Buena Vista Stakes Grade II
By: John Caro
The weather should be excellent for Saturday’s race. The ladies dueling today are well matched for the turf mile and several battled against one another on January 18th in the Megahertz Stakes (G3). Glory (8) set the pace in the previous outing and was caught late in the stretch by Keri Belle (1), Stormy Lucy (10), and Theater Star(12) and three others not entered today. The pace and split times were quick until the ¾ mark and the three closers above rallied to win, place and show within a neck of one another. I expect a similar race today with a similar large field.
I’ll give consideration to those eight that have been in graded stakes company; Keri Belle (1), Prize Exhibit (6), Lupine Belle (7), Glory (8), Her Emmynency (9), Stormy Lucy (10), Paulina’s Love (11), and Theater Star (12), then look at others who may impact the race.
Keri Belle won last out by a nose against Stormy Lucy, followed shortly by Theater Star. Stormy Lucy has the more consistent record to either beat her competition with middle speed or close at a fast clip. Desormeaux is aboard for a fourth round and has either won or lost by no greater than a neck in the last three tries, winning the Matriarch at Del Mar. I’ll make Stormy Lucy the top contender of the three. Keri Belle was steady throughout her last race and Solis played the pace well to prevail with steady increasing speed to the end. Keri has been shown to have middle speed, go wide to close and can be dangerous if some can’t maintain their speed/pace. Van Dyke made a great move with Theater Star to split horses with a truly fast closing pace. The problem for me is Theater Star is not consistent. I see her better suited to a longer race.
Pauline’s Love looks to have prepped well for this race, won last out, has had a 50 day rest and Stevens has been aboard for both wins, at this distance, since coming to Baltas’ barn. With Stevens aboard I believe he will be able to judge how the pace is moving and will adjust. We could find him on the lead like back in April. Besides, I’m partial to a jock who has done so well for so long.
Glory is a beaten favorite from the last race and Smith has done well with this Tapit girl. The front running style gives hope but I don’t think the others are going to give the lead up lightly. Chocolatier (5), Pauline’s Love, and Her Emmynency (9) may press Glory we’ll see a fast closing finish.
Her Emmynency has my vote for top contender in today’s race. She was last seen winning the QEII(G1) at Keeneland while pressing the leader from the outside in solid fractions going 1 & 1/8 miles. Her speed to the mile was excellent for this company and she had plenty in the tank, while her works have been supper. The trainer is winning at SA at 19%. The post position is winning at 17%. The single drawback is Talamo’s turf record. Hopefully, he overcomes it.
The remaining ladies do not show enough consistency and speed to win. However, there are two who show enough to be bomber prices in the bottom of exotics. Chocolatier (5) and Stylish in Black (2) along with the AE’s must be considered. Stylish in Black has had a long rest and the works since December are regular and improving. Chocolatier’s best pace may show up and impact everyone.
Let’s bet…..$100 or less
$5 win $8 place $10 show on 9 - $23
$1 Exacta Key 9 with 2,5,6,8,10,11 - $6
$1 Exacta Key 8,10,11 with 2,5,9 - $9
$1 Trifecta Key 9 w 10,11 w 10,11,8,1,2,5 - $10
$1 Trifecta Key. 10,11 w 9,10,11 w 9,10,11,8,1,2,5. - $20
$0.20 Superfecta 9 w 10,11 w 10,11,8,1,2,5 w all - $18
If the 11 stays at 8-1 or better
$1 Exacta Key 11 w 9,10,2,5. - $4
$1 Trifecta Key 11 w 9,10 w 9,10,8,1,2,5. - $10