Cotillion Stakes 2019: Odds and analysis for Saturday's race

September 16, 2019 04:20pm

With names such as Guarana, Serengeti Empress and Jaywalk lined up, Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing offers plenty of star power for a race restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Guarana comes into the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion as favorite with three wins in as many lifetime starts, and she will be tough again in this spot.

On paper, there is no reason to doubt her. But who are the best contenders not named Guarana? It is time to discuss that.

Ahead of post time at 5:14 p.m. ET Saturday, here’s a look at the field and official morning line, with Pennsylvania Derby odds and analysis also available:

1. Serengeti Empress, 7-2 (Alternation – Tom Amoss/Irad Ortiz Jr. – 10: 5-2-0): Serengeti Empress ran second to Covfefe in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, which is fine. Covfefe is a high-quality sprinter with many important wins in her future. The route distance is not a problem, either, as this is the Kentucky Oaks winner. But Jaywalk’s presence on the pace might soften her a bit along with the longshot Collegeville Girl. Win contender.

2. Afleet Destiny, 30-1 (Hard Spun – Uriah St. Lewis/Rider TBA – 14: 1-2-2): In her last two starts, she ran fourth by 13 lengths in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes and fifth by nine lengths in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. On the win end, she is overmatched. But it not hard to envision her clunking in for fourth. Use underneath.

3. Street Band, 8-1 (Istan – Larry Jones/Sophie Doyle – 11: 4-0-3): In her last two starts, Street Band has looked like a different filly. Notice TimeformUS gave her a 112 for winning the Indiana Oaks (G3) and 116 for finishing a third in the Alabama Stakes (G1). Her three previous numbers were 98, 102 and 98. She does need some help on the pace end, though, which Jaywalk and Serengeti Empress will provide. Win contender.

. Jeltrin, 12-1 (TapizarAlexis Delgado/Leonel Reyes 11: 3-1-3): This filly got on the map by winning the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) in March, when she defeated Jaywalk in the champ’s season debut. Since then, Jeltrin's form has looked inconsistent. She ran 10th in the Kentucky Oaks, before rebounding with a good third in the Acorn Stakes (G1). More recently, she won the local Cathryn Sophia Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths with a big 120 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Live longshot.

5. Collegeville Girl, 20-1 (Central Banker – Richard Vega/Angel Castillo – 4: 2-0-0): At least she got back on track with a local optional claiming win after finishing ninth in a Saratoga allowance race. But overall, Collegeville Girl looks overmatched. She will provide some cheap speed. Toss.

6. Horologist, 15-1 (Gemologist – John Mazza/Luis Saez – 10: 5-1-2): Even though Horologist is riding a four-race winning streak into this race, who did she beat? In the Monmouth Oaks (G3), she battled an over-the-top Jaywalk. The other races in the streak did not feature any notable fillies. Horologist appears overmatched. Toss.

7. She Makes Me Smile, 50-1 (Include – Trevor Gallimore/Wesley Torres – 19: 5-2-1): After running fourth in a Monmouth Park optional claimer and sixth by 30 lengths in the Cathryn Sophia, it is questionable why this filly is here. Miracles happen, but this contender will need a miracle. Toss.

8. Guarana, 9/5 (Ghostzapper – Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz – 3: 3-0-0): While Guarana‘s first two wins came around one turn at Keeneland and Belmont, she also won at two turns in Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). She also won at nine furlongs in that race, which means this slightly shorter distance poses no problem on paper. Besides that, Guarana owns good tactical speed. Of course, the only drawback is the expected short price. The pick.

9. Sweet Sami D, 20-1 (First Samurai – Patrick McBurney/Paco Lopez – 8: 2-3-1): This one ran second in the Just Jenda Stakes on turf at Monmouth and then third to Horologist and Jaywalk in the Monmouth Oaks. She never seriously threatened for the win, however, in the latter. Those looking for a bomb underneath in the superfecta might use her. Use underneath.

10. Bellafina, 6-1 (Quality Road
Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat 10: 6-1-1): For whatever reason, Bellafina is a shell of her usual form outside California. But looking at her west coast races, some of the events she won featured soft fields, too. For instance, she did not beat any filly of significance in the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) or Las Virgenes (G2). It is possible that traveling exposes her as only good, not great. Use underneath.

11. Jaywalk, 6-1 (Cross Traffic – John Servis/Joel Rosario – 10: 5-2-1): The reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner either did not progress or lost a step at age 3. After running 13th in the Kentucky Oaks, Jaywalk did rebound with a nine-length win in the Delaware Oaks (G3). But then she ran second in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) to Horologist. With speedy Serengeti Empress present, the task is that much more difficult. Toss.

Conclusion: Guarana is a heavy favorite here, and there is nothing to nitptick. Bettors
concerned that nine furlongs proved her limit in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) can feel better in this spot as she cuts back slightly.

Serengeti Empress is drawn poorly, as both Collegeville Girl and Jaywalk will pressure her from the outside. But she brings good form and talent — two positive qualities. 

Both Street Band and Jeltrin will offer value.

My suggested wager is a trifecta: 8 / 1,3,4 / 1,3,4,10


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