Lael Stables' Chalon takes another shot at graded-stakes success Saturday when she makes her third start in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at Keeneland, a “Win and You're In” race for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
Second in the TCA the past two years, Chalon last ran in Kentucky in the 2018 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs when she was nipped at the wire by future champion Shamrock Rose.
“The main thing this year is to get a graded win with her,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said after Chalon returned to the barn following training this morning on the main track. “We mapped out a campaign similar to last year with a couple of graded stakes and some easier races in between.”
The TCA is run at 6 furlongs, a distance Delacour believes is better suited to Chalon than the 7-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
“I was happy she performed that well last year,” Delacour said. “She ran so well going seven-eighths, she obviously proved me wrong. It is doable. Everybody was saying, 'You came so close to winning (the Breeders' Cup)' and I say, 'I came so close to being third (finishing a neck ahead of Anonymity).'”
In her career, Chalon has finished second in seven graded stakes. Her first two runner-up finishes came here in the fall of 2017 with Peter Miller as her trainer for the TCA and the Raven Run (G2) two weeks later. Lael Stables purchased her at auction and in 2018 she went to Delacour.
A victory Saturday would not necessarily put Chalon back on the track to the Breeders' Cup.
“I think this year's race might be tougher with horses like Covfefe,” Delacour said. “It was easier to go to Churchill Downs last year and logistically Santa Anita would be different.”
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