06/13/2007 11:00PM

Dreaming of Anna main zip in Regret


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In one way, Churchill Downs saved the best for last Saturday. Although the $200,000 Regret Stakes normally does not pack the wallop of some of the other races on Stephen Foster Day, the Grade 3 race for 3-year-old fillies nonetheless drew the largest and perhaps most competitive field of the day, lending a fitting end to the afternoon.

Dreaming of Anna, the reigning divisional champion, was something of a surprise entry in the Regret, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, having just won a minor stakes at her Arlington Park home base two Saturdays ago. Trainer Wayne Catalano, however, long has said the filly's strong suit is racing on turf, and surely she will be the one to catch after the field straightens away down the backstretch.

There will be plenty of able fillies in hot pursuit. Among them are: High Heels, the Anita Ebert homebred making her grass debut and her first start since finishing a solid third behind Rags to Riches and Octave in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks; Swingit, the rallying winner of the Edgewood Stakes on the Oaks undercard; Dawn After Dawn, the fourth-place finisher in the Oaks; and You Go West Girl, a sharp winner of her last two starts, including a May 19 allowance over the Churchill turf.

As the 11th and and last race, the Regret, named for the filly who won the 1915 Kentucky Derby, serves as the final leg for the pick six and a late pick four that has a guaranteed pool of $250,000.

Mint Julep: Danzon drops in class

Five weeks before Rags to Riches beat the boys in the Belmont Stakes, another filly tested males on Kentucky Derby Day. In the race before the Derby, the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve, Danzon ran a close third behind Sky Conqueror and Brilliant, finishing in front of such top-class grass horses as Better Talk Now, Einstein, and Icy Atlantic.

On Saturday she takes a class drop, returning to face females in the Grade 3, $150,000 Mint Julep Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on grass.

Although it is an easier race, it is not a soft spot. She is matched against six stakes-winning fillies, led by Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup winner Magnificent Song and Grade 3 Boiling Springs winner Quite a Bride.

In contrast to Derby Day, when the Churchill course was yielding, the turf Saturday is expected to be firm.

A Group 3 winner in France imported to the U.S. in late 2006, Danzon has run two other races in the U. S. besides the Woodford, both on firm ground. She ran 10th in the Gradeo1 Matriarch last November, and won a third-level allowance April 19 at Keeneland in her season debut.

Garrett Gomez rides for trainer Patrick Biancone and owner Joseph Allen.

Quite a Bride and Magnificent Song - who ran second and fourth, respectively, in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on May 5 - are also logical contenders. Quite a Bride ran third in the Mrs. Revere at Churchill last fall, and Magnificent Song is a candidate to improve in her second race of the year.

- Byron King

Jefferson Cup: Duveen the choice

Saturday's stakes action begins with the sixth race, the Grade 3, $200,000 Jefferson Cup at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Dwarfed in purse money by the $750,000 Colonial Cup Stakes at Colonial Downs - another turf stakes race for 3-year-olds on Saturday - the Jefferson Cup drew a modest field of seven.

Duveen, a winner of three straight, including two graded stakes on grass, looms a short-priced favorite in a field that has four horses stepping up from first-level allowance company.

Besides being the most accomplished horse in the field, Duveen also has the highest speed figures in the race. In winning the Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 4, he earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure. That followed a nose victory in the Gradeo3 Palm Beach Stakes, which earned him a 92 Beyer.

Mark Guidry rides for trainer Dale Romans and owner Andrew Farm.

Inca King, Jazz Quest, Lattice, and Trimaran look like the greatest threats to the favorite. All four are multiple winners on turf, and Jazz Quest and Trimaran are stakes-placed on grass.

Inca Queen, a recent acquisition by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable after winning an allowance over Lattice at Keeneland on April 27, is the probable pacesetter.

"He was bought with these races in mind," said his new trainer, Steve Asmussen.

- Byron King