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Beverley D Stakes preview

Returning to the blog for the Arlington International Festival of Racing is Davy Lane who you may remember had every selection in the frame last year at Arlington and also tipped up last year's Melbourne Cup winner on these pages. Davy was a winner of Channel 4 Racing's Top Tipster at Royal Ascot this year. Follow Davy via @LosCharruas.

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BEVERLY D. STAKES
One Mile and Three Sixteenths (Turf)
US$700k, Grade 1
1805 local, 2305 BST, 0805 AEST
ML odds cited.


The Beverly D. is the toughest race to handicap at Arlington on Saturday. Your eye is immediately drawn to the five Euro shippers. Then to the Chad Brown pair. And finally, the Michael Matz horse. There are two others who do not seem to belong.

The No Hopers

4. Lots o' Lex 30/1 and 7. Maid on a Mission 30/1 are significant unders. Rosemary B. Homeister Jr. gets the ride on Lots o' Lex. Homeister - now in her 40s and back from retirement after having a baby - she was the female rider with the most wins in the US in 2000 and 2001, albeit at many underbelly tracks. She has a few Group II and III wins to her name, but won't add a Group I here. Kent Desormeaux gets the ride on Maid on a Mission. Both horses are been to Arlington before and have been placed in Graded Stakes races. Losing track experience does not point to a shock outsider winning this.

The Chad Brown Pair

It will be interesting to see how two other Chad Brown fillies fare in the Grade II US $300,000 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga on Friday night. For me, Consumer Credit and Strick Compliance (both about three lengths behind Lady Eli last time) are now better horses than 3. Stephanie's Kitten 7/2 and 2. Watsdachances 10/1. I had been considering Watsdachances for an each-way flutter last week believing Javier Castellano would come in for the ride. Javier gave had given her a peach at Pimlico, winning a Grade III two starts back. But if the trip to Arlington was not worth it for Javier, then it's not worth for you. Stephanie's Kitten seems to have been going backwards losing by a length to Tommy Stack's Waltzing Matilda in the Grade II New York Stakes and then to Christophe Clement's Hard Not to Like in the Grade I Diana Stakes at Saratoga. But when you consider the shrewd Stack had sent Matilda in foal to New York and that Hard Not to Like broke the course record with Stephanie Kitten running on late, you may be wise, particularly with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, to keep the Ken Ramsey mare in mind for your superfectas.

The Euro Shippers

There are five Euro Shippers. 1. Lacy 20/1 gets a good draw. She has won a Group III and two competitive Listed races in Germany. She also lost by a nose in the prestigious Group I Lydia Tesio at Campanelle last October. I find her past jockey bookings most interesting. Atzeni went to Rome to ride her in the Lydia Tesio and Soumillon took the mount last time at Chantilly. Strong past jockey bookings tend to suggest the connections have either known something or have big egos or often both. The booking of Eddie Pedroza - who gave to Turfdonna a terrific ride to last week's German Oaks - gives the horse a fighting chance. She is overs at 33/1 with most UK and Irish books.

Dermot Weld's 6. Carla Bianca 8/1 will appreciate the firm ground. She has had two strong wins on good to firm going. As a 2 year old Carla Bianca ran the famous Australia close losing by only 3/4 of a length over seven furlongs on good to firm at the Curragh. She gets the best draw of the obvious Euro contenders. She does not get Lasix, but it behoves you to respect her.

I am not feeling 10. Secret Gesture 9/2. She has the the widest draw. She does not get Lasix. Her Qatar connections will be happy enough with the positive brand exposure in the metro Chicago TV markets.

8. Euro Charline 5/2 could be the first repeat winner of the Beverly D. There have been glowing reports from the Botti barn. And losing by just a length to Amazing Maria in the Group I Falmouth Stakes is almost the best form of any horse racing at Arlington on Saturday. She does not get Lasix, though this did not stop her winning the Beverly D last year. I respect Jose Lezcano (and see him winning elsewhere on the card), but he is a slight downgrade on the last three jockeys (Dettori, Moreira and Atzeni) to have ridden Euro Charline. Euro Charline will be right there, but will her nose hairs be long enough?

Aiden O'Brien's 9. Wedding Vow 4/1 does get Lasix and gets a 6lb allowance from all her competitors. Her pursuit of Legattisimo last time had that "penny dropped" look about it. She is the obvious choice to win this. If Ryan Moore was fit and ridding her, I would have prepared the mortgage papers. My only other concern is that she'll run out of homestretch and there might be one too many rivals to pick off.

The Dark Diva

If 5. Mango Diva 15/1 was still racing in Britain or Ireland for Sir Michael Stoute, you would not pick her ahead of the likes of Wedding Vow and Euro Charline. But her transition to the Michael Matz's barn the past spring and recent form suggests she is on a positive trajectory, losing by five lengths in a Group III over a mile and 1/2 f at Pimlico in May with Gary Stevens up and losing by only 1/2 a length over a mile and 1 1/2 f at Arlington last month. French transplant Florent Geroux has proven success in getting the fractions right at Arlington. Mango Diva offers superb Each Way value.

The Winner

I can't split Wedding Vow, Euro Charline and Carla Bianca. It will be a bunch finish. My initial instinct was to go with Wedding Vow and I did take her in a few across the card multiples at 3/1. But on reflection I have decided to opt for Carla Bianca because the classy-looking grey has the best draw of the obvious contenders, because Dermot Weld is on the record as saying the horse needs firm ground, because the horse has shown world-class form on firm ground and because Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen is the best jockey in the race. Oh, and because I liked the videos I have seen of Carla Bianca at the track. Ears pricked and primed. She's the one for me.

Short List

1. Lacy - Waldermar Hiskst - Eduardo Pedroza
3. Stephanie's Kitten - Chad Brown - Irad Ortiz Jr.
5. Mango Diva - Michael R. Matz - Florent Geroux
6. Carla Bianca - Dermot Weld - Pat Smullen
8. Euro Charline - Marco Botti - Jose Lezcano
9. Wedding Vow - Aiden O'Brien - Colm O'Donohue

Advice

Win 6. - Carla Bianca 8/1 Sky Bet

EW Lacy 33/1 Bet 365, Paddy Power
EW Mango Diva 16/1 Ladbrokes

Superfecta 5 x 2 Dollar Units

6, 9, 8, 5
6, 8, 9, 5
9, 8, 6, 1
8, 9, 6, 1
6, 5, 9, 8

Use 6. Carla Bianca in across the card Each Way multiples.

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