A field of six fillies and mares was drawn for the Inside Information, formerly known as the Shirley Jones Handicap, and the seven-furlong test will share the spotlight on Sunday’s program with the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies on turf.
That decision reversed the result of the First Lady Stakes (G3) on Jan. 18. A Kentucky homebred by Limit Out, Any Limit won the Hurricane Bertie in 2007, and after missing the winter season here last year, swept the First Flight Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park and Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) at Saratoga over the summer.
Jockey John R. Velazquez will be back aboard Game Face for trainer Todd Pletcher. The chestnut daughter of Menifee won the Old Hat Stakes (G3) here by seven lengths and the La Troienne Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs last year. She scored by 2 ¾ lengths over Any Limit in the First Lady.
The two rivals face a formidable new opponent in Mary and Gary West’s 4-year-old filly Keep the Peace with Julien Leparoux in the saddle after an impressive allowance victory by 2 ½ lengths going six furlongs over the track on Feb. 21 in her first start since late May.
Trained by Eddie Kenneally, the chestnut daughter of Touch Gold had a strong, but frustrating 3-year-old campaign, finishing second in three Graded stakes, including a nose loss in the Forward Gal Stakes here and the La Troienne at Churchill Derby week when beaten a neck by Game Face.
The ‘wild card’ in the field will be Stanley Seelig’s 5-year-old mare Precious Kiss shipping in from New Orleans with jockey John Jacinto coming along for the ride. Trained by Patrick Mouton, Precious Kiss is a daughter of Kissin Kris and won the Pan Zareta Stakes last out on Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
Completing the field are a pair of contenders trained by Marty Wolfson – Miklin Stable’s 6-year-old mare Stormin Mon, Jermaine Bridgmohan; and Farnsworth Stable’s 4-year-old filly Pious Ashley, Javier Castellano.
Dream Empress Returns in Herecomesthebride
Livin the Dream Racing’s Dream Empress ranked among the leaders of her division last year, winning the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 3 and finishing a game second to Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) three weeks later at Santa Anita.
Trainer Ken McPeek has chosen Sunday’s Herecomesthebride Stakes for Dream Empress to make her return to competition with Kent Desormeaux as she makes her first start since a disappointing fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29. The daughter of Bernstein broke her maiden on turf at Saratoga after a fourth-place career debut on turf at Ellis Park.
Dream Empress faces six rivals, including the first three to finish in the Coconut Grove Stakes over the Gulfstream course on Feb. 15 – Farnsworth Stables’ Gozzip Girl, Elvis Trujillo; Chester Bishop’s Oilgonewile, Wesley Henry; and Andrew Farm and Frank O’Connor’s Obesquious, Edgar Prado.
Completing the field for the Herecomesthebride are Del Ridge Farm’s Bluegrass Princess, John R. Velazquez; Sam Kassin and Eli Gindi’s Fast Tigress, Javier Castellano; Louise and G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.’s Guarda, Julien Leparoux; and Kinsman Stable’s Candle Maker, Alan Garcia.