11/20/2012 1:45PM

Churchill Downs: Brushed by a Star debuts for new barn as Falls City highweight

Barbara D. Livingston
Brushed by a Star will race for trainer Ed Kenneally after being purchased for $400,000 at the recent Fasig-Tipton sale.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Enough has changed for Brushed by a Star since she won the Chilukki Stakes earlier this month at Churchill Downs. But what the filly’s new trainer, Eddie Kenneally, hopes has not changed is her will to win.

“She’s done really well ever since the sale, and we haven’t had to change a whole lot in regard to her training,” said Kenneally, who will saddle Brushed by a Star as the 122-pound highweight for the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at Churchill. “She came to us in great shape. She’s healthy and sound.”

Just a couple days after outfinishing Joyful Victory to win the Nov. 3 Chilukki by a head for trainer Grant Forster, Brushed by a Star was sold for $400,000 at Fasig-Tipton to Volt Inc., a partnership headed by Tom Berry. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred by Eddington, she will race Thursday for a new ownership group listed as Unlimited Equine LLC.

Brushed by a Star, with Corey Lanerie retaining the mount, will break from post 6 in the $150,000 Falls City, a 1 1/8-mile race carded as the 11th of 12 Thursday races. Going for her fifth win from her last seven starts, she will spot 3 to 9 pounds to the other six fillies and mares entered against her.

Among that opposition are Joyful Victory (post 1) and Afleeting Lady (post 7), both assigned 119 pounds. Joyful Victory, a distinctive gray 4-year-old by Tapit, has been remarkably consistent in her 14-race career while earning more than $650,000 for owner Fox Hill Farms and trainer Larry Jones. Robby Albarado has the call.

“We’re going to give them another run,” Jones said. “The filly came out of the Chilukki none the worse for wear. We’d love to celebrate Thanksgiving with a win.”

Likewise, Louisville native Dale Romans and his family would prefer to enjoy Thanksgiving like they did eight years ago when taking the Falls City with Halory Leigh.

“Thanksgiving at the track is one of our great family traditions,” Romans said. “This filly is sharp right now, so we’re looking for a big run.”

Afleeting Lady might well be the post-time favorite when coming into this in peak form, having registered back-to-back stakes victories at Monmouth Park in September and at Belmont Park last month. The 5-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex will have Joel Rosario in from New York to ride again.

Among the fringe players in the cast is Arena Elvira (post 2, Junior Alvarado), who won the Falls City last year with Alvarado up amid a five-race win streak. However, her form this year has been spotty, and she would need a sudden reversal to post a mild upset and become the first Falls City repeat winner since Screen Prospect won the 1990 and 1991 runnings for Pete Vestal.

The rest of the Falls City lineup is Aint She a Saint, Sea Level Drive, and Maristar.

This is the 97th running of the Falls City, which was first held in 1875, with some later gaps before being continuously run since 1941. It will be directly preceded by a notable milestone: the 50,000th race in Churchill history. That race is a first-level, $52,000 turf race and the last of three allowances on the card (following races 4 and 8). In addition, race 2 is a starter allowance at the rarely run distance of two miles, reprising the finale of the once-popular “Trail’s End” series. Ellio, trained by Forrest Kaelin, should be a big favorite in that main-track marathon.

Special first post Thursday is 11:30 a.m. Eastern, with the last race set for 4:56 p.m. The final three programs of the 21-day fall meet will start at 12:40, with Sunday being closing day.