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2013 Cotillion Stakes; Ten Fillies Ready To Dance Off Saturday

2013 (GII) Cotillion Stakes; Ten Fillies Ready To Dance Off Saturday

The (GII) Cotillion Stakes is held annually at Parx Racing and Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania and is used as a precursory race for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The race is open to three-year-old fillies going one and one-sixteenth miles (eight and a half furlongs) on the dirt and carries a purse of $1,000,000.

This Cotillion Stakes was inaugurated in 1969 at Liberty Bell Park in Northeast Philadelphia before thoroughbred racing moved to the then-Keystone Park (later known as Philadelphia Park) in nearby Bensalem in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and has produced five Eclipse Award winners. The speed record is held by Havre de Grace set in 2010. No owner has won this race more than once and trainer Todd Pletcher has the most wins with 3 in 2002, 2004 & 2006.

The 2013 Cotillion Stakes is the 10th race of the day with a post time of 5:10 pm ET.

Close Hatches and Sweet LuLu top the field of 10 entered in this Saturday’s Cotillion Stakes. With these two being the co-favorites, there has to be a fired-up filly in here ready to debut some of her talents. I like both of these girls but I’m going with a few other fillies to hit the board.

The Tiz Wonderful baby, My Happy Face, trained by Chad Brown is my pick of the top three favorites. Last out My Happy Face was third, separated by a neck and a head, to Sweet LuLu in the (GI) Test on August 24, 2013. On July 20, she was a close second to fabulous Princess of Sylmar in the American Oaks (GI). She recently breezed 4F 48:91 (12 out of 53 that day) at Belmont Park on the dirt and was said to look phenomenal. So we’ll see if she can stretch out here and likes the distance. In eight races, she’s 3-4-1 and has never been off the board. My Happy Face gets post #6 with J. Castellano up to ride.

The Tim Ritchey trained, Pennsylvania bred, Dancing Afleet is one of Afleet Alex’s best racehorse in quite a while. Last out she was the winner of the (GII) Delaware Oaks at this distance by a half length and comes in on a 3 race winning streak down at Del Park this season. She is a very nice filly and should run well here on her home track. After watching the race replay of the Delaware Oaks where she tracked in the garden spot and came home in the stretch, I think she can hit the board at a good price. Dancing Afleet gets A. Cintron in the irons and exits gate #3.

Another filly in here I like to score is Kiarin McLaughlin’s Street Sense gal Carnival Court. Despite being a half-sister to Royal Delta, she still has a lot to prove. Last out she was third to Princess of Sylmar in the Alaskan (GI) on August 17, 2013. She went from two straight maiden wins to running a third in a stakes race. I think she can bring her game to the board here and the distance will suit her as she won at 1 1/16 in a MSW on May 31, 2013. Carnival Court has post #2 with L.Saez in the saddle.

Close Hatches

Close Hatches will be ready to roll and she leaves from the #9 hole with Mike Smith in the irons and carries top weight of 124 for the 2013 Cotillion Stakes.

Close Hatches, trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms, missed the summer races after developing a temperature that knocked her out of the Coaching Club American Oaks. She displayed her readiness for the Cotillion with a super work at Belmont Park over the main track on Sunday burning up a half-mile in 46.90. This filly will be ready to roll and she leaves from the #9 hole with Mike Smith in the irons and carries top weight of 124.

Sweet Lulu, out of sire Mr. Greeley and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, will break from post #7 under Julien Leparoux. This filly won last out in the (GI) Test and seems to be training super at Betfair Hollywood Park working a 5F bullet in 59.60 finishing 1/26. So we’ll see how she does stretching out here further than a mile. Sweet LuLu is unbeaten in four starts in her track career but I’m a little concerned with this distance for her; however, she is scary good right now. She will be way overbet so I’d have to play against her in the win spot.

For the 2013 Cotillion Stakes these are my top fillies. This is a very tough race for me to handicap as all of these fillies are super and I keep changing my mind trying to figure out who I like to win. I have a hard time just picking one and I wouldn’t be surprised to see any one of them take it Saturday. I also read somewhere that at Parx, “when you are wide you glide”. Hmmmmm, food for thought. If I were to bet it, which I’m still in limbo on that one, my top three picks would be My Happy Face, Dancing Afleet & Carnival Court. The rest underneath is a crapshoot for me. As far as handicapping and wagering though, I like to wait until I see the odds and that can completely change my game. I just want to wish all of these pretty fillies and their connections the best of luck and bring your best game to the track on Saturday. Safe running!

2013 Cotillion Handicap Post Positions & Odds
1. Flash Forward 20/1 R. Maragh/D.Schettino SCRATCHED
2. Carnival Court 8/1 I.Saez/K.P.McLaughlin
3. Dancing Afleet 15/1 A.Cintron/T.F.Ritchey
4. Asiya 20/1 I.Oritz Jr./K.P.McLaughlin
5. Seaneen Girl 5/1 P.Lopez/B.S.Flint
6. My Happy Face 9/2 J.Castellano/C.C.Brown
7. Sweet LuLu 7/2 JR Leparoux/J.Hollendorfer
8. Promise Me More 10/1 J.L.Ortiz/S.M.Asmussen
9. Close Hatches 5/2 M.Smith/W.Mott
10. Street Girl 10/1 A.Castillo/M.J.Azpurua
UPDATED RESULTS: 9, 7, 10, 6, 3, 4, 5, 8, 2

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