05/15/2012 11:45AM

Churchill Downs: Heart of Destiny comes into turf allowance after some good efforts against classy fillies


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With just 1 win from 6 starts, Heart of Destiny has a record that belies her talent.

Her company lines quickly reflect why. In her last four starts, Heart of Destiny has faced such top-level 3-year-old fillies as Stephanie’s Kitten, On Fire Baby, and Karlovy Vary.

Aside from a poor run vs. On Fire Baby in the Grade 2 Pocahontas last year on dirt, Heart of Destiny has held her own with good performances when competing on turf and Polytrack.

In a full field of 3-year-old fillies in Thursday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs, a $55,300 first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, Heart of Destiny faces company that doesn’t appear nearly as challenging – provided one of her opponents isn’t a budding stakes runner in the making.

“Jeez, let’s hope not,” said trainer Jimmy Baker. “I don’t think she’s hooked an easy race yet.”

Beyond the race conditions, the timing also points to a good race from Heart of Destiny, who will be making the third start of her current form cycle.

A fast-closing second to Karlovy Vary in an allowance on turf Feb. 26, she returned April 7 in the Ashland on Polytrack at Keeneland, finishing fourth in a slow-paced race.

In her prior start on the synthetic surface there, Heart of Destiny finished second in last fall’s Alcibiades, so Baker said he was slightly disappointed with her finish, in which she was 6 3/4 lengths behind the winner, which was again Karlovy Vary.

Sent to the farm for two weeks, Heart of Destiny has come back with two works, one three-furlong drill May 8 and a bullet five furlongs in the slop May 13. Corey Lanerie rides.

Other prominent entries in the eighth race, which drew 10 in the body of the field, plus four also-eligibles, include M’Dearest and Teeny Tiz – second and third, respectively, in an allowance on turf at Keeneland on April 2; and Cozze Up Lady, a Cozzene filly coming off a maiden win in fast time going a mile at Turfway on March 10.

Cozze Up makes her first start for trainer Bret Calhoun after majority ownership in the filly was sold.

Calhoun praised her training Tuesday morning, mentioning how nicely she breezed on turf April 24 at Churchill Downs, where she worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.60 with the dogs well out in the course.

Thursday’s race marks Cozze Up’s first start on grass, and her first race beyond a mile.