The 6TH race at Churchill Downs on Thursday is a highly competitive maiden special weight affair at six furlongs on the dirt. A field of 10 sophomore fillies will go postward in hopes of bagging the lion’s share of the hefty $95,000 purse. Beau Lane’s homebred BLIP SAYS BYE (#6) (5-1) exits a key race when debuting during opening weekend at Keeneland, and I expect marked improvement in her second career assignment. The Kentucky-bred filly showed brief speed before retreating when going a demanding seven furlongs at first asking, but the runners that finished ahead of her have done well since. Del Mar May was the 1-2 favorite in the Keeneland contest and rewarded her plethora of backers with a powerful four-length victory. Second to Bellafina in the 2018 Sorrento (G2), Del Mar May didn’t fire her best shot over a sloppy, sealed surface in the subsequent Eight Belles (G2), though she was thought of enough to go off at 6-1 odds against a fine cast. She remains a nice prospect despite the setback. Finishing second at Keeneland was My Majestic Rose who returned to graduate in style at Churchill Downs for conditioner Mike McCarthy. The daughter of Majestic Warrior followed that performance with a victory in the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita over the weekend. Third-place finisher Sister’s Creed followed her debut outing with a similar result in the Tall Stack S. at Belterra Park for Kenny McPeek. Sugar Love, who was fourth in the maiden affair, just missed in her next outing when a narrow second against special weight foes at Churchill Downs on Sunday for Rusty Arnold. Bellazano also improved next out in finishing a solid third in a $50,000 maiden claiming event at Churchill, after running a distant fifth at Keeneland. Blip Says Bye faces a tall task on Thursday in a deep field of well-bred runners from high-profile barns. However, the daughter of Fed Biz comes in fresh and figures to take a big step forward with a race under her belt. Trainer Wayne Catalano is good second-time out, and the move to go-to jockey Channing Hill is a positive sign, as well.   (c)