08/10/2017 1:36PM

Pucker Up Stakes headed by another Chad Brown standout

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
The lightly raced Lipstick City heads a cast of 13 turf fillies in Saturday's Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The long tentacles of Chad Brown will make a final reach Saturday at Arlington Park when Lipstick City comes in as the one to beat among 12 other 3-year-old turf fillies in the Million Day finale, the Grade 3, $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes.

Represented earlier in the day in both the Arlington Million and Beverly D., the Brown stable could leave town a winner if Lipstick City runs back to her last race, a drawing-off victory in the ungraded Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park.

“She’s a lightly raced horse that’s improving,” Brown said this week from Saratoga. “She stepped up and ran a nice race at Monmouth last time, and I think she deserves a look at the Grade 3 level.”

Joel Rosario will be aboard when Lipstick City, a dark bay filly by City Zip, breaks from post 3 in the Pucker Up, which covers about 1 1/8 miles.

Fault, Lovely Bernadette, Dontmesswithjoanne, and Happy Mesa – the respective 2-3-5-12 finishers in a deep renewal of the ungraded Ta Wee at Indiana Grand last month – are among the top challengers, along with Journey Home, a winner of the ungraded Christiana Stakes at Delaware Park two starts back for Graham Motion.

Lovely Bernadette is relatively new to turf, having only made the transition from dirt when capturing a June 8 allowance at Churchill Downs.

“The mile and an eighth is the main question with her,” said trainer Jimmy DiVito. “If we can get a good trip, she might be OK. She just got beat in the Ta Wee after finding some traffic and having to steady.”

As the last of 12 Saturday races, the Pucker Up goes at 7:02 p.m. Central. It’s the final leg in several multirace wagers, most notably a pick four (races 9-12) with a $300,000 pool guarantee and a pick five (races 8-12) with a $150,000 guarantee.

Bruce D. kicks off pick five

By itself, the $75,000 Bruce D. Memorial isn’t all that notable, overshadowed as it is on Million Day by five graded turf stakes. But as the eighth race (4:23 p.m.), it’s the leadoff event in the pick five, and that gives added importance to a one-mile Polytrack race lacking a clear-cut favorite.

Top considerations in a field of 10 3-year-olds are Smoke ‘n’ Gloat, in off four straight wins for Scott Becker; Kitten’s Cat and Yorkton, both two-time ungraded stakes winners; Uncontested, 2 for 2 when not competing in graded stakes; and Society Beau, first or second in eight of 13 starts for Neil Howard.

The Bruce D. honors the son of Arlington chairman Richard Duchossois. A noted equestrian and horse lover, Bruce Duchossois died in July 2014 at age 64.