Race 9 – Mistletoe S.
Saturday’s feature, the Mistletoe S., features a “Yellow” PlotFit along with an indication to take “caution” assessing pace. As shown, there are some minimal changes from Standard to Surface/Distance in terms of race shape with those changes on the individual runners. The race shape also features a “Fire” Contention and average 40 SpeedRate. This race shape suggests runners with some tactical speed in Quad I/II have an advantage with closing ability (Square) key.
#10 LOVELY RIDE at first glance could present a pace advantage with that first call (furthest left) early speed to suggest a “lone” trip and still holding finish as a Square. While that outcome will be considered, so will the “Fire.” Note that her position on the Plot could have been favored by the Catherine Sophia S. at Parx, where Lovely Ride was able to get that Lone, Flow trip in order to win.
This is where the “caution” comes into play. #8 MARIAH’S PRINCESS is likely to keep the pace honest up front as she also takes up a Standard (current form) role in Quad I as a Square. She will take the warranted step up in class coming off a B+ OptixGRADE in her allowance return last month at Churchill Downs. This will be her route debut and that is represented as a Diamond (lack of data) on Surface/Distance. That position while drawn inside of Lovely Ride, combined with the stretch-out in distance, suggests Mariah’s Princess will at least press the pace if not duel here. Both fillies will then play a role in the “Fire” Contention which could impact their finish (Square) late, especially if #6 SUKI attempts to take the lead as well.
#2 WILLFUL WOMAN also sits as a Square in Quad I and would benefit from that aforementioned trio hooking up in a duel and saving ground behind that set to take first run. That “Pocket” trip has been the key in both of her career wins, and she seems to need that favorable trip in order to win.
#7 SEMBLE JUSTE will follow Willful Woman exiting the allowance race in the slop on Nov. 4, upgraded with the B- OptixGRADE making a “move” against the race flow. Semble Juste is an improving type coming into this race. That improvement with the change in Surface/Distance (upgraded on Plot) though will be tested for Class, as she steps up for her stakes debut.
#9 AMENDMENT NINETEEN ranks as a legit contender for Brad Cox as she fits on class (OptixGRADE), speed (OptixFIG in RANGE), pace (Plot), and current form (lacking “Red” Keywords). OptixPLOT suggests a favorable trip and pace scenario stalking as a Square in Quad II above the Par Line. That Plot position allows for tactical speed (Quad II) stalking not far off Quad I runners with positional speed to the second call (high on y-axis) as well as the ability to finish as a Square. Amendment Nineteen has a subtle class edge from her B- OptixGRADE (and Improve) in the Remington Park Oaks (G3), a common race with rival Lovely Ride.
Cox will also send out #1 MARION FRANCIS, who could show a bit more tactical speed than her Quad IV position suggests. She is one that wants to be forwardly placed, though can get in her own way with that trip as she is often slow out of the gate (Slog) as shown in the Past 3 Runlines. While she has stakes form, she has come up short on class (Grades below B) as far as a win contender, though capable for a minor share. The class factor is also in play for #5 OLIVIAOFTHEDESERT (stablemate of Semble Juste) with similar form and OptixGRADES and OptixFIG slightly below RANGE to be considered a top contender. She is a slight upgrade exiting the Valley View (G3) due to her Run Style (Quad IV) running against the flow (X_Flow) and the form from that graded stakes race is holding up with the two fillies that have run back, Crazy Beautiful and Princess Theorem, both competitive with trouble in their following start.