2022 Chilukki Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content
By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)
1. COACH (9-5) – Morning line favorite owns plenty of back class; while her sophomore campaign was so-so after she had placed in the Golden Rod (G2) behind Travel Column and Clairiere at two, she stepped forward last winter to take a key renewal of the Pippin S. at Oaklawn; her comeback from a long layoff, in the Oct. 1 Twixt S. at Laurel, was a solid piece of work as she finished a clear second to Battle Bling, who later took the Turnback the Alarm H. (G3); a stakes winner over this surface, she could come on from that Maryland run, though price will be no bargain.
2. MARIAH’S PRINCESS (3-1) – One of several lightly-raced contenders in the field, she returned from a layoff of nearly 11 months Oct. 29 and finished a clear second in a two-turn N2X allowance at Keeneland; a three-length stakes winner at Oaklawn prior to her spell on the sidelines, she could easily move forward from that effort and goes for a Bauer barn that’s been enjoying a strong meet.
3. CENTER AISLE (6-1) – Not sure what was going on last spring when she badly trailed in both the Madison (G1) and Derby City Distaff (G1), but Lobo had her back on better form last month to take a high-end allowance going six furlongs at Keeneland; if you draw a line through the aforementioned no-shows, her form since joining the barn has been impeccable, and includes a G3 score at Gulfstream last winter over Frank’s Rockette, who went on to have a pretty good season this year; her speed could come in handy in a race which doesn’t have a lot of it; intriguing.
4. ICE ORCHID (10-1) – Sidelined after finishing a distant second in the Honeybee (G3) to the eventual Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner and, after a troubled comeback prep, put it all together at Keeneland by narrowly passing her N1X condition after a prolonged stretch duel; earned a strong 106 Late Pacing rating for that, but the jump up in class here is fairly significant and she does look at this point like a filly more comfortable around two turns than one.
5. EMPIRE HOUSE (15-1) – California invader recently earned some graded black type splitting the field in a modest renewal of the Zenyatta (G2); has done her best work of late around one turn, so the cut back figures to be beneficial, though recent wins were at the expense of softer on the Northern Cal fair circuit; tested for class here.
6. SHE CAN’T SING (5-2) – A well-beaten sixth of seven in this race last year, though clearly not a representative effort as she’s won three times over the strip; has done her best work on grass, including a pair of stakes wins at Fair Grounds last winter, and last-out third at Kentucky Downs a decent try, given who she was up against; early price seems a bit low, though, given lack of stakes quality runs on dirt.
7. LIBERTY M D (8-1) – Showed little in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) last out, but back here on a track over which she is 4-for-5, including a stalk-and-pounce victory against N3X foes in September; lightly-raced five-year-old has not been competitive in either stakes attempt, but affinity for the surface might bring out a better-than-expected performance.