05/10/2012 12:58PM

Churchill Downs: Wild About Marie tries to bounce back in Unbridled Sidney

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Wild About Marie will try to rebound from a disappointing last start in Saturday's Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hard to tell what a springtime Saturday at Churchill Downs will bring. The first brought a ferocious hailstorm and the Derby Trial, and the second brought a record crowd of 165,307 and the Kentucky Derby.

So how do you follow up on such drama for the third Saturday? Well, you don’t. It is kind of nice, however, to be able to take a deep breath, find plenty more elbow room in the stands, and enjoy a little $68,000 overnight stakes as a feature race.

The Unbridled Sidney is the name of that Saturday feature, a five-furlong turf race that drew a solid cast of fillies and mares. Wild About Marie, a disappointing eighth last month as the 9-2 third choice in the rugged Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland, could be the one to beat in a field of 10.

“It seems like a lighter bunch than what we faced in the Giant’s Causeway, although this is competitive enough,” said Jeff Thornbury, trainer of Wild About Marie. “We missed our prep at the Fair Grounds when it got rained off the turf, so it was three months between races for her, and she might have needed that last one. She needs to run as opposed to me trying to train her too hard. I really think that with that race under her, she’ll be tough Saturday.”

Wild About Marie has kept elite company for the last couple of years in filly-mare sprints and has earned nearly $300,000 for Ike and Dawn Thrash. Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the 5-year-old mare when she breaks from post 1.

The Unbridled Sidney is named for the ultra-fleet mare who won five stakes and set the course record for this distance when whistling home in 55.54 seconds in a 2005 overnight stakes. Her trainer, Ronny Werner, has a viable contender in here in Eur O So Bad (post 3, Miguel Mena), who steps up in class off two main-track wins.

Other contenders include Smartys Emperoress (post 4, Gabriel Saez), a decent sixth in the Giant’s Causeway for trainer Eric Reed; Platinum Exchange (post 6, Marcellino Pedroza), a sharp last-out winner in a turf allowance at Keeneland; and Honey Chile (post 10, Corey Lanerie), who poses a major speed threat when favorably drawn to the far outside.

Rounding out the lineup are Helen Belen, Grand Illumination, Extravaganza, Palazzo Babe, and Yournotthebossofme.

The Unbridled Sidney goes as the eighth of 10 Saturday races on a card that also includes one allowance (race 3). First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern.