Lockdown as well as the top four from the September 16 Locust Grove Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs are all part of a 13-strong distaffer field entered Sunday in Keeneland’s $500,000 Spinster Stakes (G1).
The 1 1/8-mile contest is the final “Win & You’re In” Challenge series race offering up an all-fees paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on November 3 at Del Mar.
Lockdown will be facing her elders for the first time in the Spinster for trainer Bill Mott. The First Defense sophomore was a contender on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail over the spring after taking the Busanda Stakes and running second in the Gazelle Stakes (G2), and rallied for third in the Run for the Lilies on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Given a brief break after her nice Kentucky Oaks effort, the bay miss returned to be second in the Mother Goose Stakes (G1) before suffering her first unplaced finish when sixth in the Alabama Stakes (G1) on August 19 at Saratoga. Lockdown tried to lead all the way home in the Cotillion Stakes (G1) last out, but was caught in the lane and forced to settle for third. Jose Lezcano was aboard for the filly’s racing debut last November at Aqueduct and returns to her saddle for the first time since in this spot.
Romantic Vision upset the Locust Grove at 10-1 after losing by double-digit lengths in her previous pair of races. The Rusty Arnold trainee ran fifth in the 2016 edition of that contest but garnered a 100 BRIS Speed rating when returning a year later to score by 1 1/4 lengths. The Lemon Drop Kid mare actually earned her first stakes win in the Locust Grove and will try to repeat that experience in the Spinster with Brian Hernandez Jr. retaining the mount.
Blue Prize was the 3-2 favorite in the Locust Grove and held the lead before being overtaken by Romantic Vision. The Ignacio Correas IV trainee did stay up for second by three parts of a length under James Graham, who has been her pilot ever since the chestnut lass shipped to the United States. A Group 1 winner in her native Argentina, the four-year-old daughter of Pure Prize will seek to break a case of seconditis in the Spinster that started in her stateside debut.
Tiger Moth entered the Locust Grove off a three-quarter length win in the Groupie Doll Stakes (G3) at Ellis Park and was that margin behind Blue Prize when third under the Twin Spires. Corey Lanerie was aboard for both those starts and is back in the Street Sense mare’s saddle for the Spinster.
Mo d’Amour completed the top four under the Locust Grove wire three weeks ago, just a neck back of Tiger Moth. The Uncle Mo four-year-old’s only stakes win came in the 2016 Busher Stakes, and that was also her last victory. Julian Leparoux rides the Rodolphe Brisset trainee as she tries for a return to the winner’s circle in this spot.
Martini Glass’ claim to fame came three races back when she finished only a length behind multiple champion Songbird in the Delaware Handicap (G1). Sent off at 21-1 that day, the Keith Nations charge impressed enough to warrant even-money favoritism in the Lady Jacqueline Stakes next out at Thistledown, where she rallied for second. The four-year-old daughter of Kitalpha enters the Spinster off a sixth-placing in the All Along Stakes at Laurel Park on September 16 with Paco Lopez holding the reins.
Bar of Gold ran second in the Presque Isle Downs Masters (G2) three weeks ago on September 18 for trainer John Kimmel, and returns to the main track in this spot for the first time since finishing seventh in the Ogden Phipps Stake (G1) at Belmont on June 10. The Medaglia d’Oro five-year-old just missed by a half-length one race prior to that one in the Ruffian Stakes (G2), and boasts a single start at Keeneland, which came as another half-length second in the 2015 Raven Run Stakes (G2). Luis Saez has the call Sunday.
Rounding out the Spinster field are Grade 3 runner-up A Place to Shine, multiple stakes-placed Katalust, stakes runner-ups You Know Too and Turkish Tabby, stakes debuter Duchess of Duke and Factory of Faith.