The Three’s May Have the Upper Hand in Rodeo Drive Stakes

Rodeo Drive Stakes – Grade I [BC]
SA   Race #15   1 1/4m   Turf   Graded Stake
Purse $300.000  For Fillies And Mares Three Years Old And Upward.

1 In Z Balance, trained by Diablo Diablo
She is having a good season and comes into this a strong chance. She took the grade two Santa Ana Stakes back in March and has done well in top company since without winning. Second in both the grade one Gamely and Beverly D there’s a lot going for her today from the ace draw over a trip that suits and though she isnt the quickest in the race she has plenty of heart and will be giving her best.

2 Sassy One, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Its not easy to win two races in a row at HRP but this three year old has now managed six and has the enviable record of winning eight from eleven making her a pretty special individual. Even more impressive is the fact that she has done all her winning against her own age group and without any three year old allowance making me feel that with the extra weight allowance today may result in her breaking into the big time. Two graded wins in her last two starts says she is capable at this level and she is out working most of the field as well.

3 Nothing Given, trained by Our Athletes
Won the DMR Oaks last time after taking the Wonder Where Stakes before that, not bad for a horse that was winning a $16.000claimer back in March. Her trainer must be thrilled she wasnt claimed that day and with works just a tick behind Sassy One she must be in the mix for the win.

4 Congratulations, trained by Chili King Stables
This four year old was bought for three hundred dollars from Blushing Meadows at a time when four year olds were struggling to hold their own and her two runs since then have done nothing to suggest it was a good buy. As a three year old she won at grade one and was a very close second in the BC Fillies and Mares Turf, form that would be good enough for a winning chance today had she not turned four and lost the three year old weight allowance. A good filly who is working well but has no chance against the three’s.

5 Ghost Runner, trained by Pumpkin Racing
Fourth in that BC race last year as a three year old she raced against olders in her three starts before her run in the Diana last time taking the grade two Fox and doing pretty well in the other two. Her run in The Diana last time was probably a seasons best beaten just a neck by the three year old Darkest Days and being 3Lb better off today she should have the beating of atleast that three year old. Her works are strong enough to put her in the fight today but i fear the younger generation may best her again.

6 Killer Angels, trained by TwinTowersRacing
A very easy winner of The Regret in June she hasnt lived up to that form since but did run well in the DMR Oaks last time. She had Nothing Given five lengths behind in the Regret but was beaten a length by that filly in the DMR Oaks suggesting she may not be on an upward trend.

7 Wicked Heat, trained by EasyMoney Stables
Like so many three year olds she has struggled in her four year old season. The winner of the BC Distaff last season thanks to the weight allowance she hasnt been able to win again on dirt but did manage to scrape a win on the turf last time in The Matchmaker. A strong worker with an unbeaten record on this surface she may well be the older horse to give the three year olds the most trouble.

9 On The Straight, trained by Mb Stables
Another older horse with some strong works but she doesnt have the form to match although is also unbeaten on the turf. It is hard to believe that the best trainer on HRP didnt know this was a turf filly so although she looked good in the CTT Handicap last time i dont think she is significantly better on the grass suggesting she wont be good enough today.

10 Darkest Days, trained by Mb Stables
Has managed four stakes wins in a  row thanks largely to the three year old weight allowance and has bagged two grade ones in her last two starts. She took the United Nations by a head and then the Diana by a neck from a similar draw and whilst she is 3 Lb worse off with Ghost Runner for just a neck i would still think she may beat her and go against the common sense of the form book. The question is whether she is the best three year old in the race and if she isnt she is certainly very close so she has to be in your picks.

11 Smoking Nebulae, trained by Drabfantasy
She was hugely impressive in wining the Waya by four lengths but that was in the wet and she is probably five lengths better on that surface. So if it rains she may run a huge race if it doesnt she may struggle to find the first three.

12 Devils Wears Prada, trained by Axeman
This game and consistent six year old is having another great season and i certainly wouldnt rule her out of this even from a  horrible draw. She won the grade one Gamely and was close thirds in both the Diana and the Beverly D this year giving her a good chance today. Can she win from this draw? well it will take a lifetime best to do so and whilst i doubt she can my heart will certainly be on her side.

13 Taking Liberties, trained by Gdp Inc
A nice enough sort who is working strong enough to get into this but her form suggests she is missing some of the hidden heart gene when it comes to the battle at the end of a race at this level.

SUMMARY
This is a very strong race and there are many chances but the weight allowance as always suggests the three year olds may have the edge. I think its between Sassy One and Darkest Days with the best chances of the older horses coming from Wicked Heat and Ghost Runner. If it rains just watch out for Smoking Nebulae



Categories: Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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