July 3, 2015
It has been seven years since I first covered the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes at WO and since then, things have not really changed apart from the list of winners, which has grown by leaps and bounds. Every single winner has had or went on to a stellar career, from inaugural winner Delaware through multiple Grade I winner Mark Me Special, and onto BC F&M Turf winner Madame Harriet and finally, to last year’s winner Silent Candy who followed up her win with a score in the Grade I Beverly D at AP. This year, a field of five is assembled including a pair of $1,000.000 earners already and as expected, there is plenty of turf experience signed on with the deciding factor being whether you choose a leader or a follower in this nine-furlong event.
1-Vorurtle (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-Sarah Stables)
Vorurtle has posted a victory in over a year and has only faced this level of competition a handful of times, with little success, so the chances of her upsetting in this field as quite slim and she will need the race of her life to hit the board. She was made the choice in the ET Mint Julep at CD but showed nothing in a last-place finish and off that effort, would need a complete reversal of form that one cannot see happening, especially with no experience over the course.
Analysis-Tough to back on form and conditioning
2-Tiffany Warrior (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-Canadian Racing)
Tiffany Warrior has only tried the turf twice in her career but came away with a solid second in the Grade I Wiley at KEE that sets her up nicely for a return, despite that off-the-board finish in the Grade I Phipps in what was a truly stellar field. She might be light on experience but has the right pedigree to really handle this surface and there is no distance questions, so the only knock is the company she is keeping and one hopes that she can prove it in this case as a stepping stone to bigger things.
Analysis-Proves a fondness for turf two back and now can show more
3-Volare (Five-year-old black mare / Owner-Axeman)
Multiple Grade II winner Volare has never been to WO but certainly knows how to win at this level and coming off a win at BEL over a very soft turf, she will relish the expected return to a firm going and the chance to close into what could be a quick early pace. She owns one of the few triple-digit speed ratings and won that race by the slimmest possible margin but she pays the price with two extra pounds and that could make the difference when it comes down to a matter of inches at the wire.
Analysis-Will be forced to close and needs the right pace set-up
4-French Hottie (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-D J C Racing Stables)
A single win in the past two years puts French Hottie in the longshot category and despite a second in the Grade II Gallorette Handicap, she still does not have the recent form to win this event and will be running for a minor share against better. Another with no experience over this one-turn at WO, she has to carry much more weight under the stakes conditions and even with a great jockey, still needs to carry her speed enough to hold off some very good closers.
Analysis-Tough to back against this field and at this weight
5-Tight Pockets (Four-year-old bay filly / Owner-EasyMoney Stables)
Tight Pockets had a stellar season at three, winning the Grade I DMR Oaks and Grade I Flower Bowl before just missing in the Grade I BC F&M Turf and now, as a four-year-old, can redeem her rank among the top of her division with a victory here against a very reachable field. She has finished no more than a length back of victory at any point in the past two years and loves this nine-furlong distance so look for her to sit right on the pace and sprint home like the star she is, to what should be a very good win.
Analysis-Best in the field and in the best form
Tight Pockets has a tight reign on the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes and with a stellar resume and back class to win, she needs only a solid trip on the outside to run down the speed and prove her worth as one of the best at HRP right now. Volare was a big winner at BEL last time out and looks to be a solid second choice while Tiffany Warrior looked great at KEE but needs to show a little more experience to really be considered a win contender against the two top.
Win-Tight Pockets (8/5)
Show-Tiffany Warrior (5/1)
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade II