11/04/2017 7:39PM

Farrell outruns the crowd in Chilukki Stakes

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Farrell paid $10.40 in winning the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Returning to the form that established her as one of the elite 3-year-old fillies in the country in early spring, Farrell turned back a full cast of 13 rivals to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday in her first race against older mares.

In contrast to her past two efforts, in which she was last in the Kentucky Oaks and fifth when returning from a layoff in the Sept. 23 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill, Farrell was on top of her game from the break Saturday. She dragged jockey Channing Hill to the lead down the backstretch of the one-mile Chilukki and turned away all comers in the stretch. She crossed the wire a length in front of runner-up Money’soncharlotte, the 2-1 favorite.

Hill said he didn’t plan on going to the lead, but that his mount was eager to get involved and once she made the front “she settled nice,” while carving out splits of 46.05 seconds and 1:10.72.

She still appeared in danger of being caught as the field began to advance coming to the top of the stretch, but she found a little more in the lane, completing a mile on a fast track in a quick 1:35.90. She paid $10.40.

Trainer Wayne Catalano said he felt like she would run stronger in the Chilukki than in the Dogwood, when she was likely too anxious for her return to racing after time off following the Oaks.

The Chilukki marked the second graded stakes win at Churchill Downs for Farrell, a daughter of Malibu Moon owned by Coffeepot Stables. She won the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill last fall as a 2-year-old.

Money’soncharlotte, a three-time stakes winner in 2017 that had been a distant second in the Grade 1 Beldame on Sept. 30, gave a good account as the runner-up but came up a little short from a stalking position. She finished a half-length in front of California invaders Motown Lady and Show Stealer, who ran third and fourth, respectively, while separated by a neck at the wire.