Santa Anita, Race 8, Post Time 7:07 pm ET
The Megahertz, Fillies and Mares, Four Years Old and Up, One Mile, Turf
The most likely winner of the Megahertz Stakes appears to be the seven-year-old mare A Jealous Woman. In addition to having strong Performance Figures (a 107 and a 113 in her two most recent races), she may well have an early-speed advantage over this field, which would allow her to save ground around both turns. As an insurance policy, should she be out-sprinted by other likely front runner Lady Ten, she has also shown the ability to race well from slightly off the pace.
The biggest doubt over A Jealous Woman would be her physical condition, as evidenced by the significant gap in her workouts. That said, her latest workout was impressive. She has proven herself against stronger company (has finished second in a Grade 2). She overcame a punitive pace in her October race on this surface. She would be a justifiable favorite for this race, yet there’s a chance that her low-profile connections will scare off enough bettors to allow her to go off at an attractive price.
Other strong contenders are In the Stars and the aforementioned Lady Ten, both of whom have competitive Performance Figures and have been visually impressive in their races. But the most interesting horse in the entire field might be the longshot Plaza de Indias. Two races back, she recorded a very solid Performance Figure of 107, followed by a respectable 99 that was earned despite a tough trip in which she made a wide move around the far turn under considerable pressure. Today will be her third start for her obscure-yet-competent trainer, and if she can somehow work out a decent trip with rider Omar Figueroa, she could surprise this field. In any event, she is a must-use in exotics at a big price.
Finally, Camelia Rose is dropping in class, has run four solid Performance Figures in a row, draws a good post, and figures to be fairly long odds. She, too, is usable in exotics, though her most recent race was hard to fathom from a visual standpoint.
Fair Grounds, Race 10, Post Time 5:55 pm ET
The LeComte Stakes, Grade 3, Three-Year-Olds, One Mile 70 Yards, Dirt
Avie’s Quality has been installed as the 5/2 morning line favorite while making his debut on dirt in the LeComte Stakes. He is an improving type but his Performance Figures to date aren’t that impressive. It’s also no guarantee that he will translate his synthetic form to dirt. His dam Fly For Avie was a Grade 1 winner on turf, but she was winless in six tries on dirt and was clearly better suited to the grass. There are two horses that look likely to be more attractive betting options.
The horse to beat on Performance Figures is Golden Soul. His 119 figure last time out is 11 points higher than anything his rivals have ever managed. Admittedly, that piece of form isn’t exactly rock-solid, as it came in a five-runner maiden race through which Golden Soul enjoyed a perfect trip, though his performance left such a deep impression that the 5/1 morning line price looks to be outstanding value.
Outstanding value isn’t something you’d normally associate with the D. Wayne Lukas barn, his horses, though highly successful, often returning a significant level-stakes loss due to the barn’s enduring popularity with bettors. However, the Lukas-trained Oxbow is a very intriguing horse at his likely odds. In his most recent start, Oxbow broke from post position number 11 with a very short run into the first turn. He was hung out four wide the entire way around the first turn while pressing an extremely fast and contested pace. He remained wide throughout and was soundly beaten, but his performance was eye-catching given circumstances. Indeed, he fared better than most to endure a similar trip at that particular meet at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Oxbow is a rapidly improving horse who is bred to be everything but precocious. His dam Tizamazing is a full-sister to both two-time Breeders Cup Classic winner Tiznow and Breeders Cup Classic runner-up Budroyale. The former didn’t break his maiden until late-May in his three-year-old season and the latter made a meteoric rise to the top after competing in more than a dozen claiming races. Offspring of Oxbow’s sire Awesome Again also tend to develop late. At 8/1 on the morning line, Oxbow looks to have a tremendous chance of causing what would be regarded as a minor upset.