9 CD Fleur De Lis Handicap (GII) [BC]
$200.000 4yo&Up F&M 1 1/8m Dirt Handicap Weights
The gate should be full for the 2020 Fleu De Lis Hcp (GII), to be run at the mile and an eighth distance, here in Louisville. We have a full field and an AE ready to go this classic distance and I landed on Blue Caviar (again) as my top choice. I really like this filly and with six wins in seventeen starts, I’m sure the connections do as well. She was sixth in the Apple Blossom (GI) but I’ll give her a pass for that one and look for a big run today. I’ll put Steel Calling right behind that one to make my exacta – she was a hard-luck second in the Ruffian (GII) last out, and her speed always makes her a danger.
It’s a real nice group of horses and you could certainly make a case for any number of these, so let’s grab a cold snack and sit back for this battle… it should be a good one.
Here’s The Field –
Her three race win streak came to an end when she was third in the License Fee at BEL last out, and she led most of the way in that one. She has some real tactical speed which is something I’m always in favor of. This is another step up in class and it will be interesting to see if she is this type of horse.
Purchased from the Mar Auction and that second in the Santa Maria (GII) is enough to tell you she was a smart purchase. She was second beaten a nose in the Locust Grove (GIII) over this track back late last summer, and this looks like a spot where she can make her presence felt. I look for a big effort today.
I love this filly and I know she hasn’t won in a while but I always expect big things from her. She was second in the HOU Ladies Classic (GIII) and the same beaten a neck in the Beholder (GI) at SA, both of those on wet tracks. She didn’t show much last out in the Apple Blossom (GI) but that OP track can be tricky in my opinion. I look for her to be a big factor in this one.
Was fairly consistent last year, then ran a bad race at AQU facing state-bred stakes horses, so they gave her 6 months off and it’s been a game changer. She’s won both of her return races, an Alw race at GP then she took the Milkmaid at PIM last out. So now they move her up to graded horses and she looks as good as ever, so why not?
Has struggled when facing stakes company and it doesn’t get any easier in this one. Closed out ’19 with a fifth at AQU vs. stakes company, and has two fair Alw races in ’20, but was ninth in the Orchid (GIII) her only stakes start of the season. She’s been a turf horse of late, so maybe the switch back to the dirt helps to wake her up.
No wins this season but she’s been improving with each start. Ninth in her ’20 debut vs. graded horses, then fifth vs. non-graded foes, but was the co-runner-up at PIM last out when beaten three lengths in the Allaire Distaff (GIII). If she can keep the improvement coming, maybe she gets the job done here.
Solid race when missing a nose in the Ruffian (GII) at BEL last out. She has nine wins from twenty-nine starts, so she knows her way to the winner’s circle and she’s is never far away when they hit the wire. Give her a big shot in this one as Mb doesn’t enter just to see his silks.
Her only seasonal win came vs. Alw foes at FG but she was closing late in the fore-mentioned Santa Maria (GII) where she was sixth beaten a length. She’s another that will need her best if she was to get paid today, as this is another tough field.
Got the job done at GG taking down OptAlw foes in that one. She won the Turnback The Alarm (GIII) at AQU back in Nov, and another race like that would put her in the picture. The question is, does she have that kind of race in her?
Back-to-back wins including a nice win in the Shawnee over this surface last out. She closed well to get the job done in that one, and won an Alw race at PRX prior to that, so let’s see if she can keep the win-streak going. She really is never far away, so I’d use her in the exotics.
Sold at the Mar Auction for $131.010 and got the job done in the first start back for the new connections, winning an OptAlw race at TAM. Since then it was a fifth and and fourth vs. graded horses, which she see again in this one. She won two GI races last season, so if she can rekindle that kind of race, she could be tough.
Got back to the wining ways taking an OptAlw race at PIM in her most recent. Her win prior to that was vs. Cal-bred stakes horses back in Jun of last year, so she went eleven months between victories. I think it’s going to be a tough day from this post unless she finds something more.
This one will need some luck to draw into the field and I’m not really sure she wants any parts of this bunch anyway. Four wins in her last six starts but not looking at horses like this.
Categories: FEATURED STORIES, Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES