By Anthony Stabile
$2 million; 1 1/16 miles; 2YO fillies
Open Mind, Go For Wand and Silverbulletday are some of the fantastic young ladies to have captured this event. My Flag splashed home in the mud to win in 1995 before her daughter Storm Flag Flying took the 2002 renewal at Arlington Park. Ria Antonia was put up via DQ in 2013 after She’s a Tiger bumped her in deep stretch.
Favorites have won a whopping 17 of the 30 runnings, good for a Cup record 56% win rate. In fact, Meadow Star’s victory in the 1990 renewal produced the shortest priced mutual of the event when she paid a paltry $2.40. On the flip side, Caressing upset the applecart in 2000 and paid $96!!
There certainly won’t be a 1-5 shot this year but it’s hard to imagine Angela Renee not going to post as the favorite after her sharp score in the G1 Chandelier at this trip over this course in her latest effort.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Angela Renee is a full sister to G1 winner To Honor and Serve and looked the part in her debut with a win over a solid maiden field in late June at Belmont. A tough trip in the G2 Adirondack where she settled for second as the 9-5 favorite followed as did a third place finish in the G1 Spinaway over a super sloppy, speed biased Saratoga course that she had little chance over. She stretched out beautifully last out when taking the Chandelier from just off the early pace.
By the Moon suffered her lone defeat in three starts in the Spinaway for trainer Michelle Nevin two starts back. By the Moon broke her maiden at Saratoga before the Spinaway then came back at over 24-1 to capture the G1 Frizette on the stretch out to a mile at Belmont after rating just off of the early pace over another sloppy track.
Cristina’s Journey ships in from the bluegrass for Dale Romans and will look to start her career a perfect three for three. A gate-to-wire winner in both of her starts, Cristina’s Journey made quick work of maidens at Ellis when she won her unveiling by over four lengths going six furlongs before stretching out to this distance in the G2 Pocahontas which she won by over two lengths.
Another Kentucky shipper, Top Decile won her debut at the Spa for Al Stall, Jr. in mid-August and returned from a brief layoff to miss by just a half-length in the G1 Alcibiades at Keeneland last out over the new dirt track at the Lexington oval. Though on the pace from the start of her sprint win, Top Decile came from far back to grab the place money when wide in the Alcibiades.
Feathered was third in the Frizette after a strange trip in the early running for Pletcher. Feathered Broke her maiden comfortably at the Spa in here prior start after just missing in her unveiling. Wonder Gal, second in the Frizette and third in the Adirondack, broker her maiden by 14 ½ lengths when she debuted in a New York bred stakes for Leah Gyamarti.
Conquest Eclipse finished second in the Chandelier for Mark Casse off of a third place finish in the G1 Del Mar Debutante over the Polytrack at Del Mar. She broke her maiden in her debut on dirt at Churchill Downs. Take Charge Brandi also won at first asking for D. Wayne Lukas and was second in the G3 Schuylerville but hasn’t been close in three subsequent starts in graded stakes since, including her last two at this trip.
Puca was a 16 length winner when stretching out to this distance for Bill Mott in the third start of her career, though that was around one turn at Belmont. She was third around two turns on the turf two starts back. Hennythelovepenny ran twice for a claiming price on the synthetic at Del Mar before graduating in her conventional dirt debut over this strip last time out. She’s trained by Peter Miller.
Danette is still a maiden but managed to close ground late to be third in the Chandelier, her first start on conventional dirt in five career starts for Keith Desormeaux. Majestic Presence was fourth in the Chandelier but did break her maiden around two turns when going a mile at Del Mar two starts back for Jerry Hollendorfer.
Lukas and Leandro Mora have Lady Zuzu and She’s Complete, respectively, cross entered (and first preference) in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Both fillies are expected to run there.