One race prior to the Lecomte Stakes (G3) on Saturday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff” Day at Fair Grounds, 3-year-old fillies will compete for Kentucky Oaks (G1) points in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes.
Like the Lecomte, the Silverbulletday offers points on the 10-4-2-1 scale, and a similar storyline – trainer Brad Cox’s prominence with stakes debutantes. Unlike the Lecomte, Cox is double-handed with Sun Path and Divine Comedy, and both must topple Mark Casse’s unbeaten Woodbine stakes winner Souper Sensational.
Silverbulletday Stakes – Race 12 (6:20 p.m. ET)
Sun Path, a full sister to last year’s Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Bonny South, has been more impressive at a comparable stage. The Juddmonte homebred improved from a convincing three-length maiden tally Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs to crush a Dec. 18 allowance by 12 3/4 lengths at this track and trip. A similar effort would make her tough here, never mind the prospect of further progress. Sun Path will break from the far outside post 9 with regular rider Florent Geroux.
Stablemate Divine Comedy also has course-and-distance form, romping in a maiden on the same day as Sun Path’s allowance. She accordingly takes a bigger class hike in this spot and loses Geroux to Sun Path. But Divine Comedy has pedigree potential as an Into Mischief filly out of a relative of Maxfield. Shaun Bridgmohan picks up the mount.
Souper Sensational has looked special so far, both performances coming over 7 furlongs on the Woodbine Tapeta. The $725,000 Curlin blueblood followed up her maiden score with a resounding victory in the Oct. 17 Glorious Song, briefly putting herself in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) consideration. Souper Sensational now stretches out to two turns and switches to dirt, but neither is an issue. The Live Oak Plantation runner has been training forwardly at Fair Grounds, where she’s drawn the rail with Declan Carroll.
Princess Theorem is the only entrant with experience in a points race, from her recent fifth in the deep Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill. One of two for Brendan Walsh, the Nyquist filly is joined by Moon Swag, a slow-starting fourth in the Dec. 19 Letellier Memorial. The third-placer in the Letellier, Charlie’s Penny, was previously fourth to Souper Sensational in the Glorious Song.
The same team who brought us 2019 Kentucky Oaks star Serengeti Empress – owner Joel Politi and trainer Tom Amoss – sends out Littlestitious. Although she took four tries to break her maiden, the Ghostzapper filly has now won two in a row, graduating from a Keeneland victory to conquer the My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs by 10 1/4 lengths.
Barista also captured her last pair, a Churchill turf maiden and an off-the-turf allowance here. Churchill debut winner Minute Waltz, a $425,000 daughter of Nyquist, was a tough-trip third as the favorite in an allowance on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” card.