Dowager (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
KEE- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
October 22, 2023
Seven fillies and mares will be heading to the starting gate on Sunday for the 17th running of the Dowager, a race that will take them the maximum mile and a half around the turf course at KEE. The Dowager was an ungraded stake originally and would receive its graded designation in 2015. That did not lead to a purse increase at the time, as it still only ran for $125.000. In 2022, that purse saw a sizeable increase, to the present day $300.000. Taking well-known the win that day was Common Misconception, for Nakamura Stables. The filly is still active and running competitively at the graded level. Other past winners include Valibert in 2011, who impressively did so while carrying 130 pounds, which was 6-9 pounds more than all the others in the field. Devil Wears Prada is another well-known winner, doing so in 2015, so the purse levels have not always had to be big in order to draw top quality horses. Interestingly, three of our seven horses this year have earned less than $100.000, and we really do not have that one standout in the field. Let’s take a look at our participants!
#1- Horing Gal (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J J Castellano)- Only made four starts, and didn’t really do anything exciting in them, winning only her maiden race at FE. For her, it’s not about what she has done in the past, and more what the trainer is hoping that she will be able to do in her future. The trainer stretches her out, on the heels of closing ground at ELP quite well in late August. Off of that, I like running her the distance, but don’t know if I would have targeted a Grade 3 with her quite yet. That said, if you want the distance, finding the right race can be tough.
#2- Cp Choosen Farley (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by P Lopez)- Oh boy, it’s another horse that will have me checking to make sure that I spell the name incorrectly to the conventional spelling. Mo Mentum Farm doesn’t care how it’s spelled (well, maybe he does a little bit), he just knows he claimed a good one in March and has been regularly running her in $100.000 ungraded stakes. That’s a type of race her previous trainer had choosen for her, though she’s still looking for her first win at this level. Won a starter allowance at SAR at this distance in July.
#3- Drunk Pinata (Keikowin Racing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Made her debut in October 2021, and then took the next year and a half off. It either did her a world of good, or it’s a missed opportunity to have had a stronger career to this point. She’s won twice in her four starts in 2023, and that includes a win at a mile and three eighths at DMR for the $100.000 CTT Stakes. It earned her a 97 SRF, and there’s no reason to think that she cannot build on that more here, especially when this field is not exactly loaded.
#4- Summer Dance (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by M Pinto)- In twelve career starts, this filly has won six times and has been second five other times. So, naturally, she’s got a good career earnings amount, right? Well, not exactly. She’s only made $28.040, as much of her career has been spent at free tracks. Team 7 Illusions is not going to keep that up, though, and claimed the filly for $5.000 in September, then got an optional claiming win with her at FE last month, at a mile and a half. Obviously, this is a big step up, but I like placing her here, actually. The potential may be there, so why not see what she’s really got. It’s not a deep field, so she may get it done.
#5- Sin City Girlz (Czech Out Farms, ridden by J L Ortiz)- If we were going to say the race had a headliner, it would be Sin City Girlz. In 26 starts, she’s won eight times and has been especially good since being claimed by Czech Out Farms last year. She’d win three straight, and four out of five, highlighted by the Grade 3 Very One at GP, an eleven-furlong race, and did so by four lengths. In her last three race, she has hit the board in three graded races, but was still soundly beaten in two of them. That type of effort may still get it done here today.
#6- Happy Native (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by L Saez)- One of the horses in the field that has not hit $100.000 in earnings yet, and it will be her 14th starts. We’ve mostly seen her in allowances over her career but has recently been moved up. At first, she was run on the dirt in the Shuvee, and the result screamed to put her back on the grass. Last month, she was a solid third on soft going at the Grade 3 Noble Damsel. Anyone can win this race, and I expect her to be in the mix, but her inconsistency is a tad concerning.
#7- Mo Cuishle (Royalty Stables, ridden by L Dettori)- This filly has never failed to pick up some sort of the purse for her trainer, and she has been able to step up into the stakes ranks quite well. Took on Happy Native in the Noble Damsel and was one spot better than her on the soft turf that day. Between the two of them, I like the consistency of Mo Cuishle a lot more. I’ll be interested in seeing the tactic used on her, as she has liked to set the pace a lot, but in the Noble Damsel, she came from the back. Certainly, this is not a horse to rule out.