The Shawnee Stakes at Churchill Downs – Saturday, May 23, 2020

by Cole Paganelli | May 22, 2020 |

The $100,000 Shawnee Stakes is one of the races on Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster Preview Day card on May 23. The race is set to feature such runners as Dunbar Road and Awe Emma.

The event for fillies and mares will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It is a local prep for the Fleur de Lis (G2), which is scheduled for June 27.

Here is a look at the probable runners for the Shawnee Stakes.

Dunbar Road

Dunbar Road is the winner of Belmont Park’s Mother Goose Stakes (G2) and Saratoga’s Alabama Stakes (G1) in 2019. The Shawnee Stakes will be the venue for her 4-year-old bow.

The Chad Brown-trainee was originally set to make her first 2020 start in the La Troienne Stakes (G1), which is part of the Kentucky Oaks card. However, the daughter of Quality Road had her plans cancelled when Churchill’s Derby week events were delayed to September.

Following her two graded victories in New York, Dunbar Road finished third last October in Keeneland’s Spinster Stakes (G1), going against older females. The Shawnee Stakes will be her first start since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Santa Anita Park.

Awe Emma

Another runner pointed toward the Shawnee Stakes on May 23 is Awe Emma.

Last time out, the 5-year-old daughter of War Front finished ninth in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn on April 18. Before that, she took a one-mile allowance optional claiming race on April 5.

Prior to those two races, Awe Emma threw her rider in the Azeri Stakes (G2), and she ran behind Serengeti Empress in second until the far turn.

Awe Emma’s career earnings are sitting at $214,488.

Motion Emotion

Another probable runner in the Shawnee is Motion Emotion. Trained by Richard Baltas, she is out of Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Mark DeDomenico LLC, and Medallion Racing.

Motion Emotion has 17 career starts, with just 3 of them coming in 2020. This year, she has finished second in two of the races and has earnings of $35,000.

In her most recent race, Motion Emotion took second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on April 30 at Oaklawn Park. Before that, she finished second in another Allowance Optional Claiming on April 5 at the same track.

In 2019, she did run in some stakes races, finishing fourth in the Feb. 17 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn and eighth in the La Brea Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

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