07/22/2009 11:00PM

Any surface okay for Day of Victory


Day of Victory may have run her best races on dirt, but in the $100,000 Ellis Park Turf Stakes, she need only be superior to nine relatively unaccomplished turf competitors. None of the fillies or mares in the race has won more than two races on grass.

Although noting that Day of Victory is "not really a turf specialist," trainer Bob Holthus expects a good effort from her.

"She broke her maiden on the turf at Ellis," he said.

Racing in the Grade 3 Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs two races ago on June 6, Day of Victory rallied to finish fourth behind graded-stakes-winning turf mares Acoma, Pure Clan, and Tizaqueena.

She faces no rivals of that quality in the Ellis Park Turf Stakes.

Last out she finished third behind Euphony and Bear Now in the Iowa Distaff on the dirt at Prairie Meadows June 27, an indication she has remained in top form.

Terry Thompson, who is 2 for 3 riding Day of Victory, retains the mount. Day of Victory is a 4-year-old Victory Gallop filly owned by Lewis Lakin.

French Kiss is the lone stakes winner and leading money earner in the field, with a bankroll of $257,587. She, like Day of Victory, has done the bulk of her racing on dirt.

In three starts on grass, she finished fifth at Ellis Park last summer in the Audubon Oaks, and second and sixth in allowances on the Churchill Downs turf course last fall.

When second at Churchill Downs Nov. 2, she finished two lengths in front of Day of Victory, one of three times since last fall that she has outrun that rival. The other two times came earlier this year at Oaklawn, including when French Kiss won the Pippin Stakes by a neck over Day of Victory in February.

Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile Ellis Park Turf include stakes-placed fillies Final Refrain, Flaming Slew, and De Star Express, as well as Hark, a Street Cry filly that is 2 for 2 on grass while racing in allowances.