California kicks off the New Year with the Grade Two Forget Me Not Stakes. The race is run at nine furlongs on a firm turf course. Eight older fillies and mares will take on the task and the purse is $375,000. This is a classy field that has attracted one grade one winner, two grade two winners and two grade three winners. The 5/2 favorite is Silver Way who has run up a three race win streak lately and has the best speeds of the field. But Kitten’s Star TX, the second choice has also been running very fast and Spin It Red co-third choice won a grade one stakes just two starts back. Let’s take a look at the field.
#1 Kitten’s Star TX 4/1
Kitten’s Star TX has won three stakes races this year, all at nine furlongs on turf and she’s run 114 or 115 speeds in each of her wins. Her biggest score came in her last start, the Grade Three He’s A Charmer Stakes. It was her first graded score and she closed from about eight lengths back to win by a length. She’s a four year old daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of the stakes winning Sea the Stars x Kingmambo mare Stars are Bright. This is the mare’s first foal and only stake winner so far.
#2 Dell Quay 12/1
The four year old daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of a Dubawi x Medaglia D’oro mare is looking for her first graded score in this spot. She won her first stakes race in her most recent start, a listed going nine furlongs. That day she closed from midpack to win going away by almost two lengths. Her speeds are a big low for this field though, she only ran a 105 in that win. Although she does have a career best of 110.
#3 Lady in the Street 6/1
Lady in the Street is another who looks to really like this specific distance. After an okay career on the dirt she switched to turf and won a stakes race in her second start on the surface. That was at nine and one half furlongs but three races later she won the Grade Three OK Bayou BB Handicap at nine furlongs with a 114 speed. She has hit the board twice in nine furlong grade ones this year as well. She won an allowance at eight and one half furlongs two starts back but she flopped when dropped to a mile in the Grade One Motherly Love Stakes. She is capable of taking the lead early or stalking. Lady in the Street is a four year old daughter of Tiznow out of a Street Cry x Deputy Minister mare.
#4 Temple de Hierro 5/1
Temple de Hierro is the only horse in the field who lacks a stakes win. The five year old daughter of Elusive Quality out of a War Chant x Storm Cat mare. Her three year old younger sibling by Nobileo is already stakes-placed and looks to have a bright future. Temple de Hierro has won seven of eighteen starts on the lawn and overall is fourteen of eighteen in the money on that surface. She enters on a two allowance race win streak. Both of those races were at nine furlongs and in both she closed from last to take the win. Her most recent start saw her run a 111 speed which fits well here. She has two graded placings this year including a third in the Grade One Maybe Johnny Handicap back in August.
#5 Spin It Red 9/2
Spin It Red is the only grade one winning millionaire in the field. She’s a scratchbred by Hard Spun x Forty Niner x Storm Cat. She made seven starts in 2018, all in graded stakes races and her biggest score came in the one mile Grade One Queen Ascot Stakes in October. That race was preceded by a nearly three month layoff and she returned to finish well back in another grade one mile. She’s only run one turf race at nine furlongs and she finished eleventh of fourteen in that spot. Certainly she’s classy but she’s another deep closer who will have to sustain her run an extra furlong in this spot.
#6 Dark Be Solution 19/1
Dark Be Solution is a graded placed / stakes winning four year old who remarkably only has two wins in her twenty five race career. Her stakes win came in a sprint but she is graded placed at a mile, ten and twelve furlongs. Her most recent races have all been at long distances. Two races ago she was second in a listed going eleven furlongs with a 103 speed. This daughter of Real Solution is out of a Cat Thief x Kingmambo mare.
#7 Paying the Rent 9/2
Paying the Rent is a six year old daughter of Street Sense out of the grade placed / stakes winning Giant’s Causeway x Kingmambo mare High Rent District. High Rent District’s first foal was a stakes winner followed by two grade two winners (including Paying the Rent) and then a stakes placed runner. High Rent District did her best running at twelve furlongs. Two starts back Paying the Rent finished a solid second behind Spin It Red in the Grade One Queen Ascot Stakes going a mile. She ran a 111 speed that day, very competitive for this field. In her race one prior she became a grade two winner when she took the eight and one half furlong Winston Spa with a 112. She does have a listed stakes victory going nine furlongs far back in her past performances but she has run creditably at the distance in other efforts.
#8 Silver Way 5/2
Silver Way is a deserving favorite in this spot. She’s entering the race on a three race win streak that came in races that were all nine furlongs. She started with a listed which she won with a 116 speed and followed that up with two grade two scores – the first with a 113 speed and the next with a 115. This is the speed of the race in a race with little other pace factors. She should have things her own way on the front end and she’s capable of opening up by multiple lengths and making the closers try to catch her. She is a daughter of Gold Allure out of the Mr. Greeley x El Gran Senor mare Magana. Magana has been a tremendous producer with two grade three winners and a listed winner to her credit plus Silver Way.
Good luck to all!