Odds-on Envoutante powers to victory in Churchill's Shawnee

Odds-on Envoutante powers to victory in Churchill's Shawnee
Photo: Coady Photography

Three Chimneys Farm and Walking L Thoroughbreds’ Envoutante powered past Miss Bigly in deep stretch to win Saturday’s second running of the $150,000 Shawnee Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Envoutante covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.59 under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.

Envoutante was relegated just off of Miss Bigly’s early pace fractions of :24.14, :48.20 and 1:12.15. Hernandez and Envoutante overtook Miss Bigly at the eighth pole for a 4 1/4-length victory.

“She set herself up well throughout the race and was much the best,” Hernandez said. “She looked at the grandstand a little bit but was getting by (Miss Bigly) easily.”

There was a trainer’s objection by Miss Bigly’s conditioner Phil D’Amato for interference in the stretch but it was disallowed.

Envoutante was the heavy 2-5 post time favorite and returned $2.80. Miss Bigly, under Martin Garcia, returned $5 and $2.80. Paris Lights, with Tyler Gaffalione aboard, finished third and paid $2.60.

High Regard, Microcap, Istan Council, La Renoleta (ARG) and Goodbye Earl rounded out the order of finish. 

Envoutante is a 4-year-old filly by Uncle Mo out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Enchante. She was bred in Kentucky by Jumping Jack Racing.

With her victory in Saturday’s Shawnee, Envoutante improved her record to 12-5-2-2 with earnings of $541,738.

The Shawnee Stakes, named after the neighborhood in western Louisville, is the local prep race for the $300,000 Fleur de Lis (G2) on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The Fleur de Lis is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on Nov. 6 at Del Mar.

“She does well with a confidence booster,” McPeek said. “She ran hard last out and I’d like to win a Grade I with her down the road. I’m known for more ambitious spots but I thought this race set her up for the Fleur de Lis. She loves this racetrack and once she’s learned to win she’s gotten better. I’m going to try and keep (multiple Grade 1 winner Swiss Skydiver and Envoutante) separated and hopefully they both end up in the Breeders’ Cup at the end of the year.”

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