Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1) Preview

Dudes with the Champ

Likely Winners

#8 I’m A Chatterbox – It’s been a year of “What could have been” for his one.  After completely dominating at the Fair Grounds this winter, I’m a Chatterbox has ran into some tough luck.  It started in the Kentucky Oaks when she suffered a rough trip and finished third.  She returned to the races at Saratoga next in the Coaching Club American Oaks and hit the wire first, but was disqualified and placed second in a somewhat controversial call.  The Alabama was next and she once again ran well, but could not catch a loose on the lead Embellish the Lace and finished second once again.  Her resume is still strong enough to make her the top 3 year old dirt filly, but the race for that spot is ultra close.  However, this looks to be the race she can get back in the winners circle.  She should be able to sit off the speed and pounce when the time is right to pick up her first win since MARCH.

#1 Tara’s Tango – I’ve been on record for months now saying Stellar Wind might just be the best 3 year old dirt filly in the country so Tara’s Tango finishing second to her two races back by a nose in the Summertime Oaks caught my eye in a big way.  After that race Tara’s Tango went to Del Mar and ran in a 40k All Optional Claimer and was a professional winner by almost two lengths.  Now Hollendorfer is showing supreme confidence in shipping her across the country for this one, and her regular rider Mike Smith is coming with her as well.  Like that she has early speed, but I also like that she doesn’t have to have the lead to be successful.  At 8-1 she’s worth a major look.

#3 Embellish the Lace – There is no doubting that if Embellish the Lace can bring her Alabama effort with her to Parx she’ll be tough to handle.  However, the factors could be different this time.  There is plenty of early speed in this race to put some pressure on her, and the shorter distance may actually be to her disadvantage because the closers won’t be quite as tired when they try to catch her this time.  I’m not a full believer in her yet, but she did show me enough to think you have to play her in your Pick 3’s, 4,’s and 6’s.  If she can work out another good trip up front she could wire it, but I don’t expect it to be easy.

Exotic Plays

#6 Pangburn – It’s everybody’s favorite hanger back once again!  However, there has recently been a trainer switch to Anthony Dutrow which did produce an allowance win at Saratoga last time out.  That’s all good and well, but the fact is that race was fairly weak and it’s not like she did it impressively.  We’ve seen her against top flight competition before and she does make a little bit of run but never actually gets up to make much damage.  The pace will set up very well for her here, but I think hitting the board will be the max she can do.

#7 Peace and War – Since changing over to trainer Graham Motion this horse has made some serious improvements with two second place finishes against stakes company.  Has a similar running style as our other Exotic Play Pangburn so it could be interesting to see if they move as a pair from the back.  Like I mentioned with Pangburn I do believe the pace sets up for closers, but also like Pangburn I don’t think Peace and War and a good enough turn of foot to actually win the race.

Party Crashers

#5 Take Charge Brandi – I don’t have any kind of clue what she’s going to do in this spot, and anyone that says they do is full of you know what.  I really hope she comes back running well in here, and if she does obviously she has a big chance.  We’ve seen her look absolutely awful in the past only to come back and run top notch races.  Who knows…

#9 Calamity Katie – Won the Delaware Oaks last time out at a HUGE price, but that race was a big improvement for her so who knows if that’s the real her or if it was a fluke.  I’m not convinced one way or the other…wouldn’t be shocked if she won…wouldn’t be shocked if she finishes last.

1. Tara’s Tango (KY) 3/F L M E Smith 117 J Hollendorfer 8/1
2. Desert Valley (KY) 3/F L D L Parker 117 J A Radosevich 20/1
3. Embellish the Lace (KY) 3/F L J Castellano 124 A W Dutrow 4/1
4. >Stroke Play (KY) 3/F L A Castillo 117 R Preciado 20/1
5. Take Charge Brandi (KY) 3/F L L Saez 119 D W Lukas 5/1
6. Pangburn (KY) 3/F L R Santana, Jr. 117 A W Dutrow 12/1
7. Peace and War (FL) 3/F L J Rosario 117 H G Motion 8/1
8. I’m a Chatterbox (KY) 3/F L F Geroux 122 J L Jones 3/1
9. Keen Pauline (KY) 3/F L M Garcia 122 D L Romans 8/1
10. Calamity Kate (KY) 3/F L E S Prado 122 K J Breen 10/1
11. Eskenformoney (KY) 3/F L J R Velazquez 117 T A Pletcher 6/1
12. Don’tforgetaboutme (KY) 3/F L I Ortiz, Jr. 117 T A Pletcher 15/1

Throw Outs

#10 Eskenformoney – Always dangerous to throw out Todd Pletcher, but I feel like if he wasn’t the trainer of this one the horse would be 30-1.  Just hasn’t shown she can hang with the top class fillies in the division, and this race is definitely top class.

#4 Stroke Play – Winner of three straight races, but this is a significant class jump today.  Will be too much for her to handle.

#1A Keen Pauline – You’ll get her as well if you bet on Tara’s Tango because of the coupled entry, but this is easily the weaker of the two entries.

#11 Don’tforgetaboutme – Throwing out ANOTHER Pletcher (this will surely come back to bite me) as she’s never shown anything that says she can compete at this level.

#2 Desert Valley – Typical Loooch Racing Stable spotting as the horse is shooting for the moon.  Has won three straight at Thistledown, but this is about as big of a class jump as I’ve ever seen.

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