A field of Seven Older Fillies and Mares fill the Big Apple starting gate in the $100,000 ESR Bitchen Stakes. The race will be run at One Mile over the Dirt Course.
BRISTOL DISTORTION – the 6 Year Old Bay Mare by Distorted Humor hails from the red hot bristolred racing stables; after a two year layoff the KY-bred appears to have established herself in her new career as a Dirt Miler, winning two in a row before finishing 2nd in the Forest Of Gold Dirt Mare Mile in her first stakes appearance; toss out the last where she finished 7th in the Cair Paravel Dirt Mare Mile, a race for more competitive than her previous Stakes appearance, a race on par with this weeks ESR feature; the seasoned veteran likes to come from far back off the pace and employ one big run, a tactic that has suited her quite wall at a Mile…dangerous
COMPLETE PACKAGE – is a 5 Year Old Bay Mare by Blame racing for the casino stables; the KY-bred has been lightly raced in her 2018 season allowing her to capitalize on a pair of victories in some restrictive Allowance events; her best races came in the 2015-16 season when she was prominent if all her stakes appearances, but she hasn’t taken on any stakes competition in over a year and may have to shake the rust off before she gets any serious consideration…must show more
EDENBRIDGE LADY – returning to the ESR scene is theduke racing stables as he enters this 4 Year Old Bay Filly by No Nay Never into the ESR feature; the IRE-bred filly has been keeping some elite company in recent starts and turned in a 3rd place finish in the G3 Bluegrass Cup Distaff before making short work of an Open Allowance field in her last start; the speedy filly likes to be on or near the lead but will have to contend with a few others in this field that employ the same strategy; what’s important to know here is she has gained the lead in 10 of 19 career starts and has only given it up twice…dangerous
FLASH TO THE FOX – sure I see all the Graded races dotting the past performances of the kingab trained 5 Year Old Bay Mare by Giant’s Causeway, and yes, I am well aware of the stables dominance over the ESR trainer standings, but in the end, the battle scarred KY-bred hasn’t won a race in a year and a half, and although she won’t meet the likes SKYLINE SLEW in this field, I have to wonder if she is the same confident horse that won the G2 Wizzer Stakes a year and a half ago…your call
SANTA’S GIFT BAG – the cadet trained 4 Year Old Bay Filly by Ghostzapper has been floundering around the Allowance level for all of her career, picking up pay check after pay check but never showing any real desire to take her racing to the next level; the KY-bred filly got her chance in her last start with her first career stakes appearance in the Cair Paravel Dirt Mare Mile, the same race BRISTOL DISTORTION exits from; the difference here is the cadet trainee, another filly that likes to control the pace, broke sharply from the outside but couldn’t outhustle the inside posts to the lead, spending all her energy until she faded into next to last while BRISTOL DISTORTION finished up was gaining ground in the stretch…in tough
ANOTHER ENGINE – the itch trainee is another that lights up the past performances like a Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, red, green and orange boxes up and down and all around, but the highly regarded 5 Year Old Brown Mare by Awesome Again hasn’t won a race since March, albeit it was the G3 Azeri Breeder’s Bowl, but in a world of what have you done for me lately, her last three have been uncharacteristic at best, especially her last when she was no where to be found as a 2-1 favorite in a NW1s Allowance in New York; look she certainly has the talent and back class to turn things around, but I’m not sure I’d bet on it a short odds off her recent form…chance off best
SUBOF THE NILE – ok so my entry has been feasting on highly restrictive Allowances races over the last five starts, and I’m not going to tell you how competitive she has been at the stakes level based on her 3rd place finish in the four horse ESR Conjugal Conjecture Stakes or her first place finish in the six horse Wolf Of Queensland Dirt Filly Mile a year ago, but she is in good form, perhaps the best of her career, and while I don’t think she has a chance against this field, well I have at least I have a rooting interest, and these days that’s about as good as it gets…happy with part
Handicapping the Field
ANOTHER ENGINE and FLASH TO THE FOX are certainly the standouts in this field, and while I may have been a bit cranky in my assessment of both of these standouts, writing my fifth article on the day, there is some merit in what I said, and both of these horses look vulnerable in this feature. Now, at the beginning and halfway through, this article I thought BRISTOL DISTORTION was the horse to beat, until I came to SANTA’S GIFT BAG who I thought had no shot, so how can I like BRISTOL DISTORTION, a horse that exits the same race no more or less impressive than SANTA’S GIFT BAG.
COMPLETE PACKAGE has to show me more before she gets my endorsement and SUBOF THE NILE who I entered for the competition now looks like a horse that could actually grab a piece of the purse.
This leaves EDENBRIDGE LADY, a filly entered from a very hot barn outside that’s been racing away from the ESR family. There is a very good chance this filly finds her way to the front at some point in this race, and if she does, well her record speaks for itself.
EDENBRIDGE LADY looks up while others may be looking down
BRISTOL DISTORTION I still don’t like SANTA’S GIFT BAG
ANOTHER ENGINE gets one more chance