Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image closed out her juvenile campaign
last fall with back-to-back victories in the Pocahontas Stakes (G3) and Golden
Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs while Brereton Jones’ homebred Check the
Label was last seen finishing second in the Caressing Stakes over the Churchill
course. The two talented fillies make their 3-year-old debuts Sunday at Gulfstream Park
in a field of seven going one mile on turf in the Sweetest Chant. Jockey Robby
Albarado will be in town for a return call on Sassy Image for trainer Dale
Romans and Julien Leparoux will be aboard Check the Label for trainer Graham
Sassy Image is a daughter of Broken Vow purchased for
$42,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales and will make her first start
on turf in the Sweetest Chant. She showed promise early breaking her maiden at
Churchill in the spring and finishing second in the Adirondack Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Sassy Image won the Pocahontas by two lengths and the Golden Rod by 3 ¾ lengths
last out on Nov. 28.
Check the Label is a daughter of Stormin Fever that broke
her maiden on turf at Colonial Downs in mid-July in her second start and hit
her best stride at Churchill in November winning an allowance and finishing a
good second in the Caressing on Nov. 28, the same day Sassy Image won the
Warehouse Investments’ Dancing Rage was among the leaders
of her division on turf at Calder last season for trainer Manny Azpurua and
will be a threat Sunday with jockey Luis Arango to ride. The daughter of Sligo
finished a game second by a length in the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies
Turf on Nov. 14 and rallied for a head victory last out in an allowance on Dec.
Another Calder developed filly that will attract support is
The Posse’s Lucky Lass with Cornelio Velasquez getting the call for trainer
Bill White. The daughter of Red Bullet was purchased for $20,000 at the Adena
Springs 2-year-old sales and won both of her starts going two turns on turf
after a dull debut sprinting on the main track.
An intriguing prospect will be Sandy Bacon’s New
York homebred Risky Rachel
with Jeremy Rose to ride for trainer Tim McKinsey. The daughter of Limehouse
out of Dancin Renee will make her first start on turf and first around two
turns after breaking her maiden last out at Aqueduct by 14 ¾ lengths on Dec. 27
going six furlongs over a ‘muddy’ track.
Completing the field for the Sweetest Chant are Blazing
Meadows Farm’s Blackwell, John R. Velazquez; and Waterville Lake Stable’s
Strike It Rich, Rajiv Maragh.