Better Later Than Never: It’s Mother Goose Time at AQU

The Mother Goose (Grade 2)- $250.000 Purse
AQU- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
October 28, 2023

After 18 years of being run at BEL, The Mother Goose is the next race to move from that track to the Big A, as the virtual renovations take place at BEL. This race is a former Grade 1, holding that status from 2005 until 2016, when it received the downgrade to a Grade 2. That did not affect the purses though, as throughout its history, it’s been run for $250.000 or $300.000. What is different about this race, however, is the time of year that it is run, as we had become accustomed to seeing it at the end of June. Last year, we saw a dead heat for the win between Arindel’s Ask Forfree Delivery, and D J C Racing Stables’ Venezia. The latter has been retired and now serves a broodmare but Ask Forfree Delivery is still running competitively and got a Grade 3 win last month. For the 2023 race, we will have a field of ten headed to the starting gate. Let’s take a look at them!

#1- Victorious Secret (Acber Farms, ridden by Ru Silvera)- This filly is looking for redemption after a disappointing performance fin the Grade 1 Cotillion, where she was at the back to start and only made very marginal progress. Closing has been her style of late, and it worked out very well for her in the Grade 1 Acorn, getting up for third against some of the best in her division. Even in the slop at the MTH Oaks, she had an excellent come from behind effort. So, maybe the Cotillion is a throw out. The best horses from that race are probably running at SA in a week, too.

#2- Childe Girl (Nakamura Stables, ridden by V Del-Cid)- Picked up very cheaply in the March auction from Mb Stables, for just $7.110. That’s noteworthy to me, because Mb doesn’t usually let a horse get away like that. Since picking her up, Nakamura Stables has run Childe Girl twice, and has one win which was in an optional claimer at DMR. Also, she did run a respectable fourth Monomoy Girl. It still remains to be seen how good she may get under the guidance of Nakamura Stables, but he has done a good job with her thus far.

#3- Soviet Spy (Nakamura Stables, ridden by I Castillo)- She’s had more experience running in the silks of Nakamura Stables, as she is a homebred of the trainer. Began her career hot, winning four of her first races, highlighted by the $100.000 Crescent City Oaks for LA-Breds. The best result on her record may actually be when she was second in June at the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks. Following that, she tried to go a bit longer in the Alabama, and finished in the middle of the field but was passed by a few in the stretch. I’d like her more, but I am concerned about that work on September 16th. As we know, there can be many reasons for a subpar time.

#4- Be Exceptional (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by A Cedillo)- In 15 starts, Be Exceptional has only been a winner on two occasions, and neither of them were in any of the stakes that she has been entered in. While she has not been exceptional, she has been productive in those races, cashing fourth place checks in the Wonder Again and the DEL Oaks, and then a third-place run in the $175.000 Seneca. That’s something, but we all know that’s not making a profit. It does seem as though she could be on the verge of breaking out, and that’s just a matter of when, and not if.

#5- Not A Fighter (Grimley, ridden by E Jaramillo)- A lightly raced filly with only five starts up to this point. The first four came with Mb Stables, but when that trainer put her in a $30.000 maiden claimer, Grimley scooped her up for that price. A month later, he would enter her in the $125.000 ONT Damsel Stakes, where she would go wire to wire, opening up by as many as five lengths at one point before settling for the single length victory. There’s still plenty of upside on this one, and this is a much more challenging test for her. She’s earned the chance and will probably be quick out of the gate again.

#6- Swiss Chocolate (Riggins Racing, ridden by W Martinez)- This is another filly that has really been coming into her own quite nicely of late. She’s won four of ten, but four of those come in her last six starts. a stretch that started with breaking her maiden and ended with a victory in the $200.000 Fleet Indian for NY-Breds up at SAR at the end of August. Off of that, she would be entered into the graded ranks for the first time and did great, finishing second in the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes at SA. She’s come back east and hopes to remain hot.

#7- Muddy Buddy (Mb Stables, ridden by D E Centeno)- Mb may have let two get away from him that are in this field, but of course, that does not stop him from having a good runner in the field himself, and Muddy Buddy is about as good as it will get in a non-BC race a week before the BC. She had a stretch of three wins in four races, which included the Grade 1 Alabama at SAR, where she went wire to wire in the run. The DEL Oaks, right before that, was also a nice score. She did run in the KYO and was a non-factor even though she only beaten by a length. Last month, Muddy Buddy struggled in the Cotillion, so despite being 10th on the leaderboard for the BC Distaff, the trainer likely has picked others for that and sends this filly here.

#8- Twilight Time (Fractious, ridden by D Davis)- In her last start, Twilight Time came from near the back to win an optional claimer right here at AQU. It was a nice effort, but in the three starts right before that, she was a non-factor in graded races. It may be that she just needed the confidence booster, and if so, she should have gotten that. However, Twilight Time has simply been unable to step up when entered into graded stakes, and she has had numerous opportunities. She’s still young enough now to say she can still figure it out, but that’s going to need to come soon.

#9- In Progress (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by F Geroux)- This filly has made six starts, with the first four coming in overnights for Crocker Ggs. TwinTowersRacing picked her up in private sales in late June, and she would win her first race, an allowance, for her new trainer, six weeks later. The result certainly excited her new trainer, as she was then entered into the Grade 3 RP Oaks, and she narrowly missed out on winning that as well, instead placing second by a neck. That performance would only increase one’s confidence in her, and she should still have plenty of upside.

#10- Wasabi (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Over her last six starts, Wasabi has alternated wins with non-wins, a pattern that the trainer would love to see continue at least for one more race. There’s one stake in that mix, the $50.000 Niagara Stakes at FL for NY-Breds in July. Her last start was a very similar race, just at a longer distance, and she was third in the Better Be Rite Stakes. She’s never finished worse than fourth for her career and deserves this chance to run in this type of race. She’s not going to be one of the favorites here, but the NY-Bred still may get it done.

Prediction: 6-7-9-5

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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