- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Unlimited Budget returns to action in Rachel Alexandra
Unlimited Budget, who knocked out two wins in the span of 15 days last November, including the Grade 2 Demoiselle, will kick off her sophomore season in the Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra on Saturday at Fair Grounds. The 1 1/16-mile test is a stepping stone to the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks.
Overlooked at 7-1 when taking her one-mile debut at Aqueduct by 9 1/2 lengths over next-out winner Squeal, Unlimited Budget stretched out to nine furlongs for the Demoiselle, which she won in wire-to-wire fashion by 1 1/4 lengths. The daughter of Street Sense will try to make it three in a row on Saturday for owner Mike Repole trainer Todd Pletcher.
The Larry Jones-trained Dancinginthecircle showed vast improvement when taking the By the Light at Delta Downs in early January, romping by nine lengths in the two-turn, seven furlong-test. The Divine Park filly had previously run a distant second in a Churchill Downs allowance behind Pure Fun, who went on to notch the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet. Jones will also saddle Blue Violet, a 9 1/4-length maiden winner last time in her sixth career outing.
Midnight Ballet, who races for the Kentucky-based Stoneway Farm, invades from the California string of trainer Tom Proctor. Far behind champion Beholder in her lone outing on dirt so far, the Midnight Lute lass rebounded to land the Sharp Cat over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track. However, she was a flat fifth in the Hollywood Starlet in her most recent outing.
Others among the field of 10 likely to attract support at the windows are the Grade 3-placed Every Way, a grass allowance winner in her last start; Finding More, winner of the Letellier Memorial and fifth in the Silverbulletday in her last two; and Daddy's Song, who gets a serious class test after blowout wins against maiden claimers and starter allowance foes in her last two.