The Pucker Up
stakes gives me mixed feelings. It’s always
such a great race however it also signals that we’re nearing the end
Arlington meet. This year’s race features a couple of European invaders and
some darn good North American runners as well. Let’s take an inside look at
this 9 furlong jaunt for 3 year old fillies that takes place this Saturday on
Arlington’s expansive turf course
Do you remember when Marketing Mix won last year’s Pucker Up Stakes
? I do
Anyway, let’s look at the race!!
I think in this race there will be a lot of pace to chase
and that could set up very well for a closer: especially if the rail is in lane
0 or 1. Zapper Belle
, Rare Event
, and possibly even morning
line 7/2 favorite Angegreen
could show some early speed. Now I don’t think we’ll
have five horses together setting fractions of :22 and :45, but certainly I do
expect at least two of these runners to set the early pace.
This is a very tough
field and it might have to be a race
where you go 3 or 4 deep in horizontals. Turning our attention to the morning
line favorite, Angegreen
, you would have to give considerations to this filly. First
you have a first time North American starter for Graham Motion
, using Lasix for
the first time, and even garnering the attention of hall of fame rider Mike Smith
on the mount. That’s a pretty potent combination for a filly with quite
the resume. She has raced each time in Italy
where she has yet to finish off
the board in five starts. She even broke her maiden against the boys! We’ve
seen a lot of Euros come to America and dominate on the turf and it may happen
A horse that I like a lot is Freedom Reigns
. This horse will
definitely be coming from the clouds and should enjoy the extra 1/16 of a mile
that she didn’t have in her last two starts. After winning three in a row on
the turf, she just got beat by a nose in the Hatoof on Million Day back in
August. Since that race she has thrown a bullet
work and seems to be in great
form. I also love the beaten favorite angle as well.
Another horse that should love the 9 furlongs is Volcat
filly has faced some tougher competition and has been training well at
Churchill Downs for trainer Kenny McPeek
. If jockey Robby Albarado
can get her
to rate, she might be able to win this one easily. If she tried to battle for
the lead she may not have the energy to compete at the end. She is a perfect 2
for 2 on turf at 9 furlongs and should be considered a contender here.
To add a little more European flavor to the race, Roger Attfield
teams up with jockey Cisco Torres
on Miss Cato
. A disadvantage for Miss Cato is
that she is breaking from the outside post 12. She never finished off the board
while racing in Europe earlier in the year (mostly against the boys) and she
has raced well here in America in two starts. She will also be coming out of
the clouds and finishing strong late.
Finally, if you’re into long shots, I recommend to you Rare
Event. Sure at initial glance you might think that this filly is out of her
league, however she has improved in each and every start and if Jon Court is
able to get out to the lead and slow the pace down, you may be seeing this horse
in the winners circle. She handles the 9 furlongs with ease against inferior
competition so let’s see how she does against graded stakes company.
Well there you have it, the final graded stakes race of the
2012 Arlington meet! Who do you like in this race?
In other HRN news…
- How is Paynter doing?
- Ron the Greek and the 2012 BC Classic...
- Dullahan for Champion 3 year old?
- The American Contingent for the Breeders' Cup Mile!
- Keeneland September Sales
Finally, don't forget to check out the entire "Behind the Silks" series with jockey Tim Thornton!