By Tom Quigley
$300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds
Race 11 (Saturday, February 15, 2020: 6:05 p.m./ET; 3:05 p.m./PT)
Mile and a sixteenth on the main track (three-year-old fillies)
Superstar RACHEL ALEXANDRA prepped for the 2009 Kentucky Oaks (G1) in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), which she easily won that afternoon, leading up to her amazing 20-length record-breaking victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). But her career was just starting to blossom as she went on to beat males in the Preakness (G1), Haskell (G1) and Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. This Saturday, the Rachel Alexandra (G2) features seven three-year-old fillies prepping for the 2020 edition of the Kentucky Oaks (G1), including two-year-old champion, #6 BRITISH IDIOM. Here’s my analysis:
#1 HIS GLORY adds blinkers for trainer Tom Amoss, who wins at a solid 20% clip when applying this equipment change. Was sent off at 9/1 in her last start, the Silverbulletday Stakes, and finished fifth. The top three finishers out of that affair all enter back in this spot, so this gal will need to make up ground on that trio of runners.
#2 URSULA dueled on the lead before suffering a neck defeat at 16/1 in the Silverbulletday Stakes over this track. Although defeated by #7 FINITE that day, it was a commendable effort. Her two-back effort, a runner up finish behind potential superstar TARAZ, was flattered when the aforementioned filly came back to win the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn. All that said, an exotics placing may be her ceiling against this field.
#3 SWISS SKYDIVER is the first of two Ken McPeek trainees entered. Her two fast track races resulted in a maiden win at first asking in November and, in her most recent afternoon appearance, she lost by ¾ of a length after an undesirable trip in a minor stake sprinting seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs. Looks a notch or two below the best signed on.
#4 IMPECCABLE STYLE is the second McPeek entrant in the race. Daughter of UNCLE MO was last seen in September (first time Lasix) defeating maiden special weight company convincingly while sprinting seven furlongs at Churchill Downs. She not only faces winners for the first time, but must beat proven routers and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champ off a layoff. That’s a lot to ask.
#5 TEMPERS RISING, despite breaking from the rail last time out, suffered a wide trip before losing by a neck to #7 FINITE and #2 URSULA in the Silverbulletday Stakes. Has never finished worse than third in six lifetime races. Should be listed as a legit player for another top three finish, at least.
#6 BRITISH IDIOM makes her first start off a three-and-a-half-month layoff. The Brad Cox trainee is reportedly doing very well for her return to the races and we know he’s more than capable of getting horses fit and ready to fire fresh off a vacation. This gal has never lost in three career starts and is the one to fear most.
#7 FINITE looks to win her fifth race in a row. In the Silverbulletday Stakes, she went off at 3/5 and had to work every step of the way, but was game in victory. Contender.
1. #6 BRITISH IDIOM - Is in another league.
2. #5 TEMPERS RISING - Better trip this time=better result?
3. #7 FINITE - She wins.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #2 URSULA - Recent form is better than it appears.
I’ll key my top pick over my second and third picks in exactas and use all four of my selections in trifectas. When all is said and done, I have $2 remaining to play with, so I’m assuming there will be a negative show pool on #6 BRITISH IDIOM, so I’ll play against her in case she misfires and doesn’t hit the board.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$15 Exacta: #6 BRITISH IDIOM over #5 TEMPERS RISING and #7 FINITE ($30).
$9 Trifecta: #6 BRITISH IDIOM over #5 TEMPERS RISING and #7 FINITE and #2 URSULA ($18).
$2 Show: #5 TEMPERS RISING
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