Fleur de Lis Stakes 2024: Top Contenders

The $500,000 Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs has consistently attracted some of the finest fillies and mares in recent history. Despite being a Grade 2 race, it has seen winners like Letruska, Midnight Bisou, and Shedaresthedevil grace its winner’s circle in the past five years. 

This year, a compact but highly competitive field of six older fillies and mares will compete over 1 1/8 miles on June 29. Leading the charge are the impressive last-out winners Scylla and Shotgun Hottie.

 

Top Contenders

Scylla, a Juddmonte homebred, has been bred for greatness, being a daughter of the illustrious stallion Tapit and multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches. Scylla should be one of the favorites for off track betting

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who also conditioned her dam and her Classic-placed older full brother Tacitus, Scylla has shown her prowess at Churchill Downs, where she is 3-for-3. Her latest victory was a 3 1/4-length triumph over Xigera in the Shawnee Stakes (G3) on June 1. Scylla will once again be ridden by Javier Castellano, the only jockey she has known since her debut last year. 

Mott fitted Scylla with blinkers for the first time in the Shawnee, which led to a more forwardly placed effort, and she will likely employ similar tactics in the Fleur de Lis.

Shotgun Hottie, trained by Cherie DeVaux, enters the Fleur de Lis off a career-best performance in the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes on the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) undercard. 

Despite the DuPont being an ungraded race, Shotgun Hottie earned an impressive 111 Equibase Speed Figure for her 5 3/4-length victory. This 5-year-old daughter of Gun Runner is a tactical filly, giving jockey Paco Lopez multiple options on race day. A win in the Fleur de Lis would mark her fourth stakes victory and second graded score.

 

Other Competitors

Another strong contender is Free Like a Girl, a Louisiana-bred filly who has bankrolled $1.6 million for her owners. 

Purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, Free Like a Girl has performed admirably outside her home state, including a narrow defeat in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and placings in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) and La Troienne Stakes (G1). Trained by Chasey Pomier, she will look to add to her impressive record in the Fleur de Lis.

Taxed, a recent allowance winner at Churchill Downs is another notable entrant. This Grade 2 winner as a 3-year-old will look to leverage her local experience in this competitive field. 

Graded stakes winners Xigera and Occult, who compete at high levels, could pose a significant threat to leading contenders.

The Fleur de Lis Stakes is a key race in the horse betting schedule and an event where horse racing odds can be intriguing due to the high caliber of competitors. Here is the complete field for the Fleur de Lis Stakes:

  1. Free Like a Girl (Corey J. Lanerie, Chasey Deville Pomier)
  2. Shotgun Hottie (Paco Lopez, Cherie DeVaux)
  3. Taxed (Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr., Randy L. Morse)
  4. Scylla (Javier Castellano, William I. Mott)
  5. Occult (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad C. Brown)
  6. Xigera (Julien R. Leparoux, Philip A. Bauer)

 

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