(Envoutante wins the G2 Falls City at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Three Chimneys Farm and Walking L Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old filly Envoutante led every step of the way in a powerful six-length win over 4-5 favorite Bonny South in Thursday’s 105th running of the $200,000 Falls City (G2), the traditional Thanksgiving Day fixture for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Envoutante ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:49.11 – the fastest Falls City since Silent Eskimo’s stakes record of 1:48.85 in 1999.

Breaking from the rail in the field of eight fillies and mares, Envoutante went right to the front and dictated a modest pace of :24.25, :48.95 and 1:13.21 while maintaining a half-length advantage over Our Super Freak, who was followed early on by Market Rumor, Bonny South, Smooth With a Kick, Cash Out, Another Broad and Over Thinking. Leaving the far turn, Envoutantewas met by the pressers but she had plenty left and widened her advantage to easily draw away in the stretch.

“It was my first time on her for a race but I’ve worked her and worked against her before, too, with (Preakness Stakes winner)Swiss Skydiver,” said Hernandez, who also won the 2015 Falls City aboard Ahh Chocolate. “She really kicked away from the field today and was very dominate. At the three-eighths pole I got her into the bit again and she just kicked away. Riding for Kenny is easy and he didn’t really give a lot of instructions. When the gates opened, she put herself into a great spot.”

Envoutante was the 5-2 second betting choice and paid $7.20, $3.20 and $3. Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Bonny South, ridden by Florent Geroux, returned $2.60 and $2.20. Another Broad was another 3 ½ lengths back in third under Ricardo Santana Jr. and paid $5.60.

Our Super Freak, Smooth Wick a Kick, Over Thinking, Market Rumor and Cash Out completed the order of finish. High Regard was a late scratch.

Envoutante won the $100,000 Remington Park Oaks (GIII) in her previous start on Sept. 27 and placed third behind Speech and Venetian Harbor in the $400,000 Ashland (GI) in July. The Falls City was her first race against elders.

“She was 1-for-1 at Churchill coming into this race,” said McPeek, who collected his first Falls City win. “We were very confident by the way she was working in the mornings and hoping she was going to put it together in the afternoon. She’s worked against Swiss Skydiver and has really done well in her training. She’s done a lot of traveling this year and got her graded stakes win in the Remington Oaks so winning another one was very special.”

With the Falls City win, Envoutante improved her record to 9-4-1-2. Thursday’s $120,280 first prize jumped her earnings to $336,028.

Envoutante is a dark bay or brown daughter of Uncle Mo out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Enchante. She was bred in Kentucky by Jumping Jack Racing LLC.

Racing at Churchill Downs continues Friday with the popular day-after Thanksgiving card highlighted by the 146th running of the $500,000 Clark (GI) for older horses. There’s no carryover in the Single 6 Jackpot because only one lucky bettor had all six winners Thursday, which was worth a hefty $328,146.

FALLS CITY QUOTES

 Brian Hernandez Jr., jockey of ENVOUTANTE (winner): “It was my first time on her for a race but I’ve worked her and worked against her before, too, with Swiss Skydiver. She really kicked away from the field today and was very dominate. At the three-eighths pole I got her into the bit again and she just kicked away. Riding for Kenny is easy and he didn’t really give a lot of instructions. When the gates opened, she put herself into a great spot.”

Kenny McPeek, trainer of ENVOUTANTE (winner): “She was 1-for-1 at Churchill coming into this race. We were very confident by the way she was working in the mornings and hoping she was going to put it together in the afternoon. She’s worked against Swiss Skydiver and has really done well in her training. She’s done a lot of traveling this year and got her graded stakes win in the Remington Oaks so winning another one was very special.”

Brad Cox, trainer of BONNY SOUTH (runner-up): “She came with a run but there wasn’t much pace for her to close into.”