GI – Personal Ensign (BC)
$700.000 Graded Stake 1 1/8 Mile on Dirt for Fillies & Mares Three & Up
2016 Champ: Shake It Off
The GI Personal Ensign can be a last hope for any fillies and mares looking to make it into the 2017 running of the BC Distaff at DMR in early November. The win and your in race this year will feature eight talented fillies and mares and is highlighted by superstar three year old filly Queenwood who comes into the race on a two race win streak and winner of five of her last six starts.
1- The Hanging Tree (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Ortiz I Jr)
Grabbing the rail is The Hanging Tree. She has won three of her five starts so far this year including a GI at this distance back in March. Her rail position should give her the opportunity to put herself right where she wants to be early in the race, likely a couple lengths off the early lead. If she can find a hole turning for home she has a shot at upsetting the top few.
2- Mortality (Trained by John Henry, Ridden by Leparoux J R)
It has been a bit of a struggle since the KY Oaks for this three year old. She has two sixth and a seventh in her most recent starts. Early in the year she was working in the 1:36s for the mile but more recently shes been in the 1:37s. A few bad works aren’t typically a concern but if they continue to stall and the racing struggles continue it will quickly become a big concern.
3- Viking Vania (Trained by Delta Farms, Ridden by Albarado R J)
It took her awhile to break her maiden but is quickly improving after doing so. She was able to win a top allowance race right after breaking that maiden then back it up with a win in the GIII Iowa Oaks then almost win the GI Hirsch but finishing a very solid second. The sky seems to be the limit for this filly but has run into a few superstars so may need to wait another start or two before possibly entering superstar status as well.
4- Dirty Deeds (Trained by Aer Stables, Ridden by Alvarado J)
Finishing fourth in that same GI Hirsch that Viking Vania is coming out of. She showed a love for the slop back in May when she won the GI La Troienne but that is the only win she has so far this year. Her most recent works are a bit slower then many in the race and will need to step it up big time if she wants to be competitive in this one.
5- Way Up (Trained by Team 7 Illusions, Ridden by Gutierrez Mario)
Five races, five top threes and over $1000.000 in earnings this year is a great start to the year. With her latest win, the GI DEL Handicap she solidified herself as one of the top fillies running right now. If any filly in the race has a good shot at slowing down Queenwood it is definitely her. Top three is almost a lock, it’s mostly about which of those three spots she ends up in.
6- Heart Nebulae (Trained by Samlam, Ridden by Velazquez J R)
It has been a bit of a struggle this year for Heart Nebulae. She has struggled to hit the board let alone win a race until she got some luck from the weather in the GIII Matron where she got a muddy track and showed a liking for it. That win is her only top four in her four races this year. She finished fifth in her last race, the GI DEL Handicap in which the horse to her inside, Way Up walked away with.
7- Better Be Grayteful (Trained by Team 7 Illusions, Ridden by Maragh R)
The second from the barn of Team 7 Illusions. She spent most of the year running in state bred races but unable to find a way to win then moves up to the GIII Shuvee Handicap and wins for fun. That was her first time stretching out to a mile and an eighth which she seemed to enjoy. Will likely be a big price but make things interesting.
8- Queenwood (Trained by Smokey Stover, Ridden by Bejarano R)
Nothing but the off track has been able to slow Queenwood down all year long. She is perfect when the track is dry. She has shown she can win on the lead and from off the pace, not a whole lot this filly can’t do. The outside post would typically be a bit of a concern until you notice she was able to win with ease in the GI Acorn from the ten post. Run her race and she is easily the one to beat.
My Selections: 8/5/3