05/28/2007 11:00PM

Strong card set for Saturday


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Three stakes will be run Saturday on what is shaping up as a terrific program at Churchill Downs, with proven stakes performers such as Saint Anddan, Lady Joanne, Silverinyourpocket, and Therecomesatiger heading the trio of lineups.

The Grade 3 Aristides Stakes, the Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes, and the Opening Verse Handicap will share top billing Saturday. Here is a brief look at each:

* $150,000 Aristides: Saint Anddan, the Bobby Frankel-trained 5-year-old who won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on the Kentucky Derby undercard, looks like the one to beat in this six-furlong race. Other prospective starters include Cougar Cat, Fabulous Strike, Gaff, Greg's Gold, Off Duty, and possibly Santana Strings and Smalltown Slew.

* $150,000 Dogwood: A couple of 3-year-old fillies entered off sharp wins should vie for favoritism in this one-mile race. Lady Joanne, who captured a May 1 allowance sprint after being laid up following a victory last fall in the Golden Rod Stakes, will square off against Silverinyourpocket, winner of the La Troienne Stakes on the Derby undercard. Calvin Borel, who rode both horses in their last races, will ride Lady Joanne. Other probables are Le Chateau, Magical Ride, Moonee Ponds, Perfeck Connect, Suaveness, and Upcoming Story.

* $100,000 Opening Verse: Therecomesatiger, a winner in 7 of 16 career starts, figures as one of the favorites in this 1 1/16-mile turf race. Others likely to run include Free Thinking, High Blues, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Salty Humor.

Entries for the Saturday card were to be drawn Wednesday.

The Saturday races will be the last Churchill stakes for two weeks. Next up on the schedule is June 16 with a six-stakes program anchored by the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap.

Lemons Forever staying on turf

Despite her rather ordinary effort when finishing fifth of six in her turf debut Friday, Lemons Forever probably will remain on grass, trainer Dallas Stewart said.

"We'll probably give her another shot on grass," Stewart said. "I think she liked it fine. We'll give her another shot here or Polytrack at Arlington. We've got to get her back to the winner's circle."

Lemons Forever was beaten 7 1/4 lengths by Flow Chart under allowance conditions in the 1 1/8-mile race Friday. A 4-year-old filly by Lemon Drop Kid, she now has failed to get close to winning in eight starts since she upset the 2006 Kentucky Oaks at 47-1, the highest winning price in race history.

Leparoux tops jockey standings

After a full month of the spring meet, Julien Leparoux continues to maintain a slim lead atop the jockey standings. Into Thursday action, Leparoux had ridden 32 winners, followed by Robby Albarado with 29, and Rafael Bejarano with 27.

Stewards clear Albarado

The Churchill stewards have held Albarado blameless for his role in the disqualification of his mount, Crossword, from first to second in the ninth race Saturday. Crossword bore out in deep stretch, interfering with Copy My Notes, who subsequently was named the official winner.

Early pick four guarantees

Beginning Saturday, Churchill will offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 on its early pick four every racing day. The new guarantee is in addition to late pick four guarantees of $50,000 on weekdays and $100,000 on weekends.

The early pick four is held on the first four races, and the late pick four is on the last four races.