Distaff Rematch Looms at Churchill Downs

The one-two finishers in the Breeders' Cup Distaff are scheduled to meet again Thanksgiving Day in the grade III Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile, $250,000 event for fillies and mares could have Eclipse Award implications.

Churchill Downs officials reported Tuesday that trainer Dallas Stewart confirmed that Roger Devenport's Unbridled Elaine is expected to go, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas said The Thoroughbred Corp had changed its mind and decided to send Spain to Kentucky for the race that dates back to 1875.

Spain was scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs Tuesday following a flight from California along with the Ron McAnally-trained Printemps, who finished third in the Overbrook Spinster Stakes at Keeneland in October.

Stewart told Churchill Downs that Unbridled Elaine's participation in the Falls City hinges on a scheduled work on Thursday. "She's training very forwardly and she's doing well," Stewart said. "If she breezes good Thursday, comes out of it well, and everything looks good, we probably plan to go ahead and go."

Unbridled Elaine, a 3-year-old, just nipped Spain, a 4-year-old, by a head in the Distaff Oct. 27.

Spain lost the 2000 Falls City by a nose to Bordelaise in her first race after a win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. "She's absolutely on top of her game," Lukas said. "I think that she has shown that she has an affinity for that racetrack, and its just a good spot."

In addition to the Falls City Nov. 22 and the Clark Handicap Nov. 23, Churchill Downs will offer two $200,000, grade II events for 2-year-olds to wrap up Thanksgiving weekend and the fall meet Nov. 24.

Repent, second in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, is expected for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, while Take Charge Lady, sixth in the Juvenile Fillies, is scheduled to compete in the Golden Rod Stakes. The colt and filly, respectively, are trained by Ken McPeek.