Crystal Cliffs gets top billing in Nassau Stakes
A smart field of 11 fillies and mares will vie in Saturday’s $175,000 Nassau S. (G2) at Woodbine, one of four graded stakes contests on the huge day of racing. The one-mile turf endeavor lacks a clear standout with numerous contenders signed on, but I am firm on who my top selection is.
The Graham Motion-trained #4 Crystal Cliffs (3-1) is a lightly raced five-year-old who has never finished out of the top three in her career. By Canford Cliffs, the mare graduated in style on the synthetic in her native France as a juvenile and also made her sophomore, and stateside, debut a winning one when taking a Churchill Downs allowance tilt with relative ease.
Crystal Cliffs closed out her three-year-old season with a narrow defeat in the 2020 Regret S. (G3), and her twice-raced 2021 campaign produced a pair of stakes placings, as well. The bay was an eye-catching winner of the Sand Springs S. at Gulfstream Park to commence her this year, prior to running into a buzzsaw when runner-up to Technical Analysis at Pimlico last time out. She has trained well in the interim and will be very difficult to hold off late under the guidance of Rafael Hernandez.
#11 Dreaming of Drew (6-1) was an especially sharp wire-to-wire stakes winner on the All-Weather most recently and seems poised to give a good account of herself with the move to the green on Saturday. The chestnut daughter of Speightster flashed ability at Woodbine as a juvenile, and the speedy sort seems all set for her return to the sod following a five-furlong grassy workout last weekend. Kazushi Kimura retains the ride.
#2 Lady Speightspeare (5-2) has lost five in succession after kicking off her career with four straight wins for Roger Attfield. The four-year-old has been facing some especially tough foes this campaign and will appreciate the measure of class relief on this occasion. She has a lot of exotics appeal with Emma-Jayne Wilson in the stirrups.
#8 Our Flash Drive (8-1) is a Grade 3 winner on the surface who is coming off a strong second-place result in the Beaugay S. (G3) at Belmont Park for Mark Casse. The Live Oak homebred will be in a good spot turning for home on Saturday.
- $20 win: #4 Crystal Cliffs ($20)
- 60-cent trifecta: 4 with 2, 8, 11 with all ($16.20)
- 40-cent trifecta: 2, 8, 11 with 4 with all ($10.80)