May 25, 2024

She Can’t Sing hits high note in Chilukki

She Can't Sing wins the Chilukki (Photo by Coady Photography)

One year after a troubled sixth in the Chilukki (G3), She Can’t Sing capitalized on a smoother trip to earn her first graded victory in Saturday’s $298,500 renewal at Churchill Downs.

The Lothenbach Stables homebred had been plying her trade on turf in the interim, capturing a trio of stakes and most recently placing third to Campanelle in the Sept. 10 Ladies Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs. Trainer Chris Block boasted a 24% strike rate in the turf-to-dirt category going into the Chilukki, and She Can’t Sing enhanced his stat.

“This mare has been really consistent on both dirt and turf,” Block said, “so I’ve been able to try a couple of different things with her. She loves this dirt track. Last year she won an allowance at seven-eighths but ended up having a really tough trip in the Chilukki. So, I decided to make it a goal to get her back for this race.”

Mission accomplished. The scratch of Center Aisle made for a less clear-cut pace scenario, but that suited the winner just fine.

She Can’t Sing had the natural speed to find herself in the vanguard, between Empire House to her inside and Liberty M D. As the latter eased back, She Can’t Sing matched strides with Empire House through splits of :22.82 and :45.50. Empire House was done on the far turn, and She Can’t Sing powered 3 3/4 lengths clear. Under Brian Hernandez Jr., she negotiated the one-turn mile in 1:35.38 and paid $9.04.

“We figured a couple others to our inside would go to the front,” Hernandez said, “but we kind of inherited the lead up the backside. She was traveling really comfortable all the way around there and finished really well down the lane.”

Ice Orchid advanced on the rail, got disorganized on her left lead in upper stretch, then switched leads as much the best of the rest. Liberty M D checked in a one-paced third, another 2 1/4 lengths back.

Coach, the 1.45-1 favorite, never appeared to be traveling at the back early and plugged on for fourth. Empire House retreated to a remote fifth, trailed by Mariah’s Princess, who was eased. An explanation for her subpar effort was immediately forthcoming: Mariah’s Princess bled and was vanned off, according to the chart.

She Can’t Sing has now bankrolled $816,588 from her 33-8-6-5 line. The Kentucky-bred has been better than ever at the age of five. After scoring her first stakes win in the Feb. 19 Al Stall Memorial S. at Fair Grounds, she made it a double in the Mar. 26 Tom Benson Memorial S. She Can’t Sing added the Lady Canterbury S. over the summer. All four of her career wins on dirt have come at Churchill, from her 2019 maiden to an allowance apiece in 2020 and 2021. A triple-surface threat, she also landed an allowance on the Polytrack at old Arlington Park in its final season.

By Bernardini and out of the Distorted Humor mare Distorted Music, She Can’t Sing descends from champion and noted matron It’s In the Air. Her maternal relatives include Musical Chimes, a French classic heroine as well as U.S. Grade 1 winner, and five-time Grade 1 star Music Note, herself the dam of 2021 Dubai World Cup (G1) hero Mystic Guide.

Thus She Can’t Sing burnished her own broodmare resume in the Chilukki. She will turn six in 2023, but Block is hopeful of keeping her around for another season.

“I think we’ll see her back next year. She’ll head to Fair Grounds after this and get a little bit of a freshening before we start looking at a spring campaign.”