June 23, 2024

Two Emmys returns from long spell in Diliberto Memorial

Two Emmys wins the Muniz Memorials
Two Emmys wins the Muniz Memorials (Photo by Hodges Photography/Amdanda Hodges Weir)

Two Emmys, who has won Fair Grounds’ premier turf stakes at one time or another over the past couple of seasons, returns from an extended layoff on Saturday in an attempt to add the $100,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial to prior victories in the 2002 Muniz Memorial (G2) and the Fair Grounds (G3) in his most recent start on Feb. 18.

A seven-year-old gelding by English Channel, Two Emmys could face as many as a dozen rivals in the 1 1/16-mile grass event, though several seem entered in the event the race is shifted to the main track due to inclement weather.

Should the race remain on the turf, Two Emmys’ main rivals figure to be Harlan Estate, a stakes winner at Kentucky Downs in late August and most recently second in the River City (G3), and Rising Empire, a recent allowance winner over the course and distance and second in the Muniz Memorial last March.

Cross entered in both the Diliberto Memorial and $100,000 Tenacious S. at 1 1/16 miles on the main track is Happy American, last year’s Tenacious winner who made it two in a row in January with a neck victory in the Louisiana (G3). The Neil Pessin trainee has placed only twice in seven starts since.

The contentious field includes Pioneer of Medina, Stage Raider, Confidence Game, and Dash Attack, all of whom have a semblance of back class but are exiting sub-par performances. Longacres Mile winner Five Star General was recently a creditable third in the Delta Mile, while Brigadier General tries stakes company again after back-to-back allowance triumphs.

Three-time stakes winner Private Creed, who landed the Franklin-Simpson (G2) at Kentucky Downs two back, looks the horse to beat in the $100,000 Richard R. Scherer Memorial at about 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The sophomore will have several capable older rivals to contend with, though, including 2021 Scherer Memorial winner Just Might and Evan Sing.

A solid field of six two-year-olds will dash six furlongs in the $100,000 Sugar Bowl S. Agoo, runner-up in the Ed Brown S. at Churchill Downs last time, will have a rematch with Legalize, who he defeated by more than six lengths in an Oct. 22 maiden event at Keeneland. Legalize graduated at Churchill in the interim.

The field also includes the Steve Asmussen-trained American Rascal. The son of Curlin has been inconsistent this season, but dominated six rivals in the Zia Park Juvenile in his most recent outing by 5 3/4 lengths.

Six fillies will contest the filly counterpart to the Sugar Bowl, the $100,000 Letellier Memorial. Recent Fern Creek S. runner-up Halina’s Forte will likely be favored over last-out maiden winners Twirl Around and Brunch Punch.

Lovely Princess is the potential favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares in the $100,000 Blushing K. D. S. over 1 1/16 miles on the turf.