June 19, 2024

Coach faces six in Chilukki

Coach wins the Pippen S. at Oaklawn Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Coach opened her four-year-old season on an encouraging note, recording a pair of convincing wins at Oaklawn, including the Pippin S., but she headed to the sidelines following a fourth in the Bayakoa (G3) in mid-February. The multiple stakes queen will make her second start back from a layoff in Saturday’s $300,000 Chilukki S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, and Coach has been installed as a 9-5 morning line favorite among six rivals.

She will attempt to keep advancing off a rallying second in the Oct. 1 Twixt S. at Laurel Park, netting a career-best 98 Brisnet Speed rating, and the Brad Cox-trained daughter of Commissioner was flattered when the winning Battle Bling came back to capture the Turnback the Alarm (G3) at Aqueduct in early November.

A stakes winner at Churchill, Coach will cut back to a one-turn mile and break from the rail with Ricardo Santana Jr.

Multiple turf stakes winner She Can’t Sing, most recently third in the Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs, will switch back to dirt for Chris Block. And while she’s thrived on turf this season, the five-year-old mare has proven more than capable on the main track under the Twin Spires, winning dirt races the last three years at Churchill. Brian Hernandez Jr. retakes the assignment aboard the early 5-2 second choice.

Mariah’s Princess, a good second when opening her 2022 campaign in an Oct. 29 allowance at Keeneland, comes next on the morning line at 3-1. Conditioned by Phil Bauer, the four-year-old Ghostzapper filly rolled to a three-length stakes win at Oaklawn two starts back in December. Mariah’s Princess cuts back to a one-turn distance and figures to be prominent from the start with Martin Garcia.

Center Aisle returned from a five-month rest with a nice allowance tally at Keeneland in early October, and the five-year-old mare led wire-to-wire over allowance foes at Churchill last November. Listed at 6-1, Center Aisle projects to be part of the early pace under Gerardo Corrales.

Liberty M D, who improved her local record to 5-4-1-0 when defeating conditioned allowance rivals at Churchill two back, will try to make an impact at the stakes level for Ian Wilkes. Last-out Keeneland allowance winner Ice Orchid and Empire House, third in the Oct. 2 Zenyatta (G2) at Santa Anita, complete the field.