$100,000 Las Cienegas (G3)
Race 6 (Saturday, January 12, 2019: 6:00 p.m./ET; 3:00 p.m./PT)
About six and one-half furlongs on the turf (fillies and mares, four-years-old and upward)
Trainer Peter Miller trains the best male turf sprinter in the United States, two-time Breeders’ Cup winner STORMY LIBERAL. He also campaigns one of the top filly and mare turf sprinters in America, BELVOIR BAY, who makes her 2019 debut here. Let’s start ‘capping:
#1 COMPELLED hasn’t been seen since a game second place finish behind next out stakes winner FIRE KEY in the Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Laurel Park going six furlongs last September. She draws a poor post position, so jockey Drayden Van Dyke will need to work out a good trip from the inside.
#2 FIERY LADY finished second in the Miss America Stakes on Tapeta at Golden Gate going a mile-and-a-sixteenth and cuts back to this turf sprint for trainer Anna Meah. Is five-for-seven on turf, but keep in mind most of those runs came against easier while routing at Golden Gate Fields. Will need to run a career best race.
#3 TESORA makes her first start for the Michael McCarthy barn. Previously trained by Jonathan Thomas, this gal won the Christiecat Stakes going six furlongs on the lawn at Belmont in September, which was her biggest career win to date. McCarthy, former assistant to Todd Pletcher, is a solid trainer and Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux rides. Interesting item.
#4 BELVOIR BAY (GB) is four-for-five on this unique downhill turf course, including when she beat the boys in the San Simeon (G3) last April. Most recently, she ran second in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. Classy filly should be cranked for another big effort.
#5 SELCOURT is a speedy filly from the John Sadler barn that makes her first career start on turf. Coming off a seven-month layoff last time out, the daughter of TIZ WONDERFUL broke from the rail and went to the front before fading badly in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Her biggest career win was a four length victory against Grade I winner MARLEY’S FREEDOM and graded stakes victor SKYE DIAMONDS in the Santa Monica (G2) eleven months ago.
#6 MISS SOUTHERN MISS cuts back in distance after a poor effort going two turns in the Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar in November. She has finished behind #9 PAINTING CORNERS in two previous races and has poor recent form while facing tough company here. Pass.
#7 LAST PROMISE KEPT removes blinkers for trainer Tom Proctor after a ninth place finish in the Kathryn Crosby. This filly is best known for her turf routing, but two turn turf horses usually do fine racing down this hillside course. Nonetheless, she is on a four race losing streak.
#8 LADY SUEBEE makes her first start for trainer John Sadler. This filly, previously trained by Chad Brown, won an allowance race in October (her most recent start) after finishing sixth behind #3 TESORA in the Christicat Stakes two starts ago. Obviously she’ll need to turn the tables on that rival while defeating some other sharpies in this race. Exotics contender for the new barn.
#9 PAINTING CORNERS was a game second in the Senator Ken Maddy (G3) on this hillside turf course. Her best races have come running down the hill and, even though she faces a tougher group, she draws am excellent outside post position and should get a good trip under jockey Joel Rosario. Contender.
1. #4 BELVOIR BAY - Loves the hill.
2. #9 PAINTING CORNERS - Peter Miller exacta?
3. #5 SELCOURT - Talented filly merits respect if she likes the grass.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #3 TESORA - Stakes winner back East.
I’m calling a Peter Miller exacta in this race, so I’ll box both of his entrants in an exacta.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$25 Exacta Box: #4 BELVOIR BAY and #9 PAINTING CORNERS
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