Nine 2-year-olds will look to end their 2018 campaign on a high note in the $75,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes, one of six stakes events carded for Santa Super Saturday, December 22.
Something Special Racing’s Hog Creek Hustle is the 7-2 morning line favorite for the six-furlong event over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track and enters the race off of a victory against winners over a fast main track at Churchill Downs on November 10, where he defeated eventual Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes winner Classy John. Trained by Vickie Foley, the son of Overanalyze won his career debut which was in a five furlong maiden special weight at Ellis Park on August 18. His only defeat took place in the Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, where he finished a well-beaten tenth behind Cairo Cat. Hog Creek Hustle will break from post five under jockey Corey Lanerie.
Breaking to the outside is Super Steed, who stepped up against winners to break his maiden last out over a sloppy main track at Churchill Downs on November 24. Owned by Michael Pressley and Steed Jackson, the son of Super Saver was a close second in his career debut behind Boldor in a six-furlong maiden special weight over the main track at Keeneland. He then turned the tables on Boldor at Churchill Downs next out and glided home to victory by six lengths. Jockey Gabriel Saez was in the irons for that effort and will return to the saddle for Saturday’s race. Super Steed is trained by Larry Jones and is the 4-1 morning line second choice.
Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah (post seven, 9-2, Channing Hill) has the more experience under his beltthan the other Sugar Bowl aspirants having made six career starts. Trained byWayne Catalano, the son of Will Take Charge broke his maiden at second askingover the all-weather surface at Arlington International Racecourse on July 21and then finished a close third to Tobacco Road in the Ellis Park Juvenile onAugust 19. Manny Wah defeated winners two starts back going one mile over afast main track at Keeneland on October 11. He will race with blinkers on.
Trainer William ‘Jinks’ Fires won the 2010 edition of the Sugar Bowl with eventual Grade I winner and multiple graded stakes winning sire Archarcharch and will send Gray Attempt for this year’s Sugar Bowl Stakes. Owned by Dwight Pruett, the son of Graydar was a wire-to-wire winner in a Churchill Downs maiden special weight on November 25 over a fast main track at second asking. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan piloted Gray Attempt in both of his career starts and retains the mount for Saturday’s race. He breaks from post three at odds of 6-1.
Uncapped (post one, 12-1, Florent Geroux), Sovereign Impact (post two, 12-1,. Adam Beschizza), Cajun Firecracker (post four, 9-2, Ricardo Santana, Jr.), Sambucca (post six, 15-1, Joe Rocco, Jr.) and Assemblyman (post eight, 6-1, Joe Bravo) complete the field.
Earlier on the card, ten 2-year-old fillies will go into line for the $75,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes, a six-furlong stakes event overthe main track where Scott and EvanDilworth’s Lady T N T is the 7-2 morning line favorite.
The Joe Sharp trainee broke her maiden second time out over a good main track at Saratoga on August 5 by 5 ½ lengths over next out winner Into Mystic. The daughter of Justin Phillip put up another impressive performance against winners in her following start – a six furlong allowance event at Churchill Downs on September 20 which she won by 6½ lengths. The Letellier Memorial Stakes will be her first start since a last-place finish in the Grade I Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on October 5. She will be ridden by Adam Beschizza.
Breaking just to the outside of the favorite is the 9-2second choice Unholy Alliance, who is trained by two-time Fair Grounds leading trainer Brad Cox. The E5 Racing-owned daughter of First Samurai has won both of her career starts, thefirst of which took place in a September 16 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs, which she won by three lengths over fellow Letellier Memorial contender Istan Council (post six, 12-1, GabrielSaez). Next out, Unholy Alliance defeated winners over a sloppy main track atthe Louisville oval by a half-length. She will be guided by Shaun Bridgmohan.
Trainer Brendan Walsh will be represented by a pair of fillies in the Letellier Memorial with Q Go Girl (post one, Corey Lanerie, 12-1) and Idle Hour (post four, 8-1, James Graham).
Owned by Rags Racing Stable, Q Go Girl broke her maiden at first asking over a fast main track at Churchill Downs on November 11 for a $75,000 tag. She is by Quality Road out of the Giant’s Causeway broodmare Choo Choo Lady, whose dam is Grade I winner Flat Fleet Feet. Like Q Go Girl, Idle Hour also won her career debut, which came in a Fair Grounds maiden specialweight over a fast main track on November 23. The Stonestreet Stables-owned daughter of Malibu Moon won the six furlong event by 4½ lengths and defeated stakes-placed Eskendar (post eight, 15-1, Joe Bravo. She is out of the Arkansas-bred Grade I winning broodmare Downthedustyroad. Completing the field are Bell’s the One (post two, 9-2, Florent Geroux), Smila’ssenseofsnow (post three, 9-2, MarcelinoPedroza), Adventurous Lady (post five, 9-2, Ricardo Santana, Jr.) and Kajawa(post six, 20-1, Jack Gilligan).