Brown ships top trio for Keeneland's First Lady Stakes

Brown ships top trio for Keeneland's First Lady Stakes
Photo: Keeneland Photo

Trainer Chad Brown, who won four graded stakes during Keeneland’s Spring Meet, has a powerhouse trio of runners in the field of 10 for Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady.

The First Lady, scheduled as the afternoon’s eighth race with a 4:40 p.m. post time, is a Win and You’re In race for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 3.

The Brown contingent all competed in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga on Aug. 25 with Peter Brant’s Quidura winning by 1¾ lengths while A Raving Beauty was fourth and Off Limits ran fifth.

A multiple graded stakes winner, Quidura won the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland in 2016 and in 2017 finished third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) here. Javier Castellano will have the mount and break from post position three.

A Raving Beauty, winner of the Just a Game (G1) in June at Belmont, will be making her Keeneland debut. John Velazquez has the mount on A Raving Beauty and will exit post position two.

Off Limits, third in the Jenny Wiley here this spring, won the Matriarch (G1) to close her 2017 campaign. She will be ridden Saturday by Julien Leparoux and leave from post position 10.

Adding international spice to the First Lady is the presence of two European group winners: Godolphin’s Crown Walk (GB) and Mr. P.K. Siu’s Indian Blessing (GB).

Trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, Crown Walk finished second in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville on July 29 in her most recent start. Mike Smith has the mount on Crown Walk out of post position four.

Indian Blessing, who was third to Quidura in the Ballston Spa, returns to North America for trainer Ed Walker. She will be ridden by Feargal Lynch from post position five.

The field for the First Lady, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Insta Erma (Tyler Gaffalione 124 pounds), A Raving Beauty (GER) (Velazquez, 124), Quidura (GB) (Castellano, 124), Crown Walk (GB) (Smith, 121), Indian Blessing (GB) (Lynch, 124), One Liz(Mitchell Murrill, 124), Dona Bruja (ARG) (Declan Cannon, 124), Valadorna (Florent Geroux, 124), La Sardane (FR) (Luis Saez, 124) and Off Limits (IRE) (Leparoux, 124). 

The First Lady, along with Keeneland's Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Shadwell Turf Mile, will air on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET Saturday.

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