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Humana Distaff: Sassy Image Eyes Repeat

Sassy Image captures the 2009 Golden Rod Stakes
Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image will attempt to make history in the 26th running of the $300,000-added Humana Distaff (GI) for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track.

No horse has won the Humana Distaff twice and the Dale Romans-trained 5-year-old mare will have to turn back eight foes to complete the double.

Sassy Image has won five of six career starts at Churchill Downs with other stakes victories coming in the 2011 Winning Colors (GIII) and the 2009 Pocahontas (GIII) and Golden Rod (GII).  Robby Albarado has the riding assignment on Sassy’s Image, who will break from post position three.

Chief among the rivals to Sassy Image are Pinnacle Racing Stables and trainer Bill Kaplan’s Musical Romance and Lee Searing’s Switch as well as Fred and trainer Buff Bradley’s Groupie Doll, winner of the Vinery Madison (GI) at Keeneland on April 12.

Fourth as the favorite in the Vinery Madison, Musical Romance has remained in Kentucky since the Keeneland race instead of returning to her South Florida base. Juan Leyva, who was aboard for the Breeders’ Cup triumph, has the mount Saturday on Musical Romance, who will break from post position eight.

Trained by John Sadler, Switch will be making her initial start of 2012. The millionaire daughter of Quiet American also ran second here in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Switch will break from post position seven under Mike Smith.

Groupie Doll, who broke her maiden here last summer in her only dirt start at Churchill Downs, won the Vinery Madison by three lengths under Rajiv Maragh who retains the mount Saturday. Groupie Doll will break from post position six.

The Humana Distaff will go as Saturday’s ninth race with a 3:49 p.m. post time.

The field for the Humana Distaff, from the rail out, is as follows: Magical Feeling (Roberto Alvarado Jr., 120 pounds), Fantasy of Flight (John Velazquez, 118), Sassy Image (Albarado, 118), Salty Strike (Julien Leparoux, 118), Mildly Offensive (Joel Rosario, 118), Groupie Doll (Maragh, 123), Switch (Smith, 118), Musical Romance (Leyva, 123) and Hot Summer (Rafael Bejarano, 118).


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