January 30, 2023

Campanelle the class standout in Franklin County

Campanelle winning the Commonwealth Cup (G1) - Ascot Raccourse/Megan Ridgwell/Racenews
Dragon Symbol (right) was demoted in favor of Campanelle in the Commonwealth Cup - Megan Ridgwell/Ascot/Racenews

Franklin County S. (G3) — Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET)

The world-class Campanelle looms as a likely odds-on favorite at Keeneland on Friday when she heads a field of fillies and mares in the $150,000 Franklin County S. (G3).

Although based in the U.S. with Wesley Ward, the Irish-bred three-year-old by Kodiac has made four of her six career starts in Europe. Victorious last season in the Prix Morny (G1) against colts and in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot, Campanelle has traveled twice to the continent again this term.

Elevated from second to first on the disqualification of Dragon Symbol in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot in June, Campanelle was back overseas for the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) at Deauville in early August. However, Campanelle trailed the field of 12 as the favorite after rearing at the start and hitting jockey Frankie Dettori in the face.

Campanelle has raced once before at Keeneland, fading to fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) over a one-mile trip that proved too far.

Shortening up after a last-place finish in the Woodbine Mile (G1) is Change of Control, who landed the Giant’s Causeway S. over the course and distance in April, and later earned her first graded win in the seven-furlong Intercontinental (G3) at Belmont Park.

The top three finishers from last month’s Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs — In Good Spirits, Catch a Bid, and Lagertha — square off again. Lead Guitar, a dual stakes winner over six furlongs in New York in late 2020, appears to be rounding into form for George Weaver and exits a key renewal of the Smart N Fancy S. at Saratoga.

Other potential contenders include stakes winners Elle Z and Yes It’s Ginger.