The Hillsborough Stakes- Grade II
TAM Race 5 1 1/8M Turf
Purse $225.000 for Fillies & Mares
Four Years Old and Up
This weekend is loaded with graded stakes races all over the country, and this one is one to watch. This race could be a springboard for one of the contestants to qualify for the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf later this year. There are some established runners in here and some that are looking to make the jump to graded stakes races. Let’s look at the field and try and find the winner.
1 Congratulations, trained by Chili King Stables
This five-year-old Copper Bottom mare was only 1 for 9 last year but that one win was in the Grade 1 Taylor Stakes at WO. She decided to by pass the Filly and Mare Turf and go to the Matriarch where she ran 7th. After a break she came back on February 4th in an allowance at SA where she put in a rather poor effort. She’ll need to make a big turn around to win here.
2 Mo Ki Missy, trained by Smokey Stover
After two graded stakes wins and three graded stakes where she ran out of the top three last year she’s run twice this year, a 5th in a Grade 3 and an allowance win at SA. After that victory she became one of Smokey Stover’s purchases as he plunked down $200.000 for her. This will be her first start for her new trainer and she looks like a longshot on paper.
3 Killer Angels, trained by TwinTowersRacing
After this four-year-old filly won the Regret at CD last year she ran three good in the money finishes in four tries at the Grade 1 level. She’s only had one start this year and that was on the dirt in the Houston Ladies Classic. After stalking and going to the front in that race she finished 6th by four lengths. A switch to the turf here will help her and on her best day she could win.
4 On The Straight, trained by Mb Stables
The first of two entries from trainer Mb Stables was a minor stakes winner last year and tried her hand in a graded stakes where she finished 6th by a length. Only one start this year and it was a victory in an allowance race at HOU. She’ll definitely need to run a career best to win here but with this trainer you never know.
5 Devil Wears Prada, trained by Axeman
This seven-year-old West Virginia bred coming from the Axeman stable was 3rd in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf. With two starts this year, one in an allowance where she ran 3rd and another where she was 2nd in the Endeavour BC here at TAM, shows she still has good form. With a good post and a good trip, she’ll be there at the wire for sure.
6 Well Built, trained by Team 7 Illusions
7 Change Perception, trained by Mb Stables
The second entry from this stable. She’s be on a roll winning three races in a row, two being allowances and one being a stakes win. She’s coming into the race with good form and good works, and if she’s peaking at the right time and runs the best race of her life to date, she may be there at the end.
8 Nice Laff Phooey, trained by Maxmillion Farm
This filly is sort of a late bloomer, only breaking her maiden last September. After that she was a runner up in a Grade 3, won an allowance, and a state bred stake. It looks like she is starting to peak and if she has her running shoes on we could see the start of a nice campaign. She’ll have to run her best race to win here but could just pull it off.
9 Light The Fuse, trained by Diablo Diablo
After three wins on the free side she made her way to the pay side where she has continued to run well. After a 4th place finish in an allowance at FE, she went on to win a Grade 3 at CD and got beat a nose in an allowance at SA, beating Congratulations and Mo Ki Missy. If she can keep running the races she has been, she may be in front at the wire.
10 Ghost Runner, trained by Sizing Europe Lodge
This mare was purchased for $270.01 in the auction last December. Her first race for her new trainer was a 2nd place effort in a G3 at GP, where she beat Mo Ki Missy. She’s a G1 runner up and the class of the field. If she can work out a trip from this post she should be able to take home top money and is my pick to win.
11 Contagion, trained by La Canada Racehorses
Sold for just $7.500 last November this mare has won both of her starts for her new trainer. Her last start was her best race of her career, when she won a G3 at GP by a length after stalking the pace. It will be hard for her to get the same kind of trip here considering her post so I think she is a longshot for a check.
It’s all going to come down to if Ghost Runner can work out a trip from her post. If she can she’s the horse to beat, but if she can’t look at horses like Devil Wears Prada, Mo Ki Missy and Light The Fuse. This race could start a nice campaign for one of the mares to get to the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and whoever wins this race can’t be taken lightly down the road.