Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Mother Goose Stakes

Posted by Brian Appleton on June 25, 2010

The last time we saw Devil May Care she was crossing the finish line 10th, about 12 lengths behind a winning Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby. The talented filly who entered the Kentucky Derby off an impressive win in the Bonnie Miss Stakes makes her highly anticipated return in Belmont Park’s Mother Goose Stakes (gr.1) this Saturday against a small but promising field of 4 other fillies. In the Bonnie Miss Devil May Care sat just off the pace for the majority of the run before unwinding with a powerful rally in the stretch that left graded stakes winner Amen Hallelujah and the highly-regarded Christine Daae in the dust. Trainer Todd Pletcher says he was very pleased with her Kentucky Derby run and expects her to run well again.

Pletcher has two other 3-year-old fillies entered in the Mother Goose this year giving him a great shot at winning. His other two entrants are Ailalea and Katy Now. Both fillies look like legitimate threats but Ailalea is by far the more experienced of the two. Two starts back she set most of the pace in the Kentucky Oaks before fading to finish 5th. Last out she won the one mile Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs after rating just off the pace and holding off long-shot Tap Tap Tapping by one length.

Katy Now will enter the Mother Goose on a four race win streak but has never faced stakes competition before and never raced farther than a mile. She might be outclassed here but her works look strong and it takes a special horse to win back to back races let alone four in a row no matter the competition.

Biofuel is the filly that many think should have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last year after being bumped out of contention just when she was starting an impressive run at the leaders. She is perfect in both her polytrack starts this year but has yet to try the dirt. I hate trying to determine if a horse has the ability to go from synthetic to dirt but I personally think this filly will handle the dirt just fine. Her last win came at the same 1 1/16 mile distance as the Mother Goose.

Connie and Michael looks like the logical pace horse in the Mother Goose. She almost always shoots right out to the lead in her races, a tactic that has served her well in in the past. In her first try on dirt she went gate-to-wire in an allowance race at Churchill Downs last out, winning by more than 5 lengths.

This year the Mother Goose Stakes has been shortened from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/16, this continues a poor trend in

American racing where we are seeing a majority of our distance running disappear in favor of more speed favoring races. The cut back in distance will most likely make the race a little more competitive. Connie and Michael could steal the race if allowed to set a nice easy pace but with stalkers like Ailalea and Biofuel close behind that probably won’t happen. Devil May Care will probably be the farthest back or mid-pack, seeing as the field is so short there aren’t as many pace elements. She should get a great trip and have a nice opportunity to make a run at the lead whenever she feels like it.

Don’t miss out on the other big races this weekend like the return of Winslow Homer in the Iowa Derby and Brass Hat back on dirt in the Cornhusker Handicap. Enjoy the weekend!

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