We are here at Belmont Park for the last leg of the URC Filly Triple Crown, The Acorn Stakes. A field of 11 is set to compete but only one has a chance at Triple Crown glory and that is Massatoga Stable’s Monetary Prospects. I caught up with Massatoga on the backstretch earlier and this is what he said about his return to the game and the opportunity to become the first Triple Tiara winner in the history of the URC Residency.
“Getting back into the game after a 5 or 6 year break. It is very exciting to see Monetary Prospects doing so well. She’s a scratch bred with some of my favorite horses. Anyone who reviews my stables will notice that almost all of my 2-3 year olds are mostly scratch bred. Hopefully I will get into breeding with dams next year. As for the Acorn all the pieces are in place – Lawton up and the number 2 hole rather than being stuck way outside like usual and she is training nicely. Hoping for the best but not sure how I would look wearing a Tiara. There is some serious competition here and some of the best jocks shipping in to run the big-one so we will have our work cutout for us.”
Is destiny on the side of Monetary Prospects or will a new star emerge to play spoiler? Lets take a look at the field
1. Queen Borrego(Borrego)
Jockey: W. Kewmwa
Filly has only been off the board once in 5 starts which was back in her career debut a 4th place finish going 5 furlongs. Broke her maiden going 7.5f on the turf in wire to wire fashion earning an 84 speed rating. Followed that up with two 2nd place finishes also on the turf earning an 86 and 91 respectively in efforts in which she attended the early pace. Her speed numbers have improved with every race and will need to continue to do so as she returns to dirt and steps up in class. One to watch
2. Monetary Prospects(Empire Maker)
Jockey: N. Lawton
Record: 8: 3-1-1
Here she is the filly of the hour, the URC Kentucky Oaks and URC Black Eyed Susan winner. Beautifully bred Empire Maker filly out of a hypothetical Mr. Prospector mare she has won 3 of 8 lifetime starts including 2 straight since returning to dirt. She earned a 101 speed figure charging down the lane to capture the URC Oaks by almost 2 lengths. She followed that up last time out with a nearly 3 length victory in the URC Black Eyed Susan in a similar style earning a career best 107 speed rating, the highest last out number in the race. The Acorn Stakes will be her 7th start in a stakes race and 3rd in 5 weeks. The clear race favorite will be up against history and have to overcome the grind of the Triple Tiara schedule if she is going to win here.
Jockey: F. Allen
Record: 8: 4-1-1
Earnings: $ 84,500
Started her career a perfect 3 for 3 all in hot races before finishing 2nd in her stakes debut the URC Breeders Championship Juvenile Fillies. Took her customary spot on the front end before fading to 5th in the Gr.3 Santa Jezebel Stakes in her first start of the season. Cut back to 7f next time out running 3rd in a listed stakes earning an 89 speed rating. Won a 5 horse open allowance at 8.25 furlongs next out by 4 lengths posting a career best 96 speed rating . Failed again at the graded level last time out finishing 10th in the Gr.3 Owner’s Tree. Could get bold if she can get away easy up front but will need to improve to get a piece today. In with a shot
Jockey: J. Dundey
Record: 9: 1-3-2
Another speedster broke her maiden in her 7th start at today’s distance of 1 mile going wire to wire in a field of 10 earning her an 89 speed figure. Set the pace next out in a listed stake at 8.5 before fading to finish 6th. Followed that up with a 2nd in a hot race allowance. Finished 2nd again last time out in a 2L allowance at 10f earning a 79 speed rating. Will do her best running near the front end, she will have company to her inside and will need to improve to be a factor here today.
5. Ya Basic(Giant’s Causeway)
Jockey: K. Ledwith
Record: 4: 0-2-1
Maiden will be making her 5th start today and first against winners, a tall task. Is a regally bred horse Giant’s Causeway x Mr. Prospector x Caro. Has hit the board 3 times in 4 races including last time out where she was just a half length behind the lead after stalking just off before evening out a bit down the lane earning an 89 for the effort. Although she has not won yet she has been competitive, has decent speed numbers, and has shown versatility. She still has a high mountain to climb here today, will look for her on turf later in her career.
6. Scarlet Bee( Awesome Again)
Jockey: A. Jolly
Record: 9: 3-1-0
Solid Awesome Again filly hopes to break through in her 4th straight stakes appearance having yet to hit the board in her last 3. Filly has a nice closing kick which earned her a nice 4th place finish in the Gr.3 Margarine Stakes in her 3rd career start at age 2. She came back to finish 13th of 20 in the URC Breeder’s Championship Juvenile Fillies. Returned to win back to back allowance races at today’s distance of a mile earning a 90 and 87 speed figure respectively. Her numbers have improved but she has yet to prove herself at the stakes level. I believe she can with speed signed on here today if she can get a good trip.
7. Kymarc Berkelium( Squirtle Squirt)
Jockey: M. Scott
Record: 6: 4-1-1
She comes into the race with a perfect 4 for 4 record at today’s distance of 8 furlongs and is currently riding a 3 race win streak all in allowance company. Versatile filly has won from on and just off the pace has the ability to work out the right trip. Her speed figures have increased in her last 3 as she has posted 92,94,96 respectively. Loves the distance and is trending in the right direction. Dangerous
8. Fionia Malibu Star( Malibu Moon)
Jockey: T. Ace
Record: 8 :2-1-2
Our 9/2 second choice and perhaps the most likely horse to play spoiler. This Malibu Moon filly has hit the board in 5 of her 8 starts including 2 wins at today’s distance of 8 furlongs in allowance competition. Started her 3 year old season with a 2nd place finish in an open stakes going 8.5f earning a 97 speed rating. Followed that up with a disappointing effort going 9f finishing 5th. Came back to run well in a 10f open stakes race posting a 95 speed figure. Last out she ran her best race in an open stakes at 8.5f finishing 3rd and earning a career best 103 speed figure. Will stalk the early leaders and hope to hold off the run of Monetary Prospects.
9. Mo’ Gretel(Mohaymen)
Jockey: F. Gossett
Record: 12: 2-4-2
Most experienced filly in the race has made 12 starts thus far in her career hitting the board in 8 of them. Ran in 6 consecutive stakes races as a 2 year old including a 3rd place finish in the Gr.1 Darley Stakes where she posted an 88 speed figure after setting the early pace and leading them into the far turn. That effort earned her a spot in the starting get of the Breeder’s Bowl Juvenile Filly where she race 11th. Started her season with another disappointing effort in the Gr.3 Santa Jazebel Stakes. She did rebound last time out posting a 98 in an off the pace win in a 7.5f allowance race. Hasn’t taken that big jump forward at age 3 but did show some promise that she may be rounding back into form in her last. Could be a factor if she moves forward.
10. Premier Alliance(Alliance)
Jockey: D. Brennan
Record: 11: 5-2-1
Horse will be making her 4th start for the Churchilldowns Stable after getting claimed for $3500 after her 8th start of her 2 year old season back in November. Raced exclusively in turf sprints for her original owner. She since has a perfect 3 for 3 record for her new barn who stretched her out to 2 turns off the claim winning a $150,000 NL4 on the turf posting an 85 speed rating. Gave her her dirt debut in a $100,000 claiming event against colts where she won again posting a 91 speed figure. Won last out in a restricted $60,000 claiming race by 1/2 length. Has improved around 2 turns for new ownership but makes a big step up in class. Will have to prove herself but I think she has the ability to do so. Interesting long shot.
11. Lady Danger( Curlin)
Jockey: R. Bokie
Record: 7: 3-0-0
Stakes winning filly comes into this race off of a 12th place finish in the Gr.2 Black Middle Flower Stakes attending the early pace before fading on the far turn. Prior to that she won an open stakes race at 9f earning a career best 104 speed figure in a wire to wire effort. Talented filly broke her maiden first asking in a 56k MSW. Has the breeding, talent, numbers to be competitive but will have to overcome the outside post with her up close running style and hope for the right trip. Contender