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Dogwood Preview: Four Graces Tests Stakes Company
Four Graces (Credit: Coady Photography)

Dogwood Preview: Four Graces Tests Stakes Company

LOUISVILLE, KY – Whitham Thoroughbreds’ Four Graces, an impressive winner of a first-level allowance event three weeks ago beneath the Twin Spires, will attempt her first try at stakes competition as she tops eight 3-year-old fillies that were entered in Saturday’s 45th running of the $100,000 Dogwood presented by Woodford Reserve (G3).

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The 7-furlong Dogwood, carded as race 10 of 11 at 5:50 p.m. on Saturday, is a designated prep race on the Road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and will award the top 4 finishers 20-8-4-2 points. The co-featured event on the card is the $100,000 Aristides Stakes Presented by Woodford Reserve, which goes as race 8. First post is 1 p.m.

Four Graces, a daughter of Majesticperfection, debuted as a 7/1 winner at Gulfstream Park in March. The half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner McCraken finished fourth in her second start at Gulfstream Park but quickly rebounded with an emphatic 1 3/4-length score on May 16 at Churchill Downs under Julien Leparoux.

“She’s an extremely talented filly,” trainer Ian Wilkes said. “With her family, we had high hopes she’d turn out well on the racetrack, and when she won on debut, we thought we could have something special.”

Leparoux will ride Four Graces from post position No. 2.

Chief among Four Graces rivals that entered the Dogwood is Hronis Racing’s Edgeway, a winner in 2 of her 3 starts including a 1 1/2-length score in a first-level allowance at Oaklawn Park. Also entered were Three Chimney Farm LLC’s Magic Dance, the winner of last year’s Debutante Stakes and third-place finisher in the Adirondack Stakes (G2), and Rafael Lopez’s Maryland-based Wide Country Stakes winner Naughty Thoughts.

The complete field for the Dogwood (with jockey and trainer): Clivetty (Martin Garcia, Don Chatlos); Four Graces (Leparoux, Wilkes); Bayerness (Florent Geroux, Cherie DeVaux); Ain’t No Elmers (Adam Beschizza, Bret Calhoun); Magic Dance (Santana, Asmussen); Lady Glamour (Rafael Bejarano, Larry Demeritte); Naughty Thoughts (Tyler Gaffalione, Jonathan Maldonado); and Edgeway (Tyler Baze, John Salder).

The early National Weather Service forecast for Saturday in Louisville calls for mostly sunny skies with a high near 91 degrees and a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m.

Racing from Churchill Downs on Saturday will air on FS2 from 2:30-3 p.m. and FS1 from 3-8 p.m. as part of FOX Sports’ “America’s Day at the Races” coverage. It also will be broadcast on MSG+ from 1-7 p.m. and FOX Sports Ohio from 3-7 p.m.

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