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Songbird a Near Lock in Cotillion Stakes

Songbird a Near Lock in Cotillion Stakes by Reinier Macatangay: Almost no one needs help with the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (GI) at Parx Racing on Saturday, at the 1 1/16-mile distance. Three-year-old filly sensation Songbird should win.


Almost no one needs help with the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (GI) at Parx Racing on Saturday, at the 1 1/16-mile distance. Three-year-old filly sensation Songbird should win.
Photo: Arianna Spadoni, Coglianese, NYRA

In fact, on paper Songbird appears set to win by a large margin for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Fox Hill Farm. Mike Smith will ease her well before the finish line, and the dynamic duo will return to a crowd of loving fans and press in the winner’s circle.

As someone who has spent nearly every week since December 2014 trying to give Lady and the Track readers a clever alternative to the favorite, there is no better writer to follow when it comes to looking for the insane pick. Giving hope to horses who other bettors dismiss is fun, and once in a while the choice runs well.

Not this time.

Songbird currently owns a 10 for 10 record, and 6 for 6 in 2016.

She wins races the right way, regularly surviving hot paces and pulling clear in the stretch run.

In the Alabama Stakes (GI) at Saratoga last month, Go Maggie Go tried to pull off the impossible by snatching the lead early on and attempting to outduel Songbird on the far turn. The plan inevitably failed, and Songbird opened up to a convincing seven-length victory.

Songbird obviously can win on the lead too, as showed in the Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) in late July. Carina Mia chased in second and made a mild challenge, but never threatened Songbird seriously.

Smith can see how the break unfolds from post five in the Cotillion and make a decision on how Songbird will win. Maybe Disco Rose wants to go on a suicide mission from post three. Songbird will be able to sit off her flank, and put her away anytime she pleases.

Perhaps Disco Rose teams with the Grade I-winning pair of Carina Mia and Cathryn Sophia and the three float Songbird wide on the first turn. Even if it happens, Songbird is special. She will handle the adversity.

If a golden rail occurs, Songbird will still mow Disco Rose, Carina Mia or Cathryn Sophia down, or whoever else is in the lead. One obstacle is no problem.

In the event Songbird is on the lead during a golden rail, prepare for a 20-length thrashing.

For a real show, Songbird should cut to the chase and open an uncontested lead with blazing fractions for the first two quarters, and show her true capabilities. Songbird can keep going. She is a superhorse.

Land Over Sea may come with a late charge, but Songbird will bring out the past performances and show the numerous times this scenario has played out between the two fillies. Songbird has won them all.

If Songbird wants to run for president after the race, no one will complain either. Her popularity has skyrocketed, and will only grow larger if the undefeated record is kept intact heading into the Breeders’ Cup.

Despite all of the above, no serious bettor would take the risk of placing a win wager on a 3-5 shot. Think of all the money placed on a horse like this for a win, place or show payoff, with the potential profit of one dollar or less! Only do it for a souvenir.

Songbird must be used horizontally though, and if people want to go crazy, they can hope for a trifecta of adversity: an insane speed duel on a golden rail, where Songbird runs wide and is carried wide on both turns. Cathryn Sophia or Land Over Sea would rally for the win, in any extreme scenario. The chances of this happening are almost zero. Almost.

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