Late-runner Tiger Moth hopes for strong pace in Chilukki Stakes
November 03, 2017 08:35am
Tiger Moth wins 2017 Groupie Doll
Photo: Coady Photography

John Gunther’s homebred Tiger Moth could benefit from a cut-back in distance and a hot pace in Saturday’s $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (Grade II) at Churchill Downs. The one-mile race for fillies and mares will go as Race 9 on the 10-race card at approximately 7:25 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first race is 2:15 p.m.

“I wasn’t entirely expecting this many horses but I think she will have a good shot to rebound from her last race,” said Jorje Abrego, assistant to trainer Brad Cox. “Hopefully the pace is strong in the race. That’s when she’ll do her best running if she has a target to close into. I think the one-turn mile could help her as well in this race. It was a tough race in her last start (Keeneland’s Grade I, Spinster Stakes) but she fits well with this field.”

Tiger Moth was an off-the-pace winner of Ellis Park’s premiere race, the Groupie Doll (GIII), on Aug. 13. The 5-year-old mare by Street Sense tested her hand in Churchill Downs’ Locust Grove (GIII) on Sept. 13 and finished third by two lengths behind Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) contender Romantic Vision.

“She’s been training well entering this race,” Abrego said. “Fingers crossed some other horses in here show some speed and we’ll sit a good trip just off the pace.”

Tiger Moth drew post five and will be ridden by Manny Cruz.
One horse that could be near the lead is 4-1 morning line favorite Money’soncharlotte. The Kelly Breen-trainee has showed early-pace in each of her last four races that resulted in three victories and, most recently, a runner-up finish behind Elate in the Beldame Invitational (GI) at Belmont Park.

Breaking from post-position 14, Five D Thoroughbreds Kathballu could be another contender prompting the early pace.

“She looks really good right now off of her last race at Keeneland,” assistant trainer Jeff Hiles said. “I don’t think a mile is too long for her depending on how the race sets up. It’s a tough spot and could hurt us early as she likes to lay close to the pace.”

The Kenny McPeek-trained Kathballu picks up the riding services of Ricardo Santana Jr. and is the 5-1 second choice on the morning line.
The field for the Chilukki from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Alpine Sky (Shaun Bridgmohan, 20-1); Julerette (Alex Canchari, 20-1); Money’soncharlotte (Corey Lanerie, 4-1); Rattataptap (Jack Gilligan, 12-1); Tiger Moth (Cruz, 8-1); Mo D’amour (James Graham, 10-1); Farrell (Channing Hill, 6-1); Motown Lady (Gabriel Saez, 8-1); Lake Ponchatrain (Calvin Borel, 20-1); Show Stealer (Miguel Mena, 15-1); Shenandoah Queen (Chris Landeros, 5-1); Fuhriously Kissed (Joe Rocco Jr., 20-1); Steel Cut (Jon Court, 20-1); and Kathballu (Santana, 5-1).

Rattataptap is expected to scratch which would allow also eligible Moiety (Alonso Quinonez, 30-1) to draw into the race, according to Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork. Sweet Legacy (Francisco Torres, 30-1) remains on the also eligible-list and may run if any late scratches occur.

The Chilukki is named in honor of Stonerside Stable’s champion 2-year-old filly of 1999. The Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Cherokee Run set a pair of track records at Churchill Downs during her career. She lowered the standard for 4 ½ furlongs in her racing debut over the track at two and returned at three to set a stakes record in the race that now bears her name, but was then known as the Churchill Downs Distaff. Chilukki completed her racing career with a record of 11-3-0 in 17 races with career earnings of $1,201,828.
Source: Churchill Downs


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