Lady Tak is formidable no matter where she runs, but the 4-year-old Mutakddim filly is especially tough at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Bill Heiligbrodt and trained by Steve Asmussen, Lady Tak has won four of five at the Louisville track and will be favored to win her third consecutive graded stakes in today’s $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap.
A Grade II at a mile, the Distaff attracted a solid field of 12, including seven other fillies and mares who have combined to win 16 of 36 starts at Churchill Downs.
Successful in 10 of 17 lifetime and earner of more than $1.1 million, Lady Tak enters the Distaff off victories in the Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga and the Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park.
This will be the first time she has run a mile since she was second, beaten by a head, by Bird Town in the 2003 Acorn at Belmont.
John Velazquez will ride the Florida-bred, who has won four of six in 2004.
Of the others, My Boston Gal and Mayo On The Side have been the most efficient at Churchill. Both have won three times at the track for trainer Carl Nafzger, and the latter is best remembered for upsetting Azeri in the Huma Distaff Handicap earlier this year. Calvin Borel will ride My Boston Gal, and Robby Albarado will handle Mayo On The Side.
Race of the day: Penny’s Fortune, who has won two of her last three for owners Howard and Mary Lester and trainer Jenine Sahadi, heads a field of nine 3-year-old fillies scheduled to run 1 1/8 miles on the turf in today’s $60,000 Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood Park. Jose Valdivia Jr. will ride Penny’s Fortune against Shake Off, Seeking My Heart, Megec Blis, Broad Minded, Belle Ange, Taygete, Sweet Win and Lovely Rafaela.
One for the road: Kenta Kun steps up in search of his third consecutive win in today’s fifth at Churchill Downs. Claimed for $30,000 by high percentage trainer Greg Foley, the 3-year-old Demidoff gelding will be ridden by Willie Martinez in the $49,000 allowance at seven furlongs.
Exotically speaking: A pick three using Pleasure Honor in the fourth, all in the fifth and Saint Afleet, My Master and Hasty Kris in the sixth.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 1/12. Money: Previous day/meet total: $4.20/$61.80. Total money bet: $66.