G3 Locust Grove Stakes Preview: Mylady Curlin Seeks 4th Straight Stakes Win

(Mylady Curlin is trained by Brad Cox / Photo Courtesy of the Fair Grounds)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Sather Family’s seven-time winning filly Mylady Curlin will attempt to collect her fourth-straight stakes victory as she takes on eight fillies and mares in Saturday’s 36th running of the $200,000 Locust Grove (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Locust Grove, which had its purse doubled for 2019, is carded as Race 8 on the 11-race program with a scheduled post time of 4:21 p.m.

Trained by Brad Cox, Mylady Curlin (12-7-2-1—$480,703) enters the Locust Grove following her victory in Thisledown’s $200,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes by a scant nose. Previously, the well-traveled 4-year-old won the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand and $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (GIII) at Pimlico.

Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Mylady Curlin from post position No. 3 in the Locust Grove.

Entered one post to Mylady Curlin’s inside is her stablemate, Jerry Marks Stables’ $100,000 Iowa Distaff winner Moonlit Garden. Most recently, Moonlit Garden (23-4-5-7—$373,573) was used as the workmate to 2018 champion 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl. The regular pilot of Monomoy Girl, Florent Geroux, has the mount on Moonlit Garden.

Among the challengers to the Cox duo in the Locust Grove is Jay Em Ess Stable’s recent Groupie Doll Stakes winner Go Google Yourself. Trained by Paul McGee, Go Google Yourself recorded her first stakes victory in the $125,000 Groupie Doll – the marquee race held during Ellis Park’s meet. The 4-year-old filly by Into Mischief has been the picture of consistency for McGee with five wins, four seconds and three thirds through 16 starts and has banked $342,985 in earnings.

Go Google Yourself will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. from post 7.

Also entered in Saturday’s Locust Grove is $100,000 Lady Secret winner Pink Sands. Owned by Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen and conditioned by Shug McGaughey III, Pink Sands (14-4-3-3—$280,000) ships to Churchill Downs after previously competing on the East Coast. The 4-year-old filly by Tapit was last in the early stages of Monmouth Park’s Lady Secret Stakes before cruising home to a 3 ½-length win under jockey Jose Ortiz.

Churchill Downs’ perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie will ride the Kentucky-bred, who drew the rail.

The Locust Grove field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Pink Sands (Lanerie, McGaughey); Moonlit Garden (Geroux, Cox); Mylady Curlin (Bridgmohan, Cox); Skeptic(Julien Leparoux, Rusty Arnold II); Escape Clause (Tyler Baze, Don Schnell); Cosmic Burst(Miguel Mena, Donnie K. Von Hemel); Go Google Yourself (Hernandez, McGee); Red Dane(Edgar Morales, Charlie LoPresti); and Rose of Malibu (Jon Court, C.R. Trout).

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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