RECAP - The BC Distaff 'Now' Horse + Penn Derby Aftermath - Super Screener
Super Screener

RECAP – The BC Distaff ‘Now’ Horse + Penn Derby Aftermath

Photo by: Dan Heary/Eclipse Sportswire

On Saturday, we witnessed a superb performance submitted by the filly, Street Band, as she powered past leg-weary foes via the wide, but uninterrupted, trip on the way to the hot pace- aided victory.

We knew on the distance drop back that she would have more stamina for the stretch drive but probably the best part of the race came after the wire when she continued on with very strong energy.  She’ll need that and more to contend for the win spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff when she lines up against tough foes via the “win and you’re in” ticket she earned in the G1 Cotillion.

Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about Street Band (just one of two “A” horses in the race) before that scintillating Cotillion victory:

#3 Street Band – TOP VALUE/OFF PACE – Her best races have come with hot pace set ups…something she did not get in the G1 Alabama though she ran well enough to finished an up-close 3rd after tracking the slow pace. Cut back in distance is a big plus here and form cycle analysis indicates a new lifetime top coming in this race. Needs a clean trip but couldn’t ask for a better set up. Offers terrific value.

She easily defeated the odds-on favorite, Guarana (the other Super Screener “A” horse), out of the Chad Brown barn. That rival flattened out after tracking the swift pace, looking like she needed this race after the long layoff, but was clearly second best finishing well ahead of the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Horologist. Horologist arrived at the wire 3 ¼ lengths ahead of Bellafina… who was tabbed as the Vulnerable Favorite in the race. At generous odds of 21-1, Horologist added great value on the bottom of Trifectas.

#6 Horologist is only a slight threat to the win spot, but as an under play she offers a lot to like. She was close enough to that hot pace in the G3 Mother Goose and ran very professionally off the bench to get her 4th straight win against progressively tougher. She is in top form and since her improvement has been in smaller increments rather than through major jumps forward, form cycle analysis indicates another substantial move forward here 2nd off the 70-day layoff is highly likely. The move for jockey Luis Saez is positive as he is a great judge of pace and will wisely takes this one off all the early heat and sits a more comfortable 3 to 4 lengths back reserving energy to pass a lot of tired fillies late. Getting really good at the right time…use!

With Street Band winning the G1 Cotillion at 7-1 and Horologist completing the Trifecta at 21-1, the Super Screener suggested Exacta and Trifecta wagers combined for a return of just a couple dollars shy of $1000.

The G1 Cotillion has become a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff with top fillies from this race impacting the Exacta in the last three editions.

From this year’s renewal of the G1 Cotillion, only Street Band and Guarana came back as Distaff Exacta candidates, with the former filly offering the best shot to impact. This is based on how she laid out energy during her journey on the way to Cotillion victory. Sure, she got a lot of help from the pace set up and she’ll be discounted by many as a result of those favorable conditions. But, take a look at the BRIS Pace and Speed Rating performance line that came back from Saturday’s effort:

Note how she submitted those ideal 90+ BRIS Pace and Speed Rating figures throughout the 1 1/16th distance. But, even more important, check out the 95+ BRIS Pace/Speed Rating figures achieved in the 2nd Call, Late Pace and Final Speed Rating slots. That pattern combined with the visually impressive drive to and through the wire signals even better results to come as she stretches out to the Distaff distance. This filly also has a distinct momentum edge cycling into her best career races right now while her other, more senior, rivals try to get back to their previously submitted top performances.

Right now, Street Band would be favored over Midnight Bisou by the Super Screener in the Distaff coming out of their respective last preps and we are sure to get a much higher price on the former filly.

Midnight Bisou tracked another slow pace last out in the G1 Personal Ensign when defeating Elate by just a nose going wide throughout.

Her best recent effort came in the G1 Phipps stakes going 1 1/16 miles.  She is proven at 1 1/8 miles (with distance concerns going 1 ¼ miles) but we have already seen the best this filly has to offer while Street Band is still on the move forward in her form cycle with a ton of upside and the perfect timing for a peak effort and another lifetime top in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. And, while Elate may have the experience and distance edge, like Midnight Bisou, we have already seen her best.

De Francis Dash (G3)

We selected the De Francis Memorial Dash as a good “filler” race to the Parx Pennsylvania Stakes day line up. It offered some wagering return opportunity prior to the scratches of our Top Value pick, #1 Wonderful Light and a key horse to the pace set up, #5 Sparticle.

Old Time Revival jumped to the uncontested lead as always before throwing out the parachute down the stretch allowing Killybegs to take advantage of the swift pace and easier company on her way to running down a stubborn Altissmo down the length of the stretch.

He Hate Me and Bon Raison could have used more pace pressure help to aide their chances so the scratch of Sparticle didn’t help though it was hard to excuse the 3rd and 5th place finishes, respectively. They are both capable of better than that.

Gallant Bob (G2)

Not much to really say about this race as it came in rather orderly with the Super Screener Top Win pick, King Jack, getting the job done and our next two selections, Landeskog and Trophy Chaser completing the chalky Trifecta.

Bulletin disappointed the general public finishing a distant 5th at odds of 9-2 but the Super Screener was having none of it and faded this horse to the back half of the field as a Vulnerable Favorite.

Pennsylvania Derby (G1)

Will the top 3 year-old in 2019 please step forward! In a blanket finish in this renewal of the G1 Pennsylvania Derby, the fast-closing outsider, Math Wizard, secured the advantage at the wire by a neck over Mr. Money. Only 1 ½ lengths, however, separated the top four finishers so the outcome was hardly decisive. 

We warned that Improbable should only be played if he didn’t act up:

This colt is a bit of head case…Wait to wager before they load into the gate to make sure he is not acting up which would diminish his chances here.

But, sure enough, he was unruly behind the gate requiring several attempts to be loaded before reluctantly taking his place. He was agitated in the gate, once again, with his head turned sideways resulting in a very slow start that left him in last place in the early going spotting his rivals 3 lengths. His tardy break also resulted in impacting the pace in this race, as he would have been on the lead or pressing Mr. Money throughout with a clean break.

Taking nothing away from Math Wizard’s victory as he overcame a slow pace while masterfully ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. to get the victory at unbelievable odds of 31-1.

We still don’t get all the hype centering around War of Will… he’s just not that good and he proved once again in this race that he is a “B” player among this year’s top 3 year-olds. He was the most advantaged of any runner in this race pressing Mr. Money (a great horse with distance questions at 1 1/8 miles or longer) through very modest fractions but came up flat in the stretch again finishing just a nose ahead of the troubled, Improbable.  He should be run back to G3 races where he has a shot to prevail.

Brace yourself…as the next two weekends are just jam packed with dozens of final Breeders’ Cup preps taking place across the nation. In addition, both Keeneland and Santa Anita return to racing action as the final rounds of Breeders’ Cup preps get underway. Get an edge over the crowd as we go deep into both pre- and post-race analyses of these critical preps.

Until next weekend… go fast and win!

Mike Shutty