With five career starts and two wins, including a maiden win at the Gowell distance at Turfway, Emma Darling brings wide experience to the race. She sat behind a quick pace for the maiden win at six furlongs and used a similar style to win her most recent race, a mile allowance at Churchill Downs. She also has stakes experience, finishing fourth in the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs at summer’s end. Emma Darling is trained by Mike Maker, the meet’s top trainer, and will be ridden by Victor Lebron.
Step Out Smartly has two starts on her resume. In her first, a straight maiden race at Keeneland, she broke slowly and finished sixth of 12, a result that could be attributed either to the learning curve or the all-weather surface. She subsequently has trained well at Keeneland and appeared to conquer the learning curve in her next start, a five-length win in the mud at Churchill Downs. Bill Troilo will ride for trainer George “Rusty” Arnold.
Illinois-bred Saxxy Rose Lee broke her maiden at first asking at Ellis Park and has raced in stakes company in her three starts since, including a third-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway in September. She also was third in the state bred-restricted, six-furlong Showtime Deb Stakes at Hawthorne in her most recent race. Inosencio Diego rides for trainer Joe Cain.
The Gowell will be just the second start for Janou, who broke her maiden last month in a Churchill Downs sprint for $50,000 claimers. She led all the way to win by a neck, dueling most of the way, and has been training well at Turfway for her all-weather debut. Rodney Prescott rides for trainer Buff Bradley.
Also entered for the Gowell are Queen of Victory, claimed last out from Doug O’Neill and shipped from California to Kentucky (jockey Orlando Mojica); Chapolte (Tom Pompell); Southern Sweet Tea (Otto Thorwarth); Lady’s Laughter (Richard Monterrey); Trust N Seven, entering off a state-bred win in the Miss Indiana Stakes (Tracy Hebert); and Satans Quick Chick (John McKee).
The Gowell runs as the 11th race on Saturday’s 12-race card. First post is 1:10pm.