The Beldame (Grade 1)- $400.000 Purse
BEL- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
September 30, 2017
With a BC Distaff berth probable for its winner, The Beldame never seems to draw the biggest fields. This year is no exception, with just five going to the starting gate. Despite that, there is plenty of skill going to the starting gate of a race that has seen many greats win in prior years. Going back to 2005, it would be Darling Harbour, a winner of 24 career races, and a name that you can never mention enough in the SRF even as the years go by. Millionaire Heiress, Shadow Of A Doubt, and Stella Artois are other greats that have won. Last year’s winner, Chili King, for Sanny Village, ran 11th in the BC Distaff. She ran again in an allowance, but has not been seen on the track since January, though remains active. I feel that this may come down to a two-horse thriller at the end, but everyone in here is a strong threat. Let’s meet the field!
#1- Creepy Baker (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- Just like the Vosburgh, it’s the same trainer and jockey on the rail for the Beldame. Also much like the Vosburgh, I see Creepy Baker as a bit of a longshot. I would favor her over her stablemate in the other race though, as she has been more consistent throughout her career, and did manage to finish second in the Grade 3 DED Princess last November. Since then, though, Creepy Baker has had more trouble stepping in bigger races, but she may like the smaller field here. She absolutely must be at her best, but if so, this is within her reach. Consider her if the odds climb too much.
#2- Love Appeal (Joshua Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- Just two weeks ago, Love Appeal was purchased in the auction from Hay Makers Inc for $40.010. It would be an impressive return on investment if he could get a win here with her. She’s flirted with big victories and had a strong stretch late last year moving into this one, that included a Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes win at SA. But the results started to fade, and she has not raced since June. I’d feel better about her if it wasn’t for the layoff as like Creepy Baker, she’s capable if she runs her best, and she has shown she has it in her. Is there one more big run here?
#3- Various (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- I love these horses that simply know how to win, and Various absolutely fits the bill. In her career, she has won seven out of ten, which included the first five races. The highlight of that period was the victory in the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes. After giving others a chance to win a few times, she found her way to the top again in Summertime Oaks, another Grade 2 at SA. Her last race was likely nothing more then a freshener, which is something the two to her outside didn’t need.
#4- Heart Nebulae (SamIam, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This filly by Sweep The Nebulae had a thrilling season last year that saw her win four of nine races. In 2017, the impressive finishes have not always been there, as she has only won once in five starts, but she has always run competitively. Therefore, the trainer has kept plugging away with her at the top levels, and the result might be her best effort of her career, even though it was just a third place finish. That was the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at SAR, against powerful company, and she finished ahead of some great names, such as Queenwood. This field should be to her liking here, making her seem very promising.
#5- Dirty Deeds (Aer Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- Finally, we come to the horse that should be the one to beat. Dirty Deeds is also coming off a strong performance in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at beautiful SAR, and in it she was able to finish second. She’s consistently been running in Grade 1 events this year, and even in the starts where she has an out of the money finish, it should still be noticed that she was within a length of victory. Perhaps then, with just a little more luck, we are talking about more big race wins, then just the Grade 1 La Troienne at CD on Oaks day. Dirty Deeds is due for another, and she should love the smaller field here. Last year, she won the Cotillion to get to the Distaff, so she knows what it takes at the end of September. She is my pick.