December 2, 2023

Lady Tak features familiar rivalry; Mr. Wireless tops Fort Larned

Sconsin wins the Winning Colors Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Saturday’s 11-race program at Churchill Downs features the Arlington Million (G1) and Beverly D. (G1), and a pair of listed stakes, the $200,000 Lady Tak and $200,000 Fort Larned, also will be offered. Every race on the special one-day summer program is worth at least $120,000.

Lady Tak S. – Race 7 (4:09 p.m. ET)

Classy female sprinters Bell’s the One and Sconsin will meet for the seventh time in the six-furlong Lady Tak.

Sconsin, who opened the year with a win in the Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill in late May, is the likely favorite following her runner-up in the June 25 Chicago (G3) under the Twin Spires. The five-year-old mare has compiled a 9-5-3-0 local record for Greg Foley, and Sconsin won’t be far back during the opening stages stalking the action with Tyler Gaffalione.

An earner of more than $1.6 million, Grade 1-winning Bell’s the One is still going strong at age six for Neil Pessin, opening 2022 with a close second in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland and finishing third in the Chicago most recently. Corey Lanerie retains the mount on the classy late runner.

Winning Colors runner-up Joyful Cadence exits a 5 3/4-length romp at odds-on in the July 8 Saylorville S. at Prairie Meadows. That marked the first stakes win for the four-year-old daughter of Runhappy, and she’s eligible to keep progressing for John Ortiz. Reylu Gutierrez will guide the frontrunner.

Lovemesomeme, a sharp 6 1/2-length allowance scorer at Churchill two back, will also be prompting the pace. The four-year-old was no match for multiple Grade 2-winning Travel Column last time, but the lightly-raced filly is eligible to improve from the experience. Brian Hernandez Jr. rides. Expected longshot Music City Star, unplaced in four stakes attempts, completes the field.

Fort Larned S. – Race 10 (5:51 p.m. ET)

Multiple Grade 3 winner Mr. Wireless, a two-length winner when making his second start of the season in the July 9 Schaefer Memorial S. at Horseshoe Indianapolis, is the one to beat. Trained by Bret Calhoun, the four-year-old gelding will stretch out to 1 3/16 miles and face six rivals with Deshawn Parker.

King Fury has shown an affinity for the distance at Churchill, winning the Bourbon Trail S. by 13 lengths last September, and the four-year-old colt has run well off the freshening previously, capturing last year’s Lexington (G3) following a 4 1/2-month break. King Fury will return from a 133-day break Saturday and Julien Leparoux will be up for Kenny McPeek.

Twilight Blue merits respect off his last couple of allowance efforts at Churchill Downs, and Artemus Eagle, Intrepid Heart, Keystone Field, and Treasure Trove round out the lineup.