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LOUISVILLE, KY – A pair of sophomores, Bonny South and Envoutante, are the top favorites as they face several older rivals in Thursday’s $200,000 Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The Falls City is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route open to fillies and mares ages 3 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 11-race card and has a local post time of 3:53 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Falls City:
1. Envoutante 5/2 – Though she didn’t debut until this past February, she progressed steadily over the summer and broke through for her first graded score in the Remington Park Oaks (G3) last time out. The Uncle Mo filly won both prior tries against her elders – her maiden-breaking effort at Gulfstrea Park and a local first-level allowance, each at 1 1/16 miles.
2. Another Broad 10/1 – She makes her first start for new trainer Steve Asmussen in this spot and attracted the barn’s top rider Ricardo Santana Jr., a strong vote of confidence. Perhaps the change of scenery gives her a much-needed wake-up; her last victory came 12 starts back in the Top Flight at Aqueduct in April 2019.
3. Bonny South 8/5 – She won 2 straight to start the year, including March’s Fair Ground Oaks (G2), then had to take time off before returning in July. She nearly earned her first victory since the break in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) last time out, missing by just a neck after getting pinched back at the start and having to rally from a bit too far back.
4. Smooth With a Kick 5/1 – She steps up to the graded stakes level for the first time after handily defeating optional claimers in a 1 1/16-mile Keeneland event last month. Her lone prior stakes appearance, September’s Twixt at Laurel Park, saw her finish third after a rough trip, but her subsequent win hints that there’s still more talent for her to unearth.
5. Our Super Freak 9/2 – She takes a significant class drop after finding the Spinster Stakes (G1) much too tough; the winner, Valiance, returned to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Her 2 prior starts saw her finish third in the Shuvee Stakes (G3) at Saratoga and second in the Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park while earning strong speed figures.
6. Cash Out 20/1 – She finally ended a 9-race losing streak with a kissed-in victory via disqualification in an off-turf 1 1/4-mile local trek against optional claiming rivals. The first of 3 entries sporting the silks of owner G Watts Humphrey Jr., she’s the only one representing the red-hot barn of Rusty Arnold (16-4-1-2 record at the meet, through Tuesday).
7. High Regard 20/1 – The second Humphrey Jr. silk-bearer comes from trainer Vicki Oliver, who’s still searching for some racing luck at the meet (17-0-1-5 record through Tuesday). She is still searching for her first stakes score, but her 2 best finishes in her 8 prior attempts were third-place finishes over this local dirt, in 2018’s Rags to Riches and Golden Rod (G2).
8. Over Thinking 20/1 – The third runner for Humphrey Jr. and the second from Oliver is, like her stablemate, in desperate need of ending a drought that dates back to a November 2018 local off-turf optional claiming event. She’s been a neck away from winning the past 2 years’ CTT and TOC Stakes, but those were both on turf, which might be her better surface.
9. Market Rumor 15/1 – It took her 5 starts to break her maiden, but she steadily progressed over the summer and through the fall, including finishing second by a neck in the Weber City Miss Stakes. She went gate to wire against allowance rivals over this course and distance earlier this month but needs continued improvement from a speed figure standpoint.
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