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Beverly D. Preview: Solid Field Takes Aim At Grade 1 Glory
Santa Barbara winning the Belmont Oaks (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Beverly D. Preview: Solid Field Takes Aim At Grade 1 Glory

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Arlington Park’s final big day is set for this Saturday, with seven stakes races on the card including the 31st running of the $400,000 Beverly D. Stakes (G1).

Drawing a small but stout field of seven, the final running of the Beverly D. is set for race 7 with a local post time of 4:49 PM CT.

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The headlining horse in the race is Mean Mary, who comes into this event off of 2 straight graded stakes victories this season. In both her starts, she was able to control the early pace, something she’ll try to do once again here. She’ll break from post 2 with Luis Saez skipping a Saturday at Saratoga to ride her.

Aidan O’Brien ships the talented Santa Barbara to the United States for the second straight time after winning the Belmont Oaks (G1) despite a less-than-ideal trip. It’s important to note that this is a 3-year-old taking on older horses, which could be an issue. Regular rider Ryan Moore will have the mount once again, breaking from post 4.

Chad Brown has had great success in this race in years past, but his entry this year must rebound from a poor effort in her last race. That horse is Lemista, who was an extremely disappointing eighth in the Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. This spot might be a bit easier today, though, while Brown is displaying confidence sending her here. Flavien Prat has the mount today, with the filly breaking from post 6.

The full field from the rail out: Bramble Queen, Mean Mary, Joy Epifora, Santa Barbara, Naval Laughter, Lemista, and Oh So Terrible.

Top Choice

#4 Santa Barbara – I know she’s a 3-year-old facing older, but that has never really bothered me when the horse has shown elite talent. In her United States debut, Santa Barbara showed that type of talent, winning the Belmont Oaks (G1) despite a tough trip. A shorter field should mean a better trip here, and she also gets a weight allowance running against older horses as a 3-year-old. I’m excited to watch her continue to develop; she could be special.

Horses to Use in Multi-Race Wagers

#2 Mean Mary – It was hard to pick against her, but I just liked Santa Barbara a little too much. There is no doubt this is the horse to beat and the one they’ll all have to run down in the stretch. Graham Motion has this horse in great form, so it would be no surprise if she made it 3 in a row here.

Exotic Plays

#5 Naval Laughter – This lightly-raced runner has some intrigue after winning the Modesty Stakes (G3), the local prep for this event. She’s won 2 of 3 starts over this track, which is another positive. This is a whole new ballgame for her from a class perspective, which is the only question mark.

Party Crashers

#6 Lemista – It’s weird to put a Chad Brown horse in this category, but there’s no doubt she’d be considered an upset winner. Her race last time out left a lot to be desired and the top two horses in this race look pretty solid, but if the price floats up, then she might be worth taking a swing. Brown shows confidence bringing her here.

Throw Outs

#1 Bramble Queen – This horse always seems to show up with a decent effort, but this is a jump up in class that I do not believe she is ready for at this point. It’s hard to see her making an impact against this group.

#7 Oh So Terrible – We haven’t seen this mare win since 2019, so I’d say her chances of winning this are … wait for it … oh so terrible. There you go.

#3 Joy Epifora – Yet another horse we haven’t seen win since 2019. She’s lost all 10 starts since shipping to the United States.

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