$150,000 Marshua’s River (G3)
Race 11: Saturday, January 12, 2019: 4:47 p.m./ET; 1:47 p.m./PT) Mile and a sixteenth on the turf (fillies and mares, four-years-old and upward)
This looks like a wide-open affair on paper, which makes for a great opportunity to make some money. We’ll begin our analysis with the mare who draws the inside post position:
#1 BELLAVIS finished fourth behind Grade I winner CAPLA TEMPTRESS in her last start, the My Charmer Stakes (G3) over this turf course on December 15. She has two career stakes wins and Javier Castellano retains the mount for Todd Pletcher, who win at a 23% clip when teaming up.
#2 HOGANS HOLIDAY was a no show at 44/1 in the Tropical Park Oaks last time out and steps up in class for her first try against older stakes competition. Longshot.
#3 BOMBSHELL looks for her third straight win after defeating allowance optional claiming company at Delaware two starts back, followed by a convincing four length score in the Forever Together Stakes on dirt at Aqueduct. She’s two-for-three on the lawn but faces the toughest group of filly and mare turf routers she has ever seen. This will give us a good indication of how good she really is.
#4 VALEDICTORIAN snapped a two race win streak when finishing second behind nice prospect PERU in the CC Tiara Stakes over this turf course on December 1. She has good form that suggests she can be competitive against this group, but it is worth noting that in her only career graded stakes try, she finished 18 lengths behind the winner.
#5 ROSE TREE has only run once on turf, that lone race resulting in a seventh place finish at 56/1 in the 2017 Tropical Park Oaks. Not on any of my tickets.
#6 I’M BETTY G has finished off the board in her last three races, but all three runs were against tougher company (BEAU RECALL, VASILIKA, INSTA ERMA and FAHAN MURA). Before those races, she went to the lead in minor stakes races and was tough to catch, reeling off three straight wins against stakes company at Canterbury Park and Ellis. If she employs those old tactics and goes to the lead in this race, maybe she can get brave up front with top rider Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.
#7 LA SIGNARE (FR) won the Wonder Again (G3) in June before a last place finish in the Belmont Oaks (G1) one month later. She makes her first start in six months for trainer Brian Lynch, who wins at a 10% clip with runners making their first start off a layoff longer than 180 days. Her only other race in North America was a runner up finish behind eventual graded stake winner TOINETTE. Is the filly to beat, but maybe try to beat her knowing that she might need this first race off the shelf?
#8 MONTE CRISTA posts a number of fast workouts in preparation for this race, including an eye-popping 45 flat half-mile (breezing!) drill on Sunday. Her last run came in October where she was eased after stalking the pace. She was running over soft ground that day, meaning it’s possible that was the excuse for such a poor run. She is two-for-two when going this mile-and-a-sixteenth distance and big money rider John Velazquez rides.
1. #6 I’M BETTY G - Wire to wire?
2. #7 LA SIGNARE - Class of the field.
3. #1 BELLAVIS - Highest last race Beyer Speed Figure.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #4 VALEDICTORIAN - Holds good form.
I’ll make a win bet on my top pick and box my top three selections in exactas.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$20 Win: #6 I’M BETTY G
$5 Exacta Box:#1 BELLAVIS and #6 I’M BETTY G and #7 LA SIGNARE ($30).
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