05/31/2012 12:56PM

Churchill Downs: Good Deed takes on elders in Winning Colors

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Good Deed will take on older fillies and mares in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Winning Colors.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – At some point, Good Deed might feel like she’s surrounded by 5-year-old mares – unless, of course, she can just flat outrun them.

As a 3-year-old filly trying older mares for the first time Saturday night in the Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs, Good Deed will face a trio of Bret Calhoun-trained 5-year-olds – Gleaming, Beat the Blues, and Speedacious – in what shapes up as an intriguing renewal of the six-furlong race.

“We were going to target the Leave Me Alone” at Calder, said Steve Margolis, who trains Good Deed for the Klein family of Louisville. “But it’s always easier to run out of your own backyard, and the filly has run so well over this racetrack.”

Good Deed most recently ran second to Contested in the Grade 3 Eight Belles on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill. Contested wheeled back last weekend with an eye-opening score in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park.

“We’re facing some tough older mares in there, but our filly ran a heck of a race against Contested, so I have to think we’re as tough as any of them,” Margolis said.

Good Deed, with Shaun Brigmohan to ride, was assigned post 1 in a field of eight in the Winning Colors, which goes as the first of three straight Grade 3, $100,000 stakes on a Downs After Dark program that starts at 6 p.m. Eastern. The Winning Colors is the sixth of 11 races and will be followed by the Aristides (race 7) and the Mint Julep (race 8), with post times set for 8:30, 9:05, and 9:39.

There is speed aplenty in the Winning Colors, with Page Springs, a new shooter from Arizona, being the obvious wild card of the group. Page Springs, another 3-year-old, has never trailed through the opening stages of her seven career starts but clearly takes a major step up in class into this spot. She has had two breezes over the local surface since being shipped here by Dan McFarlane, a perennial leading trainer in the far Southwest.

Calhoun said he gives all three of his mares “pretty much equal chances. I’ve been looking forward to this race for all of them. I know it’s a little unusual to put them up against each other like this, but it’d be good to get more graded type for any of them.”

This is the ninth running of the Winning Colors, named for the 1988 Kentucky Derby-winning filly. Dubai Majesty, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, won this race for Calhoun in 2009 and 2010, while Sassy Image, a two-time Grade 1 winner, ran down Beat the Blues last year to prevail by a neck.

Two other Downs After Dark programs are set for June 16 and 30 at Churchill.