#3 Ivyetsu (8-1) was not a factor when unplaced on a sloppy main track at Churchill in her latest but finished a good third in the Sweetest Chant (G3) on grass at this distance at Gulfstream earlier this year. Trainer Rusty Arnold wins with 14% of his runners on turf and daughter of Tapit is out of a winning mare by excellent turf sire Kingmambo. Filly can be along from off the pace with Geroux taking the mount.
Steve Asmussen wins with 19% of his first-time starters and saddles #10 Palio Flag (5-1), a debuting daughter of Curlin and Private Ensign, who finished third in the Davona Dale (G3). $350K yearling purchase posted a sharp 5-furlong work in :59 4/5 from the gate last month and appears ready to win at first asking under Santana.
Fillies on turf include #6 A K’s Song (6-1), who has not been seen since closing to finish fourth after a slow start here in October in her second outing and first start on turf. Trainer Motion wins with 20% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and daughter of Animal Kingdom is from a good turf family. Chestnut can be running late with Rosario riding.
A couple of newcomers catch the eye in his maiden on the main track. #6 Madam Deputy (9-2) has a good win-early pedigree being by Constitution and out of a mare by Deputy Minister and trainer Cox wins with 19% of his first-time starters. A longshot with claims may be #9 Giant Stella (20-1), who is by 16% first out sire Giant Surprise. Filly has been working well for John Morrison, who won with two of his last 12 runners making their first outing.
#2 Pop a Choc (12-1) found trouble in both of her two starts over one mile on grass at Gulfstream earlier this year and will try the main track for the first time. Gray could be better suited to dirt being by Bernardini and a half-sister to Airoforce, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on the main oval at Churchill. Trainer Casse wins with 17% of his runners making this surface change and Velazquez takes the mount.
Mark Casse has made a good start to this meet, winning with 22% of his runners and saddles #6 Brass Compass 9-2), who has a record of 19-6-1-3 on this Tapeta surface. Son of Malibu was well beaten in his latest at this level at Gulfstream in April but has been working well here and Casse wins with 16% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Chestnut can be on or near the early lead with Kimura in the saddle.
#3 Tenacious Moon (6-1) tries claiming company for the first time has been freshened since fading to finish fifth at this distance at Turf Paradise in early-March. Trainer Silva wins with 11% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and with 20% in for a tag for the first time. Son of Empire Way has won two of his three starts on turf and can be in good position throughout with Chirinos riding.