Adoration Invades for Fleur de Lis Handicap

Multiple grade I winner Adoration leaves the friendly confines of Southern California to face a strong field in Saturday's $400,000-added Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/8-mile Fleur de Lis for fillies and mares is one of the six stakes races on "Stephen Foster Super Saturday." It is carded as the eighth race on the program.

Adoration, who won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at odds of 40-1 in October, proved that was no fluke when taking the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I), also at Santa Anita, in March. She finished second as the 4-5 choice in her most recent start, the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) May 9 at Hollywood Park.

The 5-year-old David Hofmans-trained mare carries 122 pounds, two more than Bare Necessities, in the nine-horse field. Victor Espinoza rides the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The Fleur de Lis lost one of its major stars last week when Lead Story, the Carl Nafzger-trained winner of the Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, suffered a career-ending ankle
injury.  But Nafzger will be represented by a more than able substitute in Lothenbach Stable's Mayo On the Side.

Mayo On the Side, who vanquished the great Azeri in a stirring head-to-head duel in the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) in her last start at Churchill Downs on May 1, returns to action for trainer Carl Nafzger. However Robby Albarado will replace Pat Day, who was aboard for the upset.

Bare Necessities, recently transferred to Frank Kirby's Arlington Park stable from Wally Dollase, was beaten by a head in her last start, the Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) as the 1-5 choice. Rene Douglas, who rode her in that race, returns to ride again. Bare Necessities was a close second to Star Parade in Santa Anita's Santa Maria (gr. I) -- a race in which Adoration finished fourth. 

Yell, ridden by Day for trainer Shug McGaughey, was third to Ema Bovary in the 6 1/2-furlong Vinery Madison Stakes at Keeneland April 7. She stretches out in the Fleur de Lis.

Jerry Bailey will ride Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion, a narrow third to Storm Flag Flying in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park May 15 in her last start.

The Bob Baffert-trained Cat Fighter, third in the Human Distaff, also looms as a contender.

Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II, 4:43 ET), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/8 mile
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Adoration (KY), Victor Espinoza, 122, 5/2
2. Yell (KY), Pat Day, 115, 7/2
3. Roar Emotion (KY), Jerry D. Bailey, 115, 6/1
4. Angela's Love (MD), Mark Guidry, 113, 30/1
5. Miss Fortunate (KY), Larry Melancon, 112, 20/1
6. Mayo On the Side (KY), Robby Albarado, 116, 4/1
7. Cat Fighter (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 115, 10/1
8. Bare Necessities (KY), Rene R. Douglas, 120, 3/1
9. La Reason (KY), John McKee, 110, 30/1