06/05/2013 3:04PM

Churchill Downs: Sweet Cassiopeia, Good Deed hard to separate in turf sprint feature


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Friday happy hour at Churchill Downs officially begins at 4 p.m. Eastern, after three races already have been run on an 11-race twilight program.

It just so happens the fourth race this particular Friday is the feature, a $60,000 allowance race that drew an exceptional group of filly and mare turf sprinters, led by Sweet Cassiopeia and Good Deed.

Steve Margolis, who trains Good Deed for Bert, Elaine, and Richard Klein, is hoping a repeat victory will make him the happiest man of happy hour.

“It was great to see her win the way she did, first-time turf and all,” Margolis said. “Plus, her family means so much to the Kleins.”

Good Deed, out of the fine producer Hidden Assets, was an impressive winner of her grass debut in a May 11 overnight stakes at Churchill. She was the fifth straight winner that memorable day for Shaun Bridgmohan, who retains the mount Friday.

“She came out of the last race great,” Margolis said. “We had a ‘Plan B’ to run at Presque Isle Downs if this race didn’t go, but we’re more than happy to stay in our own backyard and run.”

Good Deed, the 8-5 morning-line favorite, will break from post 3 in the five-furlong race, while Sweet Cassiopeia (9-5) starts from the inside post with Corey Lanerie up.

Sweet Cassiopeia had a five-race win streak snapped when never a factor in the The Very One Stakes on the Preakness eve undercard at Pimlico three weeks ago.

“She just didn’t seem to like that course at all,” trainer Bill Connelly said.

Before that disappointment, Sweet Cassiopeia put together quite a run, taking four straight allowance races before knocking out the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland in April.

Six others are entered against the two favorites, although one of them, Glamour Puss, will run only in the off chance that rain forces the race to the main track.

Three other allowances are carded for later on the Friday program, including race 9, which attracted Proud Strike, a one-time classics hopeful. Proud Strike, with Brian Hernandez Jr. to ride, will face older horses for the first time when making his first start since finishing 10th in the Louisiana Derby. The first-level allowance race will be contested at 1 1/16 miles.

First post is 2:45 p.m. Eastern, with the last race going at 7:54.