Ladies Marathon (Grade 3)- $1,000.000 Purse
KD- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and Five Sixteenths on the Turf
September 9, 2023
Last year, an already great racing weekend at KD saw the addition of the Ladies Marathon, giving fillies and mares that want to run more than just the mile that was possible in the KD Turf Cup, a chance to show their skills. The race last year ran for a $550.000 purse but will now be one of the $1,000.000 races that are run here on Saturday. That race was won by Number Nine, for Smokey Stover, in what would end up being the final win of the talented six-year-old mare’s career. Some accomplished horses are getting ready to be the next name added to the list, as altogether we will have eight taking part. Here they are!
#1- Stinky Rene (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Last month in the Beverly D, Stinky Rene surprised many by winning that Grade 1. Based on her form leading into it, there was no reason to think that she was about to pull that off, and subsequently, she went off at 27/1 odds. But she did win, and now all of us wonder if she will be able to go back-to-back. She doesn’t have to win this race, but that race will look more like a fluke if she is not at least competitive here. So, let’s see how it turns out for her!
#2- Nijinsky (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by D Davis)- A lightly raced three-year-old that will make just her eighth career start. It hasn’t helped her progression to keep ending up in the sales ring, though it would ultimately be a claim that sent her to current trainer Team 7 Illusions, and for just $14.000. Off the claim, and with some time to get acquainted, she debuted in her new silks in late May in the $150.000 Melair for CA-Breds and was second, but she also highly disappointed in the Grade 1 Alabama last month at SAR. This will be just her second turf start.
#3- Maggie Greene (The Sidley Stud, ridden by M Franco)- There are some horses in the game where all you have to do is see their name to immediately associate them as one of the greats. Maggie Greene is certainly one of them, having won over $4,800.000 in her career, with the eight-year-old winning 21 out of 67 races. All of those numbers are very impressive, but they are not old numbers, either. She has wins in her last two, the Grade 2 Nassau at WO that she won by four lengths, and then the Grade 2 Glens Falls at SAR last month that she won by three lengths. Maggie Greene has been either first or second in her last five starts. Poised to be heading back to the BC for the seventh straight year.
#4- Villeneuve (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- She’s been getting her chances at this level, but thus far none of her four wins have been in one of the stakes that she has been entered in. Definitely knocking on the door, though, as back in May, she was the runner up in the Grade 1 Gamely, and then in her last start, she placed second again, this time in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap. Appears as though she will get it eventually, but she meets up with some tough adversaries here.
#5- Coconut Milk (Wood Duck Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- Ran well last year heading into the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, but could never carry it over into that race. Bounced back by winning the Grade 1 Matriarch after that, but as a four-year-old, Coconut Milk has won just $7.200 in three starts. If she needed the confidence boost, she would have gotten it in late July with an allowance win at LAD. The ability is there, but it’s tough to think she can beat the likes of Maggie Greene. Don’t rule out a solid effort, though.
#6- November Storm- Scratched
#7- Bombing For Peace (Jerry Garcia Racing, ridden by L Dettori)- Had two very good races back-to-back this summer, first in running second in the Grade 3 Regret and then a great performance in a win at the Grade 1 BEL Oaks in July. Everything seemed to be going great as she made her way to CNL for the Grade 1 Beverly D. But there she would start poorly, though it’s not unusual for her to be at the back, she just did not make her move. Yes, she ended up only being three lengths back but never threatened Stinky Rene. Bombing For Peace will bounce back, but the question is, how much so?
#8- Tabitha Stephens (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- This four-year-old filly by Hamilton has been good this year, hitting the board in all four of her races. Only one of those is a win, though, coming in the Grade 3 Matchmaker at MTH in July. After that, she set the early fractions in the Beverly D before a couple got by her in the stretch. This race is a little longer, so it’ll be worth watching to see if she can hold her early speed longer, or if Mb Stables opts for a different tactic with her. Either way, she should be able to get some piece of the purse.
#9- Sinister City (The Freakshow, ridden by J R Velazquez)- An impressive winning percentage on this one, as Sinister City has eight victories in thirteen starts, and six of eight in 2023. Won five in a row earlier this year, including the Grade 3 FL Oaks, and then the Grade 2 Appalachian at KEE. After an off race, she rebounded just fine and won again, this time in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly, Handled Grade 1 competition just fine in the BEL Oaks, and comes here off of yet another win in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes. Adding the Ladies Marathon to that list would be fitting and deserved, and if there is one in here to pick over Maggie Greene, she looks to be the one. Why not?