May 26, 2024

Lull meets Miss Ella, Morticia in Franklin County

Lull and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. capture the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, September 9, 2017 (c) Reed Palmer Photography

An indisputable queen at Kentucky Downs, Lull will look to conquer the Keeneland turf course for the first time Friday in a strong renewal of the $100,000 Franklin County (G3) over 5 1/2 furlongs.

Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s homebred three-year-old is a dual stakes winner at the European-style course in Franklin, having captured the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies last year and the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint by two lengths in her most recent start. However, the daughter of War Front will have to quicken over a furlong shorter trip in the Franklin County and on a course over which she’s been held safe twice by La Coronel in the Jessamine (G3) and Appalachian (G3).

Miss Ella, the 2016 Franklin County heroine, is back to defend her title. Winner of the $200,000 Caress three starts ago, her only victory from five starts on the season, she enters off a sub-par effort in the $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Laurel, won by Always Thinking in a 25-1 upset.

The three-year-old Morticia is a four-time stakes winner, including the $100,000 Soaring Softly at Belmont by a nose over Lull in May. She followed up with two more added-money scores, at Laurel and Saratoga, but was run down late by Lull at Kentucky Downs last time, settling for third after disputing the pace.

Nobody’s Fault and Ruby Notion placed behind the brilliant Lady Aurelia in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway, the main turf sprint for fillies and mares at the Keeneland spring meet, with Nobody’s Fault doing the better of the two subsequently taking the $64,000 Unbridled Sidney at Churchill and placing third in the Royal North (G3) at Woodbine.

Kasuga, second by a head in the six-furlong Royal North, enters off a strong starter allowance victory at Kentucky Downs in her debut for Bill Mott, while Justa Lady steps up in class off a win over Boom Bam Bing in the $50,000 Tellike at Louisiana Downs.