November 30, 2023

Four stakes highlight ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ opener at Churchill Downs

Bravazo rolled to a convincing maiden win at Churchill Downs last September (c) Coady Photo

Churchill Downs opens its 21-day fall meet Sunday with the first of two “Stars of Tomorrow” programs. All 11 races are for 2-year-olds, including a quartet of stakes, and 1st race post is 1 p.m. (ET).

Bravazo and Lone Sailor, the respective runner-up and third-place finishers from the October 7 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, head a field of 10 in the $80,000 Street Sense at a one-turn mile. They’ll be looking to flatter Free Drop Billy, who is expected to be the second choice in the November 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar after a convincing tally in the Breeders’ Futurity.

Bravazo broke his maiden the second-time out at Churchill Downs, scoring by 4 ¾ lengths for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and the son of Awesome Again parlayed a forwardly-placed trip into a clear second at 47-1 odds last time. Jon Court rides the 4-1 co-second choice on the morning line. Lone Sailor is the early 7-2 choice for Tom Amoss. The Majestic Warrior colt broke his maiden by an 11-length margin at Saratoga two back and keeps Florent Geroux in the saddle.

Honorable Treasure is another Saratoga maiden winner and exits a sixth in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. Trained by Kenny McPeek, the son of To Honor and Serve is listed at 4-1 on the morning line and will be reunited with jockey Robby Albarado.

Other rivals include Souper Smart, who rolled to a smart 4 ¼-length maiden tally on the final day of the Churchill Downs’ September meet and returns from a 28-day freshening for Mark Casse; last-out Keeneland maiden winners Rubus and Twin Farms; Iroquois (G3) fourth-placer Ebben; and Renaisance Frolic, who invades off an off-the-turf stakes victory at Gulfstream Park.

The $80,000 Rags to Riches serves as the filly counterpart to the Street Sense and Monomoy Girl has been installed as a slight 3-1 favorite among 10 rivals. Unbeaten from two starts, the Brad Cox-trained daughter of Tapizar will switch to the main track after winning turf starts at Indiana Downs and Churchill Downs. Geroux has the call.

Casse will send out Queen Mum, who was last seen capturing her debut under the Twin Spires on September 21, and Julien Leparoux sticks with the Paynter filly. The Eddie Kenneally-trained She’s Pretty Lucky has a similar profile, winning at first asking over the local main track on September 30, and the Texas-bred daughter of Lookin at Lucky will jump to stakes competition with Joe Rocco Jr. Saguaro Row is another intriguing face, recording an eye-catching 4 ¾-length decision over maiden special weight foes at Laurel Park in her lone outing. Corey Lanerie picks up the mount on the Union Rags filly for Michael Stidham.

A pair of $200,000 restricted stakes, the Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion and Spendthrift Juvenile Filly Stallion, will be offered for youngsters sired by any active or non-active Spendthrift stallion, including all Spendthrift-owned stallions standing regionally in North America. Both will be contested at 7-furlongs.

Ezmosh, a convincing Churchill maiden winner two back, is the prohibitive even-money favorite over seven male rivals. By Tizway, the Cox trainee looks poised to rebound with Geroux after checking in sixth as the 7-2 second choice in the Breeders’ Futurity. His main challengers include John Tippmann and Captivating Moon, who respectively finished fifth and sixth most recently in the off-the-turf Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland.

In the Spendthrift Juvenile Filly, Mia Mischief is the even-money choice following a 16-length maiden romp at Keeneland. The daughter of Into Mischief was making her second start last time for Steve Asmussen, recording a good second to subsequent Alcibiades (G1) runner-up Princess Warrior the first-time out at Churchill Downs. Ricardo Santana Jr. will pilot.

Sultry, who followed a sixth in the Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs with a nice entry-level allowance tally at Keeneland, and Adirondack (G2) runner-up Southampton Way are also part of the nine-horse field.