After a busy, varied, and at times frustrating year, Daddys Lil Darling is once again seeking her first graded stakes triumph as a 3-year-old.
The Scat Daddy filly is the likely favorite for the 1 1/16-mile Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, a race which has drawn a good field of 3-year-old turf fillies.
Daddys Lil Darling won the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) on dirt at Churchill Downs last year, and returned to the dirt track in May to finish second behind Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
She then headed to Britain for the Epsom Oaks (G1), but got spooked by lightning and bolted prior to the start, forcing her late withdrawal. She returned and finished fourth in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1), fifth in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), won the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs, and then finished second to La Coronel in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland.
The first four horses from the Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3) at Keeneland Oct. 20 all return to lock horns again. Lovely Bernadette won clearly that day by 1 ½ lengths from Journey Home, I’m Betty G, and Fault.
Lovely Bernadette conceded two pounds to all three of them that day, and meets them on level terms here, which suggests she’s in with a good chance again.
Fault had earlier won the Pucker Up Stakes (G3) at Arlington, beating Journey Home and Lovely Bernadette; I’m Betty had earlier finished third in the Commonwealth Oaks (G3) at Laurel Park.
Sensitive comes into the race after a second-place finish in a Keeneland allowance, while Irish-bred Tamit starts after finishing fifth in an allowance at Churchill Downs. Commonwealth Oaks sixth-place finisher Proud Reunion, Arlington allowance winner Oh So Terrible, and Indiana stakes winner Marina’s Legacy complete the field.
Daddys Lil Darling has stronger form than anything else in the race, and the main question will be whether she still has enough in the tank after seven starts and a trip to Britain this year. If she doesn’t, Lovely Bernadette and Journey Home are the most obvious challengers.