The first of three scheduled stakes, Saturday’s $500,000 Aristocrat Gaming Juvenile Fillies took place before Kentucky Downs became too waterlogged to continue, wiping out the remainder of the program, and Chop Chop thrived in the downpour, edging Towhead by a nose after a thrilling duel to the wire.
Officials will determine whether to bring back the $1 million Mint Million (G3) and $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile in the coming days.
A debut maiden winner over Ellis Park’s turf at Ellis Park Aug. 14, Chop Chop retained the services of Reylu Gutierrez and left the starting gate as the 4.11-1 third choice among eight fillies. The Brad Cox-trained daughter of freshman sire City of Light broke on top over the yielding ground, but Chop Chop settled a couple of lengths back as Towhead sped forward to show the way.
The pacesetter was pressed by C C Cruise Control through opening splits in :24.11 and :49.99, and Chop Chop began to advance three wide as the frontrunners reached the top of the long stretch. Towhead dismissed C C Cruise Control, but Chop Chop engaged Towhead with about a furlong remaining and a photo finish was needed to determine the winner after a head-bobbing finish.
Chop Chop came out on top by the slimmest of margins, completing the mile distance in 1:43.86, and Towhead wound up nine lengths clear at 5.61-1. C C Cruise Control held show by less than a length over Knockyoursocksoff, who was followed by Mustang Lady, Chiquita Mosca, Janis Joplin, and 2.78-1 favorite Callie’s Grit.
Owned by Selective LLC, Chop Chop was bred in Kentucky by Cobra Farm and MRJ Thoroughbreds. She sold for $230,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale, and the bay filly is out of the unraced Giant’s Causeway mare Grand Sofia, a half-sister to Grade 1-winning millionaire Rail Trip.