The three-year-old filly Xigera will be heavily favored to feast on at least seven older rivals in the $400,000 Falls City (G3) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day.
A versatile filly equally at home on dirt and turf, Xigera has captured four of her past five starts. They include stakes on both surfaces at Churchill, as well as a 3 1/2-length score in the Mother Goose (G2) at Aqueduct on Oct. 28 over the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the Falls City. The daughter of Nyquist has won five of nine overall.
Although she didn’t fare well last time at Aqueduct after a stumbling start, Bellamore has form good enough to win this renewal if Xigera doesn’t. Runner-up in last year’s Falls City, Bellamore has since placed behind the likes of presumptive champion Idiomatic (twice) and Adare Manor. She was also narrowly beaten in the Fleur de Lis (G2) three back.
Grade 1-placed stakes winner Distinctlypossible is likely better than what she showed in an allowance prep on Nov. 3, won by Scratch Kat. The latter also defeated Shezz Koldazice at Keeneland two weeks earlier. Misty Veil, a distant third last out in the Locust Grove (G3), is eligible for another graded placing.
The supporting feature is the $300,000 Cardinal (G3) for fillies and mares and scheduled for nine furlongs on the turf. The Chad Brown-trained stakes newcomer Saffron Moon has won three of her four turf starts and is a likely contender, while stakes winner Juncture drops in class after chasing Grade 1 winners Didia and Anisette in the Rodeo Drive (G1) at Santa Anita.
Other potential contenders are 2022 Regret (G3) heroine Walkathon, Joyful Applause, and Lovely Princess.