The filly version of this sprint is the Union Jack Flyer, honoring the legacy of an eight time Grade I winner and earner of over 5 million dollars. She was either first or second in twenty six out of thirty four lifetime starts, a true testament of her consistency. Another full field awaits to compete for the bigger piece of the $ 1,250,000 prize, let us get to know them:
1. She’s a Brewty – MILWAUKEE BREW x WANTED (AUS) x CLASSIC CAT
Four year old lightly raced filly that comes from the Racing HQ Residency. For the most part, she has been competing in shorter distances, and her preferred one is five and one half furlongs, in which she has obtained all her five-lifetime scores. One of those wins was in the listed Bluffy Cat Dirt Filly Dash, in what so far is her lone stakes win. It is clear she has not been tested against such quality opponents like the ones she will face this Saturday, but she is still learning the game, and she can be a nice sprinter down the road. For now, she has two main obstacles going against her; her inexperience versus Grade I level fillies and the extra furlong she will have to travel. Her trainer 3dddz will instruct her jockey to send her right out of the gate and then see what happens when the closers come roaring in the stretch. If she wins, she will be a major surprise, but do not discount her chances later in the year against the likes of these.
2. Cavs Win – MEDAGLIA D’ORO x DISTORTED HUMOR x GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
Seeing what the Cleveland Cavaliers have done after imploding their team, recently, she will be somewhat of a luck charm play. Representing the host residency, the Universal Racing Club, this filly had a very productive 2017, with four win, two of them coming in stakes races. The big question mark for her is how well she will perform now that she is climbing up the ladder to graded stakes company. This race will be this filly’s debut in 2018, and she has been working splendidly towards her return. She will definitely need to improve significantly anything she has done to have a fighting chance in this event, but her trainer rabid5 is looking forward to this Saturday, to watch his silks parading in such a prestigious event. Her best efforts have come at much shorter distances, which is why she should be a prominent sight from when the gates open. Cannot be considered one of the main threats, but can be a nice low end exotics bet.
3. Sea the Causeway – SEA THE MOON (GER) x STREET CRY x GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
She is the entrant from the Megapolis Residency, and over the last year more or less, she has been running in races much longer than the six and a half furlong she will travel on Saturday. In speaking with her trainer and owner deeprock21, training has concentrated in trying to get her a little more quickly out of the apparatus, because she has been routing, so paces of the races are much slower than she will encounter on Saturday. Her last effort was a winning one, coming from the garden spot to score in the listed Frostfang Dirt Mare Stayer on New Year’s Day at chilly British Columbia. If she can accommodate herself in a nice stalking position, she has the lung capacity to be a factor for the low-end exotics. But for the win, she will need to prove she belongs with these kind of Grade I fillies, and that, and the question of the distance, are high hurdles to overcome. Tough read, but I’ll pass.
4. I Choose – SIDNEY’S CANDY x A.P. INDY x DANZIG
Six-year-old veteran mare that represents the Midas Residency. Her 2016 campaign was extremely impressive, with four wins, including two stakes races and a solid second place finish in this same race two years ago. The problem is that 2017 was not very kind to her, with only one win, and that was in a restricted allowance race, and looks like she is not the same filly that competed in this event in 2016. Her trainer victorious has taken the cautious approach with her, with just one start in the last three months, looking to inject some new life in her trainee. In talking to him, he still is confident on her mare’s ability to perform at a high level, but understands she needs to step it up big time for that to happen. She likes to come from the garden spot and make a single move, but I suspect we can see a change of tactics for this race, maybe getting her farther off the pace. Anyway, from we can see in her last efforts, she cannot be one of the top choices. Improvement needed.
5. Alondrina – MALIBU MOON x GIANT’S CAUSEWAY x SEEKING THE GOLD
Our friends from the SIM Hispano Residency sent out this Malibu Moon filly to be their flag bearer. Out of a Grade III winner, her lifetime record is solid: six wins and twelve on the board finishes out of thirteen lifetime races. The main concern with her is that when she has been asked to climb up the ladder to the stakes level, she has faltered, being soundly defeated in both times. Now she is further climbing to the elite Grade I level racing, looking to score a big upset at ultra-high odds. Her works have been solid and she seems to have maintained a nice form. Nevertheless, maybe this group is excessively much to ask to this filly at this stage of her career. She is coming into this race out of two very solid efforts, and she has been racing very sparingly, as this is just her third race since August of last year, so she is rested and ready. But for her to have a chance, she will need to improve dramatically anything g she has done in her short career. Cannot endorse.
6. Angel’s Trumpets – DISTORTED HUMOR x STORM CAT x SEATTLE SLEW
At one time during her 2017 campaign, this very seasoned mare hailing from the Minnesota Testbarn Residency was the top female sprinter inn the Sim, with wins in the Grade II Honored Miss and the Grade I The Nutcracker, plus three additional Grade I second places. After the Breeders Bowl, her trainer and owner koza gave her a much-deserved break, and she came back on late January with a subpar effort in the Grade I Everclear Handicap, a race in which she had the favor of the bettors that made her the 9/2 choice. I think is clear that she needed that race in order to complete her preparation for the Equinics, and judging by the way she has been working on the mornings, we can expect a much different mare from what we saw last time out. Maybe she would have preferred to have an additional half a furlong to work with, but she is more than capable of winning at this distance. We should see her attacking from the three-eighths pole on, and will be a tough customer when all the marbles are at stake. Big chance to win.
7. Silent Astral – ASTROLOGY x SUNDAY SILENCE x EASY GOER
Five-year-old mare from the NWRC Residency that went over fifteen months without a win. Then late last year she won a restricted allowance and immediately followed that effort with another victory in an open allowance race, which are almost as strong as a listed stakes race. Still, this lady has not won any stakes in her career, and looking at her last performances, it is clear she will need to improve significantly in order to have a chance in here. Her trainer, youngmc03, is ecstatic on being selected to represent their group, and he tells me her works are the best he have seen her over her seventeen races lifetime. However, she seems to be overmatched against the best this race has to offer. She should be prominent in the first flight as her last race was at the five-furlong distance. But other than that, it will be a stretch expecting to see her on the board at the conclusion of the event. 13/1 looks like a very low morning line for her.
8. Deep Pact – DEEP IMPACT x MISWAKI x NIJINSKY 2ND
She has taken an interesting path in preparation to this event. The daughter of Japanese Superstar Deep Impact, she carries the torch for the All Stars Racing Residency, she was the winner of the Grade I Filly and Mare Breeders Bowl Sprint in a wire-to-wire job, and you will think she will be training on that same dirt surface. However, her trainer teamasr1 has chosen a rather unconventional training method; she has raced twice on the grass in preparation for the Equinics, the last time in a Hot Race in which she was 1/9 on the board. She won easily, and now she looks in top form to take away the big prize in here. She will have to contend with other very fast fillies. However, instructions for her jockey is to go for the lead at all costs. All of her wins have come when she can establish the pace, so you know now why that is the strategy we will see again. Very dangerous if she is able to clear when the gates open.
9. City Groom – CITY ZIP x DANZIG x BLUSHING GROOM
Lightly raced four-year-old filly carrying the torch for the Elite Residency, sired by main speed influence City Zip, with Danzig on the lower part of her pedigree. We can say she is a six and a half furlong specialist, as all of her victories have come at this very difficult distance. Her trainer harrylancx has done a fabulous job with this filly, slowly climbing her up the ladder, going thru all her conditions. Her last two races indicate that she is ready to take on higher hurdles. She just missed scoring big in the Grade I A Time for Speed, a race in which she was an eight to one proposition on the board. Her connections are telling us she has maintained that same great form from last December, and that the two-month rest will not be a factor against her. Look for her to accommodate in the coveted garden spot, and if she keeps her rapidly improving ways, (and with only ten lifetime starts, we can almost expect that for sure), she will be a tough cookie to chew on Saturday. She comes with an enormous chance to score.
10. Half Our Age - HALF OURS x VINDICATION x FAPPIANO
The East-West Connection Residency send this four year old filly to be their flag bearer. So far, she has been a very nice producer, with four wins in twelve lifetime races, with earnings of over $120,000. However, she has not proven yet to be able to be competitive in the listed stakes level, and now she will be asked to take her talents to a much higher ground, the Grade I company. That is apples and oranges guys. All of her wins have come at the restricted allowance level, so she will have to improve very dramatically in order to have the slightest of opportunities to at least a share of the prize. Her trainer cygnusx brings his filly in tip top shape for this commitment, and, for the most part, you can expect to see her in the first flight when the gates open. But I cannot recommend her from what I have seen in her past performances. Siding with others.
11. Belladonte – SEA THE STARS x A.P. INDY x MR. PROSPECTOR
Hailing from the Blazing Saddles Residency, this daughter of undefeated Sea the Stars out of a Grade II winning A.P. Indy mare has experimented a dramatic improvement since being claimed for $75,000 on February of last year. After that race, new owner and trainer bsben4 gave his filly a very prolonged six-month layoff, and on her return, she toyed with restricted allowance competition. Then she tested the listed stakes level, and won impressively at generous 9/1 odds. Her last two races have been second place finished, one of them at the Grade I level, proving that her newfound ability can make her become of the giant forces in the filly sprint division in 2018. She loves to come from way off the pace, and the six and a half furlong distance should be no problem for her, although her trainer would have preferred a little bit more ground to work with. If a pace meltdown occurs, she is one of the top contenders in here.
12. Alygon K. – SHAHEEN x GONE WEST x STORM OF ANGELS
Owner and trainer lethargic sends this four-year-old filly to this race, representing the Pastures of Green Residency. So far, she has been a very productive filly, with six wins and thirteen on the board finishes in fourteen career races. Seeing her talent, his trainer has slowly worked her thru her conditions and late last year, she asked her to go in deeper waters, namely stakes competition. And she has perform nicely, with one win and two close seconds, and gaining ground rapidly in both of them. Now she has another challenge to overcome; the Graded Stales level, and within that, none less that a Grade I and the Equinics. It is responsible to be skeptical about her chances in such a deep and strong race, but she is a gutsy horse, with figures that compare favorably with others in here, and at least I, will not be surprised if she runs well in here. For the risky bettors, she is a nice lower end exotics play, and watch out later in the year, as she can become one of the leaders of the division.
13. Zip Her Up – CITY ZIP x UNBRIDLED’S SONG x SEATTLE SLEW
Here is the representation of the powerful GR Simsters Residency, and she has a model of consistency thru all her career. She has been in the Top 3 in sixteen out of seventeen lifetime starts, and in each race showing a wicked late turn of foot that has enabled her to obtain five wins in a row, including his most recent start in the Grade I Everclear Handicap. Versatility is another of her strengths, as she has won in both the main track and the grass, as well as sprinting and routing. Her trainer lukester01 exudes confidence when talking about his fillies’ chances in the race, pointing out that he is quite sure that a hot pace will develop up front, and then she will come flying from the quarter pole on, hoping she can find a clear path to the wire. There is no denying she is on her best form of her career, and if she repeats her last race and keeps on that healthy improvement pattern, she is one of the fillies to beat in here. Big chance to score from way off the pace.
14. Alphabet Cadet – ALPHA x DANZIG x CONQUISTADOR CIELO
This is the representative of our group, the Empire State Residency, and is a New York bred filly sired by Grade I winner Alpha in a Grade I winning Danzig mare, so pedigree is not lacking here. She has proven to be a very versatile filly, winning stakes both on the main track and over the grass. She started 2017 competing mainly at the allowance level, however, late in the year, she improved to the point of earning the victory in the listed Royal Cat Dirt Filly Sprint, a race in which she posted her highest speed figure ever, a 112. After that however, her next two efforts have been somewhat disappointing, and looks for a return to her best form. She is facing this very tough group, so this good filly will need to repeat her best race lifetime, and then some more to have a chance in here. This is another one who will come flying on the late stages, so she needs pace in front of her for her late run to be affective. Slim chance, but will be pulling for her to do well for our residency.
13. Zip Her Up
6. Angel’s Trumpets
8. Deep Pact