Taylor Stakes (Grade 1)- $600.000 Purse
WO- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Turf
October 18, 2020
The Pattison is not the only exciting race at WO on Sunday, as the ladies will get their chance to run for a big purse as well in the 15th running of the Taylor Stakes. This ten furlong event on the grass offers a $600.000 purse, a number that is constant with what it ran for last year. However, the days of a decade ago when it would run $1,000.000 seem to be long gone. The starting gate will be full as a field of thirteen will head to the starting gate. Last year, this race was won by Estero Farms and Trippi Tip Toe. That one has been retired within the week, having run in the Flower Bowl but amazingly has already given birth to a foal. Let’s take a look at this field, and hope they do well, but perhaps one that does run well will be a mom by next week.
#1- No Signal (Mb Stables, ridden by J Bisono)- Since winning the Grade 3 Santa Barbara in May, there has been no sign of No Signal anywhere near the top three. Her two races that followed could use a wet track as an excuse, but in her last start, the turf was firm for the Grade 3 Waya, and she picked up a couple sevens. Seventh in a seven horse field, seven lengths out. Honestly, the Santa Barbara may look like more of a fluke when looking at the races that were before that. Never count out anything from this stable, but her trainer is the best thing she has going for her.
#2- Investment Return (Grimley, ridden by O Mojica)- Nice to see Grimley back at the track in a Grade 1, and this is the best horse in the barn right now if we go off of earnings. She has picked up three wins in five races in 2020, but until her last start, she had not been able to elevate her game in the graded level. Finally, a good sign for that occurred late last month in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel, where she won. Now, with the stakes much higher she has a great chance to build on it.
#3- Beggars Benison (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by J Lezcano)- Her older full brother has more name recognition; you know him as Sweet Sweat, a horse that was recently retired and put to stud. Beggars Benison is the only other foal that was bred between Cherokee Sunset and Enticing, and she has done fairly well herself. That does not include a graded win yet, but she has three wins in ten starts, and did capture the NY Stallion Stakes- Joy in June. This is a tough crowd, but certainly it is in the blood. I’m turned off by her BEL Oaks run, though.
#4- Tightrope Walker (Diablo Diablo, ridden by G Saez)- The most scary part about her coming into this race off of only nine days of rest is that there is one in here with even less rest then her. This Z Cars filly has run at this level before, but you have to turn back the calendar several pages before you see those races. Last ran on the 9th, at HAW, and won an optional claimer by three lengths. Diablo Diablo was so impressed by that, so here she is. Now, prior to the optional claimer win, she was idle over 90 days, so this isn’t as much of a tight rope as the other one doing similar.
#5- Unmistakable (Mb Stables, ridden by Mar Garcia)- Not sure what happened to this one late last month, where she has a dismal performance in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive. After all, the prior start, the DMR Oaks was similar in condition and was much better. The trainer is not worried about that, and is either confident that the Rodeo Drive will not happen again. Either that, or he is crossing his fingers.
#6- Maggie Greene (The Sidley Stud, ridden by M Tunon)- Speaking of The Rodeo Drive, here is a horse that will not have bad memories of it. Maggie Greene didn’t win the race like she did in 2019, but her third place effort was the best of any of the horses in this field that are coming out of it. The veteran of 36 races had a three race winning streak earlier this year that included the $1,000.000 Grade 2 NY at BEL. She has been fine and competitive since then, and more of the same should be expected here. Maggie Greene has a very good shot here.
#7- Blue Caviar (Waldo, ridden by J Lermyte)- With her last race, finishing third in the Grade 2 Mabee Stakes last month, Blue Caviar was able to eclipse $1,000.000 in career earnings. It was a race that represented a change for her, making her turf debut after exclusively running on the dirt, so for her to be back here the trainer is obviously happy with the way that race went. This is a step up from that, and while I think she can be competitive here, I can’t make her one of my picks.
#8- Franke (Australia Wide, ridden by S Ryan)- This trainer is keeping a much lower profile then we have been used to seeing, but it is good to see his silks appearing from time to time. Franke is his top active horse right now, and has won three of seven races this year, highlighted by the Grade 2 CD Distaff Turf Mile in May. She has begun to stretch it out a little longer, and the horse/jockey combination clicked well here last month in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, where she was second.
#9- Illustrious Cat (John Henry, ridden by G Franco)- Five days after she placed fifth in an open allowance, the filly was sold to John Henry for $120.000. She has picked up a couple of graded wins in her career, but you have to look down quite a bit in her past performances now to find them. Made her debut with her new trainer in an ambitious spot, the Grade 1 Diana, and she was near the rear of the field. That did not deter the confidence of the trainer.
#10- Faction Paradox (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by M J Sanchez)- Let’s begin by looking at all her past wins. Okay, done. Trainer has entered her in ungraded stakes before, and has been second but even if she did win those races, I would still think she is over her head. But, this is HRP.
#11- Silly Sue (Crocker Ggs, ridden by J Stein)- Started the year off right, winning the $75.000 Lilly Stakes and then stepping up to take the Grade 3 Very One at GP in late February. Since then, she has not won, and her races have been decent. You wouldn’t look at any of them and say she was disappointing, and a third place run in the NY is something to be proud of. At the same time, there is nothing that really wows you about her past. Against lesser competition, I would like her a lot more, but right here, I cannot get excited.
#12- Ete Creek (Gdp Inc, ridden by A Beschizza)- The post here for Ete Creek is going to be very important, because this is a horse that has been very accustomed to starting out of post #2 or #3. Her last race saw her placed fourth in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive, a strong effort that followed up the win in the Grade 1 DMR Oaks. Overall, this still three year old filly has done well in everything the trainer has asked her to go, but now that will mean beginning from the outside. She will be in the mix, and do not rule her out.
#13- Mrs Nussbaums Credit (Arindel, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Well, I think this is a first for me: covering the same horse in back to back weeks in the SRF. I was disappointed with her race, on October 10th, when she was non factor in the QE II Challenge Cup. Obviously, the trainer threw that out immediately. Arindel is the same trainer that brought me Pennies. Remember Pennies. Never forget her. But she had nine days. Mrs Nussbaums Credit only gets eight. Plus, post thirteen.