By Tom Quigley
$200,000 Great Lady M (G2) at Los Alamitos Racecourse
Race 8 (Saturday, July 4, 2020: 7:28 p.m./ET; 4:28 p.m./PT)
Six and a half furlongs on the main track (fillies and mares, three-years-old and upward)
Grade I winner BELLAFINA looks to continue her winning ways in Saturday’s co-feature at Los Alamitos, the Great Lady M (G2) for female sprinters. My analysis is in post position order:
#1 BELLAFINA defeated #5 HANG A STAR at odds of 4/5 in the Desert Stormer (G3) a month-and-a-half ago. Her best race, by far, came in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) last fall, where she ran second to COVFEFE at Santa Anita while traveling seven furlongs. This gal is clearly the class of the race and, although she drew a less than ideal post position, will be tough to beat if she comes with her ‘A’ game.
#2 ARTISTIC DIVA is a lightly raced five-year-old daughter of MUNNINGS that has finished off the board in her first two starts this year. In both races, she dueled at a ridiculously fast pace before weakening. Her last victory came here three races back when defeating a second level allowance group in gate to wire fashion. Appears to be the lone speed in the field, which makes you wonder whether maybe she’ll get brave on the lead.
#3 SNEAKING OUT was a no-show against solid stakes company in the Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill Downs last month. Her two-back performance, a neck victory in an allowance at Oaklawn Park, was as gutsy of an effort as you’ll find. She makes her third start off the layoff for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
#4 DONUT GIRL has failed to be competitive against California-bred allowance company and will go off at a big price in this race. Needs complete form reversal to be competitive.
#5 HANG A STAR was a decisive winner of a first level allowance affair in March before her most recent afternoon appearance, a better-than-looked second place finish behind #1 BELLAFINA in the Desert Stormer (G3). Good recent form means she should be respected.
#6 AMUSE makes her second start off a 14-month vacation for trainer Richard Mandella. Daughter of MEDAGLIA D’ORO cuts back in distance after a third-place finish while routing on turf at Santa Anita. Before the long layoff, this mare’s biggest win came in an allowance race as a three-year-old in 2018. Should be fit cutting back in distance.
#7 ZUSHA ran ok when finishing third in the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita on February 15, finishing five lengths behind G1 winner HARD NOT TO LOVE. However, she has never run anywhere close to that good in 19 other races, which makes you wonder whether she can duplicate that effort. Best used underneath in exotics, if anywhere at all.
1. #1 BELLAFINA - Clear class of the race.
2. #2 ARTISTIC DIVA – Dangerous early speed.
3. #5 HANG A STAR - Loved her effort against the top pick last time.
Longshot Value Play - #3 SNEAKING OUT – ‘King Jerry’ trainee.
I’ll key my top pick over my other three selections in trifectas. With my remaining $2, I’ll key my ‘lone speed’ play over my top choice.
Bankroll Play ($50 Budget)
$8 Trifecta: #1 BELLAFINA over #2 ARTISTIC DIVA and #3 SNEAKING OUT and #5 HANG A STAR ($48). $2 Exacta: #2 ARTISTIC DIVA over #1 BELLAFINA.
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