winner of the 2012 Jenny Wiley (Grade I), will carry the top weight of
120 pounds when she takes on five fillies and mares in the 37th
running of the $100,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII) on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
s Daisy Devine
, a winner of half of her 20 career starts with earnings of more than $1 million, most recently finished third behind Stephanie’s Kitten
and Hungry Island
in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by Longines (GII) on
Kentucky Derby Day over a Matt Winn Turf Course that was rated “good.”
“She’s been doing great,” trainer Andrew McKeever
said. “In her last race she was a little out of her style and I think
she got labored a little going over that ground. I’m not making excuses,
for losing to Stephanie’s Kitten and Hungry Island.”
A 5-year-old bay
daughter of Kafwain, Daisy Devine could set the pace in the 1 1/16-mile
Early Times Mint Julep Handicap, but McKeever said she doesn’t have to
be on the lead.
If there’s a lot
of pace, then she won’t be on the lead, but if there’s no pace, then she
probably will be,” McKeever said. “We’ll see what happens, but we’re
not going to get in a speed duel.”
In addition to
winning last year’s Jenny Wiley, Daisy Devine’s career also is
highlighted by a narrow victory in the Cardinal Handicap (GIII) on the
Matt Winn Turf Course last November and victories in the
Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) and Valley View (GIII) in 2011.
The Early Times Mint Julep Handicap field also includes graded stakes winners Miz Ida
, Heavenly Landing
and Colonial Flag
Four of the six career victories for Bert
and Richard Klein
’s homebred Miz Ida have come in stakes events, including a division of the Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland in 2012.
In her 4-year-old debut, Miz Ida finished second behind Exclusive Love
in an allowance/optional-claiming event on the Matt Winn Turf Course on May 12.
Heavenly Landing exits the same one-mile race at Churchill Downs and
finished third beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Exclusive Love. Winner of the 2012
Marshua’s River (GIII) at Gulfstream Park,
Heavenly Landing finished second by a neck to Bizzy Caroline
in last year’s Early Times Mint Julep Handicap.
Skara Glen Stables, W. S. Farish and
Colonial Flag will be making her 4-year-old debut in the Early Times
Mint Julep Handicap. Winner of the Ontario Colleen (GIII) at Woodbine
August, Colonial Flag has not started since finishing third behind Centre Court and Leading Astray
in the Mrs. Revere (GII) at Churchill Downs in November.
Other fillies entered in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap are Carl Pollard and Earl Reed’s Soft Whisper, who is coming off a 1 ¼-length victory on the Matt Winn Turf Course on Kentucky Oaks
Day, and G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s homebred Run a Risk, a two-time winner and runner-up to Miz Ida in last year’s Indiana Distaff.
The Early Times Mint Julep
Handicap is scheduled as Race 9 on Saturday’s 11-race program at
Churchill Downs with a post time of 4:59 p.m. (all times Eastern). Post
time for the first race is 12:45 p.m.
The field for the Early Times
Mint Julep Handicap from the rail out: Colonial Flag (ridden by Joe
Rocco Jr., weighted at 118 pounds), Run a Risk (Victor Lebron, 114), Miz
Ida (Shaun Bridgmohan, 117), Heavenly Landing
(Corey Lanerie, 117), Daisy Devine (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120) and Soft
Whisper (Jesus Castanon, 115).