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Check out our predictions and odds for the 2023 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga!
|LIL MISS MOONLIGHT
|I Ortiz Jr
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
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Fresh off a 1-2 finish with older mares in the Grade 1 Diana, trainer Chad Brown has a strong hand of five prime contenders among the ten turf fillies entered in Friday’s Grade 3 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga.
Utilization Rate, a daughter of Le Havre who comes in off a five-length romp while breaking her maiden at Belmont Park, could be the slight choice of the five.
Liguria is the only stakes winner of the bunch, having scored in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar late last year, and then she won the Wild Applause Stakes last out at Belmont Park.
Revalita, the beaten favorite in the Grade 2 Wonder Again; Tax Implications, second in the Wild Applause; and recent debut winner Surge Capacity round out the Brown brigade.
Chief among the challengers to the five from Chad Brown in this one-mile test is the unbeaten Christophe Clement-trained filly Queen Picasso.
A daughter of Kingman, she broke her maiden going 8 1/2 furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf in March before heading north to impressively win the Grade 3 Soaring Softly Stakes at Belmont Park eight weeks ago.
The first of five for trainer Chad Brown, this Le Havre filly has improved with each start. Beaten by Queen Picasso in both fillies’ debut at Gulfstream Park, she just missed next out at Aqueduct.
Her third start was the charm, as she went right to the lead and finished powerfully to win by five lengths. This will be a real test, but she looks to have the talent and should appreciate a non-firm turf course.
Despite finding a pretty deep field of competition in her graded stakes debut, this up-and-coming turf filly is one of the major contenders for the top spot.
Twice a stakes winner in her last three starts, there is plenty to like about this Chad Brown-trained daughter of War Front. She likes one mile and she has a strong closing kick.
In a race with a good early pace presence, this race set-up should suit her well. She is also the most proven commodity in the race, although she was beaten by her stablemate Revalita two starts back.
It’s easy to imagine her winning her third stakes race here, but this might be her toughest test yet. She is one of the ones to beat, and a must-use in the exotics.
Trained by Christophe Clement, this is another filly who could vie for favoritism on Friday. In her career debut, which she won at Gulfstream Park, she finished ahead of Utilization Rate.
Given time between races she came back nearly three months later to score in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly Stakes at Belmont Park at 7 furlongs. In her third career start, the daughter of Kingman has found a tougher spot here.
One of several in the race with some speed, she may be forced to use it breaking from the rail. Perfect in two starts, she is an obvious threat here, but it may be hard to hold off the late run of some of the Brown fillies on Friday.
After winning two of her first three in France last season, this French-bred has been right there in three straight graded stakes efforts for trainer Chad Brown.
She has been unable to find the winner’s circle in any but may get the fastest pace yet to set up her rally. With rain expected on Friday, she should also get a turf course with plenty of give.
Having won on soft turf over in France, I expect that to be a big help to her on Friday. In a wide-open race, she is the top pick.
This Chad Brown-trained daughter of Mehmas has only run three times and has shown plenty of promise. After a romping maiden win in her career debut last year, she rallied for second in an Aqueduct stakes race while lugging in.
Given a long break, she made a sharp move in her return race, but could not hold off Liguria late in the one-mile Wild Applause.
She should get speed to run at here on Friday, and if she can improve the second race back off the layoff, she is a threat.
The final of the five from Chad Brown, this one has made only one career start. It came six weeks ago when she battled for the early lead and held tough down the lane to win by 1 1/2 lengths at Monmouth Park.
It was a good-looking start to her career, but it’s hard to know how it will translate as she moves right up into graded stakes company.
One of many in the field with some speed, the daughter of Flintshire has been entered here for a reason and should be respected. Having said that, I do like a few others better.
Todd Pletcher trains this daughter of Will Take Charge, who is the most experienced filly in the field. On grass, she has won 2-of-6, including the China Doll Stakes at Santa Anita two starts back.
She shifted barns after that win and finished third in the Penn Oaks for her new barn last time. Experienced at the one-mile distance, she does look like a threat at her best.
Still, I think the East Coast fillies are better than the West and she will need to really improve off that initial effort for Pletcher to have a serious shot on Friday.
A daughter of Good Samaritan, this lightly raced filly has won half of her four career starts for trainer Brendan Walsh.
After winning two in a row in maiden and allowance company in Kentucky while sprinting, she traveled north to run in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes last time. She found some traffic problems that day and finished fifth, although beaten less than two lengths.
She will move up in both distance and class on Friday. She has some talent and could be headed in the direction of becoming a nice turf filly, but I’m not ready to pick her in this field in her graded stakes debut.
This one actually has a win over Utilization Rate, having beaten that one by a neck in an Aqueduct maiden race back in April.
A big longshot that afternoon, she pulled off another upset three starts later when she won a Belmont Park allowance race at odds of 42/1. In between, she did very little against allowance company.
Given a shot down the lane, she has proven to be game, but with good speed in this field, I don’t suspect she will be in the thick of things in the stretch this time.
After four second-place finishes to begin her career, this daughter of City of Light finally broke through with a maiden win at Horseshoe Indianapolis two starts back.
Off that win, she traveled to Minnesota where she finished a solid third in a listed stakes race at Canterbury.
She is consistent, but this graded stakes field will be a big step up in class for her. For that reason, I cannot bet on her on Friday.
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.
Email: [email protected]
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