Saturday’s $400,000 Delta Downs Princess S. (G3) will offer points -- 10-4-2-1 -- toward a starting berth in next year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, but the one-mile affair has come up pretty light with only seven juvenile fillies entered.
The field includes two who have spent time on the turf and four others who have yet to compete beyond seven furlongs. The Delta Downs Princess is the perfect spot to test these youngsters before they begin their sophomore campaigns.
The biggest draw in the race is undefeated La Appassionata from the barn of Steve Asmussen. The bay miss took her maiden debut by 4 1/2 lengths sprinting three-quarters at Churchill Downs on September 13 and traveled to Delta Downs last out to add a seven-length romp in the October 23 My Trusty Cat S. to her resume.
La Appassionata then shipped to her trainer’s Fair Grounds barn, where she has posted a pair of works in advance of the Delta Downs Princess. Gerard Melancon was aboard for her last run and retains the mount Saturday as the Kentucky homebred attempts to remain perfect.
La Appassionata will face some familiar foes in this spot, as the second and third from the My Trusty Cat are also entered back in the Delta Downs Princess.
Above Fashion was closest when second and had a length to spare on Jet Black Magic. The former entered the My Trusty Cat off a pair of wins, and will be making her seventh career start for her third trainer in Ron Faucheux. Colby Hernandez has the call.
Jet Black Magic is one of the aforementioned turf fillies, having broken her maiden at first asking September 2 on Indiana Grand’s dirt before running second against allowance/optional claimers over Churchill’s turf course 25 days later. Trainer Bret Calhoun switched her back to the main track for the My Trusty Cat and she’ll stay on the dirt for Saturday’s event under jockey Roberto Morales.
Angelita is the other turf runner in the Delta Downs Princess, and will actually be making her dirt bow in the race under Gerardo Mora. The Brent Morris-trained gray miss has only competed at Retama Park thus far, taking her career debut by 7 1/2 lengths on August 28, finishing second in the October 3 La Senorita S. and recording a two-length victory against allowance foes just 13 days later.
The rest of the Delta Downs Princess field are Learning Curve, who ran fourth in her two races to date in Kentucky; Shesthewinner, an allowance/optional claiming scorer in her past effort going a mile at Gulfstream Park West; and Louisiana-bred Charlie’s Pal, who has been well-beaten while facing state-bred competition in her past pair.