June 22, 2024

Lady Speightspeare among overflow field in Valley View

Lady Speightspeare
Lady Speightspeare takes the 2020 Natalma Stakes (Michael Burns Photo)

Valley View S. (G3) — Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET)

Scratched at the gate of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) two weeks ago, the undefeated Canadian invader Lady Speightspeare will have an opportunity for a do-over on Friday in the $150,000 Valley View S. (G3) at Keeneland.

The Valley View, over 1 1/16 miles on the turf, attracted an overflow field of three-year-old fillies. Rain is forecast on Thursday and into Friday, which figures to further soften the course conditions.

It remains to be seen how that will affect Lady Speightspeare, but Charles Fipke’s homebred did win over good ground in a Sept. 6 allowance at Woodbine, her first start in nearly a year. She also captured both starts at two, including the Natalma (G1).

Although drawn on the far outside in the main body of 14, Gam’s Mission is an interesting candidate. The Noble Mission filly won three in a row to start her 2021 campaign, including the Regret (G3) at Churchill Downs in May. However, she found the competition a little too tough in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and Saratoga Oaks (G3), but she should find the class relief here welcome.

Trainer Joseph O’Brien ships the once-beaten Queenship in from Ireland. The daughter of Excelebration is well versed on soft ground, and exits a win against males in the Navigation S. at Cork late last month.

Flown and Oyster Box have placed at this level during the year, while Adventuring and Tobys Heart exits stakes wins at Kentucky Downs. Crazy Beautiful, a three-time graded winner on dirt for Kenny McPeek this year, is likely the horse to beat in the event the Valley View is switched to the main track.

Myrtlewood S. — Race 8 (4:44 p.m. ET)

Chi Town Lady couldn’t overcome a slow start against the boys in the Futurity (G3) last out, but the Wesley Ward trainee looms a leading contender in the $150,000 Myrtlewood S., a six-furlong dash on the main track for juvenile fillies.

A debut winner over Keeneland’s Headley Course in April, the daughter of Verrazano followed up four months later with an off-the-pace score in the Bolton Landing S. on turf at Saratoga.

Kant Believe It and Sweet Dani Girl both exit relatively swift debut wins at Churchill Downs, while Jester Calls Nojoy and Majestic d’Oro drop in class off losses in the Frizette (G1) and Pocahontas (G3), respectively. Verylittlecents, who captured the Ellis Park Debutante two back, shortens up and returns to dirt following a distant third in the Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs.