Handful of Contenders Vie in Cardinal

Category : News - Thu 07/11/2013 - 16:00 EST

A competitive field of 10, including a number of graded-stakes winners and a former Breeders’ Cup participant, are entered this Saturday for the running of the $100,000 Grade III Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs. The Cardinal is open to fillies and mares three-years-old and up racing 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The race will go as the eighth on the 10-race Saturday card at Churchill, and is the only stakes event scheduled at Churchill this weekend. The four-year-old fillies Solid Appeal and Somali Lemonade have been assigned high weight of 119 lbs.

Top three all stepping back from Grade I company

Made the morning line favorite at 3-1 is the Irish-bred Starstruck, who won the Grade III Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth two starts back, before finishing fourth, beaten three lengths, in the Grade I Rodeo Drive. The winner of the Rodeo Drive, Tiz Flirtatious, went on to finish sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, while the second-place finisher, Marketing Mix, was fifth in the same race.  Co-second choices in the Cardinal at 7-2 are Miz Ida, fourth in the Grade I First Lady in her last start, and Somali Lemonade, most recently sixth in the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational.

Other contenders also in single digits on morning line

Some value could be had with Solid Appeal, listed at 4-1 in the morning line. Although she began her career on the Woodbine polytrack, she has won three times on the turf, including back-to-back wins earlier this year in the Grade II Nassau as well as the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes. Two starts ago she stepped up to Grade I company in the Beverly D. Handicap, finishing sixth to BC Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank. Also in the field at 5-1 is Abaco, the second-place finisher in the Grade III Athenia Stakes at Belmont last month.

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