After back-to-back second-place finishes over the Louisville oval, Stonestreet Stables' Valadorna is ready to find out if the third time is the charm when she faces a field of nine in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) June 16 at Churchill Downs.
The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin enters the Fleur de Lis off her first graded win in the April 20 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) when she finished three-quarters of a length and 1 1/4 lengths ahead of fellow Fleur de Lis contenders Apologynotaccepted and Song of Spring, respectively. Described as a barn favorite by trainer Mark Casse's assistant, David Carroll, the 1 1/8-mile distance will be the longest yet in Valadorna's career. Her five wins have come at a mile and seventy yards to a mile and a sixteenth.
"She's doing extremely well," Casse said. "We're quite proud of her. She seems to be at the top of her game, and we're hoping for a really big effort Saturday that could possibly put her up there with the best fillies in the country. Of course, Abel Tasman was pretty awesome the other day, but we'll see."
Valadorna breezed four furlongs in :51 June 8 at Keeneland in her most recent timed workout before the Fleur de Lis. She will break from post 7 with regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard.
Joining Valadorna in the field will be four-time grade 2 winner Farrell, who most recently placed second in the May 4 La Troienne Stakes presented by Twinspires.com (G1) going 1 /16 miles on the dirt. The embattled daughter of Malibu Moon has hit the board in three of five starts this year, but the Coffeepot Stables homebred has not visited the winner's circle since the Jan. 13 Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Seeking a rematch in Saturday's race will be the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) trio of Song of Spring, Blue Prize, and Fuhriously Kissed, who took first through third place, respectively, in the May 18 test over the same distance at Pimilico Race Course.
Fuhriously Kissed is also entered in the $100,000 Obeah Stakes June 16 at Delaware Park. No decision has been announced by her connections as to which race the 5-year-old mare will run.
The oldest runner entered in Saturday's test for fillies and mares 3 and older will be Apologynotaccepted. The 7-year-old daughter of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Fusaichi Pegasus will be seeking her first graded victory in a career of 14 starts.