By Alan Carasso
One race after 'TDN Rising Star' McKinzie (Street Sense)–named in honor of the beloved late Los Alamitos track executive Brad McKinzie-blasted home to win the GII Alysheba S., She's a Julie (Elusive Quality), named after trainer Steve Asmussen's wife, engaged California raider Secret Spice (Discreet Cat) at the midstretch marker and outgamed that one for a breakthrough Grade I victory in Friday's GI La Troienne S. at Churchill Downs. Favored Blue Point (Arg) (Pure Prize) won a photo for third.
Alertly away from gate one, She's a Julie, a near-miss second in an allowance on the Oaks undercard last year, ultimately settled in third as longshot Awe Emma (War Front) crossed and cleared to set the pace with Secret Spice glued to her outside. Under a bit of Ricardo Santana, Jr. urging to keep up while hugging the fence on the far turn, she was poised to strike behind the top two in upper stretch, was pulled to the outside of Secret Spice nearing the midstretch marker and wore her rival down in the shadow of the winning post.
“I had plenty of horse at the three-eighths [pole],” the winning jockey said. “A hole opened really well and when I asked her she gave me a really nice run. We felt like there was plenty of speed today. I told [trainer] Steve [Asmussen], 'I want to stay behind the speed.' Steve said, 'You know the filly really well. Do what you can.' I put her behind horses and she relaxed really well. When she picked up the bridle at the three-eighths, she started running.”
Winner of the GIII Iowa Oaks and GIII Remington Park Oaks around a runner-up effort in the GI Alabama S. last year, She's a Julie disappointed when fourth at 3-10 in the Nov. 21 Zia Park Oaks, but made a splashy reappearance this term, drawing off to take Oaklawn's GIII Bayakoa S. Feb. 18.
The 16th Grade I/Group 1 winner for her late sire and the first as a broodmare sire for Seeking the Gold's tremendously talented son Dubai Millennium, She's a Julie is a maternal granddaughter of MGSW turf mare Parade Queen, whose GSW & GISP daughter Untouched Talent (Storm Cat) produced Bodemeister (Empire Maker), runner-up in the 2012 GI Kentucky Derby and sire of 2017 Derby winner Always Dreaming. Elusive Quality also serves as sire of Secret Spice's GSW/GISP second dam Chimichurri from his first crop born in 2000. Kydd Gloves is the dam of a 2-year-old full-brother to She's A Julie and was most recently covered by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah.
Friday, Churchill Downs
LA TROIENNE S. PRESENTED BY INSIDE ACCESS FROM CHASE-GI, $500,000, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.58, ft.
1–SHE'S A JULIE, 118, f, 4, by Elusive Quality
1st Dam: Kydd Gloves, by Dubai Millennium (GB)
2nd Dam: Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Spanish Parade, by Roberto
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($160,000 Ylg '16 KEESEP). O-Bradley
Thoroughbreds, Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC, Team Hanley,
Madaket Stables, LLC & Tim & Anna Cambron; B-Godolphin
LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr.
$297,600. Lifetime Record: 13-6-2-1, $878,130.
Werk Nick Rating: B+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Secret Spice, 123, f, 4, by Discreet Cat
1st Dam: Chimayo, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality
3rd Dam: Hard Knocker, by Raja Baba
($4,500 Ylg '16 KEESEP; $125,000 2yo '17 EASMAY). O-Little
Red Feather Racing; B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Richard Baltas.
3–Blue Prize (Arg), 120, m, 6, by Pure Prize
1st Dam: Blues for Sale (Arg), by Not For Sale (Arg)
2nd Dam: Key Cure, by Cure the Blues
3rd Dam: Dancer's Key, by Key to the Mint
O-Merriebelle Stable LLC; B-Bioart S.A. (ARG); T-Ignacio
Correas, IV. $48,000.
Margins: HF, 3HF, HD. Odds: 5.00, 4.80, 2.30.
Also Ran: Mopotism, Awe Emma, Viva Forever, Chocolate Martini, Divine Miss Grey, Teresa Z. Scratched: Golden Award.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.