LEXINGTON, KY – Trainer Chad Brown’s defending race and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) champion Uni returns still seeking her first win of the 2020 season in Saturday’s $350,000 First Lady Stakes Presented by UK HealthCare (G1) at Keeneland.
The winner of the First Lady will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf (G1) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The First Lady is a two-turn turf mile event restricted to fillies and mares ages 3 and up, with the 2020 edition attracting 6 runners.
Let’s look at the full field:
#1 Beau Recall – The well-traveled and dutifully-decorated mare returns to Keeneland for the first time since finishing fifth in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). The Irish-bred Brad Cox trainee returned to the winner’s circle last out in the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), winning that event for the second straight year for her sixth career stakes score.
#2 Dalika – She finally earned her stakes stripes last time out in the One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs, an event restricted to non-winners at that level in 2020, after closely pressing the early pace. The German-bred filly has the tactical speed to do whatever the pace dictates, giving jockey Luis Saez plenty of options when the gates burst open.
#3 Daddy Is a Legend – She returns to the site of her most recent victory, a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance last October, while making her third start both of the year and in her current form cycle. While she has a penchant for always showing up with a strong effort (as evidenced by her 17-4-3-4 record), her last stakes score came in July 2018 in the Lake George (G3) at Saratoga.
#4 Newspaperofrecord – The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) champion seems to have recovered nicely from a rough 2019 season that saw her go winless in 3 starts. The quick-footed filly won her first 2 appearances in 2020, both at Belmont Park, and was most recently second to Beau Recall in the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.
#5 Uni – The 2019 First Lady and Breeders’ Cup Mile champion has not come close to winning either of her 2 prior starts this year, finishing third in the Just A Game (G1) and seventh in the Fourstardave (G1), the latter a “Win and You’re In” for the Mile. Jockey Joel Rosario is back aboard a mare he’s piloted to a 7-5-0-2 record, which includes both aforementioned victories.
#6 Crystal Lake – She takes the giant leap up to horse racing’s top level for Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who leads all trainers with 20 Breeders’ Cup wins. She was last of 8 in her lone prior stakes attempt, the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf, but that was on a very soft Ellis Park lawn, and jockey Joe Talamo has a win and 2 seconds (by a neck and a nose) when riding.
The First Lady serves as race 8 and is one of 5 stakes on the Saturday card at Keeneland, including 3 additional Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” races. A total of 11 qualifying events will be held Friday through Sunday between Keeneland, Belmont Park, and Pimlico.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.