06/21/2012 2:39PM

Churchill Downs: Asmussen's flashy new filly a serious contender in Debutante

Tom Keyser
Karlovy Vary is returning to racing on grass Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Richie’slilcowgirl set the cell phones to ringing after running off the television screen in her career debut on a Friday afternoon in suburban Chicago. Richard Ravin ultimately agreed to sell her to one of her suitors, Ron Winchell, for a private sum, and now the Florida-bred filly will turn up Saturday in a graded stakes, the Debutante at Churchill Downs, in her second start.

“We’ve had her about a month now, and she seems like a real nice filly,” said her new trainer, Steve Asmussen, who has won the Debutante four times (2001, ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07). “She’s light on experience, obviously, but I think the outside hole should be a good spot for us.”

Richie’slilcowgirl, with leading jockey Corey Lanerie to ride, drew the outside post as one of the likely favorites in a well-matched field of 10 2-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $100,000 Debutante. Others likely to take serious play in the six-furlong race include Quiet Success, Blueeyesintherein, and Floral Sky. All are one-time winners making their stakes debut, as are Truthandknowledge, My Daughter’s Song, Love Me Good, and Dancing Elliebelle. A pair of maidens, Neith and Shesakitty, round out the lineup.

Richie’slilcowgirl was trained by Larry Rivelli when she broke swiftest in a small field in her May 11 unveiling at Arlington Park. She widened throughout to win by five lengths, earning a 71 Beyer Speed Figure, among the best in the Debutante field.

Quiet Success (post 2, Miguel Mena) was punctual in a maiden race here Kentucky Derby week and already has shown a willingness to rally from off the pace in her two career starts.

Blueeyesintherein (post 3, Leandro Goncalves) goes for locally popular Garry Simms, who upset the Debutante last year with 17-1 Flashy Lassie. Dispatched at 2-1 in her May 31 debut, Blueeyesintherein, a daughter of Magna Graduate, posted an eye-catching, 3 3/4-length score. “She’s been nothing but a real nice filly since day one,” said Simms.

Floral Sky (post 5, Shaun Bridgmohan), prompt as the favorite in her May 17 debut here, is part of what trainer Mark Casse calls “an exceptional group of 2-year-olds in my barn.”

This is the 112th running of the Debutante, which goes as the 10th of 11 Saturday races. First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern, with the Debutante set for 5:25.

The two preceding races should prove of interest, too. The eighth is a $65,500, third-level turf allowance in which Lanerie gets the mount on Karlovy Vary, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April. Karlovy Vary washed out badly before finishing 12th in the Kentucky Oaks. “I think moving back to the grass should help her tremendously,” said trainer Rusty Arnold.

The ninth race is a seven-furlong overnight stakes, the $73,600 Kelly’s Landing. Nine older horses are entered, including Golden Frontier, who earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure in winning a May 24 allowance here, and Noble’s Promise, a millionaire with a wealth of graded stakes experience.

◗ Jockey Victor Lebron will be out about 10 days to two weeks after suffering a concussion in a spill in the sixth race Sunday. Lebron took off all mounts this week at Indiana Downs and Churchill. “The doctors just want him to give it the right amount of time,” said his agent, Doc Danner. “He’d like to ride the last couple days of the meet if he can.”

Lebron was thrown on the backstretch when his mount, Kiss and a Peck, clipped heels behind a rival and fell.