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Beauty and the Angel

A solid field of nine juvenile fillies has been entered in the 120th running of the Spinaway Stakes (Gr.1) set to be run this Sunday. The Spinaway is one of the most prestigious, and coveted stakes races in the nation for juvenile fillies, and has proven to be the launching pad for many a championship season. Back in 1904 Tanya captured the prized event before making history by winning the Belmont Stakes the next year. During the course of the next century, hallowed names like Top Flight, Cicada, Affectionately and Ruffian joined the roster of winners, further enhancing the validation of the Spinaway as a championship defining race. More recently R Heat Lightning took home the top spot in 2010, before launching a stunning early season campaign in 2011 that saw her win the Davona Dale and Gulfstream Oaks by more than 15 combined lengths. Case in point; The Spinaway is an extremely valuable commodity.

This year it appears to be a showdown between Judy the Beauty, and Georgie’s Angel. Georgie’s Angel hails from the barn of red-hot trainer Todd Pletcher, and is the only graded stakes winner in the field, and thus the favorite. She began her career on July fourth at Churchill Downs, defeating nine other fillies by more than six lengths, while posting a winning time of :51.23, just over a second off the track record for the 4 ½ furlongs. Brought back just 18 days later in Saratoga’s Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes, the Bellamy Road filly broke fastest of all but was quickly taken in hand by jockey John Velazquez and dropped back to rate mid-pack on the inside. Coming off the turn Georgie’s Angel drove four wide and swept to the lead, easily holding off a late closing True Feelings by a comfortable 1 ½ lengths.
 
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with the connections of Georgie’s Angel who expressed nothing but complete adoration for their filly. I will be making it to Saratoga for the first time this year on Sunday and will have the incredible opportunity to meet Georgie’s Angel and her connections so I must admit I’m rooting for the home team on this one. She will be entering with just over six weeks time between her now and her Schuylerville win which should allow her to enter fresh. Her latest work, a :48.47 work was encouraging and should have her fit and ready to run her race.

[Georgie's Angel currently ranks #1 on HRN's 2-year-old Fillies Rankings Page; Can she retain that position on Sunday?]

Judy the Beauty is undefeated in three starts and has already accomplished things most horses never attempt. Winning races on both synthetics and turf, as well as winning races in the US, Canada and France. After breaking her maiden at Keeneland by 1 ¾ lengths, trainer Wesley Ward shipped his filly to Chantilly Racecourse in France less than three weeks later to win a turf allowance race. Given a little more than two months between races, the daughter of Ghostzapper traveled to Woodbine and earned a hard-fought half length victory in the Shady Well Stakes. The Spinaway will be her first start on natural dirt but she has been training very well over Aqueduct’s dirt surface the last month and most recently fired off a four furlong bullet in :46.42. The last time she fired a four furlong bullet was just before she won the Shady Well Stakes. She enters with the most race experience and the best works.

Both True Feelings and Vukovar are leftovers from Georgie’s Angel’s Schuylerville triumph and are back for another try in the Spinaway. True Feeling will run as a coupled entry with maiden winner Grace Hall for trainer Tony Dutrow. And Why Not enters off an easy 5 ½ length maiden score at Saratoga and will be competing off two slow four furlong works. Vukovar won her maiden impressively in early July before succumbing to Georgie’s Angel in the Schuylerville. She is cross entered in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park on September 5th. Lady Pelican broke her maiden by more than 8 lengths at Woodbine in her latest start and enters off two five furlong works. Born Bullish and Baffle Me complete the field. 

2011 Spinaway (G1)

Date/Track:
Post Time:
5:45 PM ET
Distance:
7 f (Dirt)
Age/Sex:
2 F
Time:
*Rank is current Power Ranking among all active horses, based on highest HRN rating. Rating is based on HRN member voting.
Rank Silks Horse / Sire Rating Trainer / Jockey Last Start Status
302 And Why Not
Street Cry
7.02 Trending Down
M. Matz
J. Leparoux
1st, Sar MSW (8/7/2011-R8) View Video

Entered
162 Georgie's Angel
Bellamy Road
7.41 Trending Up
T. Pletcher
J. Velazquez
1st, 2011 Schuylerville (G3)

Entered
  Vukovar
Forest Wildcat
4.79
E. Guillot
D. Cohen
6th, 2011 Schuylerville (G3)

Entered
  Lady Pecan
Concerto
4.45 Trending Up
B. Baffert
J. Stein
1st, WO Mcl (8/10/2011-R1)

Entered
487 True Feelings
Latent Heat
6.67
A. Dutrow
J. Rose
2nd, 2011 Schuylerville (G3)

Entered
  Born Bullish
Flashy Bull
6.49
J. Terranova
C. Hill
4th, 2011 Colleen (LS) View Video

Entered
  Judy The Beauty
Ghostzapper
6.79 Trending Up
W. Ward
J. Sanchez
1st, 2011 Shady Well

Entered
  Grace Hall
Empire Maker

A. Dutrow
 


Entered
  Baffle Me
First Samurai
5.84
M. Hennig
C. DeCarlo
3rd, 2011 Colleen (LS) View Video

Entered

 

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Older Comments about Beauty and the Angel...

Georgie's Angel has a slight class edge I think and I'm rooting for her to win, but as you say, it's a pretty even field. Juvenile races can be the toughest to handicap I think, they improve so quickly sometimes.
Looks like a pretty wide open field, you picked out the two to beat in here, but who knows how good And Why Not is? Have fun, Brian ... say hi ti Kelly for me!

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