Our girl goes postward tonight around 10:05 PM with Justin Shepherd in the saddle. Remember that the Club has a spot inside at Silks – a couple of tables will be set aside for anyone who wants to use them. Paddock Group 1 leads us off as well. I’ll swing by the tables after the 7th and then head over to the Paddock. If you’re in group 1 you can also meet us over at the Paddock before the race.
This is the space where we take a look at the race and then see if we can dope out a way that we can possibly win. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the field (with trainer/jockey in parenthesis).
BRILLIANT BELLE (Litfin/Shepherd)
Miss Ocean Express (Donlin/Delorme) – Filly has nine lifetime wins over several racetracks. Folks let Fonner fool them last out, letting her got off at over 6-1 where she closed with a rush in an allowance here at Canterbury. She should stalk but can also seize the lead early if necessary.
My Crazy Dayse (Riecken/Hernandez) – Another that has shown both the ability to close and has early speed. Figs are not up to the level of the more accomplished miss to her inside but should have a say in the way the race develops.
Aparri (Cornier/Mawing) – Should be prominent early and has won five of her last seven with some of the most solid figs in the field. We usually don’t see horses here with wins at Emerald Downs and Portland Meadows so it will be interesting to see how she takes to the Canterbury surface.
Wildwood Kantharos (Litfin/Mojica) – Recent claim off a long layoff from the prominent Illinois duo of Stiritz and Becker, the former stakes winner has back class but certainly had a disappointing return to the races while having the best back class of the field. First out for the new connections was certainly an improved effort – dangerous if this improvement continues.
Four Times Lucky (Van Winkle/Loveberry) – Another recent claim that faltered in her next start, albeit a stakes race. She heads back to a more manageable level. If her figs and Turf Paradise form holds, she’ll be closing with a rush.
Annoy (Heitzman/Canchari) – Morning line favorite was second best in a first off the claim in a $7500 starter at Churchill. Should be close to the lead and may seize it if no one else does. Should be tough.
Eva’s Sugarloaf (Cook/Evans) – First off the claim for the new connections. Has won on the lead in Oklahoma and just off the pace at Fonner. If figures matter, she may be a cut below those in here.
This spot is no gift. We do know that first off the claim for us she had a really rough trip over a speed favoring track yet was still able to close from 12 out of it against double her purchase price.
We’ve won sire to wire before – back at Churchill in a $30,000 nw2 claiming race and in a race void of real speed, this might not be a bad strategy. That said, that race was a very long time ago. She was a clear second in the race we claimed her in, closing smartly and was clearly second best.
Justin Shepherd should have some options and firing from the inside should hopefully ensure that we’re not too wide during the race. We know she’s improved since we got her and if she continues that improvement we stand a chance.
Safe travels to all and good luck, team!
What an exciting race and a great night. Congrats to the entire team.
Belle gave quite a performance! When & where can we get Winner Circle photos?