Photo: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
After a big win in the Gazelle, followed by an excellent second in the Kentucky Oaks, My Miss Sophia has earned strong favoritism in Saturday’s Acorn. Favorites don’t always win, as we know, and I believe this particular Grade 1 affair is ripe for an upset. With plenty of speed in this large field, not the least of which include multiple stakes winners Fiftyshadesofgold, and Fashion Plate, the favorite should be tested every step of this one-mile contest. Eventually, I expect this to get to her setting it up beautifully for a late runner. Enter Sweet Reason. Having gotten the exact opposite of good set-ups in her first two starts of the season, the grade 1 winner should get everything she needs to pull off the upset on one of the many big races on the Belmont Stake Day undercard.
Last summer, Sweet Reason was the talk of the town after ultra-impressive victories in the first two starts of her career. The daughter of Street Sense took to the sloppy main track at Saratoga like Lindsey Lohan to the tabloids in both of them. In her career debut, she looked to be stuck in quicksand during the early stages of the 5 ½ furlong affair, before uncorking a massive rally that carried her to the wire more than six lengths the best. The Leah Gyarmati trained miss was even better in her next start. The Grade 1 Spinaway was a big jump up in class, but the combination of the eye-popper of a debut, with the fact that she was catching another sloppy track at the Spa, saw her bet down to 5-2. It turned out to be easy money, as this time she stayed much closer to the early pace, before exploding on the turn again, but this time only earlier. By the time the nine-filly field hit the stretch, the outcome was as good as over. Cruising to the wire in complete command, Sweet Reason made her second career start, a grade 1 win by nearly six lengths.
I know what you are going to say, “But, Brian, both of those wins were in the slop ... she hasn’t won a stakes race since.” My answer is simple; she has run consistently well on fast tracks. In the allowance win, and losses in the Frizette, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and Gazelle, she has performed plenty well enough on fast tracks for me to believe that with the right set-up, she will be ready to return to her grade 1 winning ways. As solidly as she has performed on fast tracks, I really believe that the impressive nature of her first two races were more about having a strong pace to rally into in one-turn races, rather than her needing a wet track.
The next question for the Treadway Racing Stable owned filly is how is she going to turn the tables on the Acorn favorite after losing to her by daylight in the Gazelle. Again, I think the answer is rather simple. In the Gazelle, My Miss Sophia was allowed to lope around on an uncontested lead through slow fractions. As mentioned, there is no chance of that happening on Saturday. In fact, I expect My Miss Sophia to be pressured early like never before in the one-turn Acorn. Meanwhile in the Gazelle, Sweet Reason was forced to stay much closer to the pace than she wants. It was no wonder that My Miss Sophia had more punch than her late. A long one-turn, and extended sprint if you will, with plenty of early and contested speed, should be just what the doctor ordered for the filly I believe to be the best rallier in the field.
10-1 on the morning line sounds about right, and with all the good fillies in here, she might even drift higher. She’s been working up a storm of late, so I have little doubt that she will fire at her home base. All this makes Sweet Reason, with a big late run, my best bet of the weekend.