The Orchid (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
GP- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Inner Turf
April 2, 2022
We could see history here in The Orchid. Unfortunately, there is not a convenient place to look at the stake history of everything that is run within the game, but in all of my years in writing for the SRF, I don’t think this has ever happened. We have the chance to witness the same horse win the same stake for four consecutive years. The same stable winning it is an accomplish enough, but for a single horse to do it, is a whole new level. That is the task for Maggie Greene here on Saturday. She’s won the race in each of the last three for The Sidley Stud, all with having J R Velazquez aboard, and they will get together again. There are ten horses in here that she is going to have to find a way to beat, and that includes some very talented ones, but no matter what they have done, all of the eyes are on Maggie Greene. Let’s get some more on her, and then everyone else!
#1- Maggie Greene (The Sidley Stud, ridden by J R Velazquez)- We can get right to the horse that everyone is interested in watching. It is truly remarkable that a horse would win the same graded stake three years in a row, given how difficult our virtual world can be. Maggie Greene has had a fantastic career, winning sixteen of 51 career starts, and earning over $4,000.000. In The Orchid, she has always been up to the task, and she comes here off a win in the Grade 3 Very One, so she is on good form. It is the fourth time in a row that she has run in those two races back to back and it’s actually the first time she won the Very One. Hopefully she puts forth a great effort.
#2- Secret Eyes (Arindel, ridden by C J Hernandez)- Arindel and the rest of the trainers in the race will be hoping for a different ending to The Orchid, and being able to say that they ended the streak. Secret Eyes was especially good over the summer last year, winning the MTH Oaks then running second in the Alabama. However, she never sustained that over the long term, and even though she was able to take part in the BC Distaff, bettors have not cashed in anything with her, other than for the runner up in the Grade 3 Frankel. 2022 has not been kind to her, but the year is still young.
#3- Into The Darkness (Rampage Stable, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- This filly has won three of 13, and two of them are stake wins. Her career highlight is the Grade 3 Valley View from KEE in late October last year. Otherwise, Into The Darkness has not really been able to step up into bigger races, and she was flat in the Grade 3 American Oaks two back. That saw her get dropped down into an optional claimer, and she ran well, placing third but involved in a close three-way photo for the win. This is the type of race that, at minimum, we’d like to see this filly settle into and continue to churn out strong results like she did at KEE.
#4- Build Battle (Mb Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- After running fourth in the BEL Oaks, Build Battle was sold by prior trainer LionKing Stables to Mb Stables for $250.000, and she has made four starts since for the new trainer. Her best effort came in September, where she was second in the $700.000 Jockey Club Oaks at BEL, but a month later she would struggle in the Grade 1 Taylor. Only once since has she hit the track, an optional claimer at SA that she won last month. If she just needed a little rest to forget about the Taylor, that should do it, but I believe she has always proven herself to be a good one. This is a good step for her to build back better to return to Grade 1’s.
#5- Starshopdotcom (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by G Saez)- Lately, this filly has been doing a little bit of everything, sprinting, routing, and running on both grass and dirt. She’s won just two of 17 starts, so the trainer may still be looking to find the best conditions for her to show her talents, and since October and that same Taylor race that got Build Battle some time off, Starshopdotcom has not been within three lengths of the winner at the finish.
#6- Along Comes Mary (La Canada Racehorses, ridden by J Talamo)- The No Returns filly is coming off a strong three year old campaign that saw her win four times, and hit the board in eight of eleven races. She’s been running well in overnights, but she has a noticeable pattern in her history where she just can’t seem to step up and run well in a graded stakes. La Canada keeps giving her chances, and she did put out a bullet work before heading out here. Still, she’s going to have to prove herself at this level as she meets some tough company and an overall deep field.
#7- Chai State (Smokey Stover, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- Placed second in the Grade 1 QE II Challenge Cup in October, but after failing to back that up in her next race, we have not seen Chai State running at the high levels again. In fact, she was dropped down into overnights after that seventh place run in the Long Island for her next three races. She would win them all, and that gave her another chance to run graded, and she got her picture taken with Maggie Greene at the wire in the Very One last one.
#8- Jackie Trip (Gdp Inc, ridden by M Murrill)- This one is also coming out of the Very One, and she was the final horse to complete the trifecta in the race. She was a length behind Maggie Greene and Chai State, but with a little more distance here, there is no reason to think that she cannot turn the tables on both of them. For Jackie Trip, the Very One was her graded debut, and it came after winning an N1X allowance the month prior. Still lightly run, with just four starts made thus far.
#9- Pink Kitten (Threshold, ridden by R Chirinos)- A veteran six year old mare that will be making her 29th career start, hoping it results in her ninth win. She has not made many trips to the winners circle recently however, as since the beginning of 2021, she only has one win, coming in May of that year in a $75.000 FL-bred stake. Hasn’t cashed many checks, but interestingly one race where she did was the Grade 1 Taylor, a race talked about previously here as being an Achilles’ heel for others. Not much to be excited about after it.
#10- Nurses (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by E T Baird)- As an outsider, it’s a little hard to come up with a diagnosis on this one. She doesn’t run poorly, often hitting the board, or placing fourth in the races that she is entered in, and she has found more consistency now as she gets older. On the flip side, she doesn’t have that one race where I can look at and think that is her signature win or an otherwise great result, and that’s why I have a little trouble with her getting a feel. Mostly been running in overnights, and around the mile distance so this will be the first time she attempts to go a full twelve. It’s also her graded debut.
#11- Made The Choice High (First Flight Stable, ridden by D E Centeno)- A long time veteran of the races, and now this six year old mare will be making her 41st career start. She was a slow developer, taking quite some time to break her maiden, but eventually did and continued to progress. On St Patrick’s Day last year, First Flight Stable claimed her for $20.000, and hoped to get lucky with the investment. She’s won once since, but mostly has been finishing third but doing it in ungraded stakes, or smaller graded ones like this one. One thing she has never done in a race though: start from a double digit post.
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES