06/25/2012 1:36PM

Trip Notes: Mother Goose Stakes, Hollywood Oaks, Beverly Hills Handicap, and more


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Belmont Park
Mother Goose (race 10)

Race was kind of turned on its ear as the 2 favorites, Contested and Believe You Can, ended up non-factors in the lane. Zo Impressive, no match for Contested when 2nd to that foe in the Grade 1 Acorn, turned the tables and then some. She stalked the pace of Contested and Wildcat’s Smile, rolled up past a tiring Contested into the lane and gamely rebuffed a challenge from Disposablepleasure while still clearing drifting out in the stretch. She had to survive a claim of foul. The stewards ruled both fillies failed to keep a straight course. Disposablepleasure looks like a comer for Pletcher. She was a much-troubled 2nd in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and continued to move up here, as she as sat last to the top of the lane, made a determined run at the winner but couldn’t get to her while much the best of the rest (8 1/2 lengths clear of 3rd). Believe You Can, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner, bided her time while seemingly in a good spot but never mustered a run. The top 3 may all target the Grade 1 CCA Oaks at Saratoga July 21. Contested, the heavy favorite off 4 straight big wins including the Grade 1 Acorn here last month, ran up the white flag turning for home. Maybe this was a sign she doesn’t want to go beyond a mile or maybe it was being inside, which some riders said was deep. Either way this result turns the 3-year-old  filly division into a real scramble.

Boiling Springs (race 11)

Dancing Solo continued her ascent for trainer Pletcher, making it 2 straight stakes wins. Coming off a smart win in the Little Silver here May 27, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway again showed her versatility. While she rallied from well back to win the Little Silver, this time she dogged pacesetter Cheimon, took over into the lane, spurted clear and had more than enough to keep the closers at bay. Zultanite, coming off a near-miss 3rd (beaten a neck) in the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont, was a couple lengths behind the eventual winner early, moved up to be on that foe’s hip on the far turn but try as she might was unable to close the gap from there to the wire. Somali Lemonade, the favorite, lagged back, came with a threatening run into the lane but didn’t sustain it.

Churchill Downs
Debutante (race 10)

Blueeyesintherein, an impressive debut winner here May 31, validated the run and then some with another strong outing. The daughter of Magna Graduate (so she’s bred to run on) showed her professionalism, sitting 4th early. She steadily advanced while wide, surged to a clear lead into the lane and really didn’t have a nervous moment thereafter. Quiet Success sat back and came with a smart run to outgame Shesakitty for 2nd. Shesakitty, 2nd to Blueeyesintherein in that May 31 race here, got knocked around at the start to be well back, bided her time and came with a smart wide rally. Richie’slilcowgirl, romping debut winner on Arlington’s Polytrack May 11, chased the pace but gave way badly.

Betfair Hollywood Park
Hollywood Oaks (race 8)

Potesta took the huge step up in class off a monster maiden win and validated her connection’s belief in doing so as she gamely prevailed. The daughter of 2-year-old champ Macho Uno beat maidens by 11 1/2 lengths here May 3, just her 2nd start and her first route. She used her speed to keep pacesetter and favorite Eden’s Moon in her sights. She gamely went after that foe turning for home, took the lead in midstretch, looked beaten when Eden’s Moon again poked her head in front but showed a ton of courage to rerally for the score. This win, after the Mother Goose results, just adds to the confusion in the 3-year-old filly division. Eden’s Moon bounced back nicely from her Grade 1 Ky. Oaks debacle when she faded badly to finish 14th. Her speed was there in full as she set the pace under pressure from the winner and Willa B Awesome, battled gamely to the lane and just missed in a heartbreaker. Via Villaggio was last much of the way and finished well though she was never really a threat. Killer Graces, winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet here in the fall, stalked the pace, loomed a threat into the lane but died on her run. Willa B Awesome pressed Eden’s Moon, had to steady hard while pressing the pace along the inside on the far turn and was unable to recover.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Betfair Hollywood Park
Beverly Hills Handicap (race 8)

Capital Plan showed she may be a force with a game win here.She’s now 3 for 3 at 1 ¼ miles. She sat 4th early while Quaintly set a very slow pace, moved early down the backstretch with a wide run to stalk the pace, took the lead by midstretch and gamely got to the line before the hard-charging Cambina. Cambina was last to the far turn and finished well but just couldn’t quite get past the winner. She’s now finished narrowly behind Capital Plan in 3 straight. Quaintly set a slow pace, battled back gamely when hooked into the lane but wasn’t good enough. Imperialistic Diva was unlucky. She stalked the pace, had no room for much of the stretch but still kept to her task well finish a close-up 4th. With clear sailing she might have posted an upset.