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Astrology, Aide top Churchill juvenile stakes

Astrology will seek his second straight graded stakes win under the Twin Spires (Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs)

It's not closing day of the fall meet as in seasons past, but Saturday's Stars of Tomorrow II card at Churchill Downs will feature the final stakes action of the year at the Louisville, Kentucky, oval. As is customary, the feature events are the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) and $150,000 Golden Rod S. (G2) for fillies, both at 1 1/16 miles.

Super Saver became the first Kentucky Jockey Club winner in 36 years to prevail in the Kentucky Derby (G1) when taking the Run for the Roses in May, and it's safe to presume the connections of the seven colts and geldings in Saturday's renewal hope to be back under the Twin Spires in six months. Favoritism will likely fall on ASTROLOGY (A.P. Indy), who met little resistance when taking the one-mile Iroquois S. (G3) by 2 3/4 lengths under Garrett Gomez, who will be back aboard the Steve Asmussen trainee.

The main threats to Astrology all exit races at Keeneland. SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway), who is still a maiden, rallied from near the back to finish a clear second in the Breeders' Futurity (G1) on October 9. He debuts here for Eddie Kenneally, who succeeds Ken McPeek and Todd Pletcher as the bay's conditioner. MAJOR GAIN (More Than Ready), a troubled fifth as the favorite in the Breeders' Futurity, had previously taken the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) by a length. CANE GARDEN BOY (Rockport Harbor) was a solid maiden winner going seven furlongs for Rusty Arnold on October 16 after narrowly losing on dirt in his Saratoga debut in early September.

Iroquois fourth HALO'S THUNDER (Thunder Gulch), Hoosier allowance winner PRIDEOFTHECHAPTER (Strong Hope) and Florida invader ENABLE (A. P. Warrior) complete the lineup.

Owner Adele Dilschneider and trainer Al Stall Jr., already enjoying a stellar Churchill fall meet due to the exploits of Blame and Apart (Flatter), might have the Golden Rod favorite in AIDE (Arch). Bred along the same cross as Blame, Aide was an emphatic 19 3/4-length winner against allowance foes on the first Stars of Tomorrow program on Halloween. She will have the services of Gomez for a second time.

KATHMANBLU (Bluegrass Cat), outrun in her dirt debut in June, has taken a liking to turf in four subsequent outings. After a maiden score on the Ellis Park lawn, the McPeek pupil ran second in the P.G. Johnson S. at Saratoga, won the Jessamine S. at Keeneland by four lengths, then was two lengths third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) last time.

The top two finishers from the October 31 Pocahontas S. (G2) will not return for the Golden Rod, but the race will be represented by third-placer MISSYOULIKECRAZY (Lion Heart) and fourth-placer GRAN LIONESS (Lion Heart). Making their stakes debuts are MISSED THE POINT (Distorted Humor), SUAVE VOIR FAIRE (Suave) and SWEET DEAL TO WIN (Impeachment).


 


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