Chicago S. (G3) — Race 9 (4:55 p.m. ET)
Saturday’s $200,000 Chicago S. (G3) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs will mark the sixth meeting between the local stalwarts Bell’s the One and Sconsin, but the seven-furlong dash is much more than a two-horse race.
A nine-time stakes winner overall, the six-year-old Bell’s the One turned in her customary strong effort in defeat first out this term in the Madison (G1). However, she failed to muster a strong enough rally in the May 7 Derby City Distaff (G1), finishing fourth behind Obligatory, another deep closer.
Sconsin, who’s won five of eight over the Churchill strip with two seconds, returned from a lengthy absence in the May 30 Winning Colors (G3), defending her title in the six-furlong race by three parts of a length. Although Bell’s the One has outfinished Sconsin in three of their five prior meetings, Sconsin has done better in two of the three matchups held at Churchill.
Pennybaker, from the family of Grade 1 star Frosted and champion juvenile Midshipman, turned in an eye-catching U.S. debut in the April 16 Heavenly Cause S. at Laurel, winning by 6 3/4 lengths over a one-turn mile. The Godolphin homebred is trained by Mike Stidham.
Lady Rocket, a dynamite winner of the Go for Wand H. (G3) last December, shortens up after finishing third to Search Results in the one-mile Ruffian (G2) at Belmont. Four Graces was runner-up to Obligatory in the Derby City Distaff last time, but is winless since taking the Beaumont (G3) in July 2020.
Bayerness has won three of five starts locally, including the April 30 Roxelana S. by 4 1/2 lengths over a muddy strip. However, that race was scratched down to a field of three, and the waters are much deeper here. Kalypso, who upset the La Brea (G1) in December, exits a victory in the Memorial Day Sprint at Lone Star Park.
This is the second edition of the Chicago held at Churchill, which served as a substitute host for the former Arlington mainstay in 2017.