May 14, 2015
Named for a multiple Grade I winner and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, the Wait A While at BEL serves as a big stepping stone for the sophomores fillies on the grass, especially as the distances increase, and has attracted a field of eight for its inaugural edition on Saturday afternoon. There are more than a few entrants who warrant a big look at this tricky seven-furlong distance and the question is whether to take a horse stretching out from five- or 6.5-furlongs or one cutting back from a flat-mile, with hopes to catching the speed napping up front.
1-Spanish Princess (Three-year-old bay filly / Owner-Nakamura Stables)
Seven-furlongs was kind to Spanish Princess last time out when she scored at LRL in optional claiming company but the lightly raced bay filly will need to show much more if she hopes to upend a stakes-quality field and the fear is that this might not be her best distance. Two starts on the turf have been good but she has also failed to find the right speed to either get to the lead or hold the lead and that kind of timing is crucial for winning, especially on the grass.
Analysis-Trying to find the right timing for her move is key
2-French Liege (Three-year-old bay filly / Owner-D J C Racing Stables)
Impeccably bred for the grass but untested on the surface, French Liege makes her long awaited turf debut in the Wait A While and after failing to hold her placing in the Grade I SA Oaks, she cuts back to a reachable level and more importantly, a reachable distance. The last time she sprinted, she won the My Trusty Cat at DED in a career best performance and now that the focus is back on going short, she looks to be the type that could step up with another big effort and prove that the move to the lawn was right all along.
Analysis-Bred for the turf and looks to have real potential
3-Sassy Jones (Three-year-old black filly / Owner-Bigking)
It is always nice to see a horse improving in time as the races get tougher in class and Sassy Jones has done just that, which warrants a move up in class after a solid score on the downhill turf at SA as the 1-2 favourite. She will be no where near those odds on Saturday against a much tougher cast of characters but she does have a big workout at GG to fall back on and if she can stalk the pace and sprint forward late, the distance should be no problem and she might just be good enough to win.
Analysis-Lots to like with this lightly raced filly
4-Une Pouliche de Truc (Three-year-old bay filly / Owner-Axeman)
Une Pouliche de Truc can into the Grade III Appalachian on a huge high and nearly came up with the good once again before tiring into fourth, so a cut back to seven-furlongs and a slight drop in class are in order and this filly looks to be fast enough to win on her best day. A good workout over the BEL turf in preparation shows that she is ready once again but she certainly prefers an off-surface and if the rains come on Saturday, she is clearly the filly who will revel in it the most.
Analysis-Good on a firm turf, dynamite on anything else
5-Secretary (Three-year-old gray filly / Owner-Moorecarz Farm)
Two straight wins over five-furlongs show that Secretary might enjoy the grass but she needs to step up to the big time to win the Wait A While and if you did not have her at double-digits, do not take her at a short price here. She has yet to crack a 90+ speed rating and has never been longer than six-furlongs; factors that cannot be overlooked in a solid field and ones that make her a longshot for me, and probably for others too.
Analysis-Distance and class are big questions
6-Viva Steel (Three-year-old gray filly / Owner-Lemax Farms)
Seven starts on the grass, all at five-furlongs, is a major cause for concern when it comes to backing Viva Steel and with only two wins, she needs to move forward in a big way and prove that she can carry her speed that extra quarter-mile. A failure to hold the lead in her last two starts shows that she has the speed but not the stamina and unless she can set a moderate pace, she will be at the mercy of others who are proven going much longer than seven-panels.
Analysis-Speed to spare but stamina is crucial
7-Madame Steiners (Three-year-old black filly / Owner-Halo Thoroughbreds)
Stakes company has been good for Madame Steiners with a number of top three placings to her credit but she has never been able to break through against the top echelon of fillies and that should continue on Saturday if her last race is any indication. At 3-5 against state-bred foes, she threw in a complete clunker going this same distance and while has is better on the turf, it might not be enough to get to the winner’s circle.
Analysis-Has not shown enough to make her a win prospect
8-Whiskey Wings (Three-year-old black filly / Owner-Visceral Farms)
Yielding turf was good to Whiskey Wings two starts back in the Lacombe Memorial but a firm turf was even better in a wire-to-wire score at LS going only slightly longer than this trip and if there is anyone who can legitimately lead from start to finish, it is this good looking filly. Her family is gone but her legacy can be cemented with a big win here and there are many things to like from the outside, especially the one-turn at BEL that affords her a chance to really wing it on the lead and the fact that Lasix and Bute have been re-added to make her a formidable opponent to all the closers.
Analysis-Front running threat has all the right moves
Speed looks potent in the Wait A While on Saturday at BEL and the fastest of them all is Whiskey Wings, who gets my nod to lead everyone gate to wire in what will be her third and probably best start on grass to date. French Liege has the pedigree to show a real fondness for the turf but her unproven talent only nets her second in my books while Sassy Jones has done nothing wrong over the downhill ground at SA but needs to transfer that form to a flat surface before getting a bigger rating.
Win-Whiskey Wings (2/1)
Place-French Liege (7/2)
Show-Sassy Jones (4/1)
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: NG Stakes