The Smart Dancer (G2) has attracted nine runners into the 9 furlong turf race. The entrants have won more than 60 races combined with Chromes No Bid leading the way with 16. The field is open to fillies and mares age three or older. Here’s a look at the competition.
1 CRACKED AND LOADED 9/2-This filly has the fewest wins in the field with only 2 over 20 races and has been winless since January, 2016. She does come in as one of the favorites and her recent form shows like she may be ready to break out. She comes off a near-miss third in the Whole Time (G3) closing hard and short by three quarter of a stride. In her prior start, the G3 Kentucky Distaff, she was a dozen off the lead at the half and sliced the deficit to just over three lengths at the wire, finishing fourth. She’s showing good hard closing ability of late, amplified by a second in a listed stake back in mid-April where she notched a 115 speed, her best. Promising despite her lack of winner circle visits.
2 PURPIE CRYSTAL 35/1-The youngest of the bunch, at age three, this filly has won four of eight turf starts and has a win in a listed stake that happened back in March. She makes her grade level debut in this race which follows a disappointing sixth in a listed stake. Her speeds are a concern as she has yet to hit the triple digits and she just does not seem to have mastered the listed level yet. May be asking too much in this race.
3 READYASI’LLEVERBE 7/1-Gained a listed stake win last November gong gate to wire and hitting best 111 speed. She followed that with two off the board finishes in listed events in early 2016 unable to get the early lead and tiring. She dipped back into allowance in her last try where she was able to beat the field with a run on the front and notched a 106 speed rating. This six year old has 8 turf wins to her credit and looks rather compelling in allowance competition, but the listed stakes have presented her with some troubles that I believe will follow her as she climbs the ladder.
4 GOLDEN HOARD 9/2-A rough start to 2016 for this filly who tried a listed stake and tumbled to a 10th place finish which was on the heels of a solid win in her previous start where she his a 115 speed. But things got better as she recovered with a win in an allowance race in March that set the pathway to another listed stake run last month with a win that she was able to snag in deep stretch. She looks ready for tougher competition and will take on that task as she escalates into this G3 race.
5 VORSOISSON 9/2-This eight time winning lady loves the lead and will be fighting every step of the way. She returned to turf racing this season after a long hiatus from the surface, winning an allowance in February with a solid 109 speed. She followed this with a second and a third, both at the allowance level and then moved to her first turf listed stake race in early June. While she was not able to build a significant early lead that she normally does, she was able to hold on to the top spot and win by more than a length and hitting a 111 speed for her second race in a row. She looks versatile on both dirt and turf surfaces and is currently on a good run with the turf. She should perform well in this race as she tries out the grade level.
6 DARK CONGREGATION 19/1-After a long string of dirt races, this four year old moved to the turf for the first time in April. She took on a field of listed stake runners and finished eighth. While the finishing position is not that great, it should be noted that she was only a length and a half off the winner in a close finish at a 6f distance. She bumped things up in her second turf start which was last month in the G1 Breeders Bowl. Here she was overmatched and finished last, not being a factor in the event that went a mile. She hasn’t hit the board yet on the turf, but looks like she could do well on the surface, possibly in sprints. She’s an outsider here as she looks outclassed.
7 THE GREY SPARROW 7/2-An 8-time winner who has been consistent over the past year in running speeds of 100 or better. She has been a bit choppy this season with a record of 2-0-1 in five starts. Perhaps she is a bit tempermental as when she’s focused, she can be strong and hit speeds over 110. If she gets distracted, hitting the board can be a challenge. She comes off a nice 3rd, missing out in a photo in the G3 Morning Julep with a 112 speed. If she replicates this effort, the results could be much better this time.
8 CHROMES NO BID 5/1-A five year old filly who has won 16 times in 27 races. Despite this record, she is winless in four grade races. In six starts this year, she has won half with two in allowance and one in a listed stake. Her last four races have netted speeds over 105 and she enters in after finishing 6th in the Epicenter (G2), her first grade race since early 2016. This five year old likes to be near the front and there is a lot of early speed in this race. If she gets too aggressive early on, it could spell trouble for her. I think if she can wait a bit and save something for a late run that could give her an advantage.
9 FIERI 6/1-A very good allowance runner who has been ITM in each of her last 6 starts at this level. Stakes/Grade level have been a bit different with her being ITM twice in her last 6 races with both being wins. In February, she ran a monster 114 speed in a listed stake and bringing home the win. Only to falter in the G3 Hill Side Challenge where she was 11th and a slower 100. She took a near three month break and fired a 111 in an allowance race last month, winning by a quarter stride. She makes her second start after a decent break and since her first race back was impressive, the second could be even better.
Vorsoisson is settling in nicely with move back to turf, like that enough for top pickings.
Golden Hoard looks to be going in the right direction and gets second selection.
Fieri could repeat and pull the upset.