December 9, 2022

Carribean Caper brings unbeaten record to Dogwood; King Fury, Irish Unity top inaugural Churchill stakes

King Fury winning the Street Sense S. - Coady Photography
King Fury winning the Street Sense S. (Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs will offer three stakes on Saturday.

Dogwood (G3) – Race 8 (4:22 p.m. ET)

After improving to 4-for-4 with a one-length tally in the Aug. 15 Audubon Oaks, Carribean Caper will seek her first graded triumph in the $275,000 Dogwood S. (G3). The dark bay daughter of Speightstown tops seven sophomore fillies in the seven-furlong event.

Carribean Caper has won all four starts from just off the pace, including her first three by a combined 17 lengths, and the Al Stall Jr. trainee will retain the services of Colby Hernandez.

A convincing allowance scorer under the Twin Spires in late May, Li’l Tootsie will draw support following a third in the Sept. 4 Prioress S. (G2) at Saratoga. James Graham will be up on the late runner for Tom Amoss.

Shesa Mystery also has stakes experience, finishing second in the Iowa Oaks (G3) two back, and the Michael Miceli pupil should be pushing the pace with Julien Leparoux.

Bourbon Trail – Race 9 (4:55 p.m. ET)

Grade 3 winner King Fury headlines the first running of the $275,000 Bourbon Trail S., which will feature seven three-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles.

A close second in the Ohio Derby (G3) three back, King Fury should appreciate the class relief following a fifth in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga. Brian Hernandez Jr. retakes the mount on the Curlin colt for Kenny McPeek.

Stakes victor Gagetown, third in the Iowa Derby and St. Louis Derby in his last two outings, merits respect for Brad Cox. The Exaggerator colt easily broke his maiden in his lone Churchill start, and Gagetown should receive a ground-saving trip from his rail post under Martin Garcia.

Other runners include Angkor, Bourbon Thunder, and Dr Jack.

Harrods Creek – Race 10 (5:26 p.m. ET)

Following a close second in his stakes debut, the Aug. 28 St. Louis Derby, Irish Unity likely will go favored in the inaugural running of the $275,000 Harrods Creek S. Steve Asmussen conditions the gelded son of Pioneerof the Nile, and Brian Hernandez guides the lightly raced frontrunner.

Ten sophomores are entered for the seven-furlong test, and Emerald Forest invades from Louisiana for his stakes debut. Regular rider Jose Guerrero will accompany the speedy gelding, who has registered triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings winning his last two starts at Evangeline Downs and Louisiana Downs by a combined 17 1/2 lengths, and Shane Wilson trains.

Bob’s Edge, Dreamer’s Disease, He’smyhoneybadger, and Wolfie’s Dynaghost also rate as contenders.