Applebee: Closer Look/Mother Goose and Forty Niner / Sat 10.28.23
Happy Mother Goose Day!
There are three stakes on the BAQ card today headlined by the Mother Goose and Forty Niner. The Forty Niner was previously run as the Kelso, but no worries, the mighty Kelso still has a stakes race honoring him. The former Forbidden Apple at Saratoga was renamed for Kelso this year. “Once upon a time there was a horse named Kelso. But only once.” – Joe Hirsch
Trivia Question: What is the Mother Goose Stakes named after?
Race 8 – The Mother Goose – Grade II
One Mile and One Furlong on the Dirt for Three Year Old Fillies
- Foggy Night: Wants a dry track and hasn’t finished out of the exacta in nine races on a fast surface. Her best performance was in the Delaware Oaks where she was best in the stretch even after repeatedly lugging in (81 Beyer). Two back she was buried by Occult who she faces again today. Will try to reproduce that Delaware Oaks stalking rail trip. Possible piece.
- Peak Population: Chad Brown enters this maiden winner in a somewhat perplexing move. She is eligible for N1X races but goes in a Grade II. To be fair she has caught off tracks the last two times. But last time she couldn’t beat a field of primarily turf runners in an off the turf affair and the winner that day came with only a 65 Beyer next out. Looking elsewhere.
- Julia Shining: Won the Demoiselle over this track last year but the spaces between races suggests ongoing issues year. She was eased last out in the Alabama where she was done after about seven furlongs. Has been training steadily over the Oklahoma training track for Pletcher in advance of today. Can she recapture her promise? Javi picks up the mount. Wildcard.
- Undervalued Asset: Interesting choice by Chad Brown to stretch this filly out after she showed little against elders while sprinting in the Gallant Bloom. Faded going the flat mile in the Davona Dale. Does she want nine furlongs? Is she entered as a rabbit for Occult? Passing.
- Occult: Won of the Monmouth Oaks by ten lengths (90 Beyer) in July. Then ran a decent third in the Cotillion (90 Beyer). Has won twice over this track. Running style has evolved into a stalker/closer as she has stretched out and she should get plenty of pace to run into. Race flow suits her. Steadily improving filly. The Pick.
- Xigera: Had a highly successful return to the dirt in the overnight Seneca Stakes at Churchill (98 Beyer) where she was dominant. She was under serious consideration for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff but the connections felt she lacked sufficient foundation on the dirt. Should press the pace and move at the eighth pole. Can she repeat that last effort? Likely underlay. Win candidate.
- Defining Purpose: This Ken McPeek trainee runs at her seventh track in her last seven starts. A month ago in the Cotillion at a sloppy Parks she was flat in the stretch (75 Beyer). Two back she got her preferred pace pressing trip but she couldn’t catch Randomized in the stretch (90 Beyer) in the Alabama. Distance is of no concern. Exotics player.
Race 10 – The Forty Niner – Grade II
One Mile on the Dirt for Three Year Olds and Upward
- Double Crown: This six year old gelding has already raced fourteen times this year. Two weeks ago he was a game third in the Maryland Millions Classic where he was wide and couldn’t catch the leaders (87 Beyer) who has better trips. Two back he was the rail skimming winner of the Polynesian Stakes at Pimlico (91 Beyer). Could fill out a super.
- Everso Mischievous: Brad Cox trainee hasn’t been out of the exacta in five career starts and that has included several races against elders. Handled the field with ease in the listed Harrod’s Creek Stakes at Churchill (95 Beyer). His one attempt at the flat mile resulted in a narrow loss at Ellis Park. Faces graded stakes company for the first time. Consistent performer.
- Accretive: Almost bested Cody’s Wish in the Vosburgh last out (96 Beyer). Won at a mile from the Wilson Chute at the Spa two back in an N2X race (96 Beyer). Faces some other speedy ones here, but has shown the ability to rate. Should sit in the second flight. Live runner.
- Film Star: Cross entered at Keeneland but expected to go here for Linda Rice. Was a strong second in the Woodward where he got the lead but couldn’t hold off Zandon (97 Beyer). Likes to be up front controlling the pace. He’s in great form but might be up against it as all four career wins have been gate to wire jobs and he isn’t the quickest in this group. Lean against.
- Dr Ardito: Consistent performer for Chad Brown has won two State bred stakes races this year but hasn’t won a stakes in open company. Last race can be excused running in a swamp at Parx and there was no shame finishing behind Repo Rocks in the Westchester. Today he gets a set up that should suit him. Let the speed go, move to save ground, and come running late. Five for seven the mile distance. The Pick.
- Swiftsure: Speedster won over the track going a mile four weeks ago in N2X company (98 Beyer) where he went to the lead and was game in the lane when challenged. Appears to need the lead to be successful and he’ll have plenty of company today, but he might be the speed of the speed. Lasix comes OFF. Too much other speed.
- Business Model: Closer has been running against optional claimer company with some success. Moves up to stakes company today. Ran a big one three back at the Spa going seven panels (95 Beyer) where he came from way out of it to win – but that race is an outlier in his performances. Lasix comes OFF. Underneath in exotics.
- Synthesis: Seven year old gelding still shows flashes of his best and was in good form last Spring/Summer finishing second in the John Nerud (92 Beyer) after firing a 104 fig in N3X company. But things have gone sideways since, maybe the stretch out will suit. Wait and See.
Trivia Answer: The Mother Goose Stakes is named for the Whitney homebred filly “Mother Goose” who defeated the colts in the Belmont Futurity as a two year old in 1924 where she bested 28 opponents – how’s that for field size?!