Three Graded Events on Holiday Menu

Xigera | Sarah Andrew

Churchill Downs will host two Grade III races to go with your turkey and gravy Thursday, while Del Mar will add its own graded event for dessert. The GIII Cardinal S. opens the holiday action in Louisville with a field of seven fillies and mares expected to go nine furlongs over the Churchill turf. CHP Racing's Saffron Moon (Malibu Moon), the 2-1 morning-line favorite, is making her first start against stakes company for trainer Chad Brown. The 4-year-old has three wins in four turf appearances and is coming off a 1 1/16-mile Keeneland allowance victory Oct. 7. She will be trying nine furlongs for the first time Thursday.

Juddmonte homebred Juncture (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) won the one-mile Ouija Board Distaff S. at Lone Star in her second U.S. outing in May. The Brad Cox trainee was most recently third in the 1 1/4-mile GII Rodeo Drive S. at Santa Anita Oct. 7. Multiple group-placed in Europe, the 5-2 shot will be looking for a first graded victory Thursday.

Nine fillies and mares go postward in the GIII Falls City S. with Xigera (Nyquist) heavily favored at 3-5 on the morning line for the nine-furlong main-track contest. Trained by Phil Bauer on behalf of Rigney Racing, the 3-year-old is coming off wins in the Sept. 23 Seneca Overnight S. at Churchill and in the Oct. 28 GII Mother Goose S. at Aqueduct.

A field of seven fillies and mares will go postward for the 1 3/8-mile GIII Red Carpet S. over the Del Mar turf. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Sister Otoole (Amira's Prince {Ire}) is a two-time stakes winner over the course and distance. Fourth in last year's Red Carpet, she comes into the 2023 renewal off a third-place effort in the Oct. 7 GIII Waya S. at Aqueduct. The Graham Motion trainee is 3-1 on the morning line.

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