

It doesn't appear the extra distance will hurt Rich in Spirit's chances with her strong closing running style.

An interesting runner in the field is Congratulating, who has made only three lifetime starts but won them all impressively at Indiana Downs. Her last race was on the turf, when she won the First Lady. By Luhuk out of the Miswaki mare July Jam, she is certainly bred to like the turf.

Owned by James and Anne Michaels and trained by James Michaels, she will be ridden as she was in her last race by Pedro Monterrey.

The field, in post order, with jockey:
1. Mi Luna Nueva, Jose Santos
2. Godsend, Rafael Bejarano
3. Special Grayce, Willie Martinez
4. Insan Mala, Pat Day
5. Classy Charm, Edgar Prado
6. Ascot Dream, Mike Smith
7. Congratulating, Pedro Monterrey
8. Sweet Talker, Brice Blanc
9. Royal Bean, Mark Guidry
10, Cape Hope, Jerry Bailey
11. Rich in Spirit, Gary Stevens