Covfefe Preps for Breeders’ Cup in Today’s Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs

(The beautiful Covfefe in the post parade / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

LNJ Foxwoods’ Test Stakes (Grade I) winner Covfefe tops a compact field of six 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $125,000 Dogwood Stakes (Listed) – the featured event on an 11-race program at Churchill Downs – as she preps for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The seven-furlong Dogwood is carded as Race 10 with a post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post will get underway at 12:45 p.m.

Trained by Brad Cox, Covfefe will make her first start since defeating LonginesKentucky Oaks (GI) winner Serengeti Empress in the $500,000 Test over seven furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 3. The strikingly fast 3-year-old sprinter has recorded back-to-back five-furlong bullet workouts as she blazes her path into the Dogwood. Saturday’s race will mark the third time Covfefe (6-4-0-1—$483,300) has run beneath the Twin Spires. The daughter of Into Mischief won her debut during last year’s September Meet and finished third in the $120,000 Roxelana in June.

“Our goal was to get Covfefe a Grade I win and we were able to do just that in the Test,” Cox said. “She came back from the race quicker than we originally anticipated. It was such an awesome race that afternoon with two great fillies battling down the lane. She’s come to Churchill and worked fantastic into the race. This race fits well on the calendar and we don’t have to ship her.”

Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan has the call on Covfefe who drew post position No. 6.

If all goes well, Covfefe will likely target the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Breaking one post to the inside of Covfefe is Randall Bloch, Six Column Stables, Fred Merrit, John Seller, Stephen Harner, Gene Rice and Jack Porter Jr.’s $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) winner Champagne Anyone who will cut back in distance to seven furlongs for the first time since early February.

Champagne Anyone (10-3-0-3—$360,825), who finished fourth in the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks, enters the Dogwood following a sixth-place effort in the $600,000 Alabama (GI) and fourth-place finish in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) at Saratoga.

Trained by Ian Wilkes, his son-in-law, Chris Landeros, will have the call.

The field for the Dogwood in order of post position (with jockey and trainer): Bell’s the One (Corey Lanerie, Neil Pessin); Take Charge Angel (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ben Colebrook); Free Cover (Robby Albarado, Bret Calhoun); Istan Council (Chantal Sutherland, Larry Jones); Champagne Anyone (Landeros, Wilkes); and Covfefe(Bridmohan, Cox.).

Racing gets underway Thursday at Churchill Downs for a four-day week beginning with Twilight Thursday Presented by Blue Moon. First post is 5 p.m. and features live music from DJ S.Y.I.M.O.N.E, $1 Blue Moon drafts and $1 select domestic beers and food truck fare from Joella’s Hot Chicken, Flavaville, Red Top Gourmet Hot Dogs, Sweet N Savory Crepes and Mark’s Feed Store.

First post Friday-Sunday will be at 12:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service is calling for a great week of racing with partly-to-mostly sunny skies with highs in the lower 90s and upper 80s.

Sunday is Family Adventure Day Presented by Kroger. Families can enjoy a day at the races with more than 20 activities for children 12 and under to enjoy in the Plaza. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at www.churchilldowns.com.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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