The Acorn (Grade 1)- $700.000 Purse
BEL- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile on the Dirt
June 6, 2020
We saw many of these fillies last month in the KYO, and now they will take each other on again, along with some fresh opposition in the 17th running of the Grade 1 Acorn, one the more prestigious races on the calendar for three year old fillies. In total, there are nine fillies in this race that ran in the KYO at CD, and the top three finishers in that race will be wearing the number of their finish there on their saddlecloth here in the Acorn. At a mile, this is shorter race, by a furlong, then the KYO. Last year, this race was won by Cannolo for D J C Racing Stables. While she has not won since then, she continues to race in top races and performs well in them, as in her last start she was second in the Grade 1 La Troienne in the silks of Mb Stables. This has the makings of a very entertaining race between top fillies in the game today. Sit back, and enjoy the race! Here’s the field!
#1- Bite the Bullet (Mb Stables, ridden by D Davis)- The post draw was interesting for the top three finishers of the KYO, putting them all in the first three spots of the gate in the post of their KYO finish. This essentially puts them as close to one another at the start as they were at the finish there. Bite The Bullet was seen as one of the top choices in the Oaks, following her win in the Grade 1 Ashland, and she utilized an excellent stalking trip for most of the race, and would get up just in time for the win. In that race, she also began on the rail, so she knows how to get it done from this post. It’s hard to win three in a row at this level, but the horse/jockey combination has been working here, and there is no reason to think she cannot pull it off.
#2- Tell It Like It Is (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A T Gryder)- The trainer was very close to pulling off the KYO/KYD double at CD last month. We know he won the KYD, but don’t forget that in the KYO, Tell It Like It Is just missed in the headbob at the wire to get the win there. Her second place finish was well earned, and she was always seen as one of the better threats in the race as well. She had come into the Oaks with wins in the SA Oaks and the Davona Dale right before it.
#3- Drink Me Pretty (Estero Farms, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The third place finisher in the Oaks was not far off either from a big win, missing by only a head at the wire. She ran a length off of Tell It Like It Is most of the way, but could not get her in the end. Drink Me Pretty is usually at the front at the start of the race, and I cannot see a reason to change that up especially going a little shorter here. Her last six starts have seen three places and three shows, so we know that she is overdue for a win.
#4- Cp Great Moon Queen (Greyfriars Stable, ridden by X Perez)- The trainer has two in the field, starting right next to one another in the starting gate. This is a filly that he picked up for $150.000 from Team 7 Illusions after running ink those silks in the Oaks last month. Cp Great Moon Queen was not a factor in the Oaks, running 10th. At this point, the highlight of her career is running second in the SA Oaks, but even that was three lengths back. Otherwise, she has not shown that she can run well at this level and needs a breakout here.
#5- Risen Day (Greyfriars Stable, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Here we have the second of the two entries for Greyfriars, and this one cost $50.000 in private sales in April, something that could become a great investments. However, in his first start after the sale, she could only run seventh in an optional claimer. She had a good two year old season, running in the BC Juvenile Fillies and winning the Grade 2 Demoiselle. Since then however, it’s been 7th of 11, 11th of 12, and 7th of 7.
#6- Red Headed Ruler (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by M Tunon)- It will be a tough task for the Florida bred as she makes her graded debut here in the Acorn. Additionally, it will be the first time she runs at a mile, although she did go seven in her last start. So far, she has just two wins in ten starts, and none are in stakes. She will be fine in regards to the distance, but given the company that she is up against here, it’s a challenge.
#7- Lil Baby Bomber (Aer Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- After winning the Gazelle at the Big A, there was hope that Lil Baby Bomber would be able to follow that up and run a big race in the KYO. That would not happen, and she would only defeat one of her rivals that day. In the Acorn, she meets eight of them that beat her last month in some capacity, so it is going to take a lot to turn the tables on all of them. She will run better here, but beating all of them seems like a tougher chore.
#8- Charming Beauty (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- This is a lightly raced horse that makes just the fifth start of her career. After breaking her maiden in her second race, she was thrust directly into the Grade 1 Gazelle at AQU. She was sixth in the race, but in only missing by a length, she showed that she was not in over her head. Three weeks ago, she ran at PIM in the Black Eyed Susan, the only in here from that race surprisingly enough, and finish in the third spot. This will be make her ready to take on this competition, and I expect her to be quite competitive if not a possible sleeper. However, right now I am not sure that she can come out on top. Watch for her in a couple months.
#9- Miss Pinnacle Party (South Beach Racing, ridden by R Santana Jr)- It will be the graded debut for this filly in her tenth start. In her career thus far, she has won just twice but has been a good play in the trifecta as the third horse quite a bit. She made her stake debut in her last start, coming last month at PRX in the PA Oaks, placing third. I’m underwhelmed by her race there, and it seems like she is going to have to be a lot better to beat a bunch of KYO horses.
#10- Zero Twist (John Henry, ridden by D E Centeno)- The Zero Return filly made her first graded start three weeks ago at PIM, not in the Black Eyed Susan, but rather in the Grade 3 Miss PS. She would place fourth in the race, but only missed by half a length. With success in ungraded stakes leading to that, such as a win in the $200.000 Park Avenue, part of the NY Stallion Series, I do think she has earned getting this chance. What I am not certain about is if this is her preferred distance. We shall see!
#11- Mercy (Smokey Stover, ridden by R Bejarano)- Reportedly, she ran in the KYO last week, but you would have only noticed if you were watching the very back of the field for the whole race. She was at the rear and stayed there, placing 12th. It was a surprising result, as after all she won the Grade 2 Alexandra and placed second in the Grade 3 Fantasy right before it, so she seemed destined for better. May be some redemption in the works for her here.
#12- Odd Trek (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- When I looked at the KYO last month, Odd Trek looked like a horse who would be one to watch over the summer months more then the in the KYO itself. She was beginning to assert herself at this level and won the SUN Oaks to get her into the big race. In the KYO, she ran in the middle of the field, placing eighth. So, if this is still a growing horse, then I could see her taking another step forward here and getting a piece of this purse. If the odds get high on her, take a shot.
#13- Precise Performance (Mb Stables, ridden by J K Court)- Despite the actual odds that she went off at, Precise Performance was seen as one of the favorites by most trainers in the game for the KYO. She would run well, finishing fifth and being within a length, but that finish does not pay anything in the end. Here, she will have to overcome an outside post which is something that she really has not had to deal with much in her career. As one who likes to run midpack early, it could be interesting to see how that plays out.
#14- Mad Mistress (Jokerjoes, ridden by J Talamo)- Starting from the outside, Mad Mistress could not have been happy with the post draw. She was on pretty good form heading into the KYO, which is highlighted by winning the Gazelle in a dead heat with Lil Baby Bomber. However, things did not go her way in the KYO, and she could only manage an 11th place finish. Therefore, like others in here that did not run well in the KYO, you have to wonder what kind of adjustments will be made to turn that result around.