05/25/2013 1:12PM

Churchill Downs: Judy the Beauty has another well-chosen spot in Winning Colors

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Barbara D. Livingston
Judy the Beauty, part of the exacta in all eight of her starts, seeks her first graded stakes win in the Winning Colors.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Wesley Ward has been careful in picking his spots for Judy the Beauty, and it has served him and the 4-year-old filly well.

Since starting her career more than two years ago, Judy the Beauty has never finished worse than second in her eight career starts.

“She’s always been right there,” said Ward, who owns and trains the filly and has called on the well-traveled Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira to ride her Monday in the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs. “Always.”

That terrific record has made Judy the Beauty the morning-line favorite for the $100,000 Winning Colors, a six-furlong race in which she will face six other fillies and mares. Judy the Beauty will break from the middle of the pack in post 4.

Several of those opponents also sport some very nice credentials, including Vuitton (post 2, Alan Garcia), who has been first or second in 11 of 13 starts; Beat the Blues (post 3, Miguel Mena), the highest earner in the field ($453,674) on the strength of 19 in-the-money finishes from 23 starts; and Burban (post 7, Shaun Bridgmohan), most recently second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on the May 4 Kentucky Derby undercard.

Completing the field are Funnys Approval, Holiday Soiree, and the lone 3-year-old in the field, Blueeyesintherein.

While Judy the Beauty has trained steadily over the Polytrack at Keeneland since easily winning an April 25 allowance at the Lexington, Ky., track, the issue of surface does not seem to matter much. An Ontario-bred daughter of Ghostzapper, she has finished second in all three of her starts on dirt, all of them in graded stakes in New York.

“I love the way she’s been training,” Ward said. “It doesn’t matter what she runs on, really. She’s shown that every time we’ve led her over.”

The appearance by Moreira is just a cameo. After riding Saturday at Arlington Park and then Sunday and Monday here, he is scheduled to return Tuesday to Singapore, where he has become a superstar jockey in recent years.

“He wanted to ride in the U.S., and I was happy to give him a chance,” Ward said.

The Winning Colors goes as the 10th of 11 races on a Memorial Day program that also includes two allowances (races 3 and 7). First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern, with the feature set for 5:30.

The most notable absentee here Monday will be Rosie Napravnik, who will be in New York to ride in all four graded stakes at Belmont Park.

The Winning Colors is named for the gray filly who in 1988 became the third and most recent female to win the Kentucky Derby. The race in her honor was first run in 2004.

After Monday, Churchill goes dark for three days, including the lone dark Thursday of the spring meet. Live action will resume with a twilight program Friday.