Eskimo Kisses Makes Return Against Blue Prize in G1 Spinster Stakes Today

(Blue Prize winning at Churchill Downs / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Eskimo Kisses, the 6½-length runaway winner of the Alabama (G1), and multiple graded stakes winner Blue Prize (ARG) headline a field of 11 fillies and mares entered Thursday morning for Sunday’s 63rd running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

The Juddmonte Spinster is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race with the winner getting a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3. On Sunday, the Juddmonte Spinster is the ninth race on the 10-race program with a 5:45 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1:05 p.m.

Trained by two-time race winner Kenny McPeek, Eskimo Kisses is one of five 3-year-olds in the field. In her most recent start at Keeneland, Eskimo Kisses finished second in this spring’s Central Bank Ashland (G1). She next was fourth in both the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).

Eskimo Kisses is owned by the partnership of Gainesway Stable, Harold Lerner, Andrew Rosen, Nehoc Stables and Magdalena Racing.

Jose Ortiz, who was aboard for the Alabama victory, has the call Sunday and will break from post position four.

Blue Prize, who has compiled a career mark of 15-6-7-1, was third in the Juddmonte Spinster last year in a race run over a sloppy track. She enters Sunday’s race on a two-race win streak with victories in the Locust Grove (G3) and Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill. The latter victory earned Blue Prize a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Owned by Merriebelle Stable and trained by Ignacio Correas IV, Blue Prize will be ridden by Joe Bravo and break from post position 11.

All of the other 3-year-olds in the race are graded stakes winners: Chocolate Martini (Fair Grounds Oaks-G2), Sassy Sienna(Fantasy-G3), Skeptic (Monmouth Oaks-G3) and Talk Veuve to Me (Indiana Oaks-G3).

Owned by Double Doors Racing and trained by Tom Amoss, Chocolate Martini comes into Sunday’s race off a fifth-place finish in the Cotillion (G1). Corey Lanerie has the mount and will break from post position two.

G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and Ashbrook Farm’s Skeptic and Sassy Sienna, owned by the partnership of China Horse Club International, Medallion Racing, Sandra Lazaruk, Zayat Stables and Jerry McClanahan, finished 1-2, respectively, in the Monmouth Oaks in their previous starts.

Trained by Rusty Arnold, Skeptic will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and exit position nine. Brad Cox trains Sassy Sienna, who will break from post position six under Shaun Bridgmohan.

Talk Veuve to Me, owned in partnership by Team Valor International, trainer Rodolphe Brisset and Stephen McKay, was fourth in the Alabama, finishing less than a half-length out of second. She will be ridden Sunday by Julien Leparoux from post position seven.

The field for the Juddmonte Spinster, with riders and weights, from the rail is: Tiger Moth (Florent Geroux, 124 pounds), Chocolate Martini (Lanerie, 121), Fuhriously Kissed (Jose Bracho, 124), Eskimo Kisses (Ortiz, 121), Southernperfection(Albin Jimenez, 124), Sassy Sienna (Bridgmohan, 121), Tale Veuve to Me (Leparoux, 121), Champagne Problems (Calvin Borel, 124), Skeptic (Hernandez Jr., 121), Pacific Wind (Luis Saez, 124) and Blue Prize (ARG) (Bravo, 124).

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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