Holiday Disguise Meets Deep Field in Dancin Renee Stakes

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June 14th, 2018

With its relatively hefty purse of $125,000, Saturday’s Dancin Renee Stakes at Belmont Park has attracted an impressively deep field of New York-bred fillies and mares.

In a race where quality definitely trumps quantity, just seven horses will line up to contest the six-furlong sprint, but the depth of the field is unquestionably impressive. The 6-5 favorite on the morning line is , a fast and versatile daughter of Harlan’s Holiday. Trained by Linda Rice, Holiday Disguise is 5-for-6 against New York-breds, most recently winning the one-mile Critical Eye Stakes at Belmont on May 28th. But she’s also compiled a solid record against open company, including a win in the Distaff Handicap (gr. III) going seven furlongs at Aqueduct.

Perhaps the biggest question mark is whether the late-running Holiday Disguise will have enough speed to compete over this six-furlong distance, since she’s accustomed to running farther. If she does prove vulnerable over this trip, there will be no shortage of speedy rivals vying to beat her to the wire, including Absatootly, winner of the 6 ½-furlong Iroquois Stakes against New York-breds at Belmont last fall. The Charlton Baker-trained filly hasn’t run since January, but has posted a lengthy series of workouts in preparation for her return and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.

Still There, unbeaten in two starts sprinting for trainer Dane Kobiskie, will step up in class after earning an eye-catching 100 BRIS speed figure while winning a seven-furlong Belmont allowance race by 7 ½ lengths last month. Bobby’s Song, winner by 7 ¼ lengths of a 5 ½-furlong maiden race at Parx, is another lightly-raced filly joining the big leagues.

Bluegrass Flag won two New York-bred stakes races during the spring of 2017 and would be a candidate for victory on her best day, but the Thomas Morley-trained filly has been beaten double-digits lengths in her last four starts and will need to step up her game on Saturday. Picco Uno is another looking to rebound from a couple of sub-par runs, but she has plenty of back class in her corner,including an easy win in the 6 ½-furlong Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga last summer.

Rounding out the field is the front-running Cozzy Spring, third behind her Baker-trained stablemate Absatootly in the Iroquois Stakes. Cozzy Spring recently returned from a layoff to finish second by a head in a 6 ½-furlong allowance race at Belmont and should be sharper in her second start of the season, giving her an opportunity to steal this race on the front end.

The Dancin Renee Stakes is the ninth race on the card, with a post time of 5:50 p.m. Eastern.