Dogwood (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
CD- For Fillies Three Years Old
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
September 23, 2023
Taking a look at the action at CD on Saturday, we get started with a race that recovered its graded designation after losing that status for six years. This is a race that has been very different throughout its history, with multiple distances having been run, and then originating as a Grade 3 and before losing that classification in 2016. It has not been run every year, either, possibly due to it not filling. Its purse was stuck at $100.000 for the longest time, as well. In 2021, after a one-year hiatus, the Dogwood returned to run for $275.000 and after it did that for two years, and it bounced back to a Grade 3 race. The 2022 winner of this stake was Matamata, for Smokey Stover, who did so on the heels of a disappointing effort at the Alabama and it would set off a string of great form which she is still on to this day. Seven fillies will be heading to the starting gate for this one, and here’s a look at them!
#1- Smokin Cara (Alydar Stables, ridden by G W Corbett)- Either this filly wins, or she struggles. Out of eleven career starts, she has ended up with five victories, highlighted by the Grade 3 Miss PS at PIM. When she doesn’t win, she failed to even hit the board, so at some point this filly has got to get some consistency going. Her last race was Grade 3 Victory Ride at BEL, where she was way back early before closing late to be fifth. She likes to run that style, but the further back she is early, the worse her record is. I really don’t want to see her back by more than four lengths at first call, otherwise I feel it’s a bad omen.
#2- Siouxbiscuit (Mb Stables, ridden by F Prat)- If this one could be a little more fortunate at the wire, her name might be talked about alongside some of the best three-year-old fillies going right now. Three times in her last five races, she has been second in a very tight photo at the finish, and that’s in the Fantasy (Grade 3), Eight Belles (Grade 2), and the Test (Grade 1). Narrowly, we could be talking about her winning all of those, but instead her only graded win is the Forward Gal in February at GP where she had the upper hand in one of close photos. Didn’t run well in the Victory Ride, which is of slight concern. In that, Smokin Cara smoked her in the stretch with her late bid.
#3- Long Term Parking (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by A Cedillo)- Comes out of the Alabama, where she was a distant seventh. About as distant as Matamata was in that race when she came here to end up winning before setting her career off in a very positive direction. Is there reason to think that Long Term Parking can do the same thing? She was a lot better in the mud at IND, when she won, topping Up She Flew in the process. Long Term Parking would be good on an off track, but unlike the forecast for PRX, as of right now, CD is looking good weather-wise.
#4- Up She Flew (Riggins Racing, ridden by Mar Garcia)- After Up She Flew was defeated by Long Term Parking in the IND Oaks, no one has been able to stop. She did have a solid third place effort at IND, and hoped to gain momentum off of that when she made her way to SAR for an open allowance. Up She Flew would first be entered into an open allowance, which she ended up winning by two lengths. A month later in the slop, she had a bigger test, the Grade 1 Ballerina, and she aced that as well, winning that also by two lengths. It must be noted, though, that in each of them she had a sizeable weight allowance which she will not have in this race.
#5- Alice Springs (London Racing, ridden by G Corrales)- Started her career off right, placing second on debut and then winning her next two, including the $150.000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at TP. While she was looking like a possible KYO entry at that point, she would not end up going there, and instead took part in the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan at PIM where she was fourth of six. Two more fourth place finishes have followed, including in the IND Oaks against the two starting to her inside here, as well as the CT Oaks. She is out of We Will See, and that sums up my opinion of her. I want to see her step up here.
#6- Liberty Lake (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by S Elliott)- The last three races for this filly have come on the grass, with two of them being part of the NY Stallion Stakes: Joy and the Liberty, and she was second in each of them. Off of that, the trainer entered her in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa, and she finished in the middle of the field. Therefore, D J C Racing Stables is bringing her back to the main track, and she’s won her last two on this surface, including the Bouwerie for NY-Breds. A couple of these seem a little too tough for her, but I also don’t think it’s unreasonable. Must bring her A-Game.
#7- Antares Mission (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by J Talamo)- Claimed by the trainer in February for $25.000, which has proven to be quite a bargain to this point with the potential of turning into something much greater. In all but one race since the claim, Antares Mission has been either first or second, with the last three races being ungraded stakes for either $150.000 or $175.000, and all run at seven furlongs. She is here off a win in the Audubon Oaks over at ELP, and now she will look to build on that even further in her first graded race. I still don’t think we have seen her at her best, but she will be up against the toughest crowd she has ever seen here.