Analysis: Cafe Americano best to bet in Brown's QE II bunch

October 10, 2019 02:29pm
Analysis: Cafe Americano best to bet in Brown's QE II bunch
Photo: Coady Photography
With Her Majesty entering a horse in the Grade 1, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Saturday at Keeneland, it is truly a unique edition of this race. That contender, Magnetic Charm owns some ability, making a royal victory possible. And if she wins, the news will steal headlines.

Unfortunately for the Queen, the race is also loaded with three talented entries from the Chad Brown barn: Cambier Parc, Cafe Americano and Regal Glory. While Cambier Parc is the favorite, Cafe Americano is more interesting from a value standpoint, especially with her 2-for-2 record at nine furlongs.

In four starts, Cafe Americano only lost once in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) at 1 ¼ miles. Her three other starts came at 1 1/8 miles or less.

Besides the distance excuse in the Belmont Oaks, Cafe Americano also encountered some trouble because of a rank horse.

Notice the speedy stablemate Newspaperofrecord not responding to rating tactics. She carried out Cafe Americano on the far side.

Cafe Americano recovered to get into striking position on the far turn but offered nothing in the stretch run, only managing sixth.

Given the longer distance and bad trip, cross the race out.

Even though Cafe Americano's sire is Medaglia d'Oro, her dam Roxy Gap ran as a turf sprinter for most of her career. Also, Cafe Americano's lone sibling to race, Sly Roxy, won a 5 ½-furlong race in her only career victory.

With sprinter/miler blood on the dam side, it is no surprise cutting back to nine furlongs in the Pucker Up Stakes (G3) at Arlington helped. Cafe Americano rebounded with a strong outside run to win by 2 ¼ lengths.

While she beat a weaker field, this version of Cafe Americano was sharper than in the Belmont Oaks.

Cafe Americano also took a Belmont optional claimer at nine furlongs and broke her maiden at one mile at Gulfstream back in February.

At 6-1, Cafe Americano is a solid value play with Cambier Parc present.

But Cambier Parc is not a filly to ignore, either, with her lone clunker this year in the Edgewood Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, where she ran a flat fourth. Her other loss came in the Belmont Oaks when third.

Given Concrete Rose's obvious quality, Cambier Parc ran a solid race.

Cambier Parc also won the Herecomesthebridestakes (G3) over Princesa Carolina, the Wonder Again Stakes (G3) with Kelsey's Cross finishing third, and the recent Del Mar Oaks (G1), with Lady Prancealot in third.

Cambier Parc is no stranger to this weekend's competition, and to beat them all again wouldn't come as a surprise.

The third Brown entry is Regal Glory, who finished in a dead heat with Varenka for the win in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) at Saratoga. Before that, Regal Glory also captured the Lake George Stakes (G2) and the Penn Oaks, resulting in a consistent 5: 3-2-0 record this year.

Regal Glory also owns tactical speed, which will help in this scenario. According to TimeformUS' Pace Projector, the race is labeled as “No Speed.”

On the negative side, there is a feeling Regal Glory is distance-limited. She won her first two career starts in six-furlong turf sprints, and Brown chose to wait until now to stretch her out to nine furlongs.

The filly that dead-heated with her, Varenka, might offer more value Saturday.

For Magnetic Charm to win, she will need to display more speed than shown in the Canadian Stakes (G2), where she settled from last.

But in fairness, she did close for second on a yielding course by 4 ¼ lengths. On wet, tiring turf courses, winning margins are sometimes artificially big. Magnetic Charm also nosed out a good filly in Competitionofideas.

If nothing else, Magnetic Charm's form is solid this year with a 4: 1-2-1 record.

During the Royal Ascot meet, she ran a great second to Thanks Be after shuffling through an insane 27-horse field in the Sandringham Stakes.

Assuming the public does not go too wild on Magnetic Charm, one idea is to backwheel her in second or third at double-digit odds. But with the Queen owning Magnetic Charm in a namesake race, it is fair to question whether her value will hold.

Some attention will also fall toward the other European invader, Castle Lady. As with Regal Glory, distance is a question too for this miler.

Granted, Castle Lady did finish a credible fifth in the Coronation Stakes (G1) at the Royal Ascot meet and won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (G1).

To wrap this up, Cafe Americano belongs as an "A" on tickets along with Cambier Parc. Cambier Parc might prove her class again and win. But she is not an invincible force in here and is prone to flat efforts.

This race is a good opportunity for bettors to use some creativity.


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Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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