The Flower Bowl (BC) (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
BEL- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Inner Turf
October 6, 2019
The BC chase in full bloom this weekend, and Sunday at BEL, we will be treated to an automatic qualifier for the BC Fillies and Mares Turf. Last year, Free Sunset picked up the win here for Team 7 Illusions, and she would go on and win the BC race as well one month later. The trainer sold her a day later, something that in retrospect has proven to be a smart decision. She only raced three more times and never won again and amazingly, despite racing here last year, she has already produced three foals as a broodmare. The marvels of virtual breeding! Team 7 Illusions will bring another talented Cherokee Sunset foal to this race in Nancy Broom Moytoy. The race looks wide open to me as there is plenty of talent to go around. Let’s take a look at the field!
#1- Light The Fuse (Diablo Diablo, ridden by R Gutierrez)- Started the year running against graded competition, but her last three races have been open allowances in field sizes that have not exceeded five. In each of those races, she ran second. She is a graded winner from back in 2017, but will be looking for something more recent to get excited about.
#2- Investment Return (Grimley, ridden by J J Castellano)- Wow, there’s a trainer who’s name I have not typed in a while. Good to see Grimley back in action! Investment Return is a lightly raced three year old that will be making her sixth start, and it’s her first stake of any type. Two wins in her last three starts, against small fields in NY-bred races.
#3- Z Fan (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Saez)- The Z Jinxed One mare is a winner of eight out of 23 for her career, but only one of them was a stake win, coming last year in the $200.000 Ticonderoga for NY-breds. Has only made three starts this year, and had a long layoff from April until August. She reappeared at the Grade 2 Ballston Handicap, and ran fourth. This will be her first attempt at this distance.
#4- Festive (Mb Stables, ridden by E Maldonado)- Put together a four race winning streak recently, a stretch that culminated in the ten furlong Dance Smartly Stakes, defeating the likes of Grand Dragonville. She remains on good form, and was most recently the runner up at the KD Ladies Turf last month at that race track. Both of the entries of the trainer are strong contenders in the race.
#5- Easier Said (Decima, ridden by A Beschizza)- The three year old Decima filly picked up a victory at the Grade 1 Beverly D in August, becoming the highlight of her three graded victories of 2019. She’s still good when she doesn’t win, with further accolades including a fourth place check at the BEL Oaks, and missing by just a neck in her second place finish at the JC Oaks, a filly that she will be seeing again here.
#6- Nebulae Z (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by J Talamo)- This filly is very experienced when it comes to longer races on the grass, though she not always shined in them. It seemed as though a couple races where bute was administered was a negative, and she bounced back well when the trainer did away with it.
#7- Burnkk (Night Rider Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- She has won two of eight, but those are also the only races where she has hit the board in any way. Has spent much of the year running against NY breds in the NY Stallion Series, and did win the Liberty at the Spa in the July. A little too hit and miss for my liking.
#8- Cest And Me (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- Comes into the race off a huge win, taking the $750.000 JC Oaks, a race in which she prevailed over Easier Said in a photo. If she did that before, there is no reason to think that she cannot do it again. She is hot right now, as just before that, she was second in the SAR Oaks. This is the right time to be on a roll!
#9- Grand Dragonville (Smokey Stover, ridden by F Pennington)- She has won the last two races she has been in, although she has not been taking on the competition quality that Cest And Me has. Nothing wrong with wins in the Grade 3 Waya and Grade 2 Mabee, and they are part of a four for eight stretch she has had this year. She can step up here against this crowd and should be considered one of the top threats.
#10- Nancy Broom Moytoy (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- The filly had a great season as a three year old, taking five out of ten races, but never did get a chance to run in the BC. As a four year old, she has run well, winning twice earlier in the year, but the wins stopped coming when she had to start taking on younger horses. That’s something that is not changing here, though.
#11- The Universe (Chili King Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- Ran third in the SAR Oaks at the beginning of August, but less then a week later found herself as the subject of a private sale. Now a part of Chili King Stables, she ran in the JC Oaks, but was not close to Cest And Me and Easier Said. That could be a throw out though as the trainer needs a chance to get acquainted to his filly.
#12- Stormy Embrace- Scratched
#13- Sketch The Way (Williams9, ridden by G Saez)- Finished third in her last start, coming at twelve furlongs at the Unbridled Essence Stakes. She has attempted stakes in the past, but nothing like this. None of her wins have come at the stake level, and it will be hard to change that while starting from this post.