04/28/2006 11:00PM

No Oaks, but still a nice filly


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Not every 3-year-old filly can make it to the Kentucky Oaks. Take Bourbonette, entered in the Tuesday feature at Churchill Downs, for example.

A 10-race card with a first-level allowance as a modest highlight does little to suggest that the Oaks is right around the corner, but Bourbonette once was under consideration - if ever so briefly - for the filly classic.

Bourbonette is a full sister to graded-stakes winner Battle Won who is trained by Greg Foley. After Bourbonette won a maiden race in impressive fashion at Turfway Park in January, "we were really excited about her future," said Tim Sweeney, part of the Lloyd Madison Farms syndicate that owns her. "We've been in the game for 10 years now, and we're always thinking grand, wonderful things."

Alas, Bourbonette lost her next two races, both at Turfway and both as the favorite, effectively eliminating her from stakes consideration for the near future. Sweeney theorizes the filly "might not have liked the Polytrack too much. That's one reason we're still excited about her."

Lloyd Madison was the owner of Champali, the multiple-stakes-winning sprinter who earned just more more than $1 million several years ago. Foley also trained Champali, who now stands for $7,500 at Glencrest Farm in Midway, Ky.

"We're still kind of living off what Champali made for us," said Sweeney, "although it's about time to get another big one."

Bourbonette, by Honour and Glory, is among the deserving favorites in the ninth of 10 Tuesday races, a $54,000 allowance. With apprentice Julien Leparoux riding, Bourbonette will break from post 7 in a field of nine in the 6 1/2-furlong race. Drawn to her immediate outside are two of her primary challengers - First Encore, a sharp maiden winner at Oaklawn Park in her last appearance, and Cash Flow, a Gilded Time filly who is unraced since winning at Saratoga in mid-August.

Other contenders include Champagne Truffles, second at this level in her latest start at Oaklawn, and Maggie Slew, the last foal of the great sire Seattle Slew.

The rest of the field is Terri's Charmer, Valentine Dance, Continuity, and Blissful Trip.

The Tuesday feature invariably is the weakest of Derby Week. With so many high-class horses scheduled to race in the ensuing days, the card is dominated by claiming events. There are no turf races carded Tuesday, when first post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern.