Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's homebred I'm a Chatterbox turned in her third Keeneland breeze Sunday morning in preparation for her 2016 debut in Friday's 22nd running of the $100,000 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3). With Florent Geroux aboard for trainer Larry Jones, the 4-year-old Munnings filly worked five furlongs in 1:00.60.
Clockers caught I'm a Chatterbox in fractions of :12, :23.80, :35.60, 1:00.60 and out in 1:14.
Jones was pleased with the move.
“That was about as slow as we could keep her without getting in a wrestling match with her,” he said. “She worked so fast last week (a bullet :58.80 for five furlongs on Monday) that she didn't have to do a whole lot today. She did it really well, just what we were looking for.”
Winner of four stakes last year, including the Cotillion (G1), with seconds in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama (G1) and a third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), I'm a Chatterbox has five wins in 11 starts and earnings of $1,304,614 and has not raced since she finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) here in October.
Jones said the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare fit the filly's schedule.
“We were letting her bring herself back (after the layoff),” he said. “We weren't in a hurry. We really weren't trying to get ready for any particular race. You could tell she was getting ready. I thought the Apple Blossom (G1 on April 15 at Oaklawn) might be a little tough coming off that long layoff. She had broken her maiden at Keeneland, so we liked that.
“And,” he added with a grin, “I wanted to prove to myself that running in the Breeders' Cup, it wasn't wrong. She does like Keeneland. This is a good spot.”
Entries for the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare, a 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares, will be taken Tuesday.
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