Finley'sluckycharm wins the Chicago Handicap at Churchill Downs

Finley'sluckycharm wins the Chicago Handicap at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

Finley'sluckycharm Makes it Three in a Row in Chicago

Twirling Candy filly won third consecutive stakes race June 24.

Finley'sluckycharm extended her stakes winning streak to three in a row and picked up her second graded win when she ran gate to wire in the $100,000 Chicago Handicap (G3) June 24 at Churchill Downs

Video: Chicago H. (G3)

Carl R. Moore Management's 4-year-old Twirling Candy  filly assumed the lead in the seven-furlong test out of the gate and was never seriously threatened, drawing clear by 2 1/4 lengths at the wire under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. 

"I'm so proud of both of my horses," said trainer Bret Calhoun, who saddled the winner and third-place finisher Mayla. "Finley'sluckycharm loves it here at Churchill Downs. It's always nice to run at the track in your backyard. It's been such a fun ride with her so far and I hope it lasts a while longer."

Finley'sluckycharm lead at every call against nine rivals, down from 13 fillies and mares after three scratches. The winner kept an honest pace through fractions of :22.85, :45.62, and 1:09.64 for six furlongs before finishing off seven in 1:22.17.

Longshot Covey Trace and Ivy Bell stalked the pace, but Covey Trace faded in the late stages of the race as Ivy Bell held on for second. Mayla, who was third for most of the race, came through the five-path in the turn and crossed the wire third. She Mabee Wild and Kathballu rounded out the top five. 

"On a filly like this, you just have to stay out of her way," Hernandez Jr. said. "She handled the (seven-furlong) distance fine. We weren't too concerned going into this race after she was just beaten a neck in the La Brea (G1) last year. She's such a nice horse."

Off at 1-5, Finley'sluckycharm paid $2.60, $2.40, and $2.10 across the board. 

The Chicago Handicap was previously run at Arlington International Race Course but it was announced in February that two grade 3 stakes, the Chicago and the Matron handicaps, would be moved to the Louisville track. Both tracks are owned by Churchill Downs Inc.

Bred in Kentucky by Lakland Farm out of the stakes-placed Victory Gallop mare Day of Victory, Finley'sluckycharm was purchased at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale for $77,000 by her owner. She now has earnings of $403,368. 

The filly entered Saturday's race off of a 5 1/2-length win, in a similar front-running style, in the grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes also under the Twin Spires. She has only lost twice in her 10-race career, including finishing a half-length behind Constellation in the La Brea Stakes in December at Santa Anita Park. This year she is three for three, all of her wins coming in sprint stakes at Churchill.