Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Devilish Happenings

Posted by Brian Appleton on July 24, 2010

This weekend could be remembered for several different events in the history books. Either it will be remembered as the weekend Rachel Alexandra won the Lady’s Secret Stakes, the weekend she lost the Lady’s Secret or it could end up being the weekend Devil May Care tossed her horse shoe in the coffee pot, hoping it stands up straight and true. It could even end up being a combination of the two or a completely different player could steal the stage from the juvenile ranks.

Undoubtedly the biggest story this week is Rachel Alexandra running in the Lady’s Secret Stakes, a race in which she will be a weighty favorite against a sadly over-matched field. Few seem to doubt that she will win the Lady’s Secret and the only question people seem to want answered is: By how much she will the race?

Rachel Alexandra isn’t the only big name running this weekend by far. For the first time in 94 years the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr.1) will not be run at Belmont Park, it will instead be run Saratoga, New England’s summer racing jewel. The form of the fillies entered in the Coaching Club American Oaks looks fantastic, six of the eight fillies entered are all coming into the races off wins.

All top three finishers from the Mother Goose Stakes (gr.1) return in the Coaching Club American Oaks to do battle again. Headlining the field is Mother Goose victor Devil May Care, a filly who looks like she wants to give Blind Luck a run for her money in the race for 3-year-old Champion Filly honors. She barely broke a sweat when winning the Mother Goose under jockey John Velazquez last out and I believe she will continue that tradition here.

Mother Goose runner-up Connie and Michael comes back to face Devil May Care after falling short by 1 ¼ lengths in the stretch. She looks like a fast improving filly and is probably once again the biggest threat to Devil May Care and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her pull off an upset.

Biofuel had her two race stakes winning streak snapped quickly in half when finishing third in the Mother Goose. The Mother Goose was her first start on dirt and considering how she ran in the Mother Goose I believe that handled the new surface fine and was simply outclassed by two better fillies.

Acting Happy comes to Saratoga off a win in Pimlico’s Black Eyed Susan Stakes (gr.2) and sports a very consistent record of 2 wins if just 4 lifetime starts and both losing efforts resulted in runner-up finishes.

Seeking the Title enters off a winning score in the Iowa Oaks (gr.3) after finishing 6th in the Acorn Stakes (gr.1) three weeks prior. Three starts back she stumbled entering the stretch of the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and unseated jockey Kent Desormeaux so it’s hard gage exactly how that affected her performance in the Acorn or if it had any say at all in her poor finish.

Lisa’s Booby Trap is undefeated in three lifetime starts, all of which were won in romps of 8 lengths or more and all of which came at Finger Lakes. Those are impressive stats regardless of the track and competition quality, she could be a very live long-shot for filling out exactas and trifectas at odds of 30-1.

The other two entrants, Bahama Bound and Absinthe Minded enter off allowance wins.

Devil May Care looks like a very solid favorite to me and I think she’ll win this one but Connie and Michael looks like the best shot for an upset. Lisa’s Booby Trap is really intriguing to me, she may turn out to be just another one of those one track wonders who never lives up to a graded stakes caliber potential but I think she could get a piece of the top three.

Good luck to all this weekend and don’t miss out of the Sanford Stakes, Eddie Read Stakes, California Dreamin’ Handicap Stakes (with one of my personal favorites Bold Chieftain)and the San Clemente (gr.2) Handicap with Crisp and Evening Jewel facing off. And of course don’t miss reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Lady’s Secret Stakes today at Monmouth.

*Sadly both Connie and Michael and Linda’s Booby Trap were scratched from the CCA Oaks effectively taking out two of my top three choices.Biofuel and Acting Happy now fill out my top three.*

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