The $1 million Cotillion Stakes from Parx Racing in Philadelphia, PA will go forward as race 10 at 5:40 EST on Saturday. The disappointment over the fact that only four fillies will compete in the Grade 1 race is offset by the fact that the top two in the division are amongst those four. Recent winners of this race include Plum Pretty, Havre de Grace and Careless Jewel.
Moment in Dixie (Dixieland Band x Ellie’s Moment by Kris S.) 6-1: Easy winner of her first two races, both at Belmont Park, before stumbling at the break in her stakes debut and finishing second in the Serena’s Song at Monmouth. After that she was second in a restricted stakes event at Saratoga going nine panels. Her works are strong and the cut back in distance will help her, but beating the favored fillies is a TALL task. Jose Lezcano will ride for James Toner.
Questing (Hard Spun x Chercheuse by Seeking The Gold) 1-1 : Jockey Irad Ortiz said “catch me if you can” in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes; and they couldn’t. In fact, they couldn’t get anywhere near this brilliant girl as she drew off by nine lengths. She dispatched top competition like In Lingerie, Via Villaggio and Grace Hall. Before that, she won the Grade 1 CCA Oaks in similarly easy fashion sending home Zo Impressive. Her early speed is among the best in nation and her brilliance appears to be without rival. A win in this race will make her a decisive favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. Irad Ortiz retains the mount for Kiaran McLaughlin.
My Miss Aurelia (Smart Strike x My Miss Storm Cat by Sea of Secrets) 8-5: An unbeaten Breeders’ Cup champion is second choice in this race. That is a tribute to just how good Questing is right now. However, it would shock absolutely nobody if this girl came up with a big race and took her down. Her only race this year saw her rally from the back to win an overnight stakes event at Saratoga after she broke poorly. Corey Nakatani, who rode her to victory in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes as well as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, will get the mount back after Julien Leparoux rode her last out. Do not be surprised to see Nakatani forcing the issue in the early stages of the race. It’s key that he doesn’t allow Questing to waltz to an easy lead. Steve Asmussenis the trainer.
Dixie Strike (Dixie Union x Noble Strike by Smart Strike) 4-1: Ontario bred lass beat the boys in the Princes of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie after finishing third in the Queen’s Plate. Following those two races, she failed to fire in the 1 ½ miles Breeders Stakes which was contested over the grass. Her only race over a dirt surface was the aforementioned Prince of Wales Stakes, and it was a huge effort. She might be the one to split the two favorites in the exacta pool. Mark Casse trains and Ramon Dominguez is in to ride.
In the end, it’s hard for me to see Questing lose this race. She is arguably the best horse in training, male or female, three-year-olds or older. I’m going to call for another decisive victory.