'TDN Rising Star' Kimari (Munnings) looks to successfully defend her GI Madison S. title Saturday at Keeneland. Twice second at Royal Ascot, the bay kicked off 2021 with a win in Oaklawn's Spring Fever S. and took the Madison next out. Sent to the sidelines after that effort, she was ambitiously spotted for her return off that seven-month layoff in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and she could only manage seventh to stablemate Golden Pal (Uncle Mo). Sent through the ring at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale just days later, Kimari summoned $2.7 million from Coolmore's M.V. Magnier and returned to Wesley Ward's care. She kicked off her 5-year-old campaign with a facile score in a 6 1/2-panel optional claimer on the Gulfstream main track Mar. 3.
Lady Rocket (Tale of the Cat) looks to pick up where she left off at the end of 2021. Earning her black-type victory in the Pink Ribbon S. at Charles Town in August, the dark bay checked in second in the GII Gallant Bloom H. Sept. 26 at Belmont. The Brad Cox trainee captured a sloppy renewal of Belmont's Pumpkin Pie S. Oct. 31 and romped by nine lengths in Aqueduct's GIII Go For Wand H. Dec. 4, earning a gaudy 107 Beyer Speed Figure for the one-turn mile. Cox also saddles the once-beaten GII Inside Information S. winner Just One Time (Not This Time).
Bell's the One (Majesticperfection), winner of the GI Derby City Distaff when run in September of 2020, dead-heated for second behind Kimari in last year's Madison and was fourth in the Derby City Distaff next out. The bay won the Roxelana S. back at Churchill in June and followed suit with a victory in Saratoga's GII Honorable Miss H. in July. A close second in the Open Mind S. beneath the Twin Spires Sept. 18, Bell's the One took this venue's GII TCA S. Oct. 9 and, after skipping the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, rallied to yet another score back in Louisville in the Dream Supreme S. Nov. 13.