Oonagh, Ticket clash in Fleur de Lis
The $300,000 Fleur de Lis H. (G2) will take place one race prior to the main event on the "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" card at Churchill Downs, and the 1 1/8-mile test promises to be a dandy affair with the presence of premiere distaffers OONAGH MACCOOL (Ire) (Giant's Causeway) and HAPPY TICKET (Anet). Oonagh Maccool has drawn rave reviews from conditioner Todd Pletcher following smashing victories in the Louisville Breeders' Cup H. (G2) and Rampart H. (G2), and the four-year-old filly's lone career setback came over a yielding turf course last November at Aqueduct. She's won three straight this season and will keep Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.
Happy Ticket is very formidable, but she's come out on the short end of the wire in her last two outings, just missing when second in both the Apple Blossom H. (G1) and Azeri Breeders' Cup S. (G3). The Grade 1-winning mare has shipped in from Louisiana for trainer Andrew Leggio Jr., and Julien Leparoux will guide her. Oonagh Maccool and Happy Ticket are the co-highweights at 120 pounds. GALLANT SECRET (Menifee) has placed in three stakes at Churchill, including last year's Kentucky Oaks (G1), but she faces a difficult class challenge against the top two. The same goes for the other three contestants.
Oonagh Maccool will lead the post parade. Next comes Happy Ticket; Gallant Secret, Bill Troilo, 112; CHARACTER BUILDER (Coronado's Quest), Shaun Bridgmohan, 112; LA REASON (Labeeb [GB]), Garrett Gomez, 114; and SOUL SEARCH (A.P. Indy), Willie Martinez, 110.
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