06/02/2011 11:58AM

Churchill Downs: Might makes stakes debut in Dogwood


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Al Stall Jr. well knows about the disparity in talent among equine brothers and sisters.

“Like the old saying goes, ‘Mrs. Dempsey had nine boys, but only one Jack,’ ” Stall said. “That’s why we’re pleasantly surprised that this filly is turning out as good as she is.”

Stall had the privilege of training Blame to an Eclipse Award as top older horse last year, and now he could have Blame’s 3-year-old full sister, Might, on a similar path to stardom. Might will be favored when she makes her stakes debut Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Might will be ridden by Julien Leparoux when breaking from post 1 among a field of eight in the Dogwood, which is run as a one-turn mile. Like Blame, now retired at 5, the filly is by Arch out of Liable and was bred and owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.

“One difference between them is her brother was more of a 1 1/8-mile horse, and this mile looks more like her style of running, which is actually the way her mother was,” Stall said. “We’d love to get through this race and take her to Saratoga and run her in something like the Test, but first we’ve got to pass this hurdle.”

Perhaps the most daunting challenge for Might will come from Fantasy of Flight (post 5, Robby Albarado), a highly impressive winner when making her career debut in the last race on the May 6 Kentucky Oaks card.

“We were all aware of her Oaks Day,” Stall said. “There’s obviously a lot of talent there, but she’s going straight from a maiden race to a graded stakes and from six furlongs to a mile, so we’ll try and put the test to her.”

Another logical contender is Salty Strike (post 3, Manoel Cruz), a seven-length winner of a recent first-level allowance in what was easily a career-best effort.

“She’s trained well since then, so we’re optimistic she can come right back with a big one,” trainer Ken McPeek said.

The rest of the Dogwood field is Angelica Zapata, Juanita, Henny’s Hurricane, Holy Heavens, and Gran Lioness.

This will be the 37th running of the Dogwood, which goes as the ninth of 11 Saturday races. The 2010 winner was Ailalea, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Calvin Borel.