Along with the Fleur de Lis (G2) and Stephen Foster (G2), Saturday’s blockbuster card at Churchill Downs will feature a couple of interesting Grade 3 stakes. Thirteen sophomore fillies will square off in the $100,000 Regret at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and 2-year-olds will be on display in the $100,000 Bashford Manor at 6-furlongs on the main track.
Crystal Cliffs has been tabbed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Regret following a sharp 1 3/4-length score over entry-level allowance foes at Churchill in her U.S. debut. A French maiden winner two back, the Graham Motion-trained lass is eligible to keep moving forward in her second start off the layoff, and John Velazquez retains the mount.
Her main challengers include Micheline, winner of the May 2 Honey Ryder S. at Gulfstream; stakes vixen Dominga, a troubled sixth May 23 Tepin; stakes winner Harvey’s Lil Goil, who switches to turf for Bill Mott; and Tepin third-placer Pass the Plate, who has placed in three consecutive stakes attempts.
The Bashford Manor kicks off an All-Stakes Pick 4 with a field of seven, including exciting debut maiden winner Cazadero. The Stonestreet Stables homebred showed speed from the start and drew off to a scintillating 8 3/4-length decision when opening his career under the Twin Spires on May 29, registering a field-best 91 Brisnet Speed rating, and Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount for Steve Asmussen.
Asmussen will also send out Hulen, who scored by 1 1/2 lengths when making his first start at Churchill on June 12. Todd Pletcher has entered Gulfstream debut winner Hyperfocus, who overcame a slow start to win his debut going away. Velazquez rides the Constitution colt. Gatsby exits a sharp win at Gulfstream for Juan Alvarado, and Herd Immunity invades for Peter Miller off a 1 3/4-length score at Santa Anita.