The Grade 3, $300,000 Chilukki Stakes brings together a field of seven fillies and mares running the one-turn mile at Churchill Downs. Leading the field in career wins and career earnings is She Can’t Sing, who returns to the races off a two-month layoff and has banked more than $633,000. Her career spans 32 races with seven victories, most recently the Lady Canterbury Stakes on turf in June. Coach won the Pippin Stakes in January and was second in the Twixt Stakes last month. Mariah’s Princess won the Mistletoe Stakes last December and was second last month as well. Center Aisle won the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes in December 2021 and enters the Chilukki off a win last month. Empire House finished third in the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes in Southern California in October and won the California Governor’s Cup Stakes in July. Liberty M D is winless in two stakes tries to date although she’s won four of her other eight starts. Ice Orchid finished second in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes this past February and won her most recent start as well.
She Can’t Sing moves back to dirt after eight straight races on grass going back to New Year’s Day. She won three of those races, all routes and all stakes, but her best effort of the year came when third behind multiple graded stakes winner Campanelle in the Mint Ladies Sprint Stakes at Kentucky Downs in September, in which She Can’t Sing earned a career-best 108 Equibase Speed Figure. Rested for two months since then, the 5-year-old mare put in a very strong half-mile workout on the dirt at Hawthorne, which was the best of 33 timed workouts at the distance on the day. This signals she’s ready to run as well as she has in her best races this year. She Can’t Sing also really likes the main track at Churchill Downs, where she has won three times and finished second in two others. One of those wins came at the distance of seven furlongs a little over a year ago, a race in which She Can’t Sing drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths, earning a 104 figure. Both the 108 figure from her most recent race and the 104 figure from her race on the track in 2021 are better than the best figures of any other horse in this field, which means She Can’t Sing appears to be the one to beat.
Mariah’s Princess cuts back from a 1 1/16-mile classified allowance race run around two turns at Keeneland last month. In that race, she rallied quickly while four paths wide from fifth to make the lead after about a half-mile had been run and held that lead into the stretch, only to be caught by the winner while clearly holding second by 2 1/2 lengths. She had been away from the races for more than 10 months prior to that and won the Mistletoe Stakes right before the layoff, so it was logical she might be a bit short of 100% fit for that last effort. Likely to improve physically in her second start off the long layoff and off the career-best 97 speed figure she earned last month, Mariah’s Princess may have a big say in the outcome of this race.
Center Aisle has won five of 11 races in her career. She won three in a row between October and December 2021, earning a 102 figure in the best race of that streak and closing out 2021 with a win in the Sugar Swirl Stakes. She returned in April and ran poorly in two straight races before she was given some time off. When she returned on Oct. 9, Center Aisle was her old self and got right back into the winner’s circle with a game effort by a head after leading by two lengths. Similar to Mariah’s Princess making her second start off a layoff and leading late then settling for second, Center Aisle gave up a two-length lead but held on to prevail by a head. She, too, is very likely to be physically stronger second off the layoff and, if she can run back to her career-best 102 Equibase Speed Figure effort, she has a shot to earn her sixth career win in her 12th start.
The rest of the Chilukki Stakes field (with best Equibase Speed Figure): Coach (100), Empire House (93), Ice Orchid (91) and Liberty M D (94).
She Can’t Sing
Consolation Pick 3
Consolation Pick 3