Cotillion Stakes – Grade I (P4)
1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Fillies Three Years Old.
There is one big line of form that runs through this race, that being the grade one Alabama run just a month ago. If that form pans out then we are only looking at a two horse race but i have been around long enough to know that draw, track variances, jockey AI and instructions can change a result completely so i will be looking very carefully at the 8 runners, here they are:
1 – Black Sunshine, trained by John Henry
Looked a shade expensive when bought for $225.000 after little more than a few lower level wins but her sire demands a high price and she has run well enough since to prove to be a sound investment. Second in the Victory Road over an inadequate trip she then took an allowance over a mile with absolute ease by six lengths and comes here fairly unexposed and ready to do her best. Her works are solid and she has a good draw to work with.
2 – Musical Treat, trained by Mb Stables
On that Alabama form she should have this race at her mercy but that was a tactical affair and it could easily turn out different today. A wide draw saw her go to the lead in that race and after kicking at the mile she had enough gas to hold on by a half length. The thing that gives her a better chance is the excellent lead up form though including a win over this trip in the Indiana Oaks and a close fourth in the Acorn. There’s a lot of reason to think she can win this and not to many to say she cant.
3 – Viking Vania, trained by Delta Farms
Broke her maiden in April and never looked back taking an Allowance and the IA Oaks. A brilliant effort to be second in the Hirsch was followed up by an even better run to win the Personal Ensign last time out and both of those efforts put her right in the winning chances for this big prize. My only question mark is that her best form has been in getting weight from older horses but that is a stretch and she is an easy choice for the win.
4 – Whispering Nurse, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Was pegging Musical Treat back in the Alabama to finish second and with a different race today i can see her turning that around. Prior to that she ran on the pace to take the CCA Oaks and a similar run saw her take the Eight Bells. Yet to finish outside the first three she is a highly consistent sort who has great form and provides yet another winning chance in a tight race.
5 – Baby Goes To Rio, trained by Aml Racing
Beaten by most of these fillies in her last three starts its very tough to see how she can reverse all that form against her.
6 – KTD, trained by Aer Stables
When she won the KY Oaks she looked to have the world in her hands but since then she hasnt been able to find that sort of consistency. She was a good second in the Acorn just in front of Musical Treat but then found whispering Nurse too good in the CCA Oaks before a poor effort in the Alabama which saw her beaten five lengths. The wide draw may have been the excuse that day though and anything close to her KYO form puts her right in this race.
7 – Blackberry, trained by Our Athletes
This tough little filly has been a crowd favourite finishing third in the KYO and then winning the Black Eyed Susan and the Mother Goose. She can throw the odd poor effort though and thats what she did in the Alabama last time running a terrible race to finish 10 lengths back in eleventh place. She is much better than that but has to handle a wide draw against some elite fillies today and would have to be in lifetime best form to win it from here.
A very tough race with a spiders web of form to try and work out. I rather like Whispering Nurse for this race with Viking Vania as next best but pretty much any of them could win.