Last week's selection did not run as expected, although Margot's Boy did wire the field as we predicted may be the case due to the lack of speed, we ended up not having anything to show for it because Distant Vista did not run second. Nevertheless the great thing about horse racing is there is always next time, and in the case of the Great Race Place they have given us, what I believe, is a great opportunity for a good score on the Saturday card in the Grade III Honeymoon Stakes.
The Honeymoon Stakes gives us a field of nine with the mornin-line favorite being Stela Star for John Sadler and the West Coast's best jockey Flavien Prat. An obvious play on top in this scenario with her field best sheet number last time out, we will look to pair her up with a decent price in my top selection, the 4 Croughavouke for trainer Jeff Mullins and jockey Umberto Rispoli at 8-1 on the morning line.
This filly is 0-6 since coming to North America but looking at her running lines you can see the sort of confidence that trainer Jeff Mullins has had in her. She debuted in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar and ran second by a length to James Stack's Yesterdayoncemore. She followed that up with another second to Warren's Showtime in the Surfer Girl Stakes, then headed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, running sixth, albeit by only 4 and a half lengths, in a spectacular field that included the stellar Graham Motion winning filly Sharing.
Croughavouke's numbers do not exceed this field, but they come close and with the Sheets sometimes you have to take a shot with the horse who may be coming into a race rather than the horse with the best last out figure, as is the case with Stela Star. Stela Star's closing style almost worked last time but she came up short, stretching out to a mile and an eight this time around may actually hinder her, the internal fractions not being as fast with not a lot of speed signed up in this spot.
Last time out Stela Star was 12th early on, seven and one quarter lengths behind, this time she will not be that far back but, based on her previous running style, Croughavouke should be able to get first run on her. Jockey Umberto Rispoli seems to love taking the rail route, and in the past it has gotten him into some bad situations with his horses being best and having to check and lose momentum, but this time it may indeed be the only choice for him.
If he can save ground on the rail and get first run he may be able to beat out Stela Star who will have to go wide while closing from off the pace. So in the Honeymoon Stakes today the play will be $20 win on the 4 Croughavouke and a $10 exacta 9-4.
Good luck to all !