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Sassy Image Tries Turf in Sweetest Chant

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 Motion.

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 Golden Rod.

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 Bay 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. 23.

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.


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