Friday, June 26, 2009

Minnesota HBPA Mile Stakes Preview - UPDATE

Tomorrow a dozen fillies and mare will go a mile over the Canterbury turf course contesting the $50,000 MNHBPA Mile Stakes. The weather could be a bit problematical overnight as showers and thunderstorms are expected to pass through the area overnight. While post time promises to be dry for the fans, there is no guarantee that the turf course will be dried out sufficiently to be labeled 'firm'. With that in mind, let's take a look at the field.

1. Quiet Queen (Hebert) - Shipping in from Arlington, this seasoned vet has been out of the money in each of her three starts of 2009, all of them Stakes. The mile is obviously her best distance and looking back to 2008 she blew in here and just nipped the field in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes.

2. Slide On Bye (Molina) - A winner last out at Prairie Meadows in claiming company, her only try on turf at Remington late last year was dismal. Her two tries in Stakes company did not turn out well either. This may be too much for her.

3. Nijinsky Ballet (Ferrer) - A turf lifer, she still fits the NW2 other than condition. Her prep in an allowance at Indiana Live was fair and it looked like she need it. She should improve second out, but probably not enough to catch the likes of these.

4. Couple Whiles (Butler) - Fizzy Pop's stablemate, she's had a nice start to her 2009 campaign with two wins and a second in five starts. She likes the distance and loves the turf, but there are some stakes winners in here that she may be a cut below.

5. Lindsey's Wish (Kanel) - She broke her maiden first out and came right back with a win in the Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows last year at three. She's had three turf starts where she's picked up one allowance win at Hawthorne.

6. Mizzcan'tbewrong (Nolan) - Claimed for $32,500 in September she's been fantastic ever since. She's won three times on dirt and turf (yielding...something to keep in mind, perhaps) won a stake and finished second in the Bayou Handicap at the Fairgrounds. Third back off the layoff and coming off a 94 Beyer winning a stakes at Arlington.

7. Winters Bell (Williams) - First try on the turf for this Prairie Meadows shipper. She may have found herself too tough a spot with these.

8. Cape Cod Bay (Bell) - This gal took a long time to break her maiden, but has reeled off two in a row at Churchill and Arlington. The Arlington win was a NW1 Other Than, but it was over the turf and at this distance. Perennial top jock Bell gets the call.

9. Royal Highland (Eikleberry) - Decent Beyers from claiming races in KY and IL. Third back off the layoff.

10. Si Si Mon Amie (McKee) - First back off the layoff she was a half length from winning the Decoration Day Handicap at Mountaineer. She ships in here going the same distance and shows a great bullet work at Arlington before coming northwest.

11. Positivelycharming (Goodwin) - Won first back after short layoff in a $62K Optional Claimer at Arlington. If she steps up after that, she could be a factor.

12. Fabulous Babe (Stevens) - A close second in her seasonal debut behind Couple Whiles, and then came up empty in the slop in the Hoist Her Flag Stakes.

Mizzcan'tbewrong looks to be the speed in this race but both Postivelycharming and Fabulous Babe looks like they'll want to prompt the pace as well. Several are capable of rating off the pace though the most prominent of the stalkers - Lindsey's Wish and Cape Cod Bay - may be out of their element here. I think Si Si Mon Amie will be coming late and if she can step up just a bit off that return trip, she'll be under the wire first. If the race has to come off the turf, I'll be watching and not wagering!

My picks:

1. Si Si Mon Amie
2. Mizzcan'tbewrong
3. Nijinsky Ballet

UPDATE - MN HBPA Mile: Off the Turf

Thanks to a consistent overnight rain with no real hope of sun until first post, racing has been taken off the turf. This has resulted in scratching Couple Whiles, Si Si Mon Amie and Positivelycharming. I think that the light now shines very brightly on Mizzcan'tbewrong whose last race was a monster 94 Beyer in the Reluctant Guest Stakes that was taken off the turf at Arlington. Sure, it was over synthetic, but she also won over the dirt at the Fairgrounds in a $62,000 Optional Claiming race that was also taken off the turf. I think she's the winner here, but her odds will be prohibitively low to wager. I will enjoy watching it, but not wagering on it.

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