Eros Looks to Strike on Valentines Weekend

Could trainer Smokey Stover have planned a better weekend for the return of last years BC Fillies and Mares Sprint Champion then doing it on Valentine’s weekend!!! This “Goddess ” of love finished last season with back to back victories, and with the 101 SRF figure she earned in the Sprint, hang on to your hats here.

  • The Fritchie Stakes ( Gr. III ) Purse $250.000
  • Laurel Park – For Fillies And Mares Four Years old and Up
  • Seven Furlongs in distance, Main Track
  • February 15th, 2020

While this is her first start, Eros will not be the only BC Fillies And Mares Sprint runner to be looking to score here. From post seven will run Maxmillion Farm’s Thalassa, who seemed to have an uneven break from the rail in that event, and had to make up ground late to close to within two lengths of Eros at the wire. She should find herself with no one to her outside this time around, and be better placed and poised to give Eros all she can handle down the stretch.

As far as weight is concerned, all runners will carry 124 pounds on the day, the same both competitors in the Sprint had hoisted on their backs. As far as any equipment changes, all competitors have stuck to their regiment and will be looking for top dollar at the wire.

Here is the field;

1 Unprecedented ( South Beach Racing ) …After three unsuccessful attempts at trying to find a top three placing at the Grade III level last season, this four year old chestnut opens the year winning an OpClm25 affair at Charles Town. Hopefully this will get her head focused back on winning and the rail is definitely a plus, but she is taking a big swing once again. Might be tough.

2 Eros ( Smokey Stover )…While I know it was sometime last season for this trainer to get his feet back on the ground after the Breeders weekend, the high has rolled over into this season as he is firing at 39% in the win column. This five year old mare has to be considered for top billing here, and while she has never competed over this oval in her past, her championship ranks is all she needs. One to beat.

3 Out And Bad ( Night Rider Stables )…A three time winner from September to November last season, capturing both a Grade III affair as well as a Grade II event. The final of the season was the Go For Wand Hdcp which she stayed in second throughout till the final furlong then faded. Started this season once again on top early, only to drop and place in a dead heat for the runner-up spot. She may not keep step with Thalassa if she is sent to the front, but if she has her way with the pace, may just slow things down enough to be effective.

4 Steady Sneaks ( John Henry )…Had two wins out of twelve starts last season with her final win coming when she raced in the $75 Millions Distaff at CRC. Her closer of the year had her out of the running at the line, and while she has been up against some tough company at times, her SRF numbers were on the decline in her final three starts and that is never a good sign. Trainer has the talent to find the answers, and hopefully she will find a better placing here.

5 Golden Hour ( D J C Racing Stables )…Won an Alw28 N3L in the mud at CT, then headed to the Duck going a longer nine panels and found the winners enclosure once again. Will more then likely take a just off the pace or midpack running style here, then hope she can kick free down the lane to be placed in the big picture with others. Two of here victories came at the six and a half distance, so this event should suit her. The competition wont.

6 Camp Hollywood ( Estero Farms )…There was so much high hopes for the filly when she captured the BC Juvenile Fillies event back in 2018, that most handicappers were looking for her to snatch up the Oaks the following season. 2019 didn’t turn out like it was planned, as she would capture just two victories late in the season. Her final win was the Gr. I La Brea Stakes where she gained a 101 SRF for her efforts. Has maturity turn the corner for her? Don’t get caught flat footed with this gray in the field.

7 Thalassa ( Maxmillion Farm )…While many consider this trainer the Baffert of the turf surface, Max is looking at two possible scenarios with this five year old. Get him away quickly from this outside post then drop and dictate the pace, or slide down behind the field early on and make his presence felt in the stretch. How he decides to instruct Boyce to tackle the race, only he knows. But the horse does have the ability. ( Side Note: If you like Eros the God of Love, this chestnut mare is out of Greek God, for those that are superstitious.)

Picks: 2-6-7

Woman of HRP: Seeing as this is a fillies and mares event this Valentines weekend, I was able to come across another fine filly of the game who is a trainer here at HRP. Deb from Cedar Road and I have had conversations over the past year and I have come to consider her a friend. If you are looking for someone who at an early age had a compassion for this Sport of Kings, she has the heart of a lion for this sport. I asked her to just give a summary of her background in horse racing, this game itself and a little about the people she has crossed paths with and her hopes for the future. This is in her own words:

“I can’t remember ever NOT loving horses & racing. As a kid, dynamite couldn’t have blown me away from the tv during the Triple Crown races. Names like My Dad George, Personality, Canonero II & of course, Secretariat all bring back such great memories. My heart always belonged to Sham though.
That being said, you’d probably assume I spent all my free time hanging around race tracks, but the truth is, I’ve never been to a “real” horse race. Ever. In spite of being born & raised here in South Arkansas, centrally located between Oaklawn Park & Louisiana Downs. Both are on my bucket list.
I did own a horse years ago. Not a race horse, but my pride & joy all the same. These days, I get my “horse fix” here at HRP & enjoy every minute of it.
I remember getting an email at work advertising the game, & joined in December 2012 but didn’t actually start actively participating until early 2013. Like a lot of “newbies” I thought I knew something about racing until I started playing here. It’s for sure been a learning experience. Frustrating, sometimes maddening & I love every minute of it. My first winner was a horse named Big Rewards & I remember shouting the house down when he won.

“There are so many who have helped me here when I had questions & there have been a LOT of those. Hawthorneshorsefarm, Riggins Racing, LaRosa Stables, Double Cross Ranch, La Canada, Mb, they’ve all been tireless in answering questions. I know I’ve left some people out & I apologize for that.
Who is the favorite in my stable? All of them lol. No seriously, that would be Somersby. He was my first stakes winner. Hopefully this will be the year I have another. A Meet title would be nice too. I want to be able to compete at a higher level & this is admittedly hard to do. Even racing at the free tracks has become a whole different ball game.

So for those of you who have that special filly in your life as I know many of you do, don’t forgot to show them how much they mean to you this special weekend. I know many of you would have no problem draping roses around the horse that wins you the Derby, show that same passion for the woman who loves you like no other woman could. You are all lucky men to have the love of a good woman.

Duffer



Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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