Cotillion Stakes Predictions, Expert Picks, Odds (Parx Racing)

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Army Wife (7/2)

Cotillion Stakes Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 OBLIGATORY 10/1
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J Ortiz W Mott
2 ALLWORTHY 12/1
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J Court S Joseph Jr
3 WILL’S SECRET 12/1
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F Geroux D Stewart
4 MARACUJA 8/1
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K Carmouche R Atras
5 ARMY WIFE 7/2
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J Rosario M Maker
6 CLAIRIERE 2/1
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I Ortiz Jr S Asmussen
7 PRIVATE MISSION 9/2
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F Prat B Baffert
8 ALWAYS CARINA 6/1
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J Velazquez C Brown
9 LEADER OF THE BAND 12/1
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F Pennington J C Servis

Second and third respectively behind division leader Malathaat last time in the Grade 1 Alabama, Clairiere and Army Wife will renew acquaintances when they headline a field of nine sophomore fillies entered for Saturday’s $1 million, Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing.

Knocking on the door since winning the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds back in February, Clairiere has been a consistent and competitive presence in major stakes races throughout the 2021 season. A daughter of Curlin, she has run in exclusively graded stakes after winning in her debut. The only time she finished outside of the top three, was a solid fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

Army Wife had her graded stakes-winning snapped when third in Alabama, but ran another strong race at Saratoga. Before that, the Declaration of War filly had impressively scored in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico and the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows for trainer Mike Maker.

Two other fillies who should get plenty of support include the winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, Maracuja, who is the only horse ever to defeat Malathaat, as well as Private Mission, who romped home a winner of the Grade 3 Torrey Pines last time at Del Mar.

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Best Bets for the Cotillion Stakes

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Exacta box – Army Wife and Always Carina = $20

$30 Win – Army Wife = $30

Top Pick:

Army Wife (7/2)

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Cotillion Stakes Analysis

Clairiere

Hard to knock this regally bred daughter of Curlin who shows up every single time. She enters the Cotillion as the favorite despite losing her last five because she always runs her race and she does it against the best of competition. There is no Malathaat in here, so I can see why the classy filly is the morning line favorite. She rallied by Army Wife late to be second in the Grade 1 Alabama last time at 10 furlongs, but the job to outrun that rival again could be tougher at the shorter distance of the Cotillion. Trained by Steve Asmussen, she is certainly a threat, but at the odds, I think this is a good spot to try to beat her again.

Army Wife

After a tough trip, slow pace run to finish third in the Grade 2 Gazelle, this Mike Maker-trained filly put it all together to win a pair of graded stakes races in Maryland and Iowa in style. In both races, she made an early move and looked like a winner coming off the turn. Moving up in class and in distance, she was a little closer to the pace last time in Alabama and was the only one to really make a race of it with Malathaat, before succumbing late. Clairiere passed her in the final yards, but Army Wife was the one who did all the dirty work. Back at the 8 ½ furlong distance, where she looked so good in her Iowa Oaks romp, I like her chances to get the jump on the favorite. She is the top pick.

Private Mission

Will be scratched.

Maracuja

Two starts back, this filly ran the race of her life to win the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. In the process, she became the only horse to have ever beaten Malathaat. Perhaps the effort took something out of her, because she did absolutely nothing four weeks in Alabama. It’s hard to know what to think of that poor performance, but you have to wonder if she will be sharp and at her best another five weeks later. If she can bounce back, her win in the CCA Oaks is probably better than any race ever run by anyone else in here. She is a bit of a mystery, but she is a threat.

Always Carina

Trained Chad Brown, this daughter of Malibu Moon will be making her first start around two turns in Saturday’s Cotillion. With the scratch of Private Mission, she also figures to be the lone speed in here. Still lightly raced, she tried the distance, although around only one turn, in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Mother Goose in her third lifetime start. The performance was good enough to believe that with a little improvement, she can compete in this Grade 1 race. She wasn’t quite quick enough last time in the Grade 1 Test against some of the fastest fillies in the land, but this figures to be a very different set-up. I consider her the biggest threat to the top pick.

Obligatory

A Grade 2 winner at 7 furlongs, this late running daughter of Curlin will get another shot at two turns on Saturday. The last time she tried it, she never really threatened in the Fair Grounds Oaks. With very good results while winning the Eight Belles and finishing second in the Grade 1 Acorn, perhaps she has improved for trainer Bill Mott, or maybe she is just better rallying at shorter distances. Either way, her last race in the Grade 1 Test was rather dull. If you can draw a line through that one, you can make a case for her here, but I have my doubts that she can run by them all here.

Leader of the Band

Trained by John Servis, this daughter of Bandbox is the local hope in the Grade 1 Cotillion. A filly who likes to do her best running late, she has put together a solid 6-2-3-1 record racing over the Parx main track. The Pennsylvania-bred has also improved as she has graduated to stakes racing, as well as two-turn distances. Two starts back, she rallied strongly to win the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks at odds of 10/1, and last time her rally fell just short in the local prep. Going good and fond of the track, she is certainly a long shot to consider on Saturday.

Will’s Secret

This Will Take Charge filly from the barn of Dallas Stewart has put together a pretty solid campaign in 2021 with two stakes wins and a series of pretty competitive results in a trio of Grade 1 races. Having said that, she never really threatened the top horses in her third-place finishes in the Ashland or the Kentucky Oaks, nor did she when fourth last time in Alabama. She’s a nice filly, who has earned nearly $500,000 this year, but once again, I only see her factoring in on the minor awards.

Allworthy

After a pair of wins at Gulfstream Park, this daughter of Tonalist ventured north for graded stakes racing. She did not embarrass herself in either the Monmouth Oaks or the Charles Town Oaks, but neither mild rally appeared strong enough to make a serious dent in this $1 million race. I find her hard to recommend in this one.

How to Watch the Cotillion Stakes

Cotillion Stakes Race Information
What Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Parx Racing
Time Saturday, September 25 — 5:02 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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