05/02/2012 4:48PM

Churchill Downs: Stephanie's Kitten heads top-notch, full field in Edgewood

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Stephanie's Kitten drew post 3 for the Edgewood and will have John Velazquez riding.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As the lone ungraded stakes Friday at Churchill Downs, the $150,000 Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies might reasonably be expected to be the softest of the six stakes on Kentucky Oaks day.

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Not so. The race drew a full field of 14, plus one also-eligible, and is headlined by  Stephanie's Kitten - winner of the Grade 1 Alcibiades last year and Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs - plus fellow graded winners More Than Love and Disposablepleasure.

Stephanie's Kitten, making her second start of the year after a third-place finish in her seasonal debut in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes last month, is expected to start as a clear favorite, despite the race's depth and quality.

Although beaten 2 1/4 lengths as the public choice in the Ashland, she lost little in defeat in the eyes of trainer Wayne Catalano and co-owner Ken Ramsey, who are still aiming her to run at Royal Ascot in Group 1 Coronation Stakes June 22.

Catalano attributed Stephanie's Kitten's defeat to a wide trip, one the horse data service Trakus noted resulted in her racing 51 more feet than victorious Karlovy Vary, a Kentucky Oaks entrant.

"She was the best horse in the race," Catalano said of Stephanie's Kitten.

In contrast to the Ashland, when she drew the outside post, Stephanie's Kitten drew well in the Edgewood, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, landing in post 3. John Velazquez, up for her stakes triumphs last year, returns in the irons.

Disposablepleasure, a surprising 12-1 on the morning line, could proven her chief adversary if she handles the switch from dirt to turf. She won the Grade 2 Demoiselle last year and has faced many of the nation's top 3-year-old fillies on dirt in 2012.