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BENSALEM, PA – Stonestreet Stables homebred Clairiere, a camera-shy short-priced favorite in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1), faces a tough field of seven rivals (including five graded stakes winners) signed on to run in Parx’s co-headlining Saturday event.
The Cotillion is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the 11th event on a 13-race card that includes the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and has a local post time of 5:02 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Cotillion:
1. Obligatory 10/1 – She stretches out to try routing for the second time after finishing fourth in March’s 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). She won the 7-furlong Eight Belles Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs 3 starts back, missed in the Acorn Stakes (G1) – a one-turn mile at Belmont Park – by a 1/2-length, then took 2 months off before running fifth in Saratoga’s 7-furlong Test Stakes (G1) last out.
2. Allworthy 12/1 – She earned her first 2 career wins at Gulfstream Park this summer, then took her show on the road to Monmouth Park (finishing fourth in the Monmouth Oaks [G3]) and Charles Town (third in the Charles Town Oaks [G3]). She raced farther off the pace in those last 2 races than she had in her winning efforts, so perhaps new jockey Florent Geroux will try placing her closer early.
3. Will’s Secret 12/1 – She exits a fourth-place finish at Saratoga in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes (G1) behind a winner (Malathaat) who’s considered a threat in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and a pair of rivals whom she’ll face again here. She looked like the real deal last winter and spring, winning 3 straight including a pair of early Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep races, but she’s winless since March.
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4. Maracuja 8/1 – She finished last of seven in the Alabama in a disappointing follow-up to her massive upset in the 1 1/8-mile CCA Oaks (G1) over the same Saratoga dirt 1 start prior. Her CCA Oaks victory came when attending the early pace in a small field, but her normal running style is to take back and make a sustained stretch run. Kendrick Carmouche, aboard for her maiden victory, returns.
5. Army Wife 7/2 – She hasn’t missed the board since switching to dirt in her fourth career start, rattling off a pair of dirt route graded stakes (with Joel Rosario aboard) among her 4 straight wins, including the 1 1/8-mile Black Eyed Susan Stakes (G2). She momentarily led in the stretch during the Alabama but couldn’t hold on and finished third. She should appreciate cutting back and Rosario returns.
6. Clairiere 2/1 – She began her career strongly, winning 2 of 3 starts including the 1 1/16-mile Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2), but she’s only managed a pair of seconds and another pair of third in 5 subsequent starts. She rallied from well off the pace to finish second in the Alabama and will benefit greatly from a pace meltdown in the stretch, which doesn’t look entirely impossible.
7. Private Mission 9/2 – She will reportedly scratch in favor of competing at Santa Anita Park on October 3 in the Zenyatta Stakes (G2), a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the Distaff.
8. Always Carina 6/1 – She won her first 2 starts by a combined 13 3/4 lengths before testing stakes company, finishing second in the Mother Goose Stakes (G2) and fourth in the Test. Her Beyer Speed Figures have declined with every start, but she could wake up while making her two-turn debut. Older half-brother Structor won 3 routes (all on turf), including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
9. Leader of the Band 12/1 – The local hero has never missed the board in 6 starts here, with a pair of one-turn victories and a last-out second by a 1/2-length when routing in the Cathryn Sophia Stakes. She won the 1 1/16-mile Monmouth Oaks (G3) prior to the Cathryn Sophia and has the tactical speed to press or sit off. Jockey Frankie Pennington and trainer John Servis win 27% together.
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