05/04/2011 3:08PM

Churchill Downs: Edgewood looks wide open with big field, no standout


Like so many races this weekend at Churchill Downs, the $100,000 Edgewood Stakes offers just what horseplayers are always asking for: a big field of classy horses, with no clear-cut favorite and plenty of attractive wagering options.

In fact, it looks like you could go choose from most anything in this field of 10 3-year-old turf fillies and not be too far wrong. Only two Edgewood starters have double-digit morning-line odds, which says plenty in itself, while the program favorite, Smart Sting, is pegged at 4-1, a very high number for a field of this size.

The second choice at 9-2 is Bonita Star, a British-bred filly shipping in from California for trainer Jamie Lloyd. In her two stateside starts, both over the Santa Anita turf, she went last-to-first to capture a first-level allowance at 22-1 before being a non-factor in the Grade 2 Provedencia on April 9.

“Her U.S. debut was real nice,” said jockey Joe Talamo, who once again will be aboard Friday. “She was a typical European – broke slow, came flying the last part. Then against the stakes fillies, she had a tougher time, but I think she’ll really appreciate Churchill with that long stretch and European-style course.”

Smart Sting, a Stronach Stable homebred, is undefeated in two starts and will be making her stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Edgewood. Javier Castellano has the mount.

Besides Smart Sting and Bonita Star, other Edgewood possibilities include Niji’s Grand Girl and Holidaysatthefarm, both with stakes seasoning aplenty, as well as Gaya and Diva Ash, both well-drawn toward the hedge in posts 1 and 2, respectively, while sporting sharp form.

The Edgewood, first run in 1983, goes as the seventh race, with post time set for 2:08 p.m.